Apply for Z-Degree Funding in 2023


The Minnesota State system office invites campuses within the system to submit an interest application as the first step to participate in the Minnesota State Z-Degree Project.

The Z-Degree project, with funding from the State of Minnesota, supports the development of a complete associate or bachelor’s degree program that exclusively uses course resources that are no cost to students. These resources include open educational resources, open textbooks, library-curated materials, and other resources provided at no cost to the student. To be considered a Z-Degree course, the instructor cannot require students to purchase any course resources.

Grant Types 

This year, applicants can apply for one of three grant opportunities: 

1. Exploration (funding up to $25,000) 
Prepare a foundation for Z-degree development; for example: 

• faculty development

• open textbook exploration and review

• building open textbook capacity in the transfer curriculum

2. Implementation (funding up to $100,000)
Create, finalize, and implement a new Z-degree; examples include:

• finalize course development for Z-degree with at least two distinct courses in each transfer curriculum goal area and at least enough credits in each transfer curriculum goal area to complete the transfer curriculum package 

• create a Z-degree and offer it by Spring 2025

3. Expansion (funding up to $25,000)
Increase the number and type of courses offered in an existing Z-degree, such as:

• add additional courses or course sections

• increase the number of faculty using zero textbook cost materials in a course already part of an existing Z-degree 

The system office will select participating campuses from the pool of applicants based upon responses provided in the following readiness categories: 

  • Readiness of campus personnel 
  • Structural readiness 
  • Cultural readiness 
  • Current open / zero-cost textbook inventory 
  • Proposed Z-degree and course sequence 

Download an Application 

Minnesota State faculty and staff can find the application on the Z-degree Project page of the OER Community Site (log in using your 

Deadline is 4:00 p.m. on February 3, 2023.

Z-Degree Information Sessions

January 13, 2023 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


January 17, 2023 2:00 p.m.


If you missed the sessions, find a recording on the Z-Degree Project page (log in using your

Submit Your Application 


Contact Michael Olesen.

Learn more about Z-degrees and OER at Minnesota State at

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