Harvard, Stanford Among Global Universities Offering Free Online Courses

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Nov 05, 2020 09:53 PM

Want to upgrade your skills or simply learn something new? Here is the list of the top eight universities in the world including Harvard, Stanford and others that offer free online courses. 

No matter what your area of expertise is, it is always better to enhance your skills through online courses especially when they are FREE and are offered by top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, among many others. 

With the commitment to excellence in teaching and learning as well as imparting the same to all, these leading universities have reached more than 35 million learners worldwide. Starting from data science, programming to design, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are only here to stay for literally anyone who is interested in gaining knowledge. 

While most universities do not offer a certificate after the completion of a free online course, you might avail it after paying a certain amount. Having said that, these courses even without a certification are widely popular among students across the world for their ability to further your career, build a professional network, improve skills and enhance your job performance. Besides, it is never too late to learn something new. 

Top 8 Universities Offering Free Online Courses

Given below is the list of the top 8 universities worldwide that offer free online courses. Also, explore the most popular courses available at each of these universities:

Harvard University

With more than 6,00,000 learners from 193 countries enrolled in 1200+ courses, Harvard University is the most-preferred destination for free online courses. Harvard offers a variety of digital learning opportunities in a wide array of areas such as mathematics, medicine, art & design, business, computer science and more. 

Founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the learning platform edX offers more than 100 free online courses that can be accessed by anyone across the globe.

Popular Free Online Courses at Harvard University

Field

Course

Duration

Programming

CS50's Introduction to Game Development

12 Weeks

Programming

CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript

12 Weeks

Business

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship Webinar: Introduction to Accounting and Financial Statements

NA

Programming

CS50: Introduction to Computer Science

11 Weeks

Health & Medicine

PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854

1 Week

Computer Science

CS50 for Lawyers

10 Weeks

Art & Design

Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Birth of Opera

3 Weeks

Mathematics

Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up

7 Weeks

Humanities

Introduction to Digital Humanities

7 Weeks

Computer Science

CS50's Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python

7 Weeks

Stanford University

Launched in 1995, Stanford Online has been offering an affordable and flexible way to let students learn new skills or study trending subjects to advance their career ever since. From health & medicine to arts & humanities, Stanford University works towards providing learners with a robust catalogue of programmes and courses that meet their requirements. 

Ranked 2nd in the world by both Times Higher Education and QS, Stanford University’s free online courses are delivered through partnerships with Aalto University Executive Education, Coursera, edX, Get Smarter, Great Learning, to name a few.

Popular Free Online Courses at Stanford University

Field

Course

Duration (Approx.)

Health & Medicine

Child Nutrition and Cooking

11 Hours

Health & Medicine

Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: A Primer- Guidelines, Ethnic Differences, and Assessment

NA

Education

Organisational Analysis

NA

Mathematics

Introduction to Mathematical Thinking

39 Hours

Arts & Humanities

America’s Poverty and Inequality

9 Weeks

Arts & Humanities

American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.

11 Weeks

Engineering

Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques

NA

Engineering

Automata Theory

7 Weeks

Arts & Humanities

Careers in Media Technology

NA

Computer Science

Audio Signal Processing for Music Applications

49 Hours

Yale University

Ranked 17th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, Yale University provides free as well as for-credit courses delivered by world-class instructors and scholars. From astronomy to poetry, Open Yale Courses cover a wide range of topics for undergraduates, graduates and others. 

While Open Yale Courses do not offer certificates or credits, Yale College credit courses are offered online through Yale Summer Online. With no registration required for these courses, the university launched the same to expand its reach to learners from all over the world. 

Popular Free Online Courses at Yale University

Field/ Department

Course

Sessions

Astronomy

Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics

24

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior

36

Economics

Financial Markets

26

English

Modern Poetry

25

History of Art

Roman Architecture

19

Philosophy

Death

26

Political Science

Capitalism: Success, Crisis, and Reform

24

Sociology

Foundations of Modern Social Theory

25

Psychology

The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food

23

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is one of the most popular online learning destinations with millions of visits each year. With a whopping 43% out of around 500 million visits, the majority of the audience looking for free online courses includes self-learners. MIT OCW is a permanent web-based publication of all the courses offered at the university which are available for all. Ranging from anthropology to political science, MIT OCW a wide spectrum of both undergraduate and graduate online courses for free. 

