University Extension Courses

University extension courses are courses taught by a university that fall outside the purview of the traditional structuring of higher education coursework. The creation of these courses stems from publicly funded institutions seeking to develop more broadly available programing, including assisting individuals in achieving lifelong learning. This entry provides an overview of university extension courses, discusses the various formats for coursework, and then explores various forms of university extension courses, including nondegree career training, noncredit personal enrichment courses, and continuing professional development.


Due to the public nature of these courses, university extension courses have a rich and storied history with public land-grant institutions, focusing on issues, such as urban and rural nutrition, that are pertinent to the local population. These courses are often provided by a ...

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