Colleges and Universities that Offer Free Courses Online

Emineo Media College Student ReviewsIn recent years, many colleges and universities have decided to make course materials such as lectures, tests, notes and readings available for free on the Internet. These schools, which include world-class institutions like MIT and UC Berkeley, are offering an incredible opportunity for learning to people around the world.

Top Free Online Schools

A handful of colleges and universities have decided to offer free courses, assignments and lectures online. These materials are available through a variety of means, including streaming video, podcasts and downloadable lecture notes. Some of the most well-regarded of these schools include:


Using Free University Resources

To start using the free university resources in the list above, go to the school’s website, scroll through the list of available courses and lectures, make your selection and view or download the available content. Keep in mind that you may also need to download some new applications, such as iTunes or Adobe Reader, to take full advantage of all course materials.

A few schools, such as the University of Washington, require you to register using an email address, but most demand no registration or login at all.

What are the Pros and Cons of Free Universities

There are a few drawbacks to free course materials. You won’t get college credit for taking these courses and you won’t have access to professors or other students. Also, many courses include reading lists filled with books that are not available for free, requiring you to purchase them if you want to take full advantage of the course.

Furthermore, some free courses offer just six or ten web pages of brief text followed by a multiple-choice quiz. For many students, this doesn’t offer as rich of a learning experience as the in-depth readings, classroom discussions and group study sessions encountered in a traditional online degree program.

Still, many free course offerings are surprisingly comprehensive, including dozens of hours of audio lectures, supplemental movies, interactive quizzes and self-directed assignments. For example, UC Berkeley archives each lecture for courses as diverse as General Astronomy, Heidegger and Human Emotion, and then makes them available as podcasts.