DEDP MicroMasters Program

Tackle the most pressing problems facing the world’s poor from a rigorous, evidence-driven perspective with content and faculty from MIT’s Department of Economics and J-PAL.

J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics designed the MicroMasters Program in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy (DEDP) to equip learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle poverty alleviation using evidence-based approaches.

Through a series of online graduate-level courses, the content combines tools in program evaluation and policy design with a deep understanding of the economics and mathematical principles behind them. The program is unique in its focus on designing and running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis. Learn more and enroll in MicroMasters courses >>

How the program works

The courses can be taken on their own or as a series of five courses within two academic tracks: the International Development Track or the Public Policy Track. To earn a DEDP MicroMasters program credential, learners complete three core courses and two electives. The five courses can be taken in any sequence, and the curriculum gives learners the flexibility to choose which electives they take within each track.

The International Development Track allows learners to apply the tools acquired through the core courses to explore development issues most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries experiencing massive and persistent poverty. The Public Policy Track will also require learners to rely on the tools acquired through the core courses to address a range of public policies, including local issues and those that transcend geographic boundaries. 

Learners who receive a MicroMasters Program credential are eligible to apply to MIT’s Master’s program in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy. If accepted, students will earn credit for the MicroMasters Program courses and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master’s degree at MIT. Credential holders can also earn graduate credit at a number of pathway universities across the globe. 

The process learners need follow to earn a MicroMasters Program Credential

Who should enroll

  • Policymakers and practitioners from governments, NGOs, international aid agencies, foundations, and other entities in the development sector

  • Academics and evaluators looking to re-tool and apply data-driven perspectives to social and development programs

  • Students interested in pursuing admission to graduate programs in development economics, public policy, political science, or related fields
  • Social entrepreneurs, managers, and researchers in the development sector


Graphic displaying statistics for the DEDP MicroMasters program

"I’ve worked in government and international agencies, and know how important a thorough grounding in economics and data analysis is to good policymaking. Our aim with this MicroMasters is to give people—wherever they are in the world—the skills they need to bring the best analytical tools and empirical evidence to bear to help solve the world’s most pressing problems."

Rachel Glennerster, former J-PAL Executive Director

What you will learn

  • To identify and analyze the root causes of underdevelopment using principles of economics

  • To interpret the findings of empirical research that evaluates the effectiveness of anti-poverty strategies, policies, and interventions

  • Practical knowledge on how to design and implement rigorous randomized evaluations and other econometric methods for evaluating policies and programs
  • Tools of comparative cost-effectiveness analysis for informed policy-making
  • Fundamentals of microeconomics, development economics, probability, and statistics
  • Hands-on skills in data analysis using the R programming language


"The world of development policy has become increasingly evidence-based. Development practitioners need to understand not just development issues, but how to analyze them in rigorous ways using data."

Benjamin Olken, J-PAL Director

Hear from a MicroMasters learner

“Students who earn the MicroMasters credential and master’s degree in DEDP will come out ready to be leaders in their field and to change the world. They’ll acquire the tools to be creative, analytical thinkers who will reinvent antipoverty policy. And they’ll gain the courage and skills to put all their ideas to the test, and fail, and try again until they succeed.”

Esther Duflo, J-PAL Co-Founder and Director

DEDP MicroMasters Courses

DEDP MicroMasters Courses

MIT 14.100x Microeconomics Jonathan Gruber
J-PAL 102x Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations Rachel Glennerster
Marc Shotland
12 J-PAL affiliates
MIT 14.310x Data Analysis for Social Scientists Esther Duflo
Sara Fisher Ellison
MIT 14.73x The Challenges of Global Poverty (Introductory) Abhijit Banerjee
Esther Duflo
MIT 14.740x Foundations of Development Policy: Advanced Development Economics (Advanced) Abhijit Banerjee
Esther Duflo
Ben Olken
MIT 14.750x Political Economy and Economic Development (Advanced) Abhijit Banerjee
Ben Olken
MIT 14.009x Good Economics for Hard Times (Introductory) Abhijit Banerjee
Esther Duflo
MIT 14.003x Microeconomics and Public Policy (Advanced) David Autor


To learn more about the program and enroll, visit the DEDP MicroMasters website.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

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