Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to the following questions:

General Michigan Online Questions

Benefits to U-M Community

What is a MOOC?

MOOC stands for massive open online courses. They often include video lectures from experts, assignments or quizzes to assess your understanding, and discussion forums to engage with other learners. Many MOOCs are offered with minimal time limits, meaning you can take them at your own pace. The University of Michigan has produced MOOCs you can find in our catalog.

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What is a Teach-Out?

Teach-Outs allow you to learn, discuss, and create impact. Teach-Outs bring people from around the world together to learn about and address the biggest topics in society. Join us in these free and open online learning events to hear from diverse experts, discuss and connect with other participants, and consider potential action you can take in your own communities.

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What are the different credentials I can earn?

As you master skills and gain knowledge with online learning experiences, you can use credentials to share your accomplishments. There are different types of credentials you can earn with University of Michigan:

  • MOOC certificate: You can choose to earn a certificate that shows you have successfully completed a MOOC or a series of MOOCs on both Coursera and edX. A certificate can be used to share your accomplishment, highlighting new skills and knowledge to potential employers or peers.

  • MicroMasters hosted on edX in Learning Educational Innovation and Improvement, and Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research are valuable learning credentials and paths toward earning a masters degree at U-M. If you complete a MicroMasters program and are accepted, your MicroMasters will count as credit toward your masters degree, reducing the time and cost of the program.

  • MasterTrack™ Certificate offerings hosted on Coursera are paths toward earning a masters degree at U-M. If you successfully complete the MasterTrack Certificate in Construction Engineering and Management and are accepted to the full construction engineering and management master’s program at the University of Michigan, your MasterTrack Certificate will count as credit toward your masters degree, reducing the time and cost of the program.

  • Online masters degrees hosted on Coursera in Applied Data Science and Public Health are launching Fall 2019. Visit their information pages to learn more about how you can earn a U-M degree online.

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What are Coursera and edX? Why am I being redirected to Coursera or edX?

Coursera and edX are both online platforms for learning experiences. The University of Michigan uses these and other technology platforms to offer learning opportunities developed at U-M to learners around the world. When you select a learning opportunity, you will be directed to either the Coursera or edX website to enroll in the course.

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What is the Center for Academic Innovation?

The Center for Academic Innovation is part of the University of Michigan. Our team is reimagining the future of learning at our campus and beyond. We work with faculty and instructional teams to create the online courses, degrees, and learning experiences you’ll see on this website. We produce learning experiences, design digital education tools, and foster the creation of ideas to shape the future higher education.

Michigan Online is maintained by the University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovation. Learn more at

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What browsers are supported by Michigan Online?

Michigan Online is available on a computer and mobile devices. For the best experience, please use one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome

  • Firefox

  • Safari

  • Microsoft Edge

Note: Michigan Online does not support Internet Explorer 11.

For more information on other platform's recommended viewing experiences, please visit the Coursera or edX help pages.

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How is this different than taking a course made by U-M on Coursera or EdX?

You will still be accessing the same U-M-made content as you would if you went directly to Coursera or edX. By accessing the course through Michigan Online, U-M community members don’t have to pay for certificates that you would normally pay for on Coursera or edX. The course content, experience, and availability is the same whether you access from Michigan Online or Coursera and edX directly.

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Will this affect my academic performance or work evaluations? Can I earn credit?

You will not earn course credit by taking these courses. The degree programs, MicroMasters and MastersTrack Certificates that may lead to U-M credit are not available as a benefit to the U-M community. These options are available for a fee should you like to enroll.

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Why are some courses not available to the U-M community for free?

While most learning experiences are available to the U-M community for free, there are a few exceptions. Courses belonging to degree programs, MicroMasters and MastersTrack Certificates are not free to anyone, as they may lead to U-M credit. They are available for a fee should you like to enroll.

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Can I take these courses if I’m not a part of the U-M community?

Yes! Anyone can access the courses in the Michigan Online catalog. The U-M created content will be the same even though you are not part of the U-M community. The difference is that you may need to pay to access some opportunities or to receive a credential for your learning. Most courses offer an option to “audit,” which gives free access to most the learning content, and some of our content, like the Teach-Out series, is always free.

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I thought this was free, but I’m being asked to pay. What’s going on?

You probably entered Coursera or edX through their main homepage, and not through the entrance that will specify you as U-M community member. If you are a U-M community member, be sure to click on the button with the block M as pictured below.

Button with Block M and text: U-M Free Access

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I don’t remember or was never given a login for U-M. What should I do?

There are different processes for getting your uniqname or being reminded of your uniqname based on your relationship to the university. Please find more information on the Information and Technology Services webpage.

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I already had an account on Coursera. Can I merge the accounts? Can I get a refund now?

Merging accounts

If you already have a Coursera account and it’s not associated with your email address, you should:

  1. Log into your current account

  2. Navigate to settings under your profile

  3. Update your primary email address to be the address

It is important that your umich email be your primary email. You can contact Coursera for support using their Learner Help Center.


If you had started a paid subscription within the past 14 days, you can be eligible for a refund. Please note that you will then continue to have full access to University of Michigan courses, but will no longer have the paid access to courses on Coursera produced by other universities or institutions. You can contact Coursera directly to discuss potential refunds and options using their Learner Help Center.

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