Free Online Classes

Find a class that piques your interest

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If you’re new to learning through the internet, want to test out a class, need to brush up on some skills for your credit classes, or just want to learn a few new facts, you’ll want to check out one of the many free courses available online. Although these courses don’t provide college credit, they do give students a lot of information and can be a valuable supplement to your regular studies. There are two main types of online courses: independent courses that are made exclusively for the internet, and open courseware classes that are designed for actual classrooms.

Independent Courses

Independent courses are made especially for e-learners. From poetry to financial planning, there's something out there for everyone.
Brigham Young University has a number of online courses offered for credit to paying students, but they also offer free classes that are open to the general public. Although these classes do not offer interaction among peers, they have a sensible set up and often provide useful information. One of the most common subjects offered is genealogy; BYU has quite a few specialized courses to help genealogists locate their personal family information. A number of religious courses are also available.
Stanford University offers free lectures, interviews, and material that are avaliable for download on iTunes. offers a variety of courses that include materials completely online. Some even have free online textbooks. The Information Technology programs are some of the best and include step-by-step instructions on mastering various types of computer skills.

The Small Business Administration provides dozens of links to courses that teach you how to plan, start, market, and run a successful business, and also how to apply for grants and loans.

The Teaching Company sells audio and video classes taught by top professors. However, if you sign up for their email newsletter, they will send you occasional free lectures that can be downloaded and saved.

Open Courseware

Open courseware programs are designed to give students around the world access to course materials actually used in university classrooms. Participating colleges post syllabi, assignments, calendars, lecture notes, readings, and other materials online, making it easy for self-learners to study the topic on their own terms. Open courseware programs do not require registration or charge tuition. However, they do not award credits or allow for interaction with a professor.
Want to take an MIT course for free? MIT’s open courseware program offers students around the world access to materials and assignments used in actual classrooms. More than 1,000 courses are currently available.
Tufts University also offers a handful of quality open courseware classes as does Utah State University and John Hopkins University.

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Your Citation
Littlefield, Jamie. "Free Online Classes." ThoughtCo, Jul. 30, 2021, Littlefield, Jamie. (2021, July 30). Free Online Classes. Retrieved from Littlefield, Jamie. "Free Online Classes." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 1, 2023).

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