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Textbooks Photo 01 What is Z-Degree?

Z-Degree is a degree program that uses only Open Educational Resources (OER), which means there are no textbook-cost associated with earning the degree. OER are teaching and learning materials freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student, or self-learner.

Montgomery College offers z-courses and is moving toward z-degrees in several programs.

Z-courses are sections of a course which have no required textbook purchase because the instructor is making use of Open Educational Resources (OER) or other materials which have no cost to students. View the current Course Listings for Z-courses. Z-degrees are recommended pathways that will allow you to complete all the requirements for a degree without textbook costs. Z-Degree listings will begin in Fall 2017. For more information on the General Studies Z-degree option, please go to

In z-course sections, your instructor will make textbook materials available online via their Blackboard site or some other central location accessible through the internet. You will need regular access to the internet to download and read text materials. In some z-courses, printed copies of the text may be available for purchase, if you choose. In other cases, you may be able to print materials via the College WEPA system, for cost, if you choose. However, these courses are designed to primarily use electronic materials.

Did you know?!

• In the last decade, textbook prices have risen 82%*
• Students pay hundreds of dollars per semester on textbooks*
• 25% of college costs are from textbooks*
• From 2008 to 2015, average price of a new college textbook went from $57 to $82, a 44 percent increase in seven years**
• Students spent an average of $1,200 for textbooks during 2015-2016 academic year**

* Data taken from
** Date taken from

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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