Take Advantage Of Free Online Courses From The Best Colleges In The Country

There are many universities in the country that are highly-regarded for their stellar academic and athletic programs. These colleges have beautiful campuses, top-notch faculty members, and rigorous research programs. However, the downside to many of these colleges is that they can be quite difficult to get into.

Thankfully, many of the top schools in the U.S offer online courses that anyone with access to a laptop and an internet connection can sign up for. These courses are often taught by faculty members and can give you an insight into academics at the university. The classes cover a variety of topics that will help you improve both your personal and professional skills.

Carnegie Mellon

Jelena Kovacevic, head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Carnegie Mellon, located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is one of the top schools in the U.S. The university offers a variety of online courses that can be accessed on their Open Learning Initiative website. There is no college credit offered for the courses but they are a great way to improve your knowledge in certain fields.

The available classes cover various fields such as humanities, math, languages, and computer science. Check out their catalog online to find a course that interests you.

Princeton University

Students lounge in the lobby of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images
James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

Princeton University is an Ivy League school located in Princeton, New Jersey. The school is known for its rigorous academic programs and world-class faculty members. In particular, Princeton is known for its computer programs and offers various courses in this field.

Courses offered include Computer Science: Algorithms, Theories and Machines, which covers JavaScript and Programming with a Purpose. If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency, you can take their course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Technologies. The class answers questions about how the currencies work, what makes Bitcoin different, and how you can secure coins for yourself.

Harvard University

A panoramic view of Baker Library on the campus of Harvard Business School
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

Another Ivy League university that offers various online courses is Harvard University, located in Cambridge. There are courses taught by world-renowned professors in many different disciplines. For example, if you are interested in the arts, you can take a course on Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Shakespeare’s “Othello.”

However, if you want to improve your knowledge in the fields of economics, politics, or law, you can opt for a range of courses such as Women Making History or Improving Global Health. You can even receive a certificate for these courses.

University Of Chicago

University Of Chicago
Scott Olson via Getty Images
Scott Olson via Getty Images

One of the best research universities in the U.S. is the University of Chicago. The school has campuses throughout the world and is known for its innovative research studies. Online courses offered are taught by faculty at the university.

One of the classes you can take at the University of Chicago is Global Warming: The Science of Modeling of Climate Change, which focuses on humans’ impact on the climate crisis. However, if you want to develop your technical skills consider taking a class such as Software-Defined Networking, which analyzes how software is changing the way we communicate and network.

UC Berkeley

UCLA campus on May 14, 2015
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

UC Berkeley is known for its art, science and business programs. The university offers a variety of courses online that can be accessed on the edX platform. These courses are either in a webinar or podcast format and don’t include any exams or assignments, but you can even earn a certificate after taking a course.

Some of the courses taught by the faculty at UC Berkley include Academics and Business Writing, Foundations of Data Science, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, and Quantum Mechanics. Given the plethora of options, these courses are the perfect way to develop your technical skills in these fields.

Yale University

Yale University
Yana Paskova via Getty Images
Yana Paskova via Getty Images

Yale University is one of the top universities in the country and is esteemed around the world. The university focuses on creating ideas that help students make a positive impact. There are a variety of online courses in many disciplines taught by faculty at the university.

One of the more interesting courses is Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times Specialization, which focuses on humans’ impact in the fields of science and humanities. And if you’re interested in finance, there is also a course on the global financial crisis that discusses policy responses and the aftermath of crises.

Columbia University

Columbia University
Chris Hondros via Getty Images
Chris Hondros via Getty Images

Columbia University is another Ivy League institution, this one located in New York City. The school is known for its service to society and focuses on pioneering new innovations. The online courses offered by this university are taught by world-class faculty.

Check out the courses offered, which include The Age of Sustainable Development. This discusses the pathways and challenges that are faced in sustainable development. More technical courses include Financial Engineering and Risk Management, focused on engineering with regard to math, economics, and statistics.

MIT

MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via Getty Images
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via Getty Images

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has more than 2,400 courses offered online via Coursera. These classes cover a variety of disciplines that can help you improve your personal and professional skills. The non-credit courses range from video lectures to online assignments.

Some unique courses offered by this university include The Iterative Innovation Process, which shows you unique ways to improve your thinking. If you want to improve your technical skills, consider taking Mechanical Behavior of Materials, which teaches you to solve mechanical and engineering problems.

Stanford University

Stanford University
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images

Stanford University is a private university located in Stanford, California. The school is highly regarded for its medical, engineering, and law programs. It offers a variety of online courses that you can enroll in from the comfort of your home, all taught by the university’s faculty.

The courses offered include Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity. This class provides an in-depth analysis of the theory of relativity along with paradoxes associated with the theory. You can also take courses on Game Theory and International Women’s Rights.

University Of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
William Thomas Cain via Getty Images
William Thomas Cain via Getty Images

The University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, is a member of the Ivy League and is the fourth oldest institution in the nation. The school offers a variety of online courses through Coursera, all taught by the university’s highly regarded faculty members. These courses cover everything from finance to healthcare.

