Skip to content

The Best Free Ivy League Courses You Should Know About

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: July 8, 2021

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: July 8, 2021

The-Best-Free-Ivy-League-Courses-You-Should-Know-About (1)

Getting an education from an Ivy League school tends to set people apart from the pack. However, the cost of attendance for these eight schools tends to be the highest in the nation. In fact, the average cost for tuition at an Ivy League school is $57,752 annually.  Luckily for those looking to seek the bang without the buck, it’s possible to take free Ivy League courses online.

Through platforms like edX, Coursera, and more, these classes have been made available for free (with the option to pay for certificates). Let’s take a look at some of the courses worth knowing about. If it’s an actual online accredited degree that you seek instead, consider enrolling at the University of the People.

What Schools are Ivy League?

Before jumping into some of the best classes, let’s first quickly review what schools constitute the Ivy League:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Dartmouth University
  6. Cornell University
  7. Brown University
  8. University of Pennsylvania

Source: Unsplash

Free Ivy League Courses to Consider

It’s time to get to the good stuff.

Here’s a look at some of the best free Ivy League courses worth considering. This represents an abbreviated list. There are many more offerings suited to anyone’s desires and interests, from science and technology to business, art, and more.

  • Harvard – Introduction to Computer Science: Offered through edX, Harvard University’s CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science is taught by David J. Malan. For anyone looking to learn the basics of computer science, it provides foundational knowledge including how to think algorithmically, basics of data structures, encapsulation, and resource management, to name a few concepts. The course is free, but students also have an option to pay $199 upon completion to earn a certificate. The 12-week course is self-paced and requires about 6-18 hours a week to learn and study.
  • Princeton – Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency: Coursera allows students to enroll in Princeton’s Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency class. The free audit requires 11 weeks and is about 23 hours of material. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are often in the news and making headlines for their trading amounts and volume. The relatively novel approach to currency and blockchain technology has brought with it many questions and a lot of confusion on behalf of the public. By enrolling in this course, students learn the ins and outs about cryptocurrencies, how they work, and also regulatory considerations.
  • Columbia – Machine Learning: Columbia University, via edX, has a Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics course that is five weeks long. It requires 7-10 hours per week. Students can choose to pay $99 for a certificate of completion. Machine learning and algorithms are being used to change how many industries work. This class provides an introduction so students benefit from having a basic understanding of machine learning. With this knowledge, they can approach big data and analysis.
  • University of Pennsylvania – Modern and Contemporary American Poetry: Ever heard of “ModPo”? University of Pennsylvania hosts their Modern and Contemporary Poetry class via Coursera for those looking to learn about this unique art form. Whether you have any experience with poetry or not, this class is yours for the taking. It consists of 80 hours of material and is self-paced over 10 weeks.
  • Yale – Financial Markets: Looking to sharpen your financial leadership skills? Yale’s Financial Markets course consists of 32 hours of material for roughly 7 weeks. Students learn about risk management, behavioral finance, and analysis for the future. Additionally, students will gain knowledge about industries including securities, insurance, and banking.
  • Columbia University – Construction Project Management: Columbia University’s Professor Odeh shares the principles of project development and lean project management techniques for those in the field of construction. Students learn about scheduling, project planning, and more. Students can choose to pay for a certificate or simply audit the course for free. It consists of 22 hours of material for roughly five weeks.
  • Dartmouth – Introduction to Environmental Science: Unlike most of the other options on this list, Dartmouth’s Introduction to Environmental Science via edX is a paid course. For one month, students learn about the processes in the natural world and how human activity affects nature. Environmental science incorporates multiple scientific disciplines and is geared towards creating a more sustainable future. The course uses various methods of learning, including: video lectures, readings, discussions, prompted discussions, weekly graded quizzes, and interviews with environmental science experts.
  • Harvard – Innovating in Healthcare: Harvard’s Innovating in Healthcare is 9 weeks long and requires about 6-8 hours of commitment weekly. It teaches about the factors that shape healthcare ventures, how to predict the keys for successful innovations, business planning, and more. A certificate costs $169, but the course can be audited for free.

Source: Unsplash

Alternative Affordable Degrees

Many prospective students, current students, and professionals choose to enroll in online certificate courses for a variety of reasons. It could be to gauge their interest in a certain subject, grow professionally, or learn from continuous education.

However, these certificates do not replace the need for degrees. The good news is that if you’re looking for an affordable, online degree, you are in the right place. At University of the People, you can earn your tuition-free degree in:

Quality education should be a right for everyone, rather than a privilege. That’s exactly why the University of the People exists!

The Bottom Line

Anyone with an internet connection has the ability to learn whatever they want these days! From earning degrees online to enrolling in free Ivy League courses, the whole world of knowledge has become available at your fingertips.

Whether you choose to pay to graduate with the certificate in these online courses or not, you’ll come away with knowledge that you can carry with you forever!

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.