List of Free Online Design Courses, Lessons and Tutorials

Free online courses in design are offered by real schools. Learn which design courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to real college credit.

Free Online Course Info and Requirements

OpenCourseWare lessons, courses and tutorials are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are a variety of free online courses in multiple design disciplines, including architecture, computing and general product design. These courses do not generally offer credit.

Free Online Computer and Web Design Course List

Advanced Online Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology

This graduate-level, non-credit design course includes video lectures and tutorials on multimedia and website design. Students learn techniques in podcasting, photo editing and graphic design. Users should have access to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, as well as photo editing software.

Communicating in Cyberspace at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Web design is the primary focus in this non-credit course. Students learn by viewing examples of positive and negative website designs. A few lecture notes are available, along with the reading list. Some of the reading materials are available online.

Principles of Computer System Design: An Introduction at MIT

This course includes a link to the current face-to-face class, with lecture notes, lecture slides and daily assignments, in addition to an archive of past quizzes and design projects. Part I of this course is based on the first six chapters of the textbook, available through Amazon in print or as an e-book. The last five chapters of the text form the basis for part II of this course, and those are available as free, online resources. Credits are not conferred for this course.

Free Online Architecture Design Course List

Architectural Design: Intentions at MIT

Students in this design course develop architectural perspectives and conceptual skills through drawing exercises. The online materials include assignment details, project examples and lecture notes. Students complete two main projects that include conceptualizing and sketching new building designs. No credits are awarded for the completion of this course.

Introduction to Design Computing at MIT

This is a non-credit, undergraduate course that guides students through the architectural design process using computer modeling, from project conception to fabrication. In addition to course lecture notes and assignments, students have access to examples of final design projects from previous students.

Free Online Product Design Course List

Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series on Product Design at Stanford University

This 12-part video lecture series covers the entire process of product design, from conception to developing prototypes. Specific topics include career advice, identifying audiences, marketing and user-centered designs. Credits are not awarded for viewing these lectures.

Product Design and Development at MIT

Students learn about the conception and creation of new products and objects through lecture notes and project examples in this non-credit course. Topics include the steps of the product design process, such as tools, idea conception, engineering and manufacturing. Sample assignments and a suggested reading list are available.

Free Online Game and Animation Design Course List

Blender 3D Design at Tufts University

This is a non-credit, undergraduate graphic design course that teaches learners to use Blender software to create 3-D animations and models. Students learn through online tutorials, lecture notes and projects. Users must have computers that meet software and hardware requirements.

Game Design at MIT

This non-credit game design course covers the history, evolution and future of all types of games, including board games, game shows and sports. The materials for this free online course include a syllabus, lecture notes, photos and a reading list. The assignments include two essays and two design projects.

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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.

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    • Master
    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Undeclared
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Ceramics
        • BFA in Art Education - Sculpture
        • BFA in Fine Art - Sculpture
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate in Design Strategy & Innovation
        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Character Animation
        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Pre-Production

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Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

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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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics