Policies & Frequently Asked Questions
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Registration requests are processed in the order of receipt. If a class or event is full, you have the option to add your name to the waiting list. You will receive an email receipt confirming your enrollment in the class or inclusion on the waiting list.

Textbooks can be purchased at your favorite bookseller or borrowed from a source of your choosing.

Special fees are charged for course materials, facility rentals, consumables, etc. that Osher must pay ahead of time. Unless there is an extenuating circumstance, special fees are non-refundable.

Please read our "Course Drop and Refund Policy" for Osher classes on this page. Drops placed 24 hours before class begins will receive a full tuition refund. Drops placed after 24 hours before class begins will receive a tuition refund and a $20 late drop charge will be applied. Drops placed after the second class will not be refunded unless there is an extenuating circumstance communicated directly to Osher staff and an exception is granted. Osher memberships and Special Fees are not refundable.

You must be registered for all classes you attend. This includes attending a different section of a class. If you would like to register, please contact the office before attending the class. You will be accommodated on a space available basis. Sitting-in on a class disrupts the experience for those Osher members who are legitimately registered for the class. Please respect your fellow members and instructors by not attending classes for which you are not registered.

Bringing guests aged 50 and over to Osher is a lovely way to introduce them to our learning community.

Members are encouraged to bring guests to our free Lunch and Learn Lectures. These lectures are open to the public and offer a wonderful opportunity to experience the more academic side of Osher while also meeting some of our instructors and members.

Guests are welcome to sample Special Events on a space-available basis. Call the office one week before the class or event to inquire if space is available and if so, to RSVP for your guest. To reserve a space prior to that time frame, your guest will need to purchase a membership and officially enroll.

Please be considerate and limit your guests to one sample per term. To attend multiple events or activities in one term, your guest will hopefully be ready to purchase their own membership and enroll.

Guests are usually not permitted in classes and other activities for which there is a tuition charge. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances but only with prior approval of the Osher director.

Call the Osher office at 801-585-5442 for availability and advance permission to bring a guest.

In severe weather conditions, please listen to your local radio station for University of Utah closure announcements or call the Osher office prior to leaving for your class. Osher staff will make every attempt to 1) send emails to registered class members 2) make phone calls and leave voicemails as time permits and/or 3) record a message in the greeting on the main Osher phone line (801-585-5442) regarding closures and class cancelations.

Registration is required for all special events. To allow as many members as possible the opportunity to attend some of our free special events each term, there is a limit of four free events per member, per term. The four-event limit applies to the total number of events for which you are either confirmed or wait-listed. Additional events may be requested one week in advance of the event and will be honored on a space-available basis. Call or email the office to check availability. Many events have a waiting list. If you can no longer attend, please call or email the office to cancel as far in advance as possible. This allows us to give someone else a chance to attend and is respectful of our hosts and fellow members.

Your registration is non-transferable. Members on the waiting list have priority for open spots and must be processed in order. Event size is limited at the request of our hosts to ensure a great experience for participants. For example, if the group becomes too large, it becomes difficult to hear a speaker giving a tour. We communicate the group size to our host in advance of the event. Please do not attend an event for which you do not have a confirmed reservation as this can place a burden on our host and is not fair to other members.

Your registration is non-transferable. Members on the waiting list have priority for open spots and must be processed in order. Event size is limited at the request of our hosts to ensure a great experience for participants. For example, if the group becomes too large, it becomes difficult to hear a speaker giving a tour. We communicate the group size to our host in advance of the event. Please do not attend an event for which you do not have a confirmed reservation as this can place a burden on our host and is not fair to other members.

The goal of the Osher Scholarship Program is to provide opportunities for members of the community to take Osher courses when financial assistance is needed. Scholarship funding is provided through the generosity of our members. Full and partial scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Osher Director.

The only requirements for obtaining scholarship funds are 1) a desire to learn, 2) a commitment to attend the classes, 3) an Osher membership for $40 for four terms, and 4) a telephone conversation with the Osher Director. The required membership can be purchased after notification of the award, either before or concurrent with course registration.

If money is a barrier to your taking classes at Osher, please consider applying for scholarship funds. Follow this link to learn more and submit an application form, or contact the Osher office at 801-585-5442. Applications are reviewed and awardees are selected by the Osher Director.

