Which Universities Offer Free Online Classes?

Several highly regarded colleges offer some of their classes for free online. The courses are generally available in a wide range of subjects. This article lists some of the universities that offer free online classes.

Free Online Classes

Some colleges that are ranked in the nation's top 30 for 2014 by U.S. News & World Report offer some of their classes for free online. Some of these schools are part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which is an organization of colleges that works to foster education across the globe. OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes are presented for personal satisfaction only, and they do not lead to college credit. Other schools may partner with edX, another global education resource. The schools listed below are among those offering free online classes through OCW or edX:

  • University of California - Berkeley
  • Tufts University
  • University of Michigan

Important Facts About Free Online Classes

Program Designed for self-help and supplemental learning
Common Courses Biology, Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Psychology, Political Science and more
Prerequisites Internet Connection
Certifications Certifications are available from courses at certain universities or colleges

University of California - Berkeley

The Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education, in coordination with edX, offers free online courses called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) through its Public Good program. The courses offered cover subjects like computer science, economics, physics and English. Most of the lectures are available in video and audio format, but only the audio is offered for some. The online courses are taught by the same instructors who teach the courses at the university.

Tufts University

The free online classes available through Tufts mostly cover science, medicine or business topics. The university also provides Open Education Resources (OER), which are materials used by educators to instruct on various health subjects. The Tufts University Science Knowledgebase, which is part of the OER program, provides the curricula for many of Tufts medical and science courses that other schools can adopt.

University of Michigan

Some unique aspects of Michigan's free online classes are the dScribe and Encore programs. The dScribe program is a collaboration between University students and faculty to create OER content. Encore is a comprehensive program that delivers both curricula and assessments for several medical topics.

Other Top Universities

Below are some other top universities, according to U.S. News & World Report, that participate in free online course programs:

  • MIT
  • Harvard
  • Cornell
  • Rice University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • California Institute of Technology
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content 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

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