Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni eligible for free courses

No charge

Beginning Sept. 4, the University’s 583,000 alumni worldwide can join faculty, staff, and students from all three campuses to earn individual course and course series certificates offered by Michigan Online at no cost.

Michigan Online is U-M’s new global learning community that houses the University’s digital learning opportunities.

“A lifelong dedication to learning and skill development is critical to leading and advancing in today’s rapidly evolving world,” says James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation. “Our alumni understand this, and constantly find ways to push the boundaries of every profession worldwide.

“Michigan Online offers an amazing opportunity for alumni to continue to build their skills and knowledge base, while expanding their network within the global University of Michigan community,” he continues. “And this is only the beginning. We are committed to unlocking Michigan’s inimitable combination of academic quality, capacity, and breadth for all alumni as we seek new ways to equip them for lifelong learning and leadership.”

Academic innovation

The announcement by the Office of Academic Innovation expands the program rolled out in May to now include 91 courses developed by U-M faculty and instructional teams offered by Michigan Online through both the edX and Coursera online platforms.

While access to online courses on both Coursera and edX generally is free to all learners, the certificates have carried price tags. These could total approximately $500 for a six-month series of courses. The fees are waived for all enrolled students, staff, faculty, and alumni from the three campuses.

A certificate confirms successful completion of a course, or collection of courses, and can be included in a resume, mentioned in a job application, or shared via social media, such as LinkedIn. Certificates are not official professional or academic credits.

Faculty, students, and staff already have begun to take advantage of this new benefit over the summer as Michigan Online continues to expand the depth and breadth of learning opportunities available to all learners.


  1. Ruth Kremer - 1973

    Sounds like a great program. I’m going to investigate.


  2. Peggy Daley - 84

    Can you link to the course offerings?


  3. Doris Rubenstein - BA 1971

    Great idea. Please send more info.


  4. Jan Edick - 1963

    What a wonderful idea! I’ll be checking the course offerings.


  5. Delia Laing - 1990 Ph.D

    I would like to take courses. I am a lifetime learner and educator with a K-12 administrator and teaching certificate in K-12 special education. I am retired, however, now, and need 6 credit hours or 66 professional continuing education credits to renew my licenses. It would be so helpful financially for retired people over 65, if these offerings could count for licenses renewal. Options?


  6. jill dougherty - 1970

    This is fabulous news! The education I got at the University of Michigan was top-notch and it’s inspiring to see UM’ dedication to lifelong learning which is the key to personal and professional success in today’s world.


  7. Eric Anderson - 1973

    It’s a good start. Academic credits and free online degree programs are in the not too distant future, I hope.


    • Roger Szafranski - 1973

      Eric that would be nice but how would it be paid for?


  8. mercedes kelly - 1973

    Great offering. Will there be courses that could apply to MSW CEUs?


  9. Gerard Freeman - 1950 Rackham

    Very nice. I will have to decide now what would be most helpful or of greatest interest. Good for the U of M!


  10. Andrew Reed - 1997

    This is a great initiative! Very timely for me as I try to brush up on some technical skills. Thanks for sharing this news.


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