illustration of ladies engaging in learning activities
Hanna Barczyk
Hanna Barczyk

10 Amazing Free Online Classes You Can Take From Harvard, MIT, Yale And More

There's no catch. We promise.

You may have a job and a mortgage and kids and all that other stuff that’s preventing you from being a college student all over again (we won’t even mention the lack of funds). But if spotting all those bright-eyed and eager newbies moving into the dorms is making you feel a tad nostalgic — we’ve got a secret: You can take free online classes for fun and knowledge from some of the top universities totally gratis from home. No catch.

18th Century Opera: Handel & Mozart
Taught by Harvard University professors, you’ll study baroque and classical opera: Don Giovanni, Giulio Cesare, Bizet’s Carmen and more. Expect to study three to four hours weekly at your own pace for five weeks. This is an introductory-level course, and it’s via rolling admissions — so start whenever you’re ready.

Human Rights: At Home and Abroad
This was a course taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a few years ago. You’ll be able to download the MIT syllabus, readings, course material and assignments. You will learn about the international human rights movement, its past and its influence on the United States.

Masterpieces of World Literature
While you were off studying calculus or biology, did you feel like you missed out on some of the lit classics? Here’s your chance to catch up via Harvard. It’s a 12-week course, and you’ll be expected to work five to seven hours per week. This introductory-level class will teach you about past, present and future works of world literature.

Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Want to start your own biz sans the MBA? Try this course by professors at Stanford University, along with Silicon Valley leaders. You’ll learn how to lead, develop your strategy and grow your customer base. It’s the basics, and it’ll get you off to the right start. This is a 60-day course.

English Grammar and Style
Embarrassed by your poor grammar? Or want to move to the next level? Then this is the class for you. Taught by professors at the University of Queensland in Australia, the eight-week course focuses on strategies to master and enhance your writing so that your grammar will be spot-on.

The Science of Happiness
This should be required at all colleges. You’ll learn science-based practices to be happy. The course, created by the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, teaches how happiness is linked to strong social connections. You’ll study psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and more. It’s an eight-week course, and you’ll work four to five hours per week.

Stanford Introduction to Food and Health
You’ll learn practical skills to eating healthy. Instead of dieting, you’ll have the tools you need to determine foods that are good for your health and those you should limit. The course, taught by Stanford professors, is four hours total (one hour per week).

Introduction to Drama
The class was taught at MIT a few years ago, and you’ll be able to download everything the MIT students received to study. You’ll learn about the history of theater and the relationship between drama and culture.

Principles of Population Change
Originally offered a few years ago at Johns Hopkins University, this class will teach you about population issues — such as child survival, social and economic inequality, the role of women, and world demographic patterns. You’ll have access to the original syllabus, schedule, lecture materials and readings.

Build Your Very First iOS App
Got an idea for an app? You’ll learn via Curtin University in Australia how to build the app from scratch (you must have access to a Mac) in this class. Be prepared to dedicate eight to 10 hours per week for eight weeks, and you’ll learn the Swift programming language, Apple developer tools and App development technique.

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illustration of ladies engaging in learning activities
Hanna Barczyk