Course Materials FAQs

Spring 2021 / COVID-19

We will gladly accept rental textbooks via mail by the deadline.

Fall 2020 rental course materials are due 12/30/2020.

  • Ship your rental textbook(s) to us with the form included at the time of rental, filled out and we will evaluate their condition to check them in within 3-5 business days.
  • You can have someone return your book(s) on your behalf. Please include your information (name, student ID, University email) with each rental in order to ensure they get checked in properly.
  • Find more information here, including the address and information needed inside the package.

If you prefer to return your rental books in person, drop-off service is available at the following campus locations:

Twin Cities
University Bookstore at Coffman Union – 300 Washington Ave SE, Mpls. Drop-box outside main store entrance (south side) by escalators

UMC Bookstore – 2900 University Ave, Crookston 125 Sargeant Student Center.

UMM Bookstore – 600 E. 4th Street, Morris– Science Bldg, Rm 1150

M Gear Store – Shops at University Square, 111 Broadway, Rochester.

The deadline to return rentals without penalty is December 28th 2020. Rentals will not be accepted in January. Please plan accordingly.

Some course materials are available for purchase now! We are still processing requests for course materials from instructors and departments, so if you do not see anything for your class, please use our Contact Us form or reach out to your instructor for more information.

Yes, we are offering a virtual buyback program through our partner Nebraska Book Company. Please visit our Book Buyback page for more information.

Buyback/End of Semester

You can check in any U of MN Bookstore rental at any point in the semester upto the deadline of December 30th 2020. Rentals must be acceptable condition (no water damage/excessive wear and tear) to be checked in. Any rental textbook not turned in by the deadline or no longer in an acceptable condition will result in a fee to be paid in person or to one's student account.

You can check in any U of MN Bookstore rental at any point in the semester upto the deadline of December 28th 2020. Rentals must be acceptable condition (no water damage/excessive wear and tear) to be checked in. Any rental textbook not turned in by the deadline or no longer in an acceptable condition will result in a fee to be paid in person or to one's student account.

We only buy back titles that have a value with one of our wholesalers or will be used for the upcoming semester. Books must be in an acceptable condition and not damaged. The main types of damage we see and reject purchasing books for are: water damage (crinkly pages, warped book), stains, torn/ripped covers or pages, broken binding, and excessive writing or highlighting (to the degree that some text is unreadable).

If a book is damaged and/or not priced from one of our wholesalers, we would be glad to take the book from you so it can be donated to Better World Books.

Textbooks and course materials are returnable for a full refund through the first week of the semester. After that, textbooks are always eligible to be bought back by the Bookstore for up to 40% of the purchase price in cash. The price offerings and quantities of books we buy are based on national wholesale guides. We source this information from multiple wholesalers, plus we create our own guide based on books that are being requested for use in upcoming semesters.


We will gladly accept rental textbooks via mail by the deadline. Find more information here including the address and information needed inside the package.

The deadline to return rentals without penalty is December 30th 2020. Rentals will not be accepted in January. Please plan accordingly.

We offer textbook rentals as a cost-effective option for course materials that you only need or want for a single semester. Not every textbook is rentable - these factors are determined by the book itself, as well as instructor input and research by our Textbook Buying Office. Any textbook that is available as a rental will have a "Rent New" and "Rent Used" price listed on our website. When you are shopping for books online, you will be able to select a rental price for any available textbooks, sign in with your University Internet ID and password, and read through and agree to a rental contract before completing your purchase.

All rental textbooks come with a sticker on the back listing the rental return deadline, as well as contact information for our Textbook Rental Team, and some common types of damage to look out for (to make sure that your rental books are not damaged, double-check them when you first rent, and reach out to us if you find anything you suspect to be damage). Once you are done using your textbooks (typically after finals week), bring them back to the Bookstore with your UCard to check them in. We also accept rental returns via mail for online and distance students!

Oh no! Reach out to our Textbook Rental Team to say you will not be able to return at the end of the semester. They will charge the difference between the rental price you already paid and the cost to buy a new copy to your student account.

