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- Online learning sites Coursera and edX allow you to audit classes from top universities for free.
- For additional fees, you can gain access to course certificates, assignments, tests, and even receive a final grade.
- Course topics vary widely — from business management to social justice, food science to structural engineering — there’s something for everyone.
Every year, US News & Reports releases its ranking of the top universities in the country. These schools are renowned for their rigorous academic and research programs, professors and faculty members with resumes packed with accomplishments, and beautiful campuses — but they’re not easy to get into, nor are they affordable to attend.
Thankfully, online learning sites like Coursera and edX are helping to increase access to high-quality education for everyone. Their free and low-priced courses are taught by instructors from the best universities and academic institutions around the world, allowing anyone to advance their education, professional goals, or personal interests.
Both Coursera and edX allow you to audit any course for free. You get access to course materials and follow along with the class as it progresses. For an additional $40 to $160 (depending on the course) on edX, you receive a verified certificate that you can include in your resume or on your LinkedIn profile. Meanwhile, expanded access to Coursera courses includes assignments, tests, and a final grade, and costs $29 to $99 per course.
A decade ago, you wouldn’t have been able to easily take classes from these top-ranked schools. Now, you can. We rounded up the Coursera and edX courses from each of the schools so you can skip directly to your favorite university, or browse all that each has to offer.
Take online classes from the following top 14 universities in the country.
1: Princeton University
- Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, 4 weeks, available at Coursera
- Effective Altruism, 15 hours, available at Coursera
- Computer Architecture, 5 weeks, available at Coursera
- Imagining Other Earths, 24 weeks, available at Coursera
- Making Government Work in Hard Places, 8 weeks, available at edX
- Global History of Capitalism, 6 weeks, available at edX
- The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges, 8 weeks, available at edX
2: Harvard University
- CS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals, 6 weeks, available at edX
- Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science, 6 weeks, available at edX
- Masterpieces of World Literature, 12 weeks, available at edX
- The Opioid Crisis in America, 7 weeks, available at edX
- Data Science: R Basics, 4 weeks, available at edX
- Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract, 8 weeks, available at edX
3: University of Chicago
- Modeling Climate Change, 8 weeks, available at edX
- Critical Issues in Urban Education, 12 weeks, available at edX
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