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9 NYU courses you can take online for free, from the science of yoga to computer programming

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NYU is one of the top schools in the world, but its tuition and location aren't accessible to all.Online learning platforms like edX and Coursera offer university courses completely for free.Below are some NYU classes you can take online for free, from performing arts to coding.

Ranked as one of the top universities in the world, New York University boasts schools like the Stern School of Business and the Tisch School of the Arts, each with their respective lists of impressive alumni. But beyond that, NYU's Greenwich Village/NoHo location can make it the dream school of anyone who loves NYC (or fantasizes about living there).

In reality, NYU's tuition makes it one of the top 50 most expensive US universities, and that's in addition to being located in the most expensive region of one of the most expensive cities in the country. Aka, it's not necessarily accessible to everyone who wishes they could go there.

One nice perk of e-learning is that many top schools – including Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, and more – offer online courses completely for free through platforms like edX and Coursera. NYU is one of those colleges, offering both individual classes and longer paid programs such as an edX MicroBachelors in Computer Science Fundamentals ($447.30) or an edX MicroMasters in Integrated Digital Media ($896.40).

Read below to learn more about some of NYU's free online offerings (some of which are also part of larger certificate programs).

9 NYU courses you can take online for free:

Creative Coding

Man working on home computer

Length: 14 weeksCertificate cost: $249

Ideal for students with high computer literacy and some introductory programming experience, this course focuses on coding for creative projects, such as games, art, and design. Students learn the tools they need to create 2D art, animations, and other design-heavy projects. This is the first course in the Integrated Digital Media MicroMasters program.

Creative Coding (button)
Theories of Media and Technology


Length: 14 weeksCertificate cost: $249

Whether you work in graphic design, UX/UI, or any field that strongly involves media and technology, this course teaches you how both those things impact society and culture. You’ll leave with a richer understanding of how media is created and consumed, and be able to apply it to your own career. This is part of the Integrated Digital Media program, and it’s recommended that you take Creative Coding before this course.

Theories of Media and Technology (button)
Introduction to Performance Studies

Person speaking with laptop outside

Length: 13 weeksCertificate cost: $49

No matter which kind of performance art you’re interested in, this course will be relevant in how you process and analyze performing arts whether it’s theatre, dance, a political campaign, or even something on social media. Featuring insights from dozens of experts, this course also centers on a wide range of cultures and historical time periods in its lessons.

Richard Schechner’s Introduction to Performance Studies (button)
Basics of Computing and Programming

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Length: 9 weeks

Certificate cost: $199

This introductory course starts off the Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelor program, teaching students the basics of the Python programming language, including binary code, positional number systems, branching statements, loops, strings, functions, lists, and more.

Basics of Computing and Programming (button)
Introduction to Database Queries

Woman working in library
Young businesswoman wearing headphones while using laptop and drinking coffee.

Length: 5 weeksCertificate cost: $166

The first course in the Introduction to Databases MicroBachelors program, this class focuses on learning the programming language SQL and using it to create, read, update, and delete databases. Students will also leave with hands-on experience with a relational database management system (RDBMS).

Introduction to Database Queries (button)
Introduction to Information Security

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Length: 5 weeksCertificate cost: $166

This is the first course in the Cybersecurity Fundamentals MicroBachelors program, and walks students through the three main terms in cybersecurity (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) before exploring good security design; ethical issues related to design, and how to tell threats apart from vulnerabilities and attacks.

Information Security – Introduction to Information Security (button)
Introduction to Networking

woman working on computer

Length: 7 weeksCertificate cost: $149

Providing an overview of computer networking, this course covers topics like networking applications, peer to peer networks, routers, IP protocol, and common securities technologies such as firewalls. It’s part of a longer MicroBachelors program in Computer Science Fundamentals.

Introduction to Networking (button)
Introduction to Programming in C++

man on laptop outside

Length: 8 weeksCertificate cost: $332

Perfect for students who have either completed NYU’s Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelor program or have some familiarity with coding, this course covers the basics of the C++ programming language with lectures and practice lab activities. This is the first course in the Programming and Data Structures MicroBachelor program.

Introduction to Programming in C++ (button)
Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology

Person doing yoga at home

Length: 6 weeksCertificate cost: $49

Through the lens of yoga and meditation, this course delves into the role and structure of human physiological systems — with a focus on how mindfulness can promote healthier functioning and even serve as effective preventative treatment.

Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology (button)
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