Your student account will be charged the replacement fee for the textbook. That amount is the same as buying a new copy.

It is not a problem! Reach out to our Textbook Rental Team and let them know that you want to keep the book. They will charge the difference between the rental price you already paid and the cost to buy a new copy to your student account. It's that easy!


If you purchased course materials and then dropped the class, we will extend the refund period for three additional days past the first week of classes (i.e. the drop deadline established by Onestop).

The easiest way to get course materials is purchasing through our website. Complete the order online and we can either ship them to you or prepare them to have them picked up in store. We will let you know when it is available to you. During most of the year, orders are processed within 24 hours of being placed. During the weeks leading into the first week of classes, orders can take longer (up to 72 hours). The fastest way to get course materials is by ordering online and picking up in store.

Please note that course materials are not able to be purchased in person and must be ordered through our website.

When purchasing in store, you can use cash, credit/debit cards, University of Minnesota Bookstores gift cards, Gopher Gold, and your student account.

When ordering online, we currently accept credit/debit cards, University of Minnesota Bookstores gift cards and charging to your student account via your UCard.

The easiest way to see all* of your course materials is by looking at your personalized list ( This list shows what we have been told to supply by departments and instructors on what tools they plan on using for the semester. It should show what conditions and options are available and at what price-point. Generally, eTextbooks and rentals (when available) will be priced lower than purchasing the material out right.

*some materials may not be listed if we have not been notified about course requests by the instructor or department.

Please reach out to our Textbook team using our Contact page. We can see if your instructor has required the use of this access code, and we will order you a replacement copy with an unused code and take the original in an exchange (in person or via mail) if this is the case. Some instructors request books that come in a package with an access code, but do not require that the code is used for their course - double-check your syllabus or reach out your instructor to see if this might be true, in which case the original book you received should work for the course.

Please use the Contact Us form and select the “Textbook & Course Materials” category.

When reviewing your course materials list, confirm what each class is asking you to purchase. Some classes are very straight forward and list only one or a few required books. Others may have the same material but offered in multiple different forms (loose-leaf vs bound vs additional access code). All will be listed as required but you only actually need to purchase one of them. For example, some chemistry labs will list both the regular goggles and over-eyewear goggles as required, but you only need to purchase one set depending on whether or not you would wear glasses during lab.

Some classes have a mix of both required and optional course materials. Optional can be interpreted in different ways: some instructors will list material as optional as they are recommended pieces that will be helpful during your course, while some will list numerous items as optional and you only need to purchase one or two of them. Some textbooks are truly optional and the instructors list them to have available to you. If you have specific questions about the books being used for your course (and why they are being used), we recommend reaching out to your instructor for clarification.

If you see "LL" or "Ll" near the end of a title, it means that the material is a loose-leaf version of the textbook and is not bound. In order to store the pages, you will want to use a three ring binder to keep everything straight. Loose-leaf versions are generally more cost-effective than bound versions, but cannot be returned for a refund if opened.

Open Education Resources (OER) are materials that are available at no-cost to students through the Libraries systems. Check out their website for more information.

New books are sent directly from the publisher and should look like no other person has used them before. There may be small scratches or dings from transport but they will otherwise appear brand-new.

Used books can show a variety of wear and tear. Our used copies are procured from previous U of M students as well as outside textbook vendors. Most of these will show signs of previously being used and vary from copy to copy-- this may include writing/highlighting, bent corners, worn spines, etc. We recommend that any used book that is purchased be properly reviewed by the customer to ensure it is in appropriate condition and can last through the semester.

Course materials are only refundable during the first week of classes. This time frame may be shorter or non-existent for some B-term or shorter-length classes. Once the final return date has taken place, all course materials are considered to be final sale and not refundable.

Some physical copies cannot be refunded if they are opened or the access code opened/revealed. Textbooks being returned must be in the same condition they were purchased (i.e. new books need to be in pristine condition with no signs of wear).

