Can you imagine having a Harvard, Yale, or Princeton education, all without the stress of high tuition prices? Though it may sound like a daydream, several sites have now made it possible to access classes from some of the greatest schools in the world for absolutely free. Here you’ll get an overview of exactly what these sites offer, how to access them, and what they can (and can’t) do for you.
Where Do I Sign Up?
Two of the largest collections of free online university courses are Open Culture and Class Central. Both contain links to hundreds of courses offered by top universities in everything from Physics to Finance to Humanities.
Simply scroll through the list to locate the type of courses you’re interested in and you can begin any class you like in seconds. Most of the classes are taught through videos and include suggested reading materials, a class syllabus, and sometimes quizzes to test your knowledge.
While you’re free to glean the same knowledge as some of the world’s best scholars, unfortunately, you don’t actually get course credit for most of the classes you take. In other words, it’s not possible to actually earn a degree on such sites.
If you’re looking for something to show off, some courses do offer certificates for a small fee of anywhere from $29-$90.
The pros here will be obvious to anyone who just really loves learning. While you may not be able to officially say you graduated from Stanford, having the same knowledge as someone who did can still up your game significantly in the workplace.
The other big plus is simply being able to study all the things that fascinate you without having to worry about attaining a degree. After all, what’s better than taking Duke courses in philosophy without worrying about how you’ll make a living on a philosophy degree?