Today, Harvard Business School will unveil its first attempt in online education. The program is a three-course primer on business fundamentals aimed at undergraduate students enrolled in other colleges. The program will be called HBX and was inspired by the massive use of online learning platforms, like edX, which was launched two years ago by Harvard and MIT.
The new courses will also be the school’s first voyage below the graduate level. But unlike several popular online courses, the program is not open to anyone. Prospective students must apply for admission and already be in the pursuit of at least a four-year degree somewhere else. The program is also not free. The first term, which runs from June to August, is $1,500 and the first class of students is restricted to students from Massachusetts colleges. The program is aiming for the first class to be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 students.
The classes taught as foundation are financial accounting, business analytics and economics for managers. Members of the current faculty will lead classes and students should expect to spend around 7-10 hours a week on the courses.
“The folks who are flocking to these open courses vary dramatically in terms of how committed they are to finishing. You get a lot of browsers,” said Youngme Moon, chair of Harvard’s MBA program. “We started from a very different place, where we decided we wanted to offer something that is for serious learners only.”