Free Online Classes from 5 Ivy League Schools

Each year publications such as Forbes and U.S. News issue their rankings of colleges and universities. Like clockwork, Harvard, Yale and Princeton appear near the top of these lists based on a number of factors such as graduation rates, retention and faculty quality.

While some of us can’t afford the upper rings of academia, we can always dream, right? If you want to get a taste for cream of the crop colleges, check out these free online classes from Ivy League schools and other top-ranking schools across the nation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Celebrating its 10th year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MITOpenCourseware program boasts over 2,000 online classes. What’s unique about MIT’s online program is the price: These courses are free. However, while anyone can log in and learn here, college credit is not issued. So if you want an MIT degree, you’ll need to gain acceptance to this prestigious school the old-fashioned way.

Stanford University

A true breath of fresh, air, Stanford University has embraced the concept of online learning. Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth offers online classes for elementary and secondary students as well as an accredited online high school. Professional certificates, master’s degree and doctoral degree programs are offered online at Stanford University’s Stanford Center for Professional Development. In addition, Stanford offers a variety of free online seminars and webinars to the general public.

Harvard University

There’s no doubt that Harvard University is one of the top universities in the U.S. With over 150 online classes offered, it’s also one of the top universities online. Offered through Harvard’s Distance Education program, course fees can cost well over $1,000. If that seems too pricey for your tastes, several free, albeit non-credit, Harvard courses are available online at

Yale University

Similar to MIT’s program, Yale University offers free online classes through its Open Yale program. Open Yale courses span the liberal arts with topics as varied as philosophy, art history, religious studies, sociology, environmental studies and Italian language and literature. Like MIT’s program, these courses are non-credit courses. In addition, Yale University offers some Web-based classes through its Organizational Development and Learning Center for a nominal fee. The fee is waived for Local 34 members.

Princeton University

Though Princeton University lacks a robust online course offering, it does have online tools that can serve as useful free resources. For example, using streaming video technology, Princeton offers online coverage of live events, lectures, special events, sports and podcasts via its WebMedia page.

It also uses a “Blackboard Learning System” so students can access course documents, assignments, announcements, supporting materials and more. Princeton also offers some non-credit courses and lectures online for free at

Not sure you can afford Yale, but love the idea of online classes? Find out which leading online schools match your needs — at a more affordable price.

Online degree programs might be the most flexible way to go back to school while balancing the rest of life’s demands, making it possible for today’s student to study from home on a schedule that makes sense. If you’d like to receive free information, click here to get matched with leading schools and online degree programs that best fit your interests.

Get Matched With Schools