Free Online Colleges

Looking for a college education that will cost little to nothing? Believe it or not, it can happen! There are several accredited colleges and universities that will allow you to take college courses and even some that will allow you to earn a degree for little to no money.

Some of these schools require you to have a natural talent in a specific area, such as music. However, there are universities that are open to religious studies, engineering and many other fields that may interest you. Free online schooling is available thanks to many people who donate to education and founders of these schools who believe in higher education for everyone.

Free Online Degree Programs

University of the People

UoPeople is the first free accredited online university. It offers degrees in Computer Science as well as Health Science. You can complete a 2-year associate’s degree, 4-year Bachelor’s degree or an MBA, all online. This free college is recognized by the United States Department of Education, Distance Education Accrediting Commission as well as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. University of the People is dedicated to providing high-quality education to those who otherwise may not be able to afford it.

While UoPeople is a tuition-free college, it does require that each applicant pays a $60 Application Processing Fee. It also charges $100 for an Exam Processing Fee for each exam that is taken. In order to complete the Associate’s Degree, there are 20 exams, which will cost $2000. The Bachelor’s program has 40 exams, costing $4000. However, UoPeople does offer scholarships to those who may not be able to afford the exams.

PDMF University

PDMF University was created out of necessity. The founders of this online, free college felt that the world would be a better place if education was offered to those who traditionally could not afford to seek a college education. These same founders also saw a need to provide education to everyone, regardless of location; creating online courses.

Keep in mind that PDMF does require that you make a “donation” of a specified amount if you are looking to receive a hard copy of your grades or your diploma. You will also be required to make a specified donation if you require any verification services from this free online college. Fees range from $200 USD to roughly $800 USD, depending on which country you are located.

This tuition-free university is accredited through the International Council for Open and Distance Education. While it states that it offers legal and legitimate degrees in the U.S., it also states that it is not accredited by the accrediting sources used by the U.S. Department of Education.

Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges

Free Online College Courses

edX

edX offers free online college courses which are designed for high school students, preparing to take college entrance exams, as well as those who are interested in learning what college courses may be like. This free online school also offers courses for those who are looking to further their career, as well as those who just have a desire to learn more.

edX offers three different certificate options, which include the MicroMasters Certificate, Professional Certificate, and the XSeries Certificate. The MicroMasters Certificate may provide credits needed to help speed up the process of receiving a Master’s Degree. The Professional Certificate shows employers that you have mastered certain skills which may further your career and provide advancement opportunities. The XSeries Certificate shows that you have taken the time to learn certain subjects in-depth.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge has partnered with Apple to create it’s tuition free college available in iTunes U. This educational opportunity allows you to download both audio and video versions of courses. In order to download these classes, students need to download iTunes, however you do not need to have an Apple product as long as you have a media player that will play MP4 videos or AAC audio files.

These free online college courses are gathered from public videos, podcasts, lectures and other educational costs. You can take free online courses in art, science, philosophy and more. However, you do not have the opportunity to earn any type of certificate or diploma with these free online college courses.

Columbia University

Columbia University’s free online courses are listed under Columbiax, as they use the edX platform. If you are acquiring knowledge without the need of a degree or diploma, you have the option to “audit” the courses, at no charge. However, if you are looking to earn a certificate, these courses will cost you a little bit of money.

Columbia’s mission is to provide everyone a chance at higher learning, especially those who may not have the finances to take traditional university courses. Columbia offers a wide variety of programs, so there is something for just about everyone. Some of the free online courses that this college offers include Robotics, Psychology, Python Analytics, Data Science and even Artificial Intelligence.

Massachusetts Information of Technology

MIT is another college that offers online courses at no cost. Classes are delivered to you via OpenCourseWare, which incorporates audio/video lectures and online textbooks. MIT takes a different approach that most online colleges, as it provides its entire curriculum to the public, instead of only certain courses. Adding an additional level of education, MIT also includes Faculty Teaching Insights to its students. This is created to help you have a better understanding of the subjects you are studying, through the view of the instructors.

