The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Washington University in St. Louis is a membership organization that offers interactive courses and lectures. Membership is open to adults age 50+; previous Washington University participation is not required. OLLI is part of Washington University’s School of Continuing & Professional Studies.

Our Programs

OLLI classes are not for credit; there are no exams and no grades. You do not have to have a previous relationship with Washington University to participate. Bring your curiosity and come ready to participate.

We offer courses on a wide variety of topics, including art and architecture, contemporary issues, creative writing, economics, history, literature, math/science/technology, music, and philosophy. OLLI members plan, develop, and present the courses on a volunteer basis.

OLLI has 4 terms per membership year: summer, fall, winter, spring. Courses usually meet 2 hours per week, for either 4 or 8 weeks. A few special interest group courses continue year-round. Each term, we have a range of lectures and events that are free to our members; most of these are delivered by Zoom on Friday afternoons.

We are committed to values of Curiosity, Respect, Inclusivity, Positivity, and Kindness to foster a learning community. Scholarships are available to make sure that OLLI participation is financially within reach of all who would like to learn with us.

Our History

Volunteer leaders began organizing in August 1994; they offered their first set of peer-led classes in early 1995 under the name the Lifelong Learning Institute. The organization was renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 with support and funding from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The Osher Foundation supports 125 lifelong learning institutes on college campuses across the country, with at least one OLLI in each of the 50 states.