Gone are the days when free courses were a dream. In the past, you would have to hunt for something within your budget. Over the years, the Internet has proved to be a blessing both for course providers and students. And, so, what better than free online courses from top universities like Harvard or Stanford?
While there are thousands of free online courses available, the more popular ones belong to the top universities. These universities offer courses on a wide variety of subjects. For example, coding, programming, data science, AI/ML, economic development, literature, social media, and more. Also, some of the top universities offer free courses on educational sites (open online course providers) like Coursera, Edx, etc. In this post, we will highlight the best free online courses from the top universities that can help you prepare for a better future.
Best free online courses from top universities like Harvard and Stanford
There are hundreds of free online courses to choose from including the ones from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, CMU, etc. But the technology courses lead the pack. Best of all, you also get certification benefits once you complete any of these courses. At the same time, there are other top universities also who offer courses on other subjects. So, if you are looking for free online courses, but are not sure where to apply, we have an exhaustive list for you.
1] CS50 Introduction to game development by Harvard
Harvard’s CS50 Introduction to Computer Science is one of the most popular free online courses. It introduces the basic concepts of programming, algorithms, software engineering, and languages like Python, SQL, and more. It’s a self-paced course and you can obtain a certificate on the successful completion of the course. You can enroll in the course on eDX.
2] Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification by Stanford University
As the 4th most popular university in the world, Stanford University offers a wide range of free online courses. That includes their popular course Supervised Machine Learning. It introduces you to modern machine learning that includes supervised learning, for example, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, neural networks, and decision trees). It also includes unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems). To enroll for this course and more information, you can visit Coursera.
3] Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
This course is offered by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) through edX. It’s an instructor-led course that introduces you to computer science that focuses on basic programming concepts through. The best part is, it requires no prior coding experience. The entire aim of the course is to help you solve real-world analytical problems using Python 3.5 for free.
4] The Science of Happiness (University of California, Berkeley)
The Science of Happiness is a self-paced course by the University of California Berkley that teaches positive psychology. It uses science to help you learn the fundamentals and practices for a happy and meaningful life. To enroll for this course and more information visit edX.
5] Data Science: Machine Learning by Harvard
Data Science and Machine Learning are among the most popular subjects in recent times and what better than getting certified from Harvard for free? The Data Science: Machine Learning course is another much sought-after course by the Ivy League research university. In this course, you learn the basics of Machine Learning, cross-validation to avoid overtraining, some of the most popular ML algorithms, and more. You can enroll for this course on edX.
6] From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development (Oxford)
If you are looking for a deeper understanding of economic development and the factors that contribute to poverty alleviation, then the free online course by Oxford, From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development is the best choice. Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply curious about the dynamics of economic growth, this course is designed to empower you with the essential skills to contribute to poverty eradication and promote sustainable prosperity. Enroll for this course on edX and start today.
7] Better Business Writing in English by Georgia Institute of Technology
If you are looking to improve your business writing skills in English, the Georgia Institute of Technology offers a free online course that can help you achieve that goal. This course is designed to enhance your ability to write clear, concise, and professional documents for a variety of business purposes. It trains you to communicate effectively in a business setting and improve your overall written communication skills. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to excel in their professional writing endeavors. So, enroll today at Coursera for a brighter future.
8] Machine Learning Foundations by the University of Washington
For those looking for a specialization program on ML, one of the best free online courses like Harvard would be Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach by the University of Washington. Designed for scientists and software developers, this course is suitable for anyone with basic math and programming skills. It covers the fundamentals of ML and provides hands-on experience through four courses. Topics include supervised and unsupervised learning, algorithms like linear regression and k-means, evaluating model performance, and more. You can enroll in this course on Coursera.
9] How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (École Polytechnique)
École Polytechnique offers a course called How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper on Coursera, which provides valuable guidance on the process of scientific writing and publication. While this free online course is not affiliated with Harvard, it is a great opportunity for individuals interested in enhancing their scientific writing skills. The course covers various aspects of scientific paper writing, including selecting a suitable journal, structuring the paper, and more.
10] Become a Journalist: Report the News! Specialization (Michigan State University)
Michigan State University offers a specialization called Become a Journalist: Report the News! as a free online course through Coursera. It’s designed to provide aspiring journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field of journalism. The course covers various aspects of journalism, including news reporting, writing, interviewing, and ethical considerations.
