Open to anyone who wants to learn, our personal enrichment programs offer a wide selection of courses, workshops, and lecture series delivered by the top-notch JHU faculty and community experts. Odyssey doesn’t have grades or exams—just learning for the sake of learning in a fun, creative environment. Explore our extensive course listings from science to art, writing to photography—choose course subjects across these areas:

  • Odyssey on the Go: single session programs
  • Perspectives: multi-speaker lecture series
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Music, Cinema, and the Performing Arts
  • Science and Nature
  • Certificate on Aging
  • Writing and Communications
  • Photography, Film, and Digital Arts

Odyssey Fall 2020 Catalog

Odyssey Fall 2020 Course CatalogOur new Fall 2020 courses will be offered exclusively through Zoom’s online platform. During our spring semester, we successfully transitioned many of our courses to this online format and received positive feedback from our students.

Zoom links will be sent to registered participants on the day of their scheduled course. Updates will be posted on our website, social media, and communicated directly to students through email.

You can browse our entire Fall 2020 Course Catalog.

Fall 2020 Course Highlights

Six Tuesdays, September 15 – October 20, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Tuition: $158 (9 hours) 6 sessions via Zoom

Instructor: Robert Baer


Archaeology has thrown a spotlight on the glory of the world’s ancient civilizations. Through highly illustrated lectures, this course will explore the history of many of the greatest discoveries of archaeology. We will travel from the beginning of archaeology in the early 19th century, when pioneering adventurers sought treasure to fill the museums of Europe, to the scientific discipline of today. Areas to be explored include the buried city of Pompeii, the glories of ancient Egypt, discovering the civilizations of the Near East, the origins of the Celts, the extraordinary culture of ancient China, and the mysterious Etruscans.

Ten Wednesdays, September 16 – November 18, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

$350 (20 hours) 10 sessions via Zoom

Instructor: Madeleine Grose


Whether you are planning a trip abroad, wanting to learn a foreign language for personal enrichment, or brushing up on a language you previously studied, our foreign language courses are designed to meet your needs. The program is learner-centered, focusing on individual interests and goals, emphasizing conversation and listening skills.

Six Thursdays, September 24 – October 29, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

$158 (9 hours) 6 sessions via Zoom

Instructor: John Hessler


This class will focus on the genomics and geospatial transmission of infectious disease, concentrating on the VARV Variola virus (Smallpox), from which we have the oldest complete genome sequence, on the science of ancient DNA sequencing, and on the complexities of mapping the genome and mutation patterns of pandemics like COVID-19. We will examine in detail archaeological evidence, like the Vilnius mummies, and look into the genomic origins of the Smallpox strains that came to the Americas in the 16th century. Highlighting new techniques and mathematical and algorithmic breakthroughs in phylogenetic analysis, we will also try to understand the geospatial dynamics, the complex disease transmission network, and the nucleotide mutation patterns in COVID-19. No previous mathematical experience is required.

Four Wednesdays, September 16 – October 7, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

$105 (6 hours) 4 Sessions via Zoom

Program Coordinator: M. Bess Vincent

Instructors: Sam Bessen, Matt Testa, Andrea Copland, Natalie Elder, Heidi Herr, Kathleen Waters Sander


This perspective explores Johns Hopkins University’s ties to women’s suffrage and shares research and archival collections curated to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Experts will discuss key women in Hopkins history such as Mary Elizabeth Garrett, postcards and games used to propagate ideas about suffrage, Johns Hopkins medical ties to suffrage, and the role of music within the movement.

Four Thursdays, September 17 – October 8, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

$105 (6 hours) 4 Sessions via Zoom

Instructor: Susan Zimmerman


This course will examine the connections between modern poems and the famous paintings or photographs that have inspired them. For example, Rosanna Warren’s “Renoir” is a tribute to the painter’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, W.H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” to Brueghel’s The Fall of Icarus. We will consider the unique features of each pairing, but we will also be exploring more generally the connections between visual and literary expression. Although the course will focus on how to view art and to read poetry with heightened understanding, students need no prior training in art history, or, for that matter, in analyzing poetry.

Six Mondays, October 19 – November 23, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

$210 (12 hours) 6 sessions via Zoom

Instructor: Lynn Molnar


This course equips caregivers with the tools needed to understand the bond between people and their pets, known as The Human-Animal Bond. Students will develop communication skills, gain evaluation tools, and learn intervention measures that increase patient outcomes. This course teaches the science behind the Human-Animal Bond and how it influences the physical and psychological state of their elderly patients through such topics as animal hoarding, dementia, elder abuse, domestic violence, and diseases.


Access our online registration system to search courses by category, access your student account, and get help with registration.

JHU Tuition Remission and Discounts

If you are a candidate for tuition remission, please do not register online. To receive JHU Tuition Remission Benefits, JHU Alumni Discounts, or Osher at JHU member discounts for Odyssey courses, please call 410-516-8516 and leave a message with your email address. We will return all inquiries through email.

Certificate on Aging

Built upon the solid tradition of excellence, Johns Hopkins University offers a Certificate on Aging and now an Advanced Certificate on Aging. The non-credit certificate is designed for those who work with aging adults and their families.

Contact Information

Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program

3400 N. Charles Street
Wyman Park Building, Suite S-740
Baltimore, MD 21218

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