How to Take a Class From Harvard—and Over 800 Other Universities—for Free

free online classes MOOCS

Photo: Dai KE

Ever wish you'd had time to take that interesting class at university, but could never fit it into your schedule? Or, perhaps you're simply a curious individual who loves learning. The rise of MOOCS—massive open online courses—is a great place to get university-level learning from the comfort of home. And best of all, it's free.

MOOCS became especially popular about 5 years ago, following the trend of open access of information that's seen institutions like the Library of Congress or Metropolitan Museum of Art place more and more of their resources online. During that time, more than 800 universities—including Harvard and Stanford—have placed over 8,000 free classes online, giving you access to a world-class education in a huge range of subject matters. And as most are self-paced, you can take your time and work the classes into your busy schedule.

To help you wade through the choices, the online database Class Central lets you sort by subject and university and compiles lists of new and trending courses. Fresh content is always being added, with universities continually releasing new classes. In fact, in the past three months alone, 200 universities around the world have released 560 free courses online. Let's take a look at some favorites for creatives and art lovers from this new crop of free classes.



MOOCS online classes

Photo: Kyle Glenn

Art and Design

Social Sciences


Personal Development

h/t: [designtaxi, freeCodeCamp]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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