The 10 Best Universities Offering Free Online Courses

Free Online Courses are best way to learn skills without any investment or money. If you’re considering going back to school, you might be looking at the price tag of tuition and shaking your head in disbelief.

Luckily, there are still ways to earn an education without emptying your wallet, as many colleges and universities offer free online courses to anyone who wants to take them! So if you want to learn about philosophy, computer science, or even nursing without having to leave your house and spend hundreds of dollars, these are the top 10 universities offering free online courses right now.

1) Open University

Think you can’t get a world-class education for free? Think again. Open University is a school that offers Free Online Courses in a variety of subjects without requiring students to attend campus classes or purchase textbooks.

There are plenty of interesting majors at Open University, including philosophy, sociology, mathematics and astronomy. If you’re looking for something more practical, there are also business-related programs available, such as online marketing and entrepreneurship. Plus, if you’re serious about a certain degree program (like nursing), it might be worth taking some general studies courses before committing to advanced ones.

2) HarvardX

HarvardX is an online portal for Free Online Courses taught by Harvard instructors. Since it launched in fall 2012, more than 150,000 students have enrolled in classes from 12 different schools and departments at Harvard University. Launched with a $60 million investment from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, these online courses are available to anyone, anywhere; they do not award academic credit to their students or require them to be formally admitted into a degree program.

Through interactive tools such as peer-graded quizzes and discussion boards, these courses aim to foster critical thinking, inspire creative exploration and promote collaboration among learners all over the world. Each class has its own designated website where students can learn about course objectives, enroll directly into individual sections or follow along as guest auditors.

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3) Coursera

Coursera is a free educational website that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs). Many of these courses are coming from top universities around the world and they provide a great way to learn new things or refresh on existing topics. From data science and programming languages to photography and medicine, you can find a course that will appeal to you.

The classes offer assignments, discussion forums, peer-graded projects, feedback from instructors and more. There are thousands of courses offered by more than 100 schools worldwide. All in all, Coursera has over 20 million registered users, who have taken over two million courses.

4) FutureLearn

The UK-based learning platform offers Free Online Courses from universities including Oxford, Glasgow and Manchester. Over 3 million students have used FutureLearn since its launch in 2012, making it one of the largest learning platforms in Europe. The course offerings are diverse with topics ranging from engineering to creative writing and everything in between.

If you’re curious about a subject or want to bolster your resume for a promotion, FutureLearn is worth checking out. More than 2,000 courses are available on demand so there’s something for everyone. If you like what you learn, some courses can be applied toward degrees offered by their partnering institutions as well.

5) MIT OpenCourseWare

In 2001, MIT’s president and provost announced their decision to make MIT courses available online for free. Since then, OCW has offered not only video lectures from courses on MIT’s campus, but also reading materials, assignments and exams. OCW currently offers more than 2,000 courses in dozens of disciplines through its website at ocw.mit.edu/index.htm; while a number of them are computer science related, other popular subjects include economics and management studies.

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6) Iversity

Iversity is one of the best marketplace for online education. We believe that education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or background. At Iversity, we’re working to democratize education and make it free through partnerships with leading universities and innovative technologies.

Based in Berlin and Silicon Valley, we are bringing together universities such as Harvard and MIT with state-of-the-art MOOC course platforms like edX from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Coursera from Stanford University, France Université Numerique from major French universities such as École Polytechnique or Sorbonne Universités.

7) Udacity

Free online courses from Udacity are taught by real instructors who have worked at Google, Twitter, and other major tech companies. The classes range from web development to machine learning and AI programming; there’s even a course that shows you how to build your own startup. To help keep your skills sharp, you’ll have access to quizzes and grades so you can track your progress as you learn. Whether you’re interested in cutting-edge technology or just trying to pick up some new skills, Udacity offers some of the best free online courses available anywhere on the web.

8) Canvas Network

If you’re interested in learning more about computer science, look into Canvas Network. Through Canvas Network, anyone can enroll in free online courses that cover topics such as programming basics and mobile computing—all from top universities like Yale University and Stanford University.

You’ll be able to ask questions or connect with peers from a course through an online discussion board or private message boards. Since courses on Canvas Network are completely self-paced, you’ll be able to work at your own pace without worrying about missing deadlines or due dates. And if you do have any problems along the way, there’s a 24/7 chat support feature available to help get you back on track.

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9) Udemy

More than 30,000 Free Online Courses are offered  on Udemy. While not all of them are created by professors from prestigious universities, many of them (like those from Stanford and Yale) are taught by professors from well-known institutions. This is a great way to learn about a variety of topics in different fields at your own pace—and it’s completely free.

People often ask if they can get college credit for completing Udemy courses. Currently, you cannot earn credits through Udemy because they do not offer any programs that allow students to earn a degree or certificate; however, some colleges and universities have partnered with Udemy so that their students can take advantage of these great resources!

10) YouTube EDU

For many of us, YouTube is a place where we go to watch cute cat videos. But for students and educators across the globe, it’s a resource for Free Online Courses. With thousands of courses from some of world’s top universities like Yale, MIT and Princeton (and even Stanford), you can learn new skills from some great teachers—like computer science from Georgia Tech or American history from Yale—all through an internet browser.

Many of these classes are taught in partnership with leading MOOC providers like edX and Coursera. Plus, who knows? You may actually enjoy watching those kitty videos… so maybe there is something to those 9 Reasons Why Cute Cat Videos Are Good For You stories after all!

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