Colleges and Universities that Offer Free Courses Online

See our list of the top schools offering free courses online. Learn about what types of courses are available to find the school and courses that are right for you.

Online Courses for Credit

Plenty of free resources are available online for students who want to learn a new topic, but these free options don't generally lead to college credit. Students who want to earn college credit might want to look for online options that charge a small fee in exchange for access to online lessons. These fee-based courses can help students earn alternative forms of college credit.

Education Portal offers this style of distance learning with quick, engaging video lessons and self-assessment quizzes. Students can also find free transcripts for the video lessons. Both the transcripts and the video lessons can lead to college credit. Students can find a number of courses through Education Portal's extensive online resources. Some of the courses available include:

  • Business 100: Intro to Business - Learn about the dynamic business environment, economics, leadership styles, business marketing, human resources and much more.
  • English 102: American Literature - Get details on the Romantic Period, colonial literature, transcendentalism, modernist prose and the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Math 102: College Mathematics - Topics covered in this course include linear equations, quadratic equations, imaginary numbers, rational expressions and geometry.
  • Biology 105: Anatomy & Physiology - Study organic molecules, biochemistry, major systems of the body and the male reproductive system, among other topics.
  • Psychology 101: Intro to Psychology - Subjects include states of consciousness, cognition, developmental psychology, personality, psychological disorders and treatments.
  • History 103: U.S. History I - Chronologically study important events in U.S. history, including the North American settlement, the Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War.
  • Humanities 101: Intro to the Humanities - This course introduces and examines the humanities, including visual art, art history, music and literature.

Free Online Non-Credited Courses

Students who want to use the free university resources can go to the school's link, scroll through the list of available courses and lectures and view or download the available content. Although these courses don't offer access to instructors or award credits, they're self-paced and students don't have to register or pay tuition.

Carnegie Mellon University at CMU Open Learning Initiative

This university offers free online courses in the sciences, languages, engineering and social sciences. The course details list specifies required software or other materials. Courses include text and audio, along with targeted feedback so that students may check their understanding of the material as they work through the classes. Users may test and configure their systems before attempting courses by accessing the available link.

Johns Hopkins University at JHSPHOPEN Courseware

Students will choose from a variety of courses related to health and the sciences that are snapshots of the face-to-face courses. Users may read lectures from PDF files or listen to them in an MP3 format. The reading lists note textbooks and other necessary sources.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology at MITOPENCOURSEWARE

Learners choose from areas like architecture, engineering, health, humanities, management and science. Lists of available courses in each subject area have icons denoting what's included in each course, such as lecture notes, assignments, online textbooks, projects, exams, images, study groups or multimedia content.

Open University at OU LearningSpace

These courses often present materials through text, image, audio or video. Learners choose from topics including the arts, business, youth, computing, education, engineering, health, languages, sciences, law, math and social sciences. Students may access these courses online, download them or print them out.

Stanford University at Stanford on iTunes U

These multi-media courses and lectures are available in categories like teaching/learning, science, religion, social science, math, literature, history, health/medicine, business, art/architecture and engineering. Additionally, users will sometimes find supplementary materials, such as exams and assignments.

University of California - Berkeley at Webcast.berkeley

Students may access courses in many areas of the curriculum, such as art, science, business, computer science, engineering, health and math. Learners view webcasts of lectures and courses through YouTube and iTunes. Additionally, iTunes also offers audio recordings.

University of Notre Dame at Notre Dame OpenCourseWare

Students may scroll down the list of offered courses, immediately seeing icons depicting which ones include syllabi, lectures, assignments, additional resources, audio or video. Learners may choose from many areas of study, including Africana studies, engineering, computer applications, English, history, math, physics, literature and theology.

Utah State University at USU OpenCourseWare

These courses may implement text, image, audio or video. While some sources have available links, students may need to locate some sources noted on reading lists. A large number of departments offer courses, from anthropology to wild land resources. In addition, a variety of landscaping courses are available through the university extension department.

Yale University at Open Yale

Recorded in Yale classrooms, these courses are available in text transcripts, as well as video and audio on YouTube and iTunes. Each course includes a full set of lectures. Learners choose from courses on topics like astronomy, chemistry, literature, economics, geology, history, music and philosophy.

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Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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