Emory University and nine other top-tier colleges announced a new partnership Thursday that will allow students to take online courses offered by the schools.

Undergraduate students will pay for these classes and receive credit that could be used toward a degree either at the participating colleges or other institutions.

The promise of credits separates Semester Online from the growing market of massive open online courses (known as MOOCs) that allow students of all ages to learn and acquire skills without paying tuition or receiving credits toward a degree.