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  • From $900 Program Certificate to an online Master’s Degree in business with a $9,000 discount

    Published on March 4, 2020

    In light of the global effects of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19), many students interested in pursuing an MBA or MIM are taking a fresh look at online options, and Thunderbird has a new MicroMasters pathway that allows students to save US $9,000 on their online master’s degree.


    MicroMasters programs (MM) offer learners a pathway to an advanced degree and can count as credit toward completing a master’s degree program, online or in person. Learners who successfully earn this MM program certificate may apply for admission to a master’s program, and if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count towards the degree.

    After successfully completing the Global Business Leadership and Management MicroMasters program we invite students to apply to Thunderbird’s Online Master of Applied Leadership & Management master degree program (MALM), which is 30 credits in length. Completion of the MM program allows entrance to this program and counts for the 9 of the 30 total credits needed to complete the degree.

    The 9 MicroMasters credits only cost $897 (total for 3 courses at 3 credits per course) and they are transferable towards the MALM, which requires 30 credits total and costs $33,300. Anyone can knock out 9 out of 30 MALM credits with the EdEx MicroMasters for under $900. The remaining 21 credits will cost roughly $9K less ($23,310) than if they paid the full price for all 30 MALM credits. Transferring the credits makes the MALM much more affordable, about 90% cheaper for the first 9 credits to help get people started.

    Since the 2017 inception of the ASU/Thunderbird EdEx MicroMasters program in Global Business Leadership and Management, 553 people enrolled. Of those, only 27 went on to the MALM, clearly a very low conversion rate of only about 5% that we expect to spike when we put some marketing behind it to get the word out. Students who take the EdEx courses and then apply that credit to the MALM can save roughly $9,000 (US) on their MALM tuition (about a third of the total cost) by transferring the MicroMasters credits, so we’re looking to get the word out about this excellent value.


    The low price goes to the heart of ASU’s charter and commitment to making higher ed accessible as well as Thunderbird’s mission of creating inclusive and sustainable prosperity through education. Inclusion and access (without sacrificing excellence) are the guiding principles at work here. You see it across ASU in partnerships as we have with Uber and Starbucks too that let their employees earn a debt-free college degree. We believe that once we start marketing this funnel and people find out about it, the demand will spike.

    I’d be happy to connect you with our dean, Sanjeev Khagram, and our online director, Laura Polk, who can explain the program and credit transfer savings in more detail.

    Here’s a little more on the low price of the MicroMasters credits from Thunderbird’s Director of Online Education, Professor Laura Polk:

    “The goal of the MicroMasters is to give global learners the chance to connect, learn and engage within a global community.  Price and location are some of the largest barriers to access and entry in higher education, so this price point is low intentionally to attract global individuals as lifelong learners and to pursue a certificate in Global Business Leadership & Management after 9 credits of completion.  Individuals who take the MicroMasters program are typically familiar with the Thunderbird brand and want a global educational experience.  Should they pursue the MALM program, upon acceptance, we apply those 9 credits at the graduate level.  We have learners in our MicroMasters programs who span 16 to 74 years in age, high school education to post-doctorate, entry-level to C-suite, from all over the world.  It’s a diverse program that is truly reflective of the ASU charter and Thunderbird’s mission of educating future-ready leaders who advance inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide.”

    ASU Charter:

    “ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”