DEDP MicroMasters

ReACT DEDP MicroMasters

The MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of five online courses and in-person exams learners will gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and engage with cutting-edge research in the field. The program is unique in its focus on the practicalities of running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis.

MIT ReACT partnered with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab to provide a ReACT track in this MITx MicroMasters. Find out more about opportunities for refugees, displaced persons, and asylees in the MicroMasters Program below.

Admission to the DEDP MicroMasters Program


ReACT admission requires qualified  learners to demonstrate  a strong ability to master the course material, using their performance in the first two courses as the primary metric upon which to base decisions. All refugees who enroll to audit The Challenges of Global Poverty and Data Analysis for Social Scientists on edX during the summer semester are eligible to apply for ReACT sponsorship. Students who have already completed these courses are also eligible to apply. As part of the application process, interested student will need to provide documentation of their refugee or IDP status. By the course payment deadline, learners that have been selected by ReACT will receive scholarships to complete these first two DEDP courses as paid learners. By the end of the summer semester, the ReACT staff will review the online course grades of the sponsored learners, and select the students for the full-year ReACT DEDP track. Those students will have the opportunity to interview for paid internships, receive travel stipends to attend skill-building workshops, and sponsorship to complete the final three courses of the DEDP credential over the next year.

If you have any questions about this program - or if you work for a company or an organization that might be interested in considering a refugee learner for a paid internship this upcoming fall - please do not hesitate to reach out to ReACT staff at

Important Dates


MIT ReACT DEDP Student Timeline

Summer Semester


Learners take two courses: The Challenges of Global Poverty + Data Analysis for Social Scientists

Fall 2018


Learners take: The Foundations of Development Policy

January 2019


Learners attend the Skills-Building Workshop in Amman, Jordan + Option to take the Proctored Exams

Spring 2018


Internship Option + Learners take 2 courses: Microeconomics and Designing and Running Random Evaluations

DEDP Eligibility and Timeline

Please note that this information refers to the 2018 admissions process which is now closed. It will be updated for the next cycle in 2019.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must have proof of refugee, asylee, or internal displacement status We will consider applicants who are new to the DEDP program, as of this summer 2018 semester, and those who have already progressed through some of the curriculum. Learners interested in applying for this scholarship should enroll in The Challenges of Global Poverty and Data Analysis for Social Scientists on edX for the summer semester,which began on June 5. Your performance in these two online courses will be used as one of the metrics we use to select scholarship recipients. This ReACT track application is due by Saturday, June 23 (5PM ET). We will review your progress in the first two courses and your responses to the application questions to determine the scholarship recipients and eligibility for the paid internships. We will notify the successful applicants by Tuesday, July 10, in time for them to enroll with the scholarship as a paid learner by Friday, July 13.

By the fall semester, in September, students accepted into the ReACT track will be connected with companies and organization who will host the internships. The minimum internship time commitment will be 450 hours, to be completed by May 2019. Internships can begin as early as September with the details to be determined by the terms of the specific internship opportunity.


May 2018

Enrollment Opened for DEDP MicroMasters

1 June 2018

MicroMasters in DEDP Summer Semester Begins

June 2018

Announcement Launches for MITx Track in DEDP MicroMasters

15 July 2018

First Round Acceptances for ReACT Track in DEDP MicroMasters

5 September 2018

Final ReACT Announces Final Cohort in DEDP MicroMasters

1 September 2018

Computer and Data Science Application Opens

Once application opens, apply here.

January 2018

ReACT DEDP MicroMasters Cohort Bootcamp in Amman, Jordan


General Questions

The MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) is a new credential offered by MITx that is designed and administered by MIT’s Department of Economics, with substantial support from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). The MicroMasters program consists of five intensive online classes covering the theoretical foundations of microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, as well as practical skills in data analysis, the design of randomized evaluations, and other econometric methods of evaluating policies and programs. In addition to the online coursework, which consists of lectures, short quizzes, homework assignments and exams, students also have to pass in-person proctored exams in each of the five classes. Testing sites will be available all around the world. The cost of each class (including the proctored exam) is between $100 and $1000 dollars, depending on students' ability to pay.

Today, the international development community is more focused on evidence-based policy and results-driven development than ever before. Increasingly, understanding and producing rigorous empirical work using microdata plays a central role in many development professionals’ careers – and employers in governments, NGOs, foundations, international agencies, and others are actively looking for people with stronger technical skills than were required in the past.

If you want to acquire a powerful set of tools and skills to understand and tackle the problems facing world’s poor, get trained in data analysis, engage with cutting-edge research, and learn how to design and evaluate social policies that strive to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges, this program is for you. No matter where you are in the world, you can now join courses taught by faculty based at MIT’s world-famous economics department and at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a world leader in policy-relevant research – on your own schedule, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional Master's programs in the field.

