General FAQ

1. What is the iMBA?
The iMBA is an online MBA degree program from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This online option provides learners with a tremendous amount of flexibility.

2. Is the iMBA a free MBA degree program?
If I take all of the iMBA degree courses for free, will I have an MBA? No, the iMBA is not a free MBA degree program. The basic content of courses from the iMBA curriculum will be made available on Coursera for free for anyone who wishes to gather knowledge. Completing iMBA courses for free does not earn you an MBA degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

3. Will you issue a certificate for the free iMBA courses?
No, the free iMBA courses do not carry any credential.

4. Is the iMBA degree the same as other MBA degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Yes, this is the same degree as the on-campus MBA degree, and after successfully completing the degree requirements you will be part of the Illinois alumni network.

5. What options do I have as a student in the iMBA program?
As a learner, you can:

a. Pursue the MBA degree completely online by applying to the iMBA degree program.

b. Pursue iMBA specializations (i.e., earn certificates with graduate academic credit) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by registering directly with the University of Illinois.

c. Pursue individual iMBA courses with academic credit through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign again by registering directly with the University of Illinois.

d. Earn a verified certificate for iMBA courses through Coursera by registering on the Coursera website.

e. Take the iMBA courses completely free (no credential or certificate), just for knowledge on the Coursera website.

6. The iMBA courses are available at Coursera as self-paced. Are the for-credit versions of the same iMBA courses also available on demand?
No. Since the for-credit version of the iMBA course involves active faculty involvement and other closely monitored interactions, the for-credit version of the iMBA courses are available on a fixed schedule.

7. Can you point me to the current schedule for iMBA courses being offered for academic credit?
iMBA Schedule

8. If I want an iMBA course for academic credit, where do I start?
Review the current schedule of iMBA courses, see #7.

a. If your start schedule aligns with the start date of the iMBA for-credit course, register directly with the University of Illinois as a non-degree students here

b. If the start date of the iMBA for-credit course is months or weeks away and you are ready to start, you can go to Coursera first and earn a verified certificate and then enroll with Illinois to complete the for-credit portion of the same iMBA course.

9. What does taking an iMBA course for academic credit actually mean?
Taking an iMBA course for academic credit involves two steps:

Step 1: Complete Basic content for iMBA course on Coursera (with a verified certificate)

Step 2: Complete the enhanced version of the same iMBA course with Illinois. The enhanced version includes extra case studies, detailed exercises, team projects and or exams, and direct interactions with faculty, moderated discussions, personal evaluation and grading from faculty, the same rigor that you would encounter from an on campus course at Illinois.

10. What is the cost of the iMBA for-credit course?
The cost involves tuition, which is a very affordable $250 per credit hour plus a fee from Coursera that covers the cost of ID verification.

11. If I earn a verified certificate for an iMBA course on Coursera, does that mean I have automatically earned academic credit?
No. In order to earn academic credit for an iMBA course, you must also complete the for-credit portion of the same iMBA course with enhanced content.

12. If I earn a verified certificate for an iMBA course on Coursera, can I simply pay the remaining tuition to Illinois and earn credit or get the degree?
No. See #11.

13. If I take iMBA courses for free on Coursera and then enroll either in the iMBA degree program or the for-credit iMBA course, will the coursework I took for free count towards credit?
No, if you took classes for free, we have no way of verifying your identity. As a result, your coursework will not count toward earning credit.

14. If I earn a verified certificate for an iMBA course on Coursera and then enroll in a for-credit iMBA course, will the coursework I took on Coursera count toward earning academic credit?
Yes. If you did take the iMBA course on Coursera with a verified certificate, your grades will be transferred over and count towards the grade on the for-credit portion of that particular iMBA course.

15. I am interested in the iMBA degree program, should I start taking iMBA courses for academic credit now or wait to be admitted to the iMBA degree program?
This is your choice:

a. If you are only interested in earning the online MBA and are concerned about spending money before you have been admitted to the program then you should apply first and be sure you are admitted before beginning with any iMBA for-credit courses.

b. If you are interested in taking iMBA for-credit courses even if you don’t proceed to earning the iMBA, then you may want to take the course. If later, you apply to the degree program and are admitted, any credit earned earlier will be transferred toward your degree program.

Please note: The admissions committee will consider your performance in a for-credit iMBA course as a criteria for admission to the degree program. So it may be beneficial if you have already taken an iMBA course or specialization for academic credit.

If you have questions, please send an email to: onlineMBA@illinois.edu