10 Great University Courses You Can Take Online for Free

Ever been curious about astrophysics? Would you like to take a course in photography without all the hubbub of applications and payment? The internet has become a ripe source for free floating information and courses. Although it lacks accreditation, free online courses have opened up a whole new world for those looking to improve their understanding or add a skill to their repertoire. Some free courses even come with certificates of completion. So without further ado, here are 10 of the coolest courses you can take, for free, online:

1.†Learn Photography from MIT

Want to improve that Instagram account, or get your start into serious photography? Well, thanks to MITís open courseware initiative, students can learn the basics of photography in just a few weeks. The class promises to teach students how to document the world around them, look at angles from a new light and learn the basics of producing documentaries. The syllabus includes war photography, themed presentations and essays based around coursework.

2.†Learn Cryptography from Stanford

This six week course allows students delve into the world of secure communications. It teaches students how to work a basic key, analyzes the faults in previous systems and examines the analytics of the industry. A statement of accomplishment is supplied by the professor for those who complete the course, and for those in computer science and technology, it can add an impressive achievement to their record.

3.†Learn Journalism from the BBC

This extensive catalog of journalistic subjects compiles issues such as ethics, grammar, social media and editorial training for those interested in expanding their news capabilities. Although some of the classes require payment, a number of sources are available completely free. They also offer courses in radio news, television presenting and smartphone based journalism.

4.†Learn About Astrophysics from the University of Tokyo

Ever wonder about how the universe was created? A professor from Tokyo will take you on a four week course that ranges from the big bang to dark matter. A certificate is given to those who pass the class, but donít expect an easy coast just because this course is online. Lectures, tests and impromptu quizzes are all part of the challenge here. And for those with shaky math skills, itís not recommended. HoweverÖ

5.†Learn Math from UCLA on Youtube

UCLA is offering math classes given by a Ph.D from Harvard. Geared toward life sciences, these 44 minute lectures are designed to improve a studentís understanding of probability, random variables and distributions. Numerous other courses are also offered on Youtube by UCLA and partnering institutions.

6.†Learn Computer Science at Harvard

If youíre mesmerized by algorithms and operating systems, Harvard is offering a free online course that delves into the basics of computer science. Covering source code, structures, debugging and variety of other computer-related subjects, these lectures are downloadable and easy to access in a number of different formats including QuickTime, Flash video and MP3, meaning you could listen to your coursework while driving to work.

7.†Learn Chinese from MIT

So youíve always wanted to flex those linguistic skills in your brain? Head over to MITís open courseware plan and soon youíll be learning the basics in no time. This particular course, which studies Mandarin Chinese, walks you through pronunciation, basic grammar and writing skills in Chinese characters. A quick perusal of MITís other language courses show Japanese, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are also available.

8.†Learn Economics from Yale

Ever felt like learning about the global economy and how financial institutions must function within it? This course, which is completely downloadable at the link also covers the strategies in hedge funds, and a study of economic equilibrium. Study twice a week for 75 minutes and you too can understand the variables that go into IMF markets.

9.†Study Human Nutrition at John Hopkins

Have you ever wondered how what you eat impacts your health? If youíre like most humans on the planet, you definitely have. In this course you can learn the science of nutrition and the basics surrounding using diet to keep you healthy. Youíll learn the nutritional policies not just from the United States, but from around the globe and how they impact local populations. That way, the next time someone questions your knowledge on organic farming, you can say you learned it through a university course at John Hopkins. Now wonít that be nice?

10.†Learn Theology at Notre Dame

Do you love having religious discussions? Pondering the moral and social consequences of ancient texts when applied to everyday life? You can improve your understanding of this complex issue with a course in Foundations of Theology. Youíll explore scripture, interpretation, early Christian living and its relationship to the religions around it. Lectures, readings, homework and quizzes are all a part of this course, which will guide users into a better understanding of early Christian work.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Dale O.

Fascinating and intriguing, it just doesn't get better than free online university courses.

Lone W.
Lone W4 years ago

Good information, but there are many other free courses available, especially introductory ones.

Paul B.
Paul B4 years ago

I recommend taking the Constitution course at Hillsdale, for free. Great education on what our founding fathers envisioned for our country. Hint: It isn't what we are seeing happening now in DC.

Also there are other similar great courses available at Hillsdale as well. Check it out!!!

Anna Wang
Anna Meng Wang4 years ago

Ty good to know.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

Thank you for this information.

Carole R.
Carole R4 years ago

Good to know.

Rosemary Diehl
Rosemary Diehl4 years ago

some interesting ones, might have to try

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G4 years ago

good :):) thanks

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle4 years ago

Free is a very good price.