Training &


Since we are not a university, we do not use a semester or term system. Students can begin learning whenever they choose and can take as long as they’d like with a course — we’re competency-based, not semester-based. If you are taking a course for credit toward a degree at an institution where you are enrolled, they may have other rules about timing and documentation, and you should check with the institution before starting the course.

Anyone/Anywhere/Any time —


Anyone, anywhere can take these courses anytime they’d like at their own pace. If you’d like a certificate of completion, you must have obtained the prerequisite education (this is stated on each course page) so we can feel confident that you would have the foundational knowledge needed to understand the course content. For example, for our Master’s in Public Health, you need to have a diploma for a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from a university.


A Student Enrolled in a University —


Individua students who receive pre-approval from their institution and academic supervisors may take courses from NextGenU.org without paying NextGenU.org and if approved receive credit from their educational institution. All details must be discussed with the student’s academic supervisors before academic credit will be given.  


Educational Institutions and Learning Communities —


Educational institutions and learning communities may offer the NextGenU.org course directly. The NextGenU.org Team is happy to connect students and their academic supervisors within courses or allow learning communities to adopt the NextGenU.org resources for internal use. Many respected institutions around the world use this approach. NextGenU.org courses provide a baseline of excellence, and many learning communities enhance these courses with student facilitation. 


A Faculty Member or Dean at a Traditional University —


Maybe you are a Professor or Dean at a School of Medicine and you want to teach your students pre-clinical and clinical sciences, but you can’t afford to hire another basic scientist or clinician. Or, your new faculty hire wants/needs to spend most of their time researching and/or seeing patients. A potential solution to this would be using NextGenU.org’s online materials to teach facts and create significant interactions with an international community of mentors and peers interested in the course topic. Additionally, a university could identify local mentors and peers to help students acquire and practice skills, with scarce faculty members made available to answer higher-level questions.


A practitioner who’d like to learn more —


You may need additional education or perhaps you’d like to grow professionally, but barriers like cost and time away from home and work always seem too high. NextGenU.org can allow you to train with a global community of peers. For those courses with a hands-on component, NGUO provides resources for you to interact with a mentor that agrees to work with you.

These are just our suggestions, but you might have different ideas or experiences. Please let us know how you use NextGenU.org (email info@nextgenu.org).

There are no admission requirements to take any course. Anyone who wishes to take any NextGenU.org course may do so, free of barriers. If you wish to take a course for credit, however, you have to be currently registered at a university that has agreed to give you credit for the course. If you’d like a certificate of completion, you must be prepared to provide proof of the prior degree if requested. (For example, for our Master’s in Public Health, you need a diploma with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from a certified university.) Some courses also require that to receive academic credit or a certificate of completion, you need to obtain a local or remote mentor who will guide you through skills-based training components (e.g., practicum/capstone projects). If a course requires a mentor, that will be stated on the course webpage, along with any educational or experience requirements they need to be qualified as a course mentor.

Each course has a link to register for the course, as well as any suggested or required prerequisites. If you are taking the course for personal learning, and don’t want a certificate at the end, nor to do the peer activities or tests, you do not need to register. Rather, you can just dive in and access the materials for free.

Select courses are offered in partnership with organizations (universities, professional specialty societies, and/or government agencies) that are certified to give courses for credit. Check the home page for each course for sponsorship information. However, since NextGenU.org is not a university and cannot directly grant academic credit, if you wish to get transferable credit, you should verify whether your home university is willing to grant you internal credit for courses you complete at NextGenU.org. We suggest that you do this before completing the course! At your request, we can email the following to your designee (such as a faculty member or registrar) at your home university:

  • Course description: a link to and description of the course training, so they can see the components
  • Your work products,: required case studies,  multiple choice questions, and any other optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them.
  • Your evaluations: the mentored-, self-, and peer-to-peer-assessments, and your final exam scores (with comparisons with the median scores of others at your level of training, and with everyone who’s taken the course). NextGenU.org’s faculty has supervised thousands of students using more traditional courses, clerkships, internships, and other “visiting rotations,” and we feel confident that the metrics we provide to home universities are far richer than the feedback schools typically receive when faculty outside the home institutions provide some of their trainees’ education. NextGenU.org can also provide final exams that your university could directly supervise your taking, and we can also record your taking the final exam and give other test metrics (time/websites visited during the exam, etc.) to your home university (of course, all for free). We’re also happy to hear requests from institutions for other metrics that would provide even more information about their students’ performance. We suggest that, as with any course you take outside of your home institution, you check in early with your university to be sure they’ll allow the credit, and that you emphasize the accredited cosponsoring organizations offering the course, and the multiple evaluation metrics you’ll be giving your school so they can determine your level of effort and accomplishment.
  • Certificate: a copy of your certificate of completion, with the cosponsoring universities and other organizations listed and your course transcript.

You can take exams in one of two ways:

  • Directly supervised at your home institution: If you give us the name, job title, and email address of a University official who wishes to proctor your exam, we will email them your test to have you complete it online under their supervision.

NextGenU.org is competency-based, so we do not offer grades. You may retake a course until you achieve the required competencies. We do offer certificates of completion and abundant metrics assessing your performance in the course as compared to the performances of others. We will freely provide to you and your designees your final exam score (or scores, if you take it more than once), with comparisons between your scores and the average scores of others taking the course, including specific comparisons with others at your level of training. In addition, you will be assessed by your peers and (depending on the course requirements) your mentor. You must pass all/any required mentored/peer activities to receive a certificate of completion.

Students are assessed in four different ways:


  • Self-assessment — Students complete questionnaires that help them reflect on what they have learned and to help them (and us) more deeply learn from their experience in the course.
  • Peer assessment — Students interact with other students who are taking the same course. These peers may reside in the same geographic area, facilitating in-person interactions. Alternatively, students interact with others all over the world via built-in real-time chat rooms, asynchronous forums, and other electronic media. 
  • Mentor assessment — Some courses require the student to obtain a mentor. Ideally, this is someone local, so the student and mentor can interact in person (although distance mentoring is acceptable if available and no one is available locally). At the end of the course, mentors will fill out a standardized questionnaire about the students’ skills, knowledge, behavior, and attitudes.
  • Objective knowledge assessment — Students take quizzes throughout the course, along with a multiple-choice final exam at the end of the course. The content of the quizzes and final exam come directly from the learning materials students are asked to study as part of each competency.

Some courses require the student to perform local, in-person learning activities, for example, meeting with a patient for lifestyle coaching or providing a community activity. Some courses may also require residency training hours with a qualifying supervisor or a capstone project or practicum. These practical experiences help you apply the knowledge you learn in the NextGenU.org course. The exercises will help you learn more than you would solely from reading a text or listening to a lecture since you will actively discuss and practice important skills with your community, peers, and/or mentor.

These are our current best answers to a lot of questions that we and others have posed about better methods for higher education — methods that have been tested and found to be of consistently high quality and free of cost, barriers, advertisements, and greenhouse gas emissions. We are actively refining these trainings with institutions from New York to Nairobi, and we know that some of our current approaches will be supplanted by new, better ideas.  We would be pleased to hear your thoughts on how NextGenU.org can do better. Contact us here.

We’re glad you asked! Please send an email to info@NextGenU.org that answers the following questions:


  • What topic will the training address?
  • Who are the likely learners, and why is this training needed?
  • Who could do the work of identifying the online resources, designing the peer and mentored activities, and/or creating an initial bank of multiple-choice questions?