U of U faculty (including emeritus faculty) and benefits eligible staff and spouses qualify for tuition reduction. To receive the discount, complete the required paperwork and submit to Human Resources at least 48 hours before enrolling in a course. Please call HR for more information 801-581-7447.

What better gift could you give than lifelong learning? You can give the gift of learning by donating to the Osher scholarship fund. Individual donors are making a difference in our community. Gracious friends and supporters like you and others allow us to offer a wide range of courses and programs and to bring the benefits of lifelong learning to more of Utah's 50 and over population. Go to our Support Osher page to learn more about how to add your support.

Osher members are eligible to obtain a University of Utah student ID card as a Continuing Education student. The card can be obtained at the U Card office in the A. Ray Olpin Student Union building on campus for a nominal, one-time fee. The card is valid until lost or damaged (in which case you can replace it by obtaining another copy and paying the fee again). Click here for directions to the Olpin Student Union. The U Card is active for campus discounts and benefits whenever you are actively enrolled in classes and paying tuition. The card never expires and is automatically renewed every time you register. Show your card wherever you go in Salt Lake City and even in other cities and countries to ask what student benefits may be available at museums, theaters, and more.

  • Free access to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Utah Museum of Natural History
  • Free entrance to Red Butte Garden but please note: Red Butte Garden no longer accepts Osher member name tag badges, only U Student Card IDs
  • Discounts on Pioneer Theatre Company tickets, Kingsbury Hall Presents performances, and at the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera
  • Access to all University libraries, and the ability to check out books in semesters when you are an active student paying tuition
  • Free access to University of Utah computer labs and free e-mail account and online file storage. Visit https://system.apps.utah.edu/uofu/acs/uupasswd/portal-self-service for more information about how to activate your Umail account on the @utah.edu domain
  • Eligibility to join the MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section) and attend football, basketball, and volleyball games and gymnastics competitions for a minimal fee. Guest memberships in the MUSS are available, too. Questions about MUSS? Call the Alumni Office at 801- 581-6995 or visit MUSS online.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation's priorities include programs addressing the educational needs of adults aged 50 and over at institutions of higher education (Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes), as well as other higher education and regional arts and cultural programs. The Foundation currently funds over 100 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the country for learning in retirement.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was designed by our founder, Bernard Osher, to be member-driven and volunteer-led. We welcome all volunteers! There are many opportunities to help, from joining one of our four committees, to serving as a classroom assistant, to helping out at events and functions. Click here to learn more about the committees and submit your application.

Osher does not record our online courses. We are committed to the real-time interaction and engagement of our class members. Most of our instructors strongly prefer lecturing and discussing topics together in a Zoom room in real time. Also, our small but mighty Osher staff team of four women simply does not have the time and labor capacity to process and manage recording links for over 25-30 Zoom classes and 1000 enrollments each term. There are, however, a few exceptions when, for example, an instructor might make a special request that a class be recorded to enable participants to practice music or movements taught before the next session.

Our Continuing Education building in Research Park at 540 Arapeen Drive enjoys free parking. Please display our free purple student parking permit on your rearview mirror while attending classes. These free permits will be supplied to you on the first day of class and are only valid in our lot (not anywhere else on campus). Please help us by remembering your permit so we can have enough parking spaces for Osher members and prevent other tenants of Research Park from taking your parking spots!

Please call the Osher staff at 801-585-5442 or email Osher@Utah.edu if you would like to reach any of our instructors. We will forward your message to them. Some instructors share their personal phone numbers and email addresses with registered class members on their course syllabus. Others do not. We will make sure your message is delivered.

We send out course evaluations at the end of every term. Please respond to our surveys. Our instructors and staff members read every comment and suggestion and take them to heart!

Osher curriculum is selected and approved each term by a volunteer committee of Osher members who meet monthly and approve course proposals. Anyone who would like to teach may contact the Osher office for more information and submit a course proposal here.

Registration opens for everyone at 9:00 AM on an announced day about one month before each term begins. This ensures everyone has the same opportunity to enroll in classes that may fill up quickly. Please prioritize and plan to register as soon as you can on opening day if you have your heart set on a particular class!

If your class fills up, please join the waiting list. Spots do open up as plans change and as the term start date gets closer. We often encourage our instructors to offer full courses again in a future term (or in some cases we may be able to open another section if the instructor is willing and if space is available).

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