Our Correct Text Guarantee means you will have exactly what your instructor selected for your course—plus, the Bookstores will take care of it if there are any changes in the required materials.

Please reach out to us to see what is going on. Some materials may simply be on their way to us or may need to be looked into. Don't hesitate to ask your questions to our Textbook Team!

We typically recommend purchasing/ordering at least a week before classes start. This will give us time to process your order during our busiest period. Once you receive your materials, it will give you time to assess what you have purchased/ordered and make sure everything is usable by your standard. Some students prefer to wait until they have actually attended all of their classes to buy materials, in case there are optional books, or they end up dropping a course or changing sections.

There are a variety of reasons why your materials may not be showing up. It could be that your course doesn't use printed materials. Your instructor may have a different method for you to receive the information you need. Or, we may be waiting for more information from your instructor or department about what they would like to use for your course.

Feel free to reach out to our Textbook Team via our Contact page if you have any questions!

Digital Course Materials

Yes! If you purchased the eTextbook within the past 14 days and it is still within the course materials refund period, we can attempt to process a refund. However, once the material has been opened or accessed, this can disqualify a refund from taking place. For eTextbooks purchased online, please reach out to our Web team via our Contact page to inquire about a refund. Please provide your order number and title that you would like refunded.

Once purchased through our website or in store, it takes roughly an hour before you will be able to access the material. You must be registered for the course and section you purchased in order to view it. All DCPs are hosted on Canvas, and will be accessible through the course's unique page, no access or redemption code needed! If it has been more than an hour and you don't have access, ask our DCP team for help!

When shopping on our website, confirm that the delivery method for the eTextbook says "Email Delivery" to ensure you will receive immediate access. Add eTextbook items to your cart and complete the order on our site. Then check your email! You should receive a confirmation email as well as a secondary email with your redemption information. Follow the instructions in this second email and access the material through one of our two vendors (Redshelf or Vitalsource). Both providers have unique benefits and tools. Check out their respective websites for more information.

The Digital Course Pack is a collaboration between the University Libraries and University Bookstore. Digital Course Packs combine different course-related materials into a single point of access, including journal articles, e-books, web-sites, links, images, and videos, all in a variety of formats and all presented online. Course materials may be library licensed items, items determined to be fair use, open access materials, and materials that require royalty payments. The main goals are to make course packs more affordable for students and to streamline the course pack creation process for faculty and instructors, providing them with the guidance and services they need to deliver the best and most appropriate course content for their students.

Inclusive Access (IA)

Students will see a charge for “Required Digital Materials” on their U of M student account from the U of M Bookstores on or before the first day of class.

Inclusive Access is a textbook model that uses instantly accessible digital content providing students interactive, adaptive and affordable materials.

By simply being registered for a course using IA, you are given access to the material by the first day of class and your student account is automatically charged to cover the cost of the material. Because it is digital, it helps keep the cost down versus purchasing a physical copy.

Of course, if you are not interested in getting this material, you can opt-out by the return deadline to get the charge refunded. Your access will then be removed.

If students do not want to receive the digital course materials through Inclusive Access they can opt out through the link sent via email or by emailing our Inclusive Access team and ask to opt-out. At the student’s request, the University of Minnesota Bookstores will issue a refund to their student account.

Opt-outs are only accepted within the first seven (7) days of class, (5 days for partial semester courses and summer terms). Access to the digital course materials will be revoked at that time and students will be responsible to find the required course materials by other means.

Please use our Contact Us form and request to opt back in. We will coordinate with the publisher or vendor to reinstate your access. This can take some time, so your patience is appreciated!

If students drop the course before the tenth day of class (fifth day of class for partial semester courses), they will automatically receive a refund for the Inclusive Access material. Courses dropped after the tenth day of class, or fifth day of class for partial semester courses are not eligible for refunds.


Due to the copyright nature of digital course packet (DCP) content, they are non-refundable. If you purchased the wrong DCP for your course, please reach out to our DCP team and they can look into resolving the issue.