Frequently Asked Questions about the
University of Minnesota Partnership with Coursera

What is Coursera?

Coursera was founded by two Stanford faculty members. The company partners with top universities from around the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free (certificates of completion require a payment). These courses are commonly referred to as MOOCs (short for massive, open, online course). Learn more at

Why is the University of Minnesota offering MOOCs?

The University of Minnesota works constantly to improve teaching and learning, and has for a very long time looked to new technologies to play a role in improving learning outcomes and providing flexibility and better access to education.

The Coursera project is a small pilot we are using to assess the value of MOOCs as part of our broader long-range eLearning strategy.

Why has the University of Minnesota partnered with Coursera?

Because the founders share our interest in improving teaching and learning, and using the experience of students enrolled in MOOCs to improve curriculum and course design.

What is the cost to joining Coursera?

Coursera does not charge the University of Minnesota for hosting our courses and the University of Minnesota retains all rights to our course content. That content may be repurposed in any way we choose, including being used to enhance courses that are not offered in the MOOC format.

Although there is no cost to join Coursera and its platform is free, the University has dedicated faculty time and staff in the Office of Information Technology, the University Libraries, and the Office of eLearning toward producing the courses. The University maintains the rights to our content and what we learn from this will be used to enhance learning for students enrolled in our on-campus courses.

What are the University of Minnesota courses offered through Coursera?

See a complete listing on the University of Minnesota Coursera page.

Can University of Minnesota students earn credit for completing a course on Coursera?

As of today, anyone can register for these courses, for free and for no credit (certificates of completion require a payment). Some courses may be available in the future for continuing professional education units. Some content developed for the University of Minnesota Coursera offerings has been integrated into existing academic credit classes offered by the University of Minnesota.

What other universities are part of Coursera?


Who do I contact if I have further questions about the Coursera partnership?

Please send comments and questions to