Beyond earning a valuable credential certifying your command of the principles of economics, the design of randomized evaluations, and data analysis to employers and graduate school selection committees, MicroMasters graduates are also eligible to apply to the Department of Economics' first-ever Master's program: the Master's program in Data, Economics and Development Policy. In fact, we will only consider graduates of our MicroMasters program, with the performance in the online courses and proctored exams as a key factor guiding our admissions process! A unique feature of this master's program is that accepted students earn MIT credit for the classes they completed online: If admitted, you will arrive on MIT's campus in Cambridge with one semester of coursework under your belt, fast-track your Master's program, and earn an MIT graduate degree within approximately half a year of arriving in Cambridge.

You have to enroll in all our MicroMasters courses through the portal. Click here to start this process today. Once you have paid for your first MicroMasters class, you are considered a member of our MicroMasters cohort and are eligible for additional support from MIT teaching assistants and other features not available to course auditors. Some of these features are available now and more will be coming soon.

Our MicroMasters courses offer the same challenge and learning as the residential courses taught at MIT. In fact, most lectures are recorded in real MIT classroom settings, so you’ll be able to experience lectures in the same way residential students at MIT experience them! The questions we’ll ask you to work through in your assignments are also very similar to the problem sets and assignments that MIT students complete for these courses. We use edX as a means to deliver world-class educational content to a global audience, accessible to anyone with the willingness to learn.

Prior training in or exposure to economics, development, political science, public policy, public health, statistics, or related fields will be an asset, and we recommend that you enter the program with a solid understanding of proficient level algebra and calculus to keep up with the pace of the classes. In classes that require the use of the R programming language for data analysis, we will offer a beginner’s module to get you started.

It will be a challenge, but learners from all fields and backgrounds are welcome. There are no formal prerequisites: anyone who wants to enroll, can.

Please note the FAQ regarding what skills and knowledge will be useful and also be sure to refer to the course specific homepages.

You can access the DEDP Page for this FAQ.

For the DEDP MicroMasters, this depends entirely on how much time you are able to commit. At a minimum, you can complete all five online courses in approximately three months and sit the corresponding proctored exams shortly after (but these would be very busy months!). We expect that most students will decide to spread out the coursework over several semesters. We designed our MicroMasters with an eye to accommodating different learning needs and schedules – so you can take the classes over whatever time span works for you.

Classes are designed such that you will need to spend approximately 12 hours per class per week, depending on your prior familiarity with the material. The coursework equates to a full semester course load at MIT. We also recommend that you budget some additional time at the end of each course to review the material and prepare for the proctored exam associated with each class.

No, the course lengths are fixed and instructor-paced, meaning that we will release new material to work through every week. However, if you are very comfortable with the material, you may want to take all five classes in a single semester and earn your MicroMasters credential within approximately four months.

The summer semester of courses will begin on June 5, 2018 and the deadline to enroll was July 3, 2018. The fall semester begins XXX.

Inquiries related to the MIT ReACT track in the DEDP MicroMasters should be sent to Questions may relate to:

  • ReACT Timeline
  • Application Requirements
  • The ReACT January Bootcamp
  • Testing Locations and Schedules

General inquiries about the DEDP MicroMasters can be sent to the DEDP team. Contact information can be found here.

Inquiries about the edX platform can be sent to the edX team.

To pass a MicroMasters class, students need to attain passing grades both in the online component of the course (delivered on edX) and the proctored exam. The specific grade cut-offs for the online component of each class are detailed in the relevant course syllabi on edX. Note that only students who attain a passing grade in the online component will be authorized to register for the proctored exam. Your final MicroMasters course grade will be calculated as follows:


  • edX course: 40%
  • proctored exam: 60%

Please note that course perfromance is a metric used in evaluating applicants interest in pursuing ReACT sponsorship in the DEDP MicroMasters. 

If you have taken and passed any of the courses that are now part of our MicroMasters, you do not have to retake them. You will, however, have to pay the course fee in order to sit the proctored exam. Please reach out directly to for further information.

No. Each student must have a single edX ID (username and email account) that must be used throughout the five courses. 

When applying for MIT ReACT Sponsorhsip in the DEDP MicroMasters, you must use ONE accurate and active edX account.

The blended Master's in Data, Economics and Development Policy is a new degree program offered by MIT. It is “blended” in the sense of combining online learning with one semester in residence at MIT. It is the first master's program to be offered by MIT's department of economics. Only students who have successfully completed the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy are eligible to apply. Admitted students receive MIT credit for their MicroMasters classes, and will be able to earn a Master of Data, Economics, and Development Policy degree within approximately half a year. You can find more information here.

Yes, the American University in Cairo will be the first school in the world to pair with MIT in accepting the DEDP MicroMasters credential to help students embark on their master’s education. You can find more information on this exciting announcement here.

If accepted the ReACT cohort in the DEDP MicroMasters, you will receive fully subsidized access to the courses and proctored examinations.

The general cost of each class (including the proctored exam) is between $100 and $1000 dollars, depending on students' ability to pay.

There are some restrictions based on country of origin. Email for more information. 

For more information on the DEDP MicroMasters, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the DEDP site.