Georgia Tech's Online Master's Degree, at $6,600, Has Attracted 10,000 Students

By Michael Amigot / IBL 

The $6,600 Online Master of Science Computer Science degree –OMS CS, for short– of George Institute of Technology, announced in May 2013, continues to be a seductive proposition for undergraduates.

Overall enrollments will reach about 10,000 students. 3,358 students registered during this spring, and the expectation is to attract 1,500 over the summer and about 4,000 in the fall.

With a 55 percent acceptance rate and no GRE entrance exam, “the program has elicited wonder, enthusiasm, and trepidation”, writes William Fenton for PC Magazine as a contributing editor. Many students praise the program.

The OMS CS, offered at Udacity, costs a third of the traditional MS CS degree, priced at $21,000 for Georgia residents and twice as much for out-to-state students.

  • Students can even qualify for financial aid.
  • It contains 30 credit hours, or 10 three-credit courses.
  • To enroll, students only need to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in Computer Science at an accredited undergraduate institution and pass a TOELF exam if they’re international.

“The Georgia Tech online master’s program is more in line with ventures such as General Assembly, which enable professionals to advance skills and training,” writes William Fenton.

“While the OMS CS degree may not democratize higher education, it doesn’t cannibalize it. As Georgia Tech’s leadership put it candidly, the OMS CS won’t make that much money, even when it fully scales. Meanwhile, the traditional master’s program is a veritable golden goose. In addition, all the buzz around Georgia Tech’s OMS CS degree is driving interest in the university in general, and in its computer science programs in particular. Traditional undergraduate BS CS applications increased by 85 percent in 2014 and another 35 percent in 2015; MS CS apps jumped 30 percent in 2014 and 18 percent in 2015.”