Where Can I Find Free Online History Courses?

Free history courses are available online from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Course materials are available for download and independent study at your convenience. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

These noncredit classes can give all students a better understanding of the concepts, events, ideas and people that shaped today's world. Offered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, free online history courses typically include a syllabus, lecture notes and a list of recommended readings, along with optional assignments.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Through its OpenCourseWare (OCW) platform, MIT offers courses in history online for free. The first course is a theories and methods in the study of history, which originated as a graduate-level course, taught in fall 2010. The second course, American History to 1856, has an archived course syllabi and some of the reading materials are available in portable document format (PDF).

Theories and Methods in the Study of History

What Will I Learn?

This course examines the advantages and disadvantages of methods historians use to record, analyze and write about history. You'll also explore the types of sources historians use to support their accounts.

What Assignments Can I Complete?

You could write a 2-3 paragraph critique of the assigned readings. You could also write a paper comparing and contrasting different historical approaches to the same event. Because this is a non-credit course, you will not turn in these assignments.

What Materials Are Provided?

You can view a course syllabus as well as reading lists and bibliographies. Some of these reading materials may be accessed through links to other websites.

American History to 1865

What Will I Learn?

You can study the economic, political and social history of America from the early 1600s through 1865. The course covers the nation's British and Spanish settlements, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

What Assignments Can I Complete?

The course provides two essays based on assigned readings. Instructors will not grade your work.

What Materials Are Provided?

Materials include links to required readings such as the United States Constitution and Abraham Lincoln's speeches. You may also access an online copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin and syllabi from previous on-campus versions of this course.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Central Christian College of Kansas

    Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Central Christian College of Kansas:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »