OLLI believes strongly in the benefits that come with intergenerational and intercultural learning. It has a rich history of nurturing such exchanges. 

OLLI Scholars

Each year, up to 20 University of Minnesota (UMN) graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are selected to develop curricula and teach OLLI courses in their respective areas of expertise.

The scholars receive valuable teaching experience and stipends of $1,500, funded in part by donor contributions to the OLLI Scholars Program Fund. Members benefit from learning about the current research and scholarship happening at the University and in a variety of fields.

Intergenerational. Reciprocal. It's a fortuitous match and, year after year, both scholars and members express gratitude for learning from and contributing to the growth of one another.

“The combination of passionate graduate researchers/teachers with intellectually ambitious OLLI students is genius. It allows institute members to support both their host university and the scholars, all while learning from impressive new generations as their academic careers are launching,” says Steve Thaxton, UMN ’80, executive director of the Osher National Resource Center at Northwestern University.

The brainchild of OLLI founder and former director Steve Benson, the program has hosted nearly 300 OLLI Scholars since 2008.

OLLI Scholars Annual Timeline

February 2024

  • 2024-2025 Application period opens

March 2024

  • Winter term ends
  • Evaluations due
  • Spring term begins


April 2024



May 2024

  • Spring term ends
  • Evaluations due
  • 2024–25 Application deadline
  • Application review/interviews

June 2024

  • Application review/interviews
  • Scholar notifications

July 2024

  • Acceptance of offers due (rolling basis)
  • Advisor endorsements due
  • Scheduling of fall courses

August / September 2024



October 2024

  • Fall term begins
  • Scheduling of winter courses


November 2024

  • Fall term ends
  • Evaluations due


December 2024

January 2025

  • Winter term begins
  • Scheduling of spring courses


May 2025

  • Spring term ends
  • Evaluations due
  • 2025–26 Application deadline
  • Application review/interviews

Become an OLLI Scholar

Would you like to join the nearly 300 UMN graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who have participated in the OLLI Scholars program? Now's your chance! Applications for the 2024–25 academic year are being accepted through May 3, 2024.

Be sure to read the Overview for Applicants prior to submitting your application!

Apply to be a 2024–25 OLLI Scholar

Overview for Applicants

OLLI is part of the University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies and belongs to a national network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes established by the Bernard Osher Foundation. The OLLI community is composed of mature adults aged 50+, all of whom are active lifelong learners who value high-quality noncredit courses.

The OLLI Scholars Program invites UMN graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to apply for paid, short-term teaching opportunities during one of three academic year terms: fall, winter, spring.

Those who are selected to be OLLI Scholars will receive a $1,500 stipend to prepare and present a single seven-week. Because OLLI courses are noncredit, there is no grading, papers, or tests.

OLLI classes are offered in person, both on campus and at venues throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. Classes also take place online via Zoom. The selected scholars will receive an OLLI primer, mentoring and support in developing a course designed for the OLLI demographic, and hands-on training and best practices for teaching via Zoom.

Note: An OLLI Scholar must be an enrolled student during the term in which their course is delivered. Scholars are also required to obtain a written endorsement from their advisor prior to teaching.

OLLI Term Dates

OLLI term dates are as follows:

  • Fall: October 7 to November 22, 2024
  • Winter: January 20 to March 7, 2025
  • Spring: March 31 to early May 16, 2025

OLLI courses are 90 minutes per session and take place on weekdays at one of the following times: 

  • 10–11:30 a.m.
  • 12:30–2 p.m.
  • 2:30–4 p.m.

After You Apply

In May and June, a committee of OLLI staff and member-volunteers will conduct a preliminary review of all applications. This is followed by one-to-one interviews between candidates and committee members, and final review by the committee. Candidates will be notified in late June.

Culture Corps

Young scholar in yellow sweatshirt holds a small globe above his head with both hands

As lifelong learners who are curious about the world, OLLI members embrace experiences that offer unique perspectives and insights. Enter Culture Corps, a program of the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office that encourages international students to become active in the University community. 

Created in 1998 by Dr. Mohammed Bari, the program provides international students with opportunities to share self-initiated projects related to their cultural experiences and knowledge in order to enrich cross-cultural understanding. 

An annual ISSS scholarship allows OLLI to host several graduate students each year, giving them valuable teaching experience and OLLI members the learning they crave. This program helps to fulfill mutual visions of an inclusive and engaged international learning community.

Do you have questions about Culture Corps? Contact ISSS.