Since MIT chooses to provide all of its curricula to students at no cost, you can choose to learn about any subject that MIT offers. You also have the ability to start most courses at any time you wish. You also have the option of picking and choosing which subjects you want to learn about within its free online courses. Keep in mind that while MIT’s free courses will provide a wealth of information to you, there is no diploma or certificate offered for any of the courses.

100 free open ed classes

Open education is a movement that makes online education courses available to everyone for free.  Open courseware is even offered by reputable, established traditional schools, like MIT, Utah State University, and the University of Massachusetts.  Here are some of the best free courses online by subject area.

100 Free Online College Courses – by Subject

Agriculture

These courses teach a wide range of topics, from conservation to veterinary science.

1.  Surface Irrigation Design:

Source: Utah State University

2.  Water Safety:  Quality drinking water is one of the most important substances humans need.  This course addresses potability and water usage.

Source: Utah State University

3.  Agricultural Science and Policy I:  Professors discuss agricultural systems and management.

Source: Tufts University

4.  Agricultural Science and Policy II:   In this course, students will delve deeper into agricultural systems.

Source: Tufts University

5.  Plant Diseases and Chemicals:  This class discusses the use of chemicals to control crop diseases.

Source:  Utah State University

6.  Tropical Ecology and Conservation:  Birds and plants in Costa Rica are studied throughout this course.

Source:  Tufts University

7.  Human-Animal Relationships:  With a view toward veterinary science, the interaction and interconnectivity of humans and animals are studied.

Source:  Tufts University

8.  Zoological Medicine:  This course gives an introduction and overview to the groups of animals covered in zoological medicine.

Source:  Tufts University

9.  Animals at the Extremes: The Desert Environment:  The different desert climates are studied as a habitat for the animals that live in them.

Source:  Open University

10.  Cattle Management:  Professor Norris Stenquist specifically addresses the management of cattle during a drought.

Source:  Utah State University

Business/Economics

With global connectivity increasing, business is expanding and building bridges between countries and continents.

11.  An Introduction to Business Cultures:  Business culture is explored with a look into companies renowned for it.

Source:  Open University

12.  Entrepreneurial Behavior:  This course addresses how to build a team that will build your business.

Source:  Open University

13.  Building an Ethical Organization:  The concerns with developing a human-centered company with ethics executed consistently are the focus of this course.

Source:  Open University

14.  Principles of Microeconomics:  The principles and application of microeconomics is the basis of this class taught by Professor Jonathon Gruber.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

15.  International Economics:  Professor Dave Donaldson teaches the theory and real-word application of international economics.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

16.  Principles of Macroeconomics:  Basic principles of macroeconomics are taught by Professor Veronica Guerrieri.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

17.  Financial Theory:   Professor John Geanakoplos investigates global financial systems in business.

Source:  Yale University

18.  Game Theory:  Taught by Ben Polak, instructs online students about strategic thinking and game theory.

Source:  Yale University

19.  Financial Markets:  Risk and enterprise are explored by Professor Robert J. Shiller in 2011.

Source:  Yale University

20.  People and Organizations:  Professor Thomas A. Kochan discusses the challenges and techniques inherent in the management of organizations.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Education

These free, online courses provide information on education, the family, and education technology.

21.  Parents and Toddlers: Teaching and Learning at Home:  This class focuses on the benefits and skills involved in early childhood education at home.

Source:  Open University

22.  Accessibility of eLearning:  This course looks at using computers in teaching to make learning more accessible to diverse populations.

Source:  Open University

23.  Conversation on Instructional Design:  Dr. Robert M. Gagne and Dr. M. David Merrill discuss their learning theories.

Source:  Utah State University

24.  Preschool Learning Standards and Guidelines:  How to teach the content areas of preschool is taught by Angi Stone-MacDonald, PhD.

Source:  University of Massachusetts

25.  Research for the Classroom Teacher:  The guided model design for teaching is discussed by Professor Nick Eastmond, PhD.

Source:  Utah State University

26.  Intellectual Development:  Cognitive theory and development is covered in this course taught by David Henry Feldman.

Source: Tufts University

27.  Engaging with Educational Research:  Students learn about the theory and practice of research into education.

Source:  Open University

28.  What Makes a Great School?:  Notable school Oxley Park is examined to find the qualities of a good school.

Source:  Open University

29.  Creating Open Educational Resources:  An introduction for students to learn to create their own open-source educational technology.

