Most people assume tuition-free universities and free online degree programs don’t exist. Majority of the students are starting their lives with the weight of their education bearing down on their shoulders, which shouldn’t be the case — especially while there are free options for college education. University tuitions are getting expensive, which puts a lot of stress on students, but with these free online universities, the stress is eliminated for some students. Free college courses are growing in popularity and they are a great way to learn about topics that you are interested in. The thing to note about is that there are no options to earn credit for any course you take online.
Free online degree awarding universities in the USA
The universities listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require any work program so they are truly free universities and online degree programs in the USA:
Columbia University offers more than 20 courses that you can take for free online. Topics include Corporate Finance, Machine Learning, Marketing, Python and more. Some of them are self-paced and some are actually instructor-led, so you can get the full college experience. All of these courses can be audited for free or we can choose to pay a small fee for earning the certificate of completion. These courses are available all over the world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT is among the top university in the USA and they have something called ‘Open Courseware’ which is a web-based publication. There are educational materials from over 2,000 of their courses accessible entirely online and at no cost. MIT offers more than 2,000 free undergrad and graduate courses from dozens of subject areas, including biological engineering, economics, health sciences, media arts, and management. These non-credit courses are available in text, audio, and video formats and some are translated into other languages.
MIT Courses details:
The majority of the material is presented in a self-paced format and also gives you the opportunity to choose what modules to take or skip according to your needs. Students may have access to lecture notes, assignments and exams and many of the course materials can be downloaded. MIT regularly updates the database so that all of those who use it have access to the most relevant and in-depth information. No diploma or certificate is required. It also gives you the opportunity to choose what modules to take or skip according to your needs.
University of California – Berkeley
It is a public research university which offers a wide range of free online courses that are available to anyone with Internet access. The current and archived classes are available on podcasts and video webcasts. Courses cover a range of subjects including astronomy, computer science, engineering, law, and philosophy.
The University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge offers a wide range of free online courses through iTunesU. Apple offers a broad range of downloadable course materials around the world for free, giving you the chance to learn what you want. The University boasts that more than 300 audio and video files are available for download. Cambridge’s entire catalog of free educational material has been put in this one convenient place so that students can take advantage.
University of California – Irvine
University of California – Irvine has a robust offering of free courses, educational materials and lecture series. The University listing of non-credit courses covers topics like physics, organic chemistry, capital markets, and computer sciences. Students in this course have access to video lectures, readings, quizzes, homework assignments and exams.
Tufts University has a free ‘Open Course Ware’ courses that are available to anyone with internet access. Many of the courses available are in sciences, such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. The courses on this site don’t hold credit value, but students have access to course materials, such as homework assignments, lecture notes, and other supplementary materials.
University of Massachusetts (UMass) – Boston
University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston offers free, non-credit courses on the universities’ ‘Open Course Ware’ website in subjects such as history, psychology, nursing, and public policy. Students have access to materials provided on the site, which can include lecture materials, projects, and homework assignments.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University offers non-credit courses and materials through its free courseware program, the ‘Open Learning Initiative’. Self-paced courses involve lessons and self-assessments in subject offerings that include statistics, biology, chemistry, French and English.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan offers free courses to anyone having Internet access in subjects such as engineering, information technology, science, Spanish and chemistry; this program even has curriculum originally offered in the U-M medical school. Depending on the course, students can find lectures, handouts, and assignments, as well as student presentations and projects.
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame offers ‘Over Course Ware’ in subjects such as theology, English, Mathematics and peace studies. These free, self-directed courses were originally offered at the university and also include lectures, readings, quizzes, and home works.
Utah State University
Utah State University provides access to free online courses through ‘Over Course Ware’. These non-credit, non-profit and tuition-free course includes everything from anthropology to wildland resources. Course resources include lectures, notes and homework, and reading assignments. The educational materials can be viewed on site or can be downloaded.
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Yale University offers courses which include video lectures that were recorded in the classrooms of the University. The course materials include video, audio and transcript formats of the lectures and also includes suggested reading, quizzes, and exams. The instructors provide access to educational materials. Non-credit courses also include studies in psychology, organic chemistry, political science, and English and the course materials are viewed on the website or can be downloaded in a ZIP file.
University of the People
University of the People is a non-profit, tuition-free, online university based in the USA which offers two-year Associate’s and four years Bachelor programs in Business Administration, Computer Science and Health Science and it also offers MBA program. The University of the People has a partnership with top-ranked institutions of education, such as NYU, UC Berkeley, University of Edinburg and the International Baccalaureate. Is has received an amazing recognition from outstanding sources including BusinessWeek and The Economists.
Virginia International University
VIU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The online degree programs include an online MBA Degree, MCS, MIS, BBA, and BCS. The online courses deliver course works, exams, quizzes, and assignments. Online classes are semester-based and also include lecture videos.
School of Teaching ESL
School of Teaching ESL located in Seattle, USA offers an online Certificate, TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). This project-based program taught by highly qualified professional educators prepares to teach in the US or overseas. Courses include Foundation of English Language Teaching (ELT) and Content-based English Language Teaching.
Brown University is a private Research University located in the USA. It is recognized in many areas, including its research, outreach and cultural events. It recently offers online master programs, undergraduate courses and pre-college courses that help to prepare the students of the university. The offered programs include an MBA, Master in Cybersecurity, Master of Health Care Leadership and Masters in Information Technology. Throughout the year, online classes extend up to 12 weeks during summer and special winter sessions. The University has replaced all its financial aid with free scholarships that do not have to be paid at all.
Cornell University is an Ivy League doctoral research university. Cornell is another online institute which is a tuition-free university for many students. It offers two fully online degree programs at present. These are a Masters of Engineering in Systems Engineering and a Master of Human Resource Management. There are more than 70 certificate programs that can be completed online at Cornell, spanning 16 different fields. It also provides students with various certificates and professional development courses entirely online.
Duke University is a research university based in North Carolina, USA. Duke is one of the most extensive online universities, offering a huge variety of online degrees. These courses include a Master of Science in Nursing; a Doctor of Nursing Practice; a Master of Engineering Management; a Master of Environment Management; a Master of Business Administration; a Master of Quantitative Management; a Doctor of Ministry and many more. These programs are entirely based online. Distance learning programs at Duke University are flexible but still held to the same top-ranked standards as all of the university’s programs of study.
All of these universities are committed to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of the students. If someone wishes to earn credit for these courses, some of the universities offer the choice of paying a small fee in order to get a diploma or the certificate of completion to the students.
For further information about online courses visit our guide here.
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