Objective: The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a memory improvement course to a course in general psychology. Methods: Thirty- four healthy elderly persons enrolled in a college memory improvement course for senior citizens, and 33 who enrolled in a parallel course, Introduction to Psychology, were tested on verbal and visual memory prior to and after completing the course. Before they took the course, they were also assessed on subjective memory (self-assessment scale of memory efficacy) and psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire). Changes within and between groups were examined using multivariate analysis of covariance to control for baseline scores. Results: Both groups had similar improvements on all cognitive measures. The memory improvement course group showed very significant correlations between objective and subjective memory. Conclusions: It appears that participation in academic courses is associated with improvement in certain aspects of cognitive functioning. Awareness of objective memory functioning may be a natural selection factor or a significant motivating factor for healthy elderly to enroll in memory enhancement courses.