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65 free online courses from the top US colleges, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, and more

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Free online courses Harvard

E-learning platforms Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn let you take classes from top colleges for free.
Paid options give access to certificates of completion, feedback, and even final grades.
Course topics vary widely, from business and programming to writing and medicine.

Every year, US News & Reports releases its ranking of the top universities in the country. These schools are renowned for their rigorous academic programs, world-renowned faculty members, and beautiful campuses. But they're not easy to get into, nor are they affordable without scholarships.

Thankfully, online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn are increasing access to high-quality education for everyone. Their free and low-priced courses are taught by instructors from the best universities and academic institutions around the world, allowing anyone to advance their education, pursue new professional goals, or audit a class for fun. It means you can browse unlimited free online courses from schools like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Duke, and The University of Michigan, or pay a fee to earn a certificate of completion that you can display on your LinkedIn or resume.

A decade ago, you wouldn't have been able to easily take classes from these top-ranking schools. Now, you can. We rounded up the Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn courses from each of the schools so you can skip directly to your favorite university, or browse all that each has to offer.

Note: The following list includes Archived courses on edX. They are designated with an asterisk (*).

65 free online classes from the top universities in the country:

1: Princeton University

students princeton
Two students walk around the Princeton University campus in New Jersey, November 16, 2013.

Browse all courses from Princeton University on Coursera hereBitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, 11 weeks, available on CourseraAlgorithms, Part 1, 6 weeks, available on CourseraBuddhism and Modern Psychology, 6 weeks, available on CourseraBrowse all courses from Princeton University on edX hereMaking Government Work in Hard Places, 8 weeks, available on edXThe Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges, 8 weeks, available on edXGlobal History of Capitalism, 6 weeks, available on edX
2: Harvard University

Free online courses Harvard

Browse all courses from Harvard University on edX hereCS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals, 6 weeks, available on edXScience & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science, 16 weeks, available on edX Masterpieces of World Literature, 12 weeks, available on edXThe Opioid Crisis in America, 10 weeks, available on edXContract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract, 8 weeks, available on edX 
3: Columbia University

Free online courses Columbia

Browse all courses from Columbia University on Coursera hereConstruction Management Specialization, 5 months, available on CourseraThe Age of Sustainable Development, 14 weeks, available on CourseraFinancial Engineering and Risk Management Part I, 8 weeks, available on CourseraBrowse all courses from Columbia University on edX hereStatistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics, 5 weeks, available on edXArtificial Intelligence (AI), 12 weeks, available on edX Introduction to Corporate Finance, 4 weeks, available on edX
4: MIT

Free online courses MIT

Browse all courses from MIT on edX hereIntroduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science, 9 weeks, available on edX Just Money: Banking as if Society Mattered, 16 weeks, available on edX*Supply Chain Analytics, 15 weeks, available on edX Design Thinking for Leading and Learning, 6 weeks, available on edX*Circuits and Electronics 1: Basic Circuit Analysis, 5 weeks, available on edX
4 (tie): Yale University

Free online courses Yale

Browse all courses from Yale University on Coursera hereThe Science of Well-Being, 10 weeks, available on Coursera | Read our review of the courseIntroduction to Negotiation, 9 weeks, available on CourseraThe Global Financial Crisis, 11 weeks, available on CourseraEssentials of Global Health, 10 weeks, available on Coursera
6: Stanford University

Free online courses Stanford

Browse all courses from Stanford University on Coursera hereMachine Learning, 11 weeks, available on CourseraAlgorithms Specialization, 4 months, available on CourseraOrganizational Analysis, 11 weeks, available on CourseraInternational Women’s Health and Human Rights, 10 weeks, available on CourseraChild Nutrition and Cooking, 5 weeks, available on CourseraSocial and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis, 8 weeks, available on Coursera 
6 (tie): The University of Chicago

university of chicago

Browse all courses from The University of Chicago on Coursera hereCritical Issues in Urban Education, 10 weeks, available on CourseraUnderstanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life, 10 weeks, available on CourseraInternet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms, 9 weeks, available on CourseraBrowse all courses from The University of Chicago on edX hereModeling Climate Change, 4 weeks, available on edX*Critical Issues in Urban Education, 4 weeks, available on edX*
8: The University of Pennsylvania

university of pennsylvania

Browse all courses from The University of Pennsylvania on Coursera hereBusiness Foundations Specialization, 7 months, available on CourseraViral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content, 4 hours, available on CourseraDesign: Creation of Artifacts in Society, 6 weeks, available on CourseraBrowse all courses from The University of Pennsylvania on edX hereProgramming for the Web with JavaScript, 4 weeks, available on edXIntellectual Property Law and Policy: Part 1, 6 weeks, available on edXHollywood: History, Industry, Art, 4 weeks, available on edX
9 (tie): The California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech

Browse all courses from Caltech on Coursera hereThe Science of the Solar System, 10 weeks, available on Coursera hereGetting Started in cryo-EM, 8 weeks, available on Coursera hereBrowse all courses from Caltech on edX hereThe Evolving Universe, 4 weeks, available on edX herePrinciples of Economics with Calculus, 10 weeks, available on edX here
9 (tie): Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins

Browse all courses from Johns Hopkins University on Coursera hereMastering Software Development in R Specialization, 6 months, available on CourseraSystems Thinking In Public Health, 4 weeks, available on CourseraMajor Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach, 6 weeks, available on CourseraHealth for All Through Primary Health Care, 5 weeks, available on CourseraToxicology 21: Scientific Applications, 6 weeks, available on CourseraBrowse all courses from Johns Hopkins University on FutureLearn hereCOVID-19: Effective Nursing in Times of Crisis, 2 weeks, available on FutureLearnPlanning and Managing Global Health Programmes: Promoting Quality, Accountability, and Equity, 5 weeks, available on FutureLearnThe Monday Campaigns: Lessons in Public Health Promotion, 6 weeks, available on FutureLearn

 

9 (tie): Northwestern University

Northwestern university

Browse all courses from Northwestern University on Coursera hereContent Strategy for Professionals Specialization, 4 months, available on CourseraSocial Media Marketing Specialization, 7 months, available on CourseraCareer 911: Your Future Job in Medicine and Healthcare, 9 weeks, available on CourseraScaling Operations: Linking Strategy and Execution, 5 weeks, available on CourseraModern Robotics, Course 1: Foundations of Robot Motion, 4 weeks, available on Coursera
12: Duke University

Free online courses Duke

Browse all courses from Duke University on Coursera hereExcel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization, 7 months, available on CourseraBehavioral Finance, 5 hours, available on CourseraThink Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies, 4 weeks, available on CourseraDog Emotion and Cognition, 8 weeks, available on CourseraSports and Society, 7 weeks, available on Coursera
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