Academic Programming

Our faculty, made up of current and retired educators and subject matter experts, deliver a variety of university-quality, non-credit courses and lectures for curious adults. Membership is required to register for fall/spring semesters; the winter/summer sessions are open to all.

2024 Summer Lecture Series

We’re excited about the upcoming Osher Summer Series. The lecture series starts on June 5 and is open to both Osher members and non-Osher members.

The schedule includes one online-only lecture with the remaining in-person lectures taking place in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Building at Towson University unless otherwise noted. Parking in the adjacent Towsontown Garage is included. Registrants will receive directions and parking information before the start of the Summer Series.

Each lecture will be approximately 90 minutes long, including Q & A.

View the summer lecture series course list (PDF)

  • The History of the Port of Baltimore with Jack Burkert
  • Christian Nationalism, the Capitol Riot, and the Growing Threat to American Pluralism with Matthew Taylor
  • The Captain, “Pop” Warner, and the Carlisle Indian School with Jacqui Hedberg
  • Indigenous Americans in Statuary Hall with Jacqui Hedberg
  • Located at Edenwald: History of Ekphrastic Poetry with Michael Salcman
  • Online Only: Taking a Bite Out of Pop Culture: 50 Years of “Jaws” with Arnold Blumberg
  • Effects of a Changing Climate on Public Health with Michael Allen
  • South Africa from a Rural Perspective with David Berger
  • The Bollywood Industry: History and Current Trends with Enakshi Roy

Registration for the Osher 2024 Summer Series is a flat rate of $75 per person for the entire series.


Fall 2024 Course Schedule

Find out what classes are coming up this fall. The full online catalog and online preview will be available in early August, but it's not too soon to plan ahead! 

  • Session I: September 9–October 4
  • Session II: October 14–November 9
    Class will not be held October 7–11

Schedule subject to change.

View at-a-glance schedule (PDF)

Review these step-by-step instructions before registering.

Read Registration Instructions (PDF)

Register as soon as possible for the best opportunity to get into your desired courses.

Fall registration opens August 6 at 12:01 a.m. 

To comply with State and University policies and procedures, registrations and payments can no longer be accepted before the Preview. Any registrations and payments received prior to the Preview will be returned.

If you need further help with the online registration process, watch this brief video. If you still have questions, review this FAQ.

Osher News&Notes

It’s come to attention that while some of you are on our mailing lists, you’ve not been getting our newsletters and other communications. After you confirm that you are on our mailing list, we encourage you to check your spam folder and check that your email security settings allow you to get mail from If you continue to experience problems and are not able to rectify it with your email provider we strongly recommend that you check our website regularly for links to our newsletters, membership payment, registration and other important information.

Osher Online Lecture Series


Why Are Bees Declining? 

Learn about the five main reasons bee populations are declining—pathogens, parasites, pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change. Natural or human-impacted stressors for each factor are addressed for both social and solitary bees. Updates on Tropilaelaps and giant hornets are discussed briefly.


The Education of the Educators: What the Coronavirus Pandemic Taught Us 

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our understanding of critical infrastructure and systems: criminal justice, education, finance, healthcare, housing and law enforcement. This panel explores the experiences, perspectives, and strategies of educators who experienced unprecedented upheaval.


A Superexplosion Opens a New Window on the Universe 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away two objects collided and generated a set of waves that revolutionized the study of the cosmos. Two and a half years ago, in a universe that seems so remote, the signature of the collision of two neutron stars was detected by space and earth-based observatories. Travel in time and discover what was seen and what produced it.

Cicada on a leaf

The Return of Brood X: The Mysterious Magicicada

Periodical Cicadas, Magicicada spp, remain a mystery to biologists. The public becomes aware of their existence only when vast numbers emerge from the ground synchronously, every 13 or 17 years. While their presence is hard to ignore when they are out and about, what they are doing the rest of their lives and why they are doing it is only partially understood.

Reverend Dr. Terris King and Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg

Together: Baltimore Faith Leaders Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

Two charismatic leaders discuss their unexpected relationship, the initiatives being taken by their congregations, and the positive outcomes that have come from the building of relationships and addressing of violence and racism in and around their communities.



Mesopotamian Gods

What is it about the Number 4?

No one wants to be #4. You can’t win an election or even a Scrabble game by placing #4. What is it about the #4? We begin at the dawn of civilization and then look at the polytheistic gods of Egypt, Babylon, and Greece. Next, we’ll look at the 4s in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Then there were the #4 kings in France, England, and Germany. Who tells Chaucer’s 4th tale? What's Shakespeare’s 4th play? You'll never see the #4 the same way again.



House in the dust bowl

Dust Bowl

If asked to pick the most important event between the two World Wars, the answer may be the crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression. Few would answer the “dust bowl.” But the suffering, the deaths, the displacements caused by the dust storms should put it in the same league. The Dust Bowl started in 1931 with the beginning of a drought and ended in 1939. However, the dust bowl is not yet over. It’s a work in progress.

Frankie Valli and the four seasons

The Jersey Boys—Oh What a Night!

What launched these four kids from the toughest section of Newark, New Jersey into rock and roll history? Hear the amazing story of Frankie Valli’s trip to stardom with its highs and heartaches. Learn how his legendary life became the subject for a smash musical and movie. Movie and song clips with lots of singing and dancing promised!

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca (1942) and the Films it Influenced

"Casablanca" is one of the most popular, critically acclaimed, and simply beloved American films and at the top of critics' polls as one of the top films in world cinema history. Learn about the film's making, casting, and its influences on modern cinema.

Benny Goodman

The Rise of Benny Goodman

How did the child of Russian Jewish immigrants go from abject poverty to eminent stardom in American music by the time he was a mere 26 years old? Learn about the rise of Benjamin David Goodman and how he helped usher in a new era in pop culture.

Berlin Holocaust memorial

Holocaust Remembrance: Connecting Memory and Responsibility

Deepen your understanding of the art and architecture of The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from archival and personal photographs and video. The thinking of survivors Elie Wiesel and Viktor Frankl will serve as a thematic thread.