What is edX?

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University that offers online learning to on-campus students and to millions of people around the world. To do so, edX is building an open-source online learning platform and hosts an online web portal at for online education.

EdX currently offers HarvardX, MITx and BerkeleyX classes online for free. Beginning in fall 2013, edX will offer WellesleyX , GeorgetownX and the University of Texas System classes online for free. The UT System includes nine universities and six health institutions. In 2014, edX will further expand its consortium, including several international schools, when it begins offering courses from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, McGill University, University of Toronto, Australian National University, Delft University of Technology, and Rice University. The edX institutions aim to extend their collective reach to build a global community of online students. Along with offering online courses, the three universities undertake research on how students learn and how technology can transform learning both on-campus and online throughout the world.

Will edX be adding additional X Universities?

More than 200 institutions from around the world have expressed interest in collaborating with edX since Harvard and MIT announced its creation in May. EdX is focused above all on quality and developing the best not-for-profit model for online education. In addition to providing online courses on the edX platform, the "X University" Consortium will be a forum in which members can share experiences around online learning. Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, the University of Texas System and the other consortium members will work collaboratively to establish the "X University" Consortium, whose membership will expand to include additional "X Universities." As noted above, edX's newest consortium members include Wellesley, Georgetown, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, McGill University, University of Toronto, Australian National University, Delft University of Technology, and Rice University. Each member of the consortium will offer courses on the edX platform as an "X University". The gathering of many universities' educational content together on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the offered course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.

EdX will actively explore the addition of other institutions from around the world to the edX platform, and looks forward to adding more "X Universities".


Who can take edX courses? Will there be an admissions process?

EdX will be available to anyone in the world with an internet connection, and in general, there will not be an admissions process.

Will certificates be awarded?

Yes. Online learners who demonstrate mastery of subjects can earn a certificate of mastery. Certificates will be issued at the discretion of edX and the underlying "X University" that offered the course under the name of the underlying "X University" from where the course originated, i.e. HarvardX, MITx or BerkeleyX. For the courses in Fall 2012, those certificates will be free. There is a plan to charge a modest fee for certificates in the future. Note: At this time, edX is holding certificates for learners connected with Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan pending confirmation that the issuance is in compliance with U.S. embargoes.

What will the scope of the online courses be? How many? Which faculty?

Our goal is to offer a wide variety of courses across disciplines. There are currently fifteen offered on the edX platform.

Who is the learner? Domestic or international? Age range?

Improving teaching and learning for students on our campuses is one of our primary goals. Beyond that, we don't have a target group of potential learners, as the goal is to make these courses available to anyone in the world - from any demographic - who has interest in advancing their own knowledge. The only requirement is to have a computer with an internet connection. More than 150,000 students from over 160 countries registered for MITx's first course, 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics. The age range of students certified in this course was from 14 to 74 years-old.

Will participating universities' standards apply to all courses offered on the edX platform?

Yes: the reach changes exponentially, but the rigor remains the same.

How do you intend to test whether this approach is improving learning?

EdX institutions have assembled faculty members who will collect and analyze data to assess results and the impact edX is having on learning.

How may I apply to study with edX?

Simply complete the online signup form. Enrolling will create your unique student record in the edX database, allow you to register for classes, and to receive a certificate on successful completion.

How may another university participate in edX?

If you are from a university interested in discussing edX, please email

Technology Platform

What technology will edX use?

The edX open-source online learning platform will feature interactive learning designed specifically for the web. Features will include: self-paced learning, online discussion groups, wiki-based collaborative learning, assessment of learning as a student progresses through a course, and online laboratories and other interactive learning tools. The platform will also serve as a laboratory from which data will be gathered to better understand how students learn. Because it is open source, the platform will be continuously improved by a worldwide community of collaborators, with new features added as needs arise.

The first version of the technology was used in the first MITx course, 6.002x Circuits and Electronics, which launched in Spring, 2012.

How is this different from what other universities are doing online?

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise built upon the shared educational missions of its founding partners, Harvard University and MIT. The edX platform will be available as open source. Also, a primary goal of edX is to improve teaching and learning on campus by experimenting with blended models of learning and by supporting faculty in conducting significant research on how students learn.