15 Free Online Courses From The Best Universities and Colleges Around The World

5 min


If you are not aware of it, many universities around the world are now offering courses online for free. These courses, known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are picking up the momentum in popularity.

Unlike the regular courses offered by universities and colleges, MOOCs are attracting hundreds to thousands of enrollees around the globe. These courses come in the form of active courses sessions with participant interaction to self-paced studies.

Whether you are looking for a computer science class, a Master’s degree program or K-12 curriculum, there are thousands of MOOCs worldwide from hundreds of colleges, universities and other institutions.

free online courses

For your convenience, we compiled a list of 15 of the most popular courses from the best colleges and universities around the world. These opportunities for free online learning expands as the internet becomes a crucial component of education.

  1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers a variety of video lessons for free. The course subjects are broken down into particular lessons. This is great for students who are looking to focus on one principle without taking the entire course immediately.

The subject has separate videos for other parts of the course. For example, a biology subject is divided into several parts and videos: there is a video for photosynthesis, genetics, evolution, and others. The videos offered by Khan Academy is great for those who prefer watching as the site’s lessons are all video based.

  1. UMass Boston Open Courseware

The UMass courseware of the University of Massachusetts Boston offers a broad range of classes of different areas such as mathematics, psychology, political science, early education, and others. Each of these departments has a separate page listing for the classes available.

You will be also given assignments, syllabus, a biography of the professor, and recommended readings. However, there are no slides or videos available for each module.

  1. Stanford on iTunesU

Stanford also offers free lessons via iTunesU. There are two options for you to choose from to learn from the different modules that they have.

You can either subscribe to the updated video lectures and get updates on whether they will be changes or you can also download the ones that you would like to watch.

  1. Utah State Open Courseware

The free online courses offered by Utak are easy to access and find even with quick browsing. Each of the class lectures is offered as an MP3 file with an attached HTML document that outlines the whole assignment.

These online courses are a part of Utah’s bare-bones program as the assignments are made to test your knowledge and what you learned from the material.

  1. Open Yale Courses

Open Yale courses is another great website that is comprehensive and easy to navigate. There are a variety of subjects offered and you can either view them online or download them as a zip file.

Each lecture has a video, which was actual sessions recorded during classes on campus, plus a PDF of the slides used during presentations and a transcript.

Other than the slide, the video is broken into lecture chapters. If you cannot finish the whole thing in just one sitting, you can come back to it later.

  1. University of the People

The University of the People is a private online tuition-free university. Here, you can apply just like you would if you are entering a traditional institution. They are also offering Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer science.

The University of the People works like a traditional online distance learning degree program: You sign up for the free online courses, interact with other students who are taking the same course, talk to the professors, and complete the assignments. This is a great option for those who want to have a college education experience but don’t have enough money.

  1. Webcast Berkeley

Webcast Berkeley offers a very simple model. You just need to watch a recording of a class conducted by a professor in a campus and learn from there. There are no sign-in IDs, resources or assignments.

Some of the free online courses, like Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology, and others, are offered on audio lectures only.

  1. University of Michigan Open Courseware

The University of Michigan offers a collection of open educational resource. All the information can be downloaded to your computer once you’re done reading the synopsis.

The University of Michigan offers a range of course materials, lectures, videos, student work, and more. They have resources for Law, Global Health, Educational Technology, Medical, Nursing, and a lot more.

  1. Capilano University

The Capilano University has a modest selection of courses for independent or remote study.

Once you enter the course, you are provided with the course syllabus, an instructor bio, assignments, and lecture notes. The website is simple, it is easy to navigate, and is a great resource for motivated and independent students and learners.

  1. Kendal College

Kendal College offers courses that provide certifications that are recognized in the business world. They specialize in different areas of learning such as beauty and fashion, mental health, performing arts, media, and construction.

  1. edX

edX is a website that offers a wide range of free online courses from different universities and colleges. What sets edX apart from other websites offering online courses is that the class has a specific length and duration. Once you sign up, you are committed to the class time and assignments.

edX offers classes from MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and other prestigious schools around the world. Although the classes are similar to paid online learning classes, the classes offered by edX are not for those who are looking for classes they can do on their own time.

  1. Coursera

One of the largest website databases for universities and colleges offering open courseware is Coursera. Like edX, Coursera’s courses last for 10 to 14 weeks. Courses offered include Compilers, Logic, Information Security, Risk Management, and more.

Coursera offers access to classes from 16 different universities including Stanford, Princeton, Duke, and CalTech. With more than 1,000,000 users, it established itself as a go-to website for free University learning.

  1. GED For Free

GED for Free is a basic online course offered to students who have not been able to complete their high school and would need to get their GED.

All you just need to do is to simply fill out a student profile and start studying. GED For Free is designed to teach students the concept that will be tested on the GED exam. They also offer enrichment activities and advanced courses.

  1. Notre Dame Open Courseware

Notre Dame offers an extensive list of free online courses. Each course are listed with small buttons next to each title and signify what the course consists of such as syllabus, assignment, exams, videos, and more.

Once you enter the course, a left-hand menu bar helps you in navigating through the different aspects of the course. Courses include Data Science, Managerial Economics, and Calculus.

  1. Udacity

Udacitiy is a digital university that offers and specialises in computer science. Each course given is a five-minute video lecture complete with assignments and quizzes. There is no textbook required and you don’t need to pay for anything.

In addition to the free classes, Udacity offers an online forum where you can collaborate with other students, study and work in groups.

Udacity also offers a proctored exam where you can gain credit at participating universities. Udacity also hands your resume to their partner companies.

As online or distant education continues to expand, students are given the opportunity to grow and learn even if they are away. More and more traditional universities are seeing the need to reduce the cost of education while still keeping the students interested in the programs.

Are you ready for a different type of learning? Which courses do you think best fit your interest and career path?

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