11. Machine Learning with Python: From Linear Models to Deep Learning by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Machine Learning with Python: From Linear Models to Deep Learning is a free online course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through the edX platform. This course provides an in-depth introduction to the field of machine learning, covering topics ranging from linear models to deep learning and reinforcement learning. Best of all, students will also have the opportunity to work on hands-on Python projects, implementing the algorithms and techniques discussed in the course.
12. The Evolving Universe by California Institute of Technology
The Evolving Universe is an introductory astronomy survey class offered by Caltech through Coursera. This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the physical universe and its major constituents, including planetary systems, galaxies, and the origin of the universe itself. It’s a valuable resource for anyone interested in gaining knowledge about the vastness and complexities of our universe.
13. Introduction of Fintech by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
If you are interested to learn about the innovations, technology, and regulations driving the transformation of finance, then you can enroll in the Introduction to FinTech course by the University of Hong Kong on edX. This course helps you to understand the major areas of FinTech like What is FinTech, Money, Payment and Emerging Technologies, and more. You will also be exposed to the core technologies driving FinTech including Blockchain, AI, and Big Data.
14. Creative coding by New York University (NYU)
For those looking for a free online course on coding, New York University offers Creative Coding classes through edX. It’s one of the best courses on coding out there, that gives you a hands-on experience with basic programming skills. Best of all, to enroll for the course, you do not need to have a prior experience in programming. You will learn basic coding techniques such as variables, loops, graphics, and networking for free.
15. Anthropology of Social Media: Why We Post by UCL (University College London)
The University of College London (UCL) offers a five-week long free online course, Anthropology of Social Media: Why We Post. This course helps you understand asks “What are the consequences of social media?” through a comparative and anthropological approach to social media use across the world. You can book the classes for free on the official website of the University of London.
16. COVID-19 Contact Tracing by Johns Hopkins University
The COVID-19 Contact Tracing course by John Hopkins University is a unique course on the deadly virus offered through Coursera. This is another very useful free online course that teaches the science of SARS-CoV-2, how contact tracing is done, the ethical considerations around contact tracing, and so on.
17. The Science of Well-Being by Yale University
Gain skills like gratitude, happiness, meditation, and savoring through The Science of Well-Being course by Yale University through Coursera. It’s a free online course like Harvard that exposes you to a series of challenges designed that helps you to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. It eventually prepares you to successfully include a specific wellness activity in your life.
18. CS50’s Computer Science For Lawyers by Harvard
If you are a lawyer and/or a law student, you can boost your skills and resume with a free online course, CS50’s Computer Science For Lawyers by Harvard on edX. It’s a variant of their course – introduction to computer science, and it helps you to learn, Challenges at the Intersection of Law and Technology, computational thinking, programming languages, cryptography, cybersecurity, and more.
19. English for Career Development by the University of Pennsylvania
Are you a non-native English speaker and wish to advance your career in the global marketplace? English for Career Development, is a free online course offered by the University of Pennsylvania through Coursera that helps you learn about the job search, application, and interview process in the United States. You can also build on your global career path by improving your vocabulary and language skills through this course.
20. Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life by University of Chicago
If you are someone who’s interested in exploring neuroscience, you can enroll for the free online course, Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life on Coursera. Offered by the University of Chicago, this course helps you gain skills related to the brain, neurological disorders, neurobiology, and neurology. You will study functional human neuroanatomy and neuronal communication to understand how neuroscience can illustrate the common problems affecting people in recent times.
21. Computer Science & Programming from Carnegie Mellon University
Open Learning Initiative from CMU offers free online courses on PC Hardware, PC Software, and more and you can take a look at them here at cmu.edu.
Is Harvard free online certificate worth it?
Yes. A certificate earned even through a free online course from Harvard is as highly regarded as the paid courses. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you can enroll for free courses related to technology, business, law, or education. This additional certificate from such a reputable university can be a great addition to your resume.
How do I enroll in Harvard’s free online courses?
Harvard courses are offered through edX and hence, you have to apply through their platform. All you need to do is to search for the free online course from Harvard on edX and hit the Enroll button in red. However, you should first register with edX and then you can proceed to enroll for the course.