The only question now is who will be next. Stanford University is the first major research university in the U.S. to offer students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in engineering online. The university is looking for 50 working professionals interested in becoming the first students in its online program, which begins this fall.
Stanford estimates it will take three to four years for the online students to complete the 30 courses needed for the master's degree. The program will include interactive seminars and chat lines to help provide the same type of interaction that classroom students receive. About one-third of higher education institutions already offer courses online, and several universities provide the opportunity to earn a degree online.