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Is there such a thing as a Stanford Online Masters degree program?

As my children are moving out, I’ve thought about going back to finish a Masters, but things seem to have changed a lot since I earned my bachelors degree. Is the Masters program offered completely online, or is it a more typical college online class program that mixes some remote and some on-campus classes? Is Stanford still an accredited university, or has it merged with something like DeVry? What kind of courses and certifications does it offer? Are there actual Stanford Online degrees, or merely Stanford Online Certificates comparable to Harvard Online Certificates? If they’re only short, non-degree, undergraduate level courses, are they at least free of charge? If they’re real online graduate programs, would they all be in fields like computer science and engineering? Where is the Stanford Center for Professional Development located?  And what is “MyStanfordConnection”?

Kristi Hammond

in Online Courses

1 answer

1 answer

Bethany Evans on May 30, 2018

Stanford, which is generally rated among the top U.S. universities, is not planning a merger with DeVry, which is generally rated in the lower middle.

There is such a thing as Stanford Online. It’s based at Stanford University, in Stanford, California, which is just south of San Francisco, near Menlo Park. Stanford Online’s Masters courses meet only part of the degree requirements. Much of the course work for the M.S. in computer science or engineering is done online, but teachers still like to know which students they’re recommending for jobs.

“MyStanfordConnection” is the Internet address for Stanford student accounts.

Stanford Online is still under construction. Three types of courses can be taken online.

  1. Online college classes are applied to credit toward regular degrees. While some colleges offer online options for a majority of classes, Stanford still requires a majority of classes to be taken on campus. As the home of the “coterminal degree” where undergraduates normally do enough graduate-level work to leave with masters’ rather than bachelors’ degrees, this school monitors degree program studies much more rigorously than universities like DeVry. < >
  2. Professional development classes are taken for “continuing education” credit by practicing professionals who already have degrees or certificates. Stanford’s Center for Professional Development (< >) is a department within the university that handles single short courses in fields like business and engineering. These courses have some prerequisites and can be used to maintain professional certifications.
  3. Stanford Online’s certificate programs (listed at < >) are indeed similar to those Harvard, MIT, Yale, BYU, and other big name universities have recently rolled out. They’re short, free, available to anybody who finds the titles intriguing, and tagged with enticing names like “Love as a Force for Social Justice” and “Genomics and the Other Omics.” The idea is that, while some people who want degrees from Stanford, Harvard, etc., can’t handle the work and should consider less rigorous colleges, other people really are “Stanford material” and don’t know it. Successful participants in the free, non-degree-oriented courses will receive encouragement to sign up for a degree program.

Stanford is fully accredited; course credits are transferable within the U.S. and students who qualify for federal financial aid may apply it to Stanford degree programs. While it’s not possible to earn a degree from Stanford Online alone, success in Stanford Online courses indicates aptitude for an academic career.

Roger Moorea year ago

With names like “Love as a Force for Social Justice,” Stanford Online Certificates sound like a joke, but they are set up to be real equivalents of college classes. The reason why they’re not offered for credit is that no one is watching to make sure you don’t cheat. Theoretically it would be possible to earn a certificate for yourself and another one for your dog, as long as somebody was doing the reading and writing. Stanford will pile on the reading and writing assignments for studies of love and social justice, or of folk music or French cooking or other “fun” subjects, for their certificate programs. It’s fun if you’re a real scholarly type! A few professional programs are still based on taking a test rather than paying for classroom time. If you’re studying e.g. math for a “university level qualification” in England, an online certificate course could help.


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