What is academic credit?
Academic credit is a standard used by most universities to measure and assess students’ work and effort during their undergraduate or graduate program in the pursuit of a degree. Each course that you take will typically grant you a small amount of credit, a measure that you’ve put enough time into learning that material. In the case of a Bachelor’s degree, students typically need around 120 credits.
At edX, many of the courses and programs do not have credit attached, but MicroBachelors programs do automatically come with credit.
How does credit normally work?
Normally students earn credit by enrolling at a college or university and by successfully completing courses taught at that school.
You pay tuition, study, & pass a class; then a college awards you credit on a transcript.
You can apply your credits to a degree program at the same college that you took the classes from (usually around 120 credits), or transfer those credits to a new college that fits your life better.
If you transfer, your new college will review your transcript (usually for a fee) and translate your credits into corresponding courses in their catalog, often reducing or denying some credits because they just don't fit into their design.
If you have credits from multiple colleges, the review process can cost more, take longer, and is less likely to convert your credits efficiently. Resulting in lost progress towards a degree.
How does credit work with MicroBachelors programs?
When you successfully complete a MicroBachelors program, you will be eligible to elect academic credit from select colleges and universities that have reviewed and pre-certified the program. There are no additional fees and everything is handled digitally. Unlike the traditional credit model with MicroBachelors program you can enroll in programs from different institutions and bank all of your credits on a single transcript with Thomas Edison State University which you can transfer later if you’d like. This gives you more flexibility in choosing where you want to learn!
The Old Way
The MicroBachelors Way
Apply to college (application forms + fee)
Wait to get accepted
Take classes on the college’s timeline (upfront tuition)
Take classes from many colleges, on YOUR timeline (per class fee)
Collect credits on a transcript
Bank credits on a transcript @ TESU
Request a transcript (transcript fee) to be sent to your destination institution
Proceed through your destination institution’s transfer credit process to be awarded credit for your classes in their program
Who’s giving me the credit? The institution teaching the program? edX? Other?
All MicroBachelors programs are reviewed and awarded credit through our credit partner institution, Thomas Edison State University (TESU). TESU may not be the institution providing the course content for your given program, but they are a leading innovative university to provide a hassle-free process without fees. Some MicroBachelors programs may have the option of earning credit through the institution providing the course content as well. See details on the individual program page for details.
Who is Thomas Edision State University (TESU)?
Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is an innovative, public, four-year university in New Jersey. TESU was chartered in 1972 to specifically serve adult learners and provide flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities.
Who’s eligible to receive credit?
Learners must be enrolled in the verified (paid) track of a full MicroBachelors program and complete all courses with at least a 70% grade. Those auditing courses for free or not enrolled in all the courses are not eligible. Once you are eligible to redeem your credit at Thomas Edision State University please follow these step -by step instructions.
Do I have to apply (and get accepted) in order to receive academic credit for a MicroBachelors program?
No. You do not need to apply and get accepted as a student at Thomas Edison State University to earn your MicroBachelors credit. As long as you are eligible for the credit and complete the program, the credit is yours to claim at TESU (and at no additional cost). If the school or partner that is teaching the program will also recognize your achievement for credit, they may have their own process for redeeming credit (that could potentially include an application and additional fees).
Is credit included in the price of a MicroBachelors program?
Yes! If you purchased, completed and passed all of your courses in the MicroBachelors Program and choose to elect transferable credit with Thomas Edison State University. If your MicroBachelors Program has the option of earning credit from the school teaching the program they may have their own process for redeeming credit (that could potentially include an application and additional fees).
How does the cost of credit obtained through a MicroBachelors program compare to other programs?
On average, MicrBachelors programs come out to a per-credit price of $166 (significantly more affordable than other options). The price you ultimately pay is dependent on the number of credits a program is worth. Most MicroBachelors programs are worth 2-9 credits, for a range of $332 - $1,500.
What will my transcript from TESU look like?
Credit from TESU will be transcribed with a “CR” (Credit) letter grade on an official TESU transcript. This does not impact your GPA and will record as GPA: N/A (not applicable). TESU will assess the MicroBachelors program that you took and recognize it for one of their own courses. This means that the course name on the TESU transcript may be different from the MicroBachelors program name. To determine the number of credits your program is eligible for please refer back to your MicroBachelors Program.
An example of how TESU recognizes a MicroBachelors program for one of their own courses:
An example of what the transcript will look like:
Why aren’t all the schools providing credit for their own courses?
Getting credit at multiple schools is inefficient and costly because you’ll eventually need to connect all of those credits together. MicroBachelors programs allow you to take classes from many different schools and get a single transcript of your effort without any additional cost; you can transfer all of your credits all at once if you’d like.
Can I only use my credit at TESU?
Not at all! While you can certainly apply to enroll at TESU, you are also free to take your credit on a TESU transcript and apply to transfer them at another school. Your ability to transfer your credits from TESU will be dependent on the receiving institution's credit transfer policy. Please inquire with that institution directly.
What is the process for redeeming credits with TESU?
Once you purchase, complete, and pass all MicroBachelors courses within a program, please start by visiting TESU and carefully follow these directions to redeem credits. These directions will walk you through the steps you’ll need to take first to create an account with TESU, then how to share your learner record with TESU from your edX dashboard (so that they know which program you are redeeming credit for and to confirm you successfully completed it).
Will my current school accept TESU credit?
Likely, but your school will decide. You can redeem your credits with TESU and send an official TESU transcript to the institution of your choice for their review. This institution’s credit transfer policy will determine your ability to transfer credits from TESU. We recommend checking with the registrar’s office at your school first.
Can I combine previous college credits I’ve earned with MicroBachelor credits?
Yes! With your “credit account” at TESU, not only can you store all of your credits earned from MicroBachelors programs, but when you create your account with TESU, you can apply to transfer other credits, certificates, etc. that you might already have, making it easy to keep together! Please inquire with TESU’s registrar directly for further questions. (email@example.com)