Free online course certification will extend to U-M alumni


Beginning Sept. 4, the University of Michigan’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 puts digital learning opportunities all in one place.

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The announcement by the Office of Academic Innovation also expands the program, rolled out in May, to cover courses on the edX platform, as well Coursera, which had previously been included.

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

“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. It’s also only the beginning. We are committed to unlocking Michigan’s inimitable combination of academic quality, capacity, and breadth for all our alumni as we seek new ways to equip them for lifelong learning and leadership.”

There are 91 courses developed by U-M faculty and instructional teams and offered by Michigan Online through the two 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. Matthew Johnson
    on August 15, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Wow, this is amazing! I’m doing a couple series of courses on Coursera and while it’s pretty cheap, this will ease my mind a bit. Maybe I’ll even do more certifications!

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