Source:  Open University

30.  Learning and Practice: Agencies and Identities:  The connections between places of learning are examined in this introductory course.

Source:  Open University

Computer Science/Engineering

Computer and electrical engineering are career fields which are expanding as the world becomes more and more dependent on computers and technology.

31.  Signals and Systems:  This MIT course by Professor Dennis Freeman analyzes signal and system function.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

32.  Designing the User Interface:  This Learning Space course teaches about using color, text, images, moving images, and sound to facilitate a user friendly experience.

Source:  Open University

33.  Network Security:  Firewalls and file encryption are discussed in this Learning Space Class.

Source:  Open University

34.  Introduction to Computer Science and Programming:  Professor John Guttag teaches beginners (or those with no experience) in computer programming.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

35.  Communication Systems I:  Professor Jacob Gunther is primarily concerned with digital communication in this course.

Source:  Utah State University

36.  Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering:  Professor Gilberto Urroz, PhD, offers expert teaching on engineering applications.

Source:  Utah State University

37.  Elements of Software Construction:  Professors Daniel Jackson and Robert Miller from MIT instruct online students in the fundamental principles and techniques of software development.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

39.  Computers and Computer Systems:  Computers are an integral part of the world we live in.  This course discusses the devices that we use every day.

Source:  Open University

40.  An Introduction to Data and Information:  Students learn how computers process and work with information.

Source:  Open University

Health

These free courses offer information on basic applied health subjects.

41.  Nutrition and Medicine:  This basic course offers an overview of nutrition principles.

Source:  Tufts University

42.  Human Growth and Development:  Students will learn the developmental passage from conception to death.

Source:  Tufts University

43.   History of Public Health:  This course travels through history with a look at the health of populations, guided by Graham Mooney, PhD.

Source:  John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

44.  Ethical Issues in Public Health:  The moral dilemmas which arise in the field of public health are the focus of this course.

Source:  John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

45.  Public Health Biology:  Several professors join together to conduct this study of biological effects on public health.

Source:  John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

46.  Managed Care and Health Insurance:  This course provides a solid understanding of managed care plans in health insurance.

Source:  John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

47.  Microbiology:  This microbiology course is focused on the principles involved with infectious agents.

Source:  Tufts University

48.  Epidemiology and Biostatistics:  The fundamental principles of the field will be addressed in this course.

Source:  Tufts University

49.  Addiction and Neural Ageing:  This Learning Space course addresses these two areas and how they interact.

Source:  Open University

50.  Principles of Drug Development:  Professor Charles Flexner addresses how drugs come to be through preclinical and clinical development.

Source:  John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

History

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  These courses help history students avoid the mistakes of the past.

51.  Nineteenth Century Europe:  The major European nations from 1815 to 1900 are discussed in this course.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

52.  African American History II:  A historical look at the range of African American experiences to the 1980’s from the Civil War.

Source:  University of Notre Dame

53.  History of Utah:  Professor John D. Barton teaches this course on Utah’s history, a unique state because of the prevalence of the Mormon Church.

Source:  Utah State University

54.  The Roman Empire: Introducing Some Key Terms:   The culture of the Roman Empire is explored through basic terms.

Source:  Open University

55.  U.S. Institutions:  The Constitution is used as the center of a study of the governmental processes of the United States, led by Professor Craig Peterson.

Source:  Utah State University

56.  History and Civilization:  Professor Mark Damen, PhD, explores the development and history of western civilizations.

Source:  Utah State University

57.  The Age of Reason:  Jeffrey S. Ravel teaches about European thought from the 17th through the 19th Century.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

58.  The American Revolution:  Professor Joanne Freeman concentrates on the changes which took place in America over the course of the American Revolution.

Source:  Yale University

59.  The Dark Ages:  Taught by Professor Aiden Breen, PhD, this course discusses the invasions during the dark ages and the societal structures in Europe.

