About Us

NextGenU.org is essentially the world's first free university (we're for credit, for free, unlike any other organization). Starting with a focus in the health sciences, our accredited courses are being used in 191 (of 193) countries, including U.S. accreditation for the first globally free degree, a Master's in Public Health.

Courses span from community health worker trainings, through public health graduate training, and clinical courses including a MedSchoolInABox (codeveloped with Stanford, U of Toronto, and U Central Florida) that includes Graduate Medical Education. This educational system is not a set of Massive Open Online Courses -- courses are competency-based, and include online knowledge transfer, a web-based global peer community of practice, skills-based mentorships, and a free certificate. Our accredited partners, North American universities that are outstanding in each particular course topic, give learners credit for this training (or institutions can adopt them and use them with their students), all for the first time ever cost-free, and also advertisement-free, barrier-free, and carbon-free.

Founded/invented in 2001, we globally launched our first full course in March 2012, with a dozen free, tested, and accredited health sciences courses currently offered at NextGenU.org. We will enroll our first residents (in Texas) in July 2020; we are developing these Preventive Medicine residencies with the American College of Preventive Medicine, CDC, European Lifestyle Medicine Organization, Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard, Stanford Medicine, WHO, and others to create the first globally-available Graduate Medical Education.

We have tested and published on this free model in North American medical, public health, and undergraduate students, and in community health workers and primary care physicians in Kenya and in India, demonstrating as much knowledge gain and greater student satisfaction than with traditional courses, and the creation of a global community of practice. And finally, NextGenU.org has a sustainable business model. We have a $20 million endowment (from the Annenberg Physician Training Program) that covers many core expenses, and receive additional grants and contracts to create, test, and disseminate trainings from governments (e.g., $1.4 million from Grand Challenges Canada, US CDC), quasi-governmental organizations (e.g., NATO Science for Peace, WHO), universities, foundations, professional societies, and individuals.

We are interested in your taking some of our courses (please dive in here!), and in working with you and your colleagues to co-create, co-offer, and/or co-evaluate trainings. Please let us know what questions we can answer, contacting our Founder/Inventor, Dr. Erica Frank, MD, MPH, FACPM, at Erica.Frank@ubc.ca about research collaborations, TechSupport@NextGenU.org on technological questions, and info@NextGenU.org for all other matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about courses and trainings

Questions about mentors

Questions about peers

How can I help?

Peer-Reviewed Research on NextGenU.org

1. Galway L, Corbett K, Takaro T, Tairyan K, Frank E. (2014). A novel integration of online and flipped classroom instructional models in public health higher education. BMC Medical Education; 14:181. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-14-181

2. Coops N, Marcus J, Costrut I, Frank E, Kellett R, Mazzi E, Munro A, Nesbit S, Riseman A, Schultz A, Sipos Y. 2015. How an entry-level, interdisciplinary sustainability course revealed the benefits and challenges of a university-wide initiative for sustainability education. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. 16:5:729-47. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1069910

3. Clair V, Mutiso V, Musau A, Frank E, Ndetei D. 2016. Online learning improves substance use care in Kenya: Randomized control trial results and implications. Annals of Global Health. 2016 May 1;82(3):320-1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214999616306129?via%3Dihub

4. Frank E, Tairyan K, Everton M, Chu J, Goolsby C, Hayes A, Hulton A. (2016). A Test of the First Course (Emergency Medicine) that is Globally Available for Credit and for. Free. Healthcare.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hjdsi.2016.02.003

5. Nadkarni A, Weobong B, Weiss HA, et al. (2017). Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for harmful drinking in men, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trialLancet (London, England). 389(10065):186-195.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31590-2

6. Patel V, Weobong B, Weiss HA, et al. (2017). The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for severe depression, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet (London, England). 389(10065):176-185.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31589-6

7. Rossa-Roccor, V, Malatskey, L, Frank, E. (2017). NextGenU.org’s Free, Globally Available Online Training in Lifestyle Medicine. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 11. 132-133. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827616682444   

8. Heller R, Madhok R, Frank E. (2018). Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning. Open Praxis. https://openpraxis.org/index.php/OpenPraxis/article/view/746/427  

9. Clair V, Rossa-Roccor V, Mokaya AG, Mutiso V, Musau A, Tele A, Ndetei D, Frank E. (2019). Peer and Mentored Enhanced Web-Based Training on Substance Use Disorders: A Promising Approach in Low-Resource Settings to Teach Knowledge and Skills and Decrease Stigma. Psychiatric Services. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31551043