Free Online World History Courses & Lessons

There are many opportunities to study world history through open online learning systems at some of America's best universities. Review the available course subjects offered at three of these universities to pinpoint where you can study your interests for free! Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Free Online World History Courses & Lessons

You can partake in free online courses from many organizations, including three of the most respected names in higher education and pioneers in online higher education - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and Yale University. Across courses offered by these universities, you have a wealth of material to explore world history categorized by time periods, geographic and cultural regions, and major world events. These courses may be specially developed for online learning platforms or they may be adapted from previous university courses, and included materials often include a syllabus, reading material, audiovisual material, recorded lectures, assignments, and discussion questions. Read on to learn more about some of the courses offered by MIT, Harvard, and Yale to get a better feel for what is available!

MIT OpenCourseWare

Through MIT OpenCourseWare, you can access an extensive selection of world history courses. As of March 2019, there were over 60 undergraduate courses, including regional history courses focused on ancient Rome and Greece, European history, Latin American history, South and East Asian history, Middle Eastern cultural pluralism, and American history. There are also modern history courses that discuss topics like capitalism and the era of globalization.

At the graduate level, there are several free courses available, including a course in the methods and theories of historical studies. There are also specialized graduate courses looking at the interactions between technology and the global environment, nature and empires, and people and animals.

The following are some of the undergraduate courses offered by MIT:

  • The Ancient World: Rome: You can access the complete lecture slides PDFs for over 20 class sessions.
  • The World: 1400- Present: This course includes a set of 10 lecture slides PDFs for topics such as contact and conflicts in East Asia, contact and conflict in the Americas, and empire and architecture.
  • Seminar in Historical Methods: You can view two recorded lectures, both of which are about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Harvard University

As of March 2019, there were nearly 30 free online world history courses offered through Harvard University, including courses on the scriptures of major world religions and regional courses that cover topics like Chinese aristocratic history and Greek heroes. These courses may be presented with multimedia tools such as video lessons, reading assignment PDFs, and discussion boards.

Some of the religious studies courses last four weeks, while many other courses are 15-17 weeks. You may access these courses through a platform such as edX. It is free to create an account to enroll for these self-paced courses. You can receive a verified certificate of completion for a cost.

Through the Harvard Extension School's Opening Learning Initiative, you can complete the World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II Open Learning Course.This course analyzes WWII from numerous academic and societal perspectives. It includes 24 video lectures, which are each about one hour long. Some of the lesson topics include the strategies of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, as well as war techniques, societal change, and memory of the war.

Yale Open Courses

Yale University's Yale Open Courses offers different history courses covering various aspects of world history. The topics covered include ancient Roman architecture, European civilization from the 17th-20th centuries, and the American Civil War. Some specific courses include:

  • The American Revolution
  • After The First World War: The 1919 Egyptian Revolution
  • The Early Middle Ages: 284-1000
  • Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600
  • African American History: From Emancipation to the Present

These lessons typically include a series of recorded video lectures, which you can access freely. There is also commonly a syllabus and a list of reading materials, which you can purchase at your discretion.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    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

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Associate Programs

    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

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »