Skip to content

June 26, 2016

UoPeople launches world’s first tuition-free MBA


Pasadena, CA. March 15, 2016 – University of the People (“UoPeople”), the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university built for underserved students around the world, has announced today that is has received accreditation for and is launching the world’s most cost effective MBA program.

The MBA program is the latest addition to UoPeople’s current offerings of Associates and Bachelor’s programs in Business Administration and Computer Science, all accredited by the Distance Education and Accreditation Commission (DEAC). Starting today the university will be accepting applicants to commence their MBA studies in September 2016. The university’s academic calendar consists of five nine-week terms and students can apply and be accepted to commence in any given term. The university will accept only 100 applicants for the first term, and gradually expand the program. Although there are no tuition or textbook fees, there is a $200 end of course assessment fee (for each of the 12 courses) and students can expect to pay a total of just $2,400 for the degree over six terms (15 months).

“University of the People has shown the world that an accredited Bachelor’s degree can be accessible, affordable and have the right quality. Now we are determined to show the same can be achieved for an MBA. We realized that for many, a Bachelor’s degree is not enough and there is great demand in the job market for candidates with an MBA,” said President Shai Reshef.  “The cost of an MBA today is so expensive, that many people who are qualified to achieve it, cannot afford it. UoPeople was set up to open the gates to higher education and to give an opportunity to those who don’t have it. Launching the world’s most cost-effective MBA was a natural progression for the university, and hopefully, it will pave the way for other universities to follow. This is a great milestone both for the university and for deserving students around the world.”

Dr. Russell S. Winer, William H. Joyce Professor of Marketing at the Stern School of Business, New York University (NYU), is UoPeople’s Dean of Business Administration and heads the new MBA program. He has personally contributed a course to the program. “I’m extremely proud to have led a stellar team to develop this groundbreaking MBA program over the past few years. It would not have been possible without the amazing work of esteemed volunteers, such as Dr. Gabriel Hawawini of INSEAD and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Stephan Chambers of Oxford Saïd Business School, and Dr. Alex Tuzhilin of NYU Stern School of Business, who have all helped envision and contribute to the world class standard of this exciting MBA.” Winer said.

UoPeople made headlines for achieving accreditation for its undergraduate degrees in 2014 and currently has over 3,000 enrolled students in Business Administration and Computer Science programs, hailing from 180 countries. According to the university, it is expected that this number will double in the next year and continue to do so in the coming years. Its ability to do so leans on its use of open-source technology, Open Educational Resources and the assistance of 4,000 volunteers coming from top universities. Its President’s Council, chaired by NYU President Emeritus John Sexton, includes Oxford Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Sir Colin Lucas, U.S. Former Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and Nobel Laureate Torsten N. Wiesel among others.

Information about application requirements can be found on the university website.

About University of the People:

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. Using open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers, UoPeople is designed to provide access to university studies for qualified high school graduates, despite financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints.

Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with New York University (NYU) to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships, access to its certificate programs, mentoring, internships and employment opportunities; and Hewlett-Packard, for general support, scholarships for women and internships. The University has enrolled students from 180 different countries and is supported by a network of over 4,000 dedicated volunteers.

The institution has gained the widespread support of leading academics from leading universities around the world. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.

About UoPeople President Shai Reshef:

President and founder of University of the People, Shai Reshef is an educational entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in the international education market. President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople, including being named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business; selected by OneWorld as one of its ‘People of 2009′; awarded an Ashoka fellowship; joined UN-GAID as a High-level Adviser; granted membership in the Clinton Global Initiative; granted an RSA Fellowship; selected by The Huffington Post as the Ultimate Game Changer in Education; nominated as one of Wired Magazine’s 50 People Changing the World; and selected as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Recently, he was awarded the Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy by Prince Albert II of Monaco. Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT e-learning, the first online university in Europe. His TED Talk: “An Ultra-Low-Cost College Degree” has been viewed by over 2.5 million people. More at

Contact: The PR Team, University of the People
US: 646-240-3340