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

free online classes MOOCS

ver 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.


  • Introduction to Virtual Reality from University of London International Programmes
  • Making Your First Virtual Reality Game from University of London International Programmes
  • Video Game Design: Teamwork & Collaboration from Rochester Institute of Technology


  • Wonders of Ancient Egypt from University of Pennsylvania
  • Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth-Century Japan from The University of Tokyo
  • Digital Culture and Writing from University of Burgundy
  • China Humanities: The Individual in Chinese Culture from Harvard University
  • Religion, Conflict and Peace from Harvard University
MOOCS online classes

Photo: Kyle Glenn


  • A Global History of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector from University of Virginia
  • Navigate the Music Industry as an Independent Artist from Berklee College of Music
  • Fashion as Design from The Museum of Modern Art


  • Love as a Force for Social Justice from Stanford University
  • Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts from University of Michigan
  • Privacy, Reputation, and Identity in a Digital Age from University of Michigan


  • Business Start-Up: From Idea to Launch from George Washington University
  • Modern Empowerment in the Workplace from The Open University
  • Entrepreneurship Strategy: From Ideation to Exit from HEC Paris
  • From Brand to Image: Creating High Impact Campaigns That Tell Brand Stories from IE Business School


  • Achieving Your Optimal Performance from University of California, San Diego
  • The Dynamics of Group Communication from University of Colorado Boulder
  • Visual Presentation from Rochester Institute of Technology

h/t: [designtaxi, freeCodeCamp]