Sources:  University of Massachusetts

60.  France: 1650-1815:  The Enlightenment, the Revolution, and Napoleon are major points addressed by Professor Jeremy S. Ravel in this course.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Language/Arts and Design

From English to Chinese, language and the arts are central to the culture of nations.

61.  English Grammar in Context:  This is an advanced course in using grammar appropriately within context.

Source:  Open University

62.  Technology for Professional Writers:  Professor David Hailey, PhD, teaches accomplished writers the technical skills to succeed financially in today’s market.

Source:  Utah State University

63.  Modern Poetry:  Professor Langdon discusses the techniques and concerns of modern poetry.

Source:  Yale University

64.  The American Novel Since 1945:  Amy Hungerford, professor at Yale, leads students in a study of the development of the novel in this modern period.

Source:  Yale University

65.  Listening to Music:  Professor Craig Wright teaches online students about western music through the aural skills involved.

Source:  Yale University

66.  French:  En Ville:  This quick, introductory course presents the French language in the context of visiting a French town.

Source:  Open University

67.  Spanish: Espacios Publicos:  Beginning Spanish students learn an introduction to the language, culture and history.

Source:  Open University

68.  Dance Skills:  Students learn dance moves and vocabulary in this Learning Space course.

Source:  Open University

69.  Understanding Theatre:  Professor David Sidwell, PhD, introduces students to the theatre as a part of society.

Source:  Utah State University

70.  Classical Drama and Theatre:  Dr. Mark Damen teaches this course analyzing Greek and Roman theatre.

Source:  Utah State University

Math

Simple math concepts ranging to advanced courses are offered in free formats online.

71.  Math’s Everywhere:  Most students wonder at some point why they have to learn math.  This course explores the reasons for studying this important discipline.

Source:  Open University

72.  Prices:  Compare prices, create price indices, and study well-known price index structures in this course by Learning Space.

Source:  Open University

73.  Linear Algebra:  Professor Gilbert Strang teaches this introduction to linear algebra and matrix equations.

74.  Calculus I:  This online course is the first in a series of three calculus courses by Catalin Zara.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

75.  Calculus II:  Catalin Zara continues this excellent coverage of calculus topics.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

76.  Calculus III:

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

77.  Single Variable Calculus:  Professor Jason Starr of MIT introduces students to the basics of calculus.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

78.  Differential Equations:  Four professors collaborate to create this interesting delve into differential equations in the laws of nature.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

79.  Exploring Distance Time Graphs:  Learning Space explains how to create graphs displays mathematical information in this 12-hour course.

Source:  Open University

80.   A Look at Complex Numbers:  This advanced math course is focused on defining and working with complex numbers.

Source:  Open University

Natural Science

These high quality science courses deal offer university level exploration of several science disciplines from geology to biology, from physics to space.

81.  General Biology I:  This is a course focused on the basics of Biology taught by Brian White, PhD.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

82.  General Biology II:  The principles of Biology are the center of this more advanced course by Brian White, PhD.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

83.  Principles of Chemical Science:  An introduction to the basics of chemical composition is taught by Professor Catherine Drennan and Dr. Elizabeth Vogel Taylor.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

84.  Organic Chemistry I:  This MIT Open Courseware class taught by Dr. Kimberly Berkowski and Dr. Sarah O’Connor gives an overview of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

85.  Introduction to Modern Physics:  This course moves from the revelation of Quantum to Einstein’s theories discussing the history and science of physics.

Source:  Tufts University

86.  Physics I:  Exploring classical mechanics is the focus of this introduction to basic physics taught by Professor Stanley Kowalski.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

87.  The Atmosphere, The Ocean, and Environmental Change:  Professor Ronald G. Smith teaches this geology course dealing with the physical forces in the earth’s atmosphere.

Source:  Yale University

88.  Climate Change:  This course is on climate changes and the controversies of global warming.

Source:  The Open University

89.  Electricity and Magnetism:  Taught by Professor Walter Lewin has 36 video lectures on the subject.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

90.  The Sun:  This Learning Space course is focused on the quality and reactions of the center of our solar system.

Source:  Open University

Social Science

Philosophy, psychology, and sociology are just the start of the social sciences addressed in these open courses.