You might try Business Analytics Specialization, which discusses the importance of big data analytics in today’s data-driven world. There are also courses in fields like arts and finance, such as Greek and Roman Mythology and Financial and Quantitative Modeling for Analytics.

University Of Massachusetts

Boston Public Library
John Nordell/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images
John Nordell/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

The University of Massachusetts is a premier institution in the U.S and the world. The university offers various online courses that cover subjects like psychology, history, special education and political science. The classes come with lecture materials and are taught by the world-class faculty at the university.

While the courses don’t count towards a degree they are very comprehensive and a great way to improve your skills. Some of the courses offered include Social Attitudes and Public Opinion, Nineteenth-Century Europe, Psychology Aspects of Visual Impairment, International Relations and Chemical Principles.

Duke University

Duke University
Sara D. Davis via Getty Images
Sara D. Davis via Getty Images

Duke University is a private research institution located in North Carolina, known for its academic programs focusing on service and society. There are a variety of courses taught by Duke’s world-class faculty, covering a range of different disciplines.

One popular course is Dog Emotion and Cognition, which discusses the cognitive emotion of dogs and how they think and feel about human beings. You can also take classes such as ART of the MOOC: Activism and Social Movements, Chimpanzee Behavior and Conservation, or Visual Perception of the Brain.

Caltech

Caltech
David McNew via Getty Images
David McNew via Getty Images

Caltech is a world-renowned university famous for its programs in science and engineering. The college aims to expand human knowledge to benefit society in many different ways. The challenging online courses taught by this university are taught by the world-class faculty members.

Some online courses offered by Caltech include Drugs and Brain, which discusses addiction and abuse as well as new innovations in the fields of psychiatry, neurology, and substance abuse. Other courses include The Evolution of the Universe and The Science of the Solar System.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers via Getty Images
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers via Getty Images

Dartmouth University is one of the best universities in the world. The school is regarded for its engineering, medical, and business programs. Thankfully, there are many online courses that you can take online in numerous multidisciplinary fields. These courses are offered via edX.

The university offers courses in C-Programming ranging from a foundation class to more advanced courses. You can also take courses in American Literature or the German Opera. From science, history, and business, there is a huge variety of courses offered online by Dartmouth College.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University
JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado via Getty Images
JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado via Getty Images

Johns Hopkins University is highly regarded for its science programs. The school places a lot of emphasis on independent and original research. There are a variety of online courses available on Coursera that are taught by the university’s faculty members. They cover areas of healthcare, medicine, and public policy.

Some interesting online courses available on Coursera include Systems Thinking in Public Health, which focuses on the problems in public health along with the risks involved. You can also take a course on the Fundamentals of Neuroscience. This class discusses how neuroimaging methods are applied to various areas of neuroscience.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University
Jonathan Daniel via Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel via Getty Images

Northwestern is a private university located in Chicago, Illinois. The school fosters a collaborative environment that differs from traditional academic practices. There are a wide variety of online courses available on Coursera covering a number of fields.

One example of the variety of courses offered is Teaching Violin and Viola which discusses the principles of violin and the different techniques used to play the instrument. You can even take courses on social media marketing and organizational leadership, which teaches businesses how to create more value for their customers.

Brown University

Brown University
Mike Cohea/Brown University via Getty Images
Mike Cohea/Brown University via Getty Images

Brown University is a leading research institution in the U.S. with a focus on a variety of disciplines that can help create change in the world. The school’s motto is to use knowledge to better serve communities and societies. There are a variety of online courses offered by Brown University, accessible via edX.

One of the interesting courses taught by the university’s faculty includes The Ethics of Memory, which focuses on how our personal memories change over time. You can also take science and engineering courses like Beyond Medical Histories and Introduction to Engineering and Design.

Cornell University

Cornell University
Cornell University via Getty Images
Cornell University via Getty Images

Cornell University is known for its rigorous academic programs and focus on research. You can take a variety of courses on edX and can even receive a certification upon completion. These courses cover numerous fields such as science, economics, and business.

You might be interested in taking a class called Networks, Crowds, and Markets, which discusses how society, economy, and technology in the world are all interconnected. Other courses include The Ethics of Eating, American Capitalism, and The Science of Politics of the GMO.

Rice University

Rice University
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Rice University is one of the top universities in the world and is known for its business, architecture, engineering, and humanities programs. They also house one of the best schools for public policy in the country. The university offers an interesting variety of online courses on Coursera.

Many of the classes focus on science-based topics, such as the Fundamentals of Immunology Specialization. This course focuses on new developments in the field along with immunology therapies. You can also take Fundamentals of Computing Specialization or Finance for Non-Finance Professionals.

Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt/Collegiate Images via Getty Images
Vanderbilt/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

Vanderbilt is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee. The university offers a variety of courses online, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Topics on social justice, arts, and programming are covered and are taught by university faculty through Coursera.

Some of the courses include Understanding The Music Business: What is Music Worth, which discusses the music industry in the U.S., specifically in Nashville which is the music capital of the country. Other courses offered include Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture and Android App Development. There’s something for everyone.