- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - University of Michigan is leading a distance-learning program focusing on Islamic studies that includes other Big Ten schools and the University of Chicago.

The Ann Arbor school announced Tuesday that its International Institute and Islamic Studies Program will administer the Islamic Studies Virtual Curriculum. The program allows students to take courses about Islam not offered at their own universities.

The program starts in fall 2015 and will include graduate-student instructors based at each participating university. Video equipment will allow students to engage with others.

Officials say the curriculum will offer enough classes for a minor and possibly a major in Islamic studies. Many of the classes will originate from the University of Michigan and Indiana University.

The program has received a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.