Online and Blended Learning


In the Fall 2014, the Provost and Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup announced new seed funding to support digital and online projects that will enhance Northwestern students’ learning through the innovative use of technologies. Project will again be funded in 2015-2016. Provost Dan Linzer and the Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup requested proposals from Northwestern faculty for digital and online projects, including MOOCs, that will enhance Northwestern students’ learning, allow faculty and the University to experiment with modern learning technologies, showcase Northwestern faculty’s excellence in teaching, and increase Northwestern’s visibility in digital and online teaching environments. 

Project proposals are due January 19, 2016. More information can be found on the Call for Proposals or at

Faculty interested in proposing a MOOC should refer to the MOOC Creation Guidelines for guidance on the development and delivery of MOOCs.


Northwestern University has partnered with Coursera to offer MOOCs (massive open online course). A variety of free online courses are offered by Northwestern. Additional courses will be featured as faculty members develop new online strategies for delivering their course content to a global audience.

Report on Northwestern's first MOOCs

Northwestern conducted an analysis of the first cohort of MOOCs, developed and launched in 2013 - 2014. The resulting report assesses Northwestern’s overall strategy for MOOCs, and considers the benefits gained and implications as the University moves ahead with this initiative. Read the report on Northwestern's first MOOCs.

Coursera mooc Proposals

Project proposals are now being accepted as part of the call for proposals for digital/online projects described above.


In addition to these two new online learning platforms, many schools at Northwestern have developed their own modules and courses to offer students a variety of online, blended, and distance learning opportunities. Listed here are just a few of these offerings.

School of Professional Studies 

Read more about the School of Professional Studies’ distance learning philosophy. SPS offers several Master's degree programs that can be taken partly or completely online including:

Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications

School of Education and Social Policy

Feinberg School of Medicine

The Graduate School

  • MA in Counseling- In conjuction with the Graduate School, the Family Institute at Northwestern offers this online full-time degree program. Throughout the program, students travel to campus twice for immersion experiences.

School of Law

  • Executive LLM in Madrid, Spain - Offered in collaboration with IE Law School, this program employs a blended approach, combining online instruction with periods of on-campus learning in both Madrid and Chicago.

  • MS in Law - This degree program includes several blended learning courses featuring substantial online components

The McCormick School of Engineering

  • MS in Executive Management for Design and Construction - The delivery method includes interactive weekly webinars between students and faculty, group projects, guest seminars by leaders in the industry, and student project presentations are intended to forge the same interaction between students and faculty that is typically achieved in face-to-face courses.  Students also view recorded video lectures prior to the associated webinar.


The Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup advises the Provost on issues related to the development and implementation of distance learning opportunities at the University. Through active engagement with the schools, faculty colleagues and other groups across campus, this workgroup helps to ensure that the core teaching, research, and service mission is at the center of all distance learning initiatives undertaken by the University.

Todd Murphey, Chair, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering  MEAS
Gad Allon, Professor, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences – KSM
Sara Broaders, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Psychology – WCAS
Mary Cohen, Associate Dean of Academic Programs – SPS
Tom Collinger, Associate Professor, Integrated Marketing Communications; Senior Director of Medill Distance Learning – Medill
Nick Davis, Associate Professor, English  WCAS
Mary Finn, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs – WCAS
Jane Holl, Professor, Pediatrics  FSM
Harriet Lightman, Department Head, Research and Learning Services  University Library
Michele McDonough, Lecturer, Molecular Biosciences  WCAS and Faculty Senate representative
David Meyer, Professor, Physics and Astronomy – WCAS
Rick Morris, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration – SoC
Steve Reed, Professor  Law
Chris Riesbeck, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – MEAS
Kimberly Scott, Director, Learning and Organizational Change Program – SESP
Marianna Kepka, Facilitator, Assistant Provost for Academic Administration