Popular Free Online Courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Field

Course

Level

Aeronautics and Astronautics

Aerodynamics

Undergraduate

Anthropology 

How Culture Works

Undergraduate

Biological Engineering

Becoming the Next Bill Nye: Writing and Hosting the Educational Show

Graduate

Chemistry

Principles of Chemical Science

Undergraduate

Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Digital Humanities

Graduate

Economics

Game Theory

Graduate

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Design and Analysis of Algorithms

Undergraduate

Mathematics

Calculus with Applications

Undergraduate

Media Arts and Sciences

Computational Camera and Photography

Undergraduate

Political Science

Feminist Thought

Undergraduate

Also Read: Top Courses for International Students to Study in the USA

Johns Hopkins University 

Johns Hopkins University, ranked 25th in the QS World University Rankings 2020, promotes accessible education in a variety of areas such as business, social and natural sciences, international studies, education, to name a few. The university enrols more than 20,000 students every year across nine academic divisions including Whiting School of Engineering (Engineering For Professionals), Carey Business School, School of Education, and more. 

Popular Free Online Courses at Johns Hopkins University

Department

Course

Level

Whiting School of Engineering (Engineering for Professionals)

Artificial Intelligence, Master of Science 

Master’s

School of Education

Counselling, Master of Science

Master’s

School of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing: Executive Track

Doctoral

Whiting School of Engineering (Engineering for Professionals)

Data Science, Master of Science

Master’s

School of Advanced International Studies

Global Risk, Master of Arts

Master’s

Carey Business School

Marketing (Part Time), Master of Science

Master’s

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Bioethics

Certificate

Whiting School of Engineering (Engineering for Professionals)

Mechanical Engineering, PhD

Doctoral

Whiting School of Engineering (Engineering for Professionals)

Computer Science, Post-Master’s Certificate

Certificate

Carey Business School

Financial Management, Graduate Certificate

Certificate

Ecole Polytechnique

Ecole Polytechnique has been ranked 87th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. It offers a number of trending courses from the secondary education level to the PhD level. 

Currently, around 30 free online courses are available for students across the world on various MOOC platforms. Taught by highly-experienced professors of Ecole Polytechnique, the courses also allow students to self-assess directly on the platforms. The courses may last between four and eight weeks, upon completion of which they can obtain a certificate of achievement.

Popular Free Online Courses at Ecole Polytechnique

Field

Course

Duration

Mathematics

Introduction to Probability

6 Weeks

Science

Quantum Optics

5 Weeks

Science

Nonlinear Optics

9 Weeks

Science

Quantum Mechanics

8 Hours

Science

Fundamentals Of Waves And Vibrations

6 Weeks

Business and Management

How To Finance Your Venture

6 Weeks 

Business

Creating And Developing A Tech Startup

7 Weeks

Michigan State University

With a history of offering free online courses for over 150 years, Michigan State University lets students from across the globe accelerate their career in various fields. Through these video-based courses, learners can gain industry-relevant experience from top-notch leaders in their respective areas. 

Online courses at this top research university are delivered through classes featuring interactive content, video lectures, group discussions, chat rooms, live lectures, quizzes, infographics and more.

Popular Free Online Courses at Michigan State University

Field

Course

Duration

Agriculture

Basic Food Safety

NA

Journalism

Become a Journalist: Report the News!

29 Weeks

Design

Game Design and Development 

25 Weeks

Photography

Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR

29 Weeks

Business

How to Start Your Own Business

34 Weeks

Also Read: COVID-19 Impact: What Lies Ahead for Study Abroad Aspirants?

California Institute of the Arts

Open Learning at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) is an initiative adding to carefully-designed undergraduate and graduate programmes in the fields of critical studies, dance, music, theatre, art and film/video.

CalArts is a renowned global institute dedicated to delivering visual and performing arts education in the United States. Through partnerships with major online education providers, the college offers both free-based and non-credit certificates in game design, poetry, UI/UX design, web design, music theory and more. 

Popular Free Online Courses at California Institute of the Arts

Field

Course

Duration (Approx.)

Design

Game Design

75 Hours

UI/UX Design

72 Hours

Graphic Design

67 Hours

Web Design: Web Development and Design using WordPress

8 Sessions/6 hours of work per session

Arts & Humanities

Music Theory

22 Hours

Arts & Humanities

Poetry

8 Hours

Other Universities Offering Free Online Courses

Apart from these top eight universities offering free online courses, there are a number of other leading institutions worldwide that are educating learners through limited but streamlined online courses. Given below is the list of the same:

Hope the article helps you find the ideal free online course for you. For more information or assistance, please write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com or call us at 785 9990 990. 

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