91.  Foundations of Modern Social Theory:  This course addresses the major themes of social thought in the modern era.

Source:  Yale University

92.  Introduction to Psychology:  Professor Jeremy Wolfe addresses mental life and human behavior.

Source:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

93.  Introduction to Philosophy:  Taught by Professor Paul Weithman, this course is an introduction to university level philosophy.

Source:  University of Notre Dame

94.  Social Attitudes and Public Opinion:  What impact attitudes have on behavior is the focus of this course taught by Michael Milburn, PhD.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

95.  Promoting Positive Development Among Youth:  The principles of developmental science are applied to social work with the youth of the population in this class.

Source:  Tufts University

96.  Substance Abuse and the Family:  Professor Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD, leads students in an investigation of how families with a substance abusing member function.

Source:  University of Massachusetts – Boston

97.  Cultural Anthropology:  This course concentrates on the evolution of early societies.

Source:  Utah State University

98.  Ancient and Medieval Philosophy:  This course will cover the works of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and more.

Source:  University of Notre Dame

99.  Women in Islamic Societies:  The historical treatment of women and gender issues in Islamic societies will be addresses in this course.

Source:  University of Notre Dame

100.  Death:  Shelly Kagan teaches on what happens when we begin to reflect on the idea of mortality, especially our own.

Source: Yale University

FAQ

What Colleges Offer Free Tuition?

According to our analysis, here are the 16 best tuition-free colleges.

  1. Harvard University
  2. Standford University
  3. Yale University
  4. Princeton University
  5. Brown University
  6. MIT
  7. Vanderbilt University
  8. Cornell University
  9. Duke University
  10. Columbia University
  11. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  12. City College of San Francisco
  13. College of the Ozarks (MO)
  14. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  15. University of Missouri- Columbia
  16. Warren Wilson College (NC)

What online colleges offer a free laptop?

According to our findings, these 19 online colleges offer free laptops and/or iPads.

Southern Nazarene University – Choice of 3 laptops. Dell Latitude 3380, 13″ MacBook Pro, 15″ MacBook Pro
Wake Forest University – free laptop must be returned upon graduation
Northwest Missouri State University – free laptop must be returned upon graduation
St. John’s University – choice of 3 laptops – Apple MacBook Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad L380, Lenovo ThinkPad L380 Yoga
Independence University Online – laptop and iPad program
Bethel University – Google Chromebook
Centenary College
Widener University
CollegeAmerica – free laptop
Stevens-Henager College – laptop
Azusa Pacific – Website Link
Everest University – Laptop Loaner Program. (Currently unavailable 02/17)
Full Sail University –Apple MacBook Pro
Indiana State University
University of Minnesota-Crookston
Colorado Technical University
Saint Leo University
Rochester College – free Apple MacBook or iPad
Wentworth Institute of Technology

How can I get a degree for free?

  1. Apply for financial aid and scholarships
  2. Find a tuition-free university
  3. Study tuition-free in Europe.
  4. Get a tuition-free degree from the Military.
  5. Check out state-specific tuition-free programs.

What is the quickest degree to get online?

According to our analysis, here are the fastest degrees to get at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees online.

Fastest Online Associate Degrees

  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Kaplan University
  • Herzing University
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Florida Institute of Technology

Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Mercy College
  • California Baptist University
  • Northeastern University
  • Rasmussen College
  • Gwynedd Mercy University

Fastest Online Master’s Degrees

  • Trine University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Miami
  • Ball State University

Fastest Online Doctorate Degrees

  • Breyer State University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Southern California

What is the easiest degree to get online?

According to multiple online sources, including our own analysis, here are the easiest degrees to get online. Some are easy because of the subject matter and others made this list because they are the easiest programs to find online that also have the most flexible formats.

  • Business
  • Liberal Arts
  • Leadership in the Public Sector
  • Education
  • English
  • Nursing (BSN)
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Agriculture Science
  • Applied Computer Science

Can I get paid to go to school online?

Technically, you can’t earn money from schools that you may attend, but you can receive money to pay for college and expenses while at college. Schools like Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University, and Ashford University all offer financial aid for their online programs. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid can help cover college costs while providing a little extra for whatever else you may need while at school.