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393 Online Courses With Real College Credit That You Can Access For Free

Written by Dhawal Shah
20 minute read

These days, more and more universities are offering for-credit programs via MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. What started with the Arizona State University’s Global Freshman Academy (a partnership with edX in which students could earn credits from MOOCs to apply towards their first year at college) and a small number of degree programs, such as the iMBA from the University of Illinois (Coursera) and Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (Udacity), has given way to dozens of MOOC-based programs that can confer university credit. Many of these new programs are essentially partial degrees, for example, edX’s MicroMasters, which can result in credit amounting to around one semester of a master’s degree. A small number of courses are also the same courses used by on-campus students.

The catch (and yes, there is a catch) is that in most cases, in order to convert MOOC coursework into university credit, you have to be enrolled in a program at a university. And that usually means going through an admissions process and paying tuition. Still, it is significant that the general public can audit the very same courses that paying students are taking for credit.

Class Central recently made a list of all the courses we could find that are part of for-credit programs and are still free to access. Our search turned up at around 400 courses from 49 different universities, on topics spanning technology, business, the arts, and engineering. Notably, the two-degree MOOC-based degree programs previously mentioned (iMBA and OMSCS) are both available to audit in their entirety.

Below is the full list of for-credit MOOCs that you can still access for free.

Business (150)

Computer Science (58)

Data Science (28)

Art & Design (35)

Engineering (23)

Social Sciences (33)

Personal Development (8)

Programming (9)

Health & Medicine (14)

Science (15)

Education & Teaching (9)

Humanities (1)

Mathematics (1)