Top universities from around the world are offering free online college classes that include recordings of lectures to interactive courses with assignments and final projects. These types of learning opportunities can be a great way for job seekers to boost their skill set, gain valuable knowledge, and enhance their likelihood of career progression.
With an overall goal of making high-quality education accessible to any person, in any location, several elite universities are offering free college classes to interested individuals. In return, the institutions are able to compile research that can be used to improve their courses and develop better technologies for online and classroom-based learning. The offerings are non-credit courses, but some provide a certificate of achievement or completion.
7 Universities Offering Free Online College Classes
Carnegie Mellon University
The Pittsburgh-located university was founded in 1848 by Andrew Carnegie as a technical school and merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in 1967 to become its current iteration.
Through its Open Learning Initiative, CMU offers low-cost courses and also has an “Open and Free” section that allows students to access courses material for free. These courses are self-guided, meaning there is no instructor or grades assigned, along with no credit. “Evidence-Based Management,” “Introduction to Programming in Java,” and “Spanish I” are just a few of the courses available.
Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina. Of its online program, the university said: “Through online learning, Duke seeks to offer flexible global learning opportunities to a wide set of students throughout their lives.”
Duke University’s free courses are on Coursera, a popular online learning platform. Free classes are on an audit basis, allowing you to access content, but you won’t be submitting assignments for a grade or earning a certificate. You can review the syllabus, instructors, and reviews from previous students for each class on Coursera. Offerings include, but are not limited to, courses in statistics, medical neuroscience, and machine learning.
Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the U.S. The Ivy League school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Online learning website edX hosts Harvard’s free courses. These self-paced courses are free on an audit basis, but a certificate can be awarded for a fee. Each course will provide information on how much time is required, the difficultly level, and information on instructors.
University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley is a public university that serves as the flagship campus of 10 universities within the University of California system. The school is included on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Colleges, making it a top college.
In 2012, UC Berkeley created a resource to house all of its online courses and degree programs. In conjunction with edX, courses ranging from statistics and marketing to business writing and literature can be audited for free.
An Ivy League school located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is a prominent school ranked as #3 by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Colleges list.
Open Yale Courses (OYC) offers a registration-free way to access Yale courses. No credit or certificates are available. Lectures are presented in video and audio format, and you’ll also have access to the syllabus and suggested readings.