I am currently enrolled in a MOOC being taught by the University of Michigan on the edX platform. This particular MOOC is part of the MicroMasters series of courses, which when enrolled and passed as verified courses can be used as transferable credit toward a Masters degree at U-M on condition of being accepted/matriculated to the university.

I have only completed and passed one verified course, but intend on completing the entire series in order to earn my MicroMasters, I have yet to decide whether I will be applying for a formal Masters from U-M. I have listed this entry under Education on LinkedIn and on my resume as the following:

University of Michigan - School of Information
Expected completion, SEP 2018
MicroMasters, User Experience (UX) Research and Design

I am wary that potential employers will inquire U-M as to the status of my enrollment and discover that I am not a matriculated student and therefore determine that I have falsified my credentials. I have even paid an outside resume service to contact the school and report their results; U-M communicated that:

The contact stated no record was found for the applicant searching by name, social security number, and date of birth, and if the student took a MicroMaster Program and was not enrolled as a student attending classes for at least one semester, the school would not have a record

What should I do? I want to accurately communicate the fact that I am taking these courses being taught by U-M and that I am pursuing a MicroMasters, but I also do not want to give the impression that I am pretending to be a matriculated student. Given the fact that I clearly list "MicroMasters" as the degree for which I am pursuing I would think that would be enough to understand the distinction, but is it?

  • 2
    Can't you simply add the information that it's a MOOC to the degree, as in: "MicroMasters (MOOC)"?
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 17:41
  • I would ask edX or University of Michigan, I figure they're the authority in this case.
    – Mel Reams
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 22:00
  • 1
    Can you add in what a MOOC is - I have never heard the term before, and google gives me a few answers that may be right. Is it a US-specific thing?
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 1:11
  • @RoryAlsop en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course
    – Gwyn Evans
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 12:30
  • 2
    Just change the first line to: Online Course (MOOC): University of Michigan - School of Information. Lying to make something seem more impressive than it is never works well in the end.
    – dreamer
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


This educational experience as it is written on your resume appears to indicate that you will be graduating from the University of Michigan School of Information in September 2018. If this is correct, then all you really need to do is to breakout what you've completed so far or provide more information on what the MicroMasters program is. The recruiter many not know what MicroMasters or MOOC is.

However, if this isn't correct, then as you suspect, it appears that you are attempting to falsify your credentials, even if that isn't your intention.

Start by defining what type of program you're actually taking. From what you've stated, it appears that you're actually working through edX where University of Michigan sponsors the MicroMasters program (Press Announcement), working towards a certification that can be used as credit towards their Masters program. If this is the case, it needs to be made apparent on your resume that this is an online/voluntary course (This is a good thing as it shows initiative) that does not necessarily lead to a degree from the University of Michigan and does not indicate that you are a matriculated student.

Most employers will only know about accredited courses or certifications. Ie, search job postings and check what certifications people are looking for, in reference to the positions you're trying to apply. Work towards these certifications, if possible. These certifications will be seen as triggers for recruiters/hr that you fill the job posting requirements. If your online course doesn't fall into this category, then you'll have to explain it in more detail in your resume, to assure the recruiter that you have the experience they are looking for. Depending on the field/role you're looking at, a voluntary course such as this, might be something that would fall more under Hobbies/Interests rather than formal education. In some circumstances it might be better to leave it off, if it doesn't apply directly to the role and isn't well known.

Something to consider is that unless an Expected Completion date is coming up, ie Jan 2017, stating that you will complete anything that is so far in advance may not be taken well by a recruiter. If you begin working for whatever company you are applying to, there is no guarantee or accountability that you'll continue working towards that degree/certification.

Suggested Rewrite:
edX Online Course (Completed Dec 2016)
MicroMasters - User Experience (UX) Research and Design
Sponsored by University of Michigan

I guess that it is the same thing as when you do an exchange program abroad. You follow classes but you are not properly enrolled in their system so it shows no records of you. In that case, I just write "Exchange program".

For the MOOC you are enrolled in, you should just do the same and specify that it is a MOOC.

University of Michigan - School of Information

Expected completion, SEP 2018

MicroMasters : MOOC, User Experience (UX) Research and Design

Anyways, usually recruiters call you first after they have received your resume for an interview and then check your records so you have the chance during the interview to give more information about your current situation.

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