30 free Harvard courses you can take online, including the popular CS50 series

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  • Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX offers thousands of free online courses and paid certificate programs.
  • Through the platform, Harvard University has over 140 online courses you can take for free.
  • Below, you can find 30 of the most interesting ones, from computer science to poetry.

edX, a main online learning platform and nonprofit founded by Harvard and MIT, aims to democratize learning by removing barriers like expensive tuition and location. 

edX’s 2,500+ online courses are free to audit, with many from the world’s top universities — including MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, the University of Michigan, NYU, and more. Of them, about 145 are from Harvard — spanning subjects from public health and history to programming and poetry. 

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You can audit these classes for free, or opt to pay $50-$200 for features like graded homework and certificates of completion that you can add to your resume or LinkedIn. 

Below, find 30 of the most interesting Harvard courses you can take for free, with descriptions provided by edX.

CS50's Understanding Technology

Enroll for free

This is CS50’s introduction to technology for students who don’t (yet) consider themselves computer persons.

CS50's Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python

Enroll for free

Learn to use machine learning in Python in this introductory course on artificial intelligence.

Masterpieces of World Literature

Enroll for free

Embark on a global journey to explore the past, present, and future of World Literature.

Data Science: Inference and Modeling

Enroll for free

Learn inference and modeling, two of the most widely used statistical tools in data analysis.

Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health

Enroll for free

Learn how a Culture of Health can transform your business to improve the well-being of your employees and company, while increasing revenue.

Using Python for Research

Enroll for free

Take your introductory knowledge of Python programming to the next level and learn how to use Python 3 for your research.

CitiesX: The Past, Present, and Future of Urban Life

Enroll for free

Explore what makes cities energizing, amazing, challenging, and perhaps humanity’s greatest invention.

The Health Effects of Climate Change

Enroll for free

Learn how global warming impacts human health, and the ways we can diminish those impacts.

Justice

Enroll for free

This introduction to moral and political philosophy is one of the most popular courses taught at Harvard College.

The Opioid Crisis in America

Enroll for free

Learn about the opioid epidemic in the United States, including information about treatment and recovery from opioid addiction.

Prescription Drug Regulation, Cost, and Access: Current Controversies in Context

Enroll for free

Understand how the FDA regulates pharmaceuticals and explore debates on prescription drug costs, marketing, and testing.

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster

Enroll for free

Learn the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies, and the challenges faced in the field today.

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Enroll for free

Gain critical communication skills in writing and public speaking with this introduction to American political rhetoric.

Introduction to Family Engagement in Education

Enroll for free

Learn about successful collaborations between families and educators and why they lead to improved outcomes for students and schools.

Statistics and R

Enroll for free

An introduction to basic statistical concepts and R programming skills necessary for analyzing data in the life sciences.

Introduction to Probability

Enroll for free

Learn probability, an essential language and set of tools for understanding data, randomness, and uncertainty.

Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up

Enroll for free

Increase your quantitative reasoning skills through a deeper understanding of probability and statistics.

Data Science: R Basics

Enroll for free

Build a foundation in R and learn how to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data.

Women Making History: Ten Objects, Many Stories

Enroll for free

Learn how American women created, confronted, and embraced change in the 20th century while exploring ten objects from Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library.

MalariaX: Defeating Malaria from the Genes to the Globe

Enroll for free

How can we eradicate malaria? Explore cutting-edge science and technology, and examine policies needed, to control and eliminate malaria.

Lessons from Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic

Enroll for free

Understanding the context for the Ebola outbreak: What went right, what went wrong, and how we can all do better.

Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology

Enroll for free

Explore the archaeology, history, art, and hieroglyphs surrounding the famous Egyptian Pyramids at Giza. Learn about Old Kingdom pharaohs and elites, tombs, temples, the Sphinx, and how new technology is unlocking their secrets.

American Government: Constitutional Foundations

Enroll for free

Learn how early American politics informed the US Constitution and why its promise of liberty and equality has yet to be fully realized.

US Political Institutions: Congress, Presidency, Courts, and Bureaucracy

Enroll for free

Examine the inner workings of the three branches of the US Federal Government.

Citizen Politics in America: Public Opinion, Elections, Interest Groups, and the Media

Enroll for free

Learn about the forces in American politics that seek to influence the electorate and shift the political landscape.

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science

Enroll for free

Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how traditional and modernist cooking techniques can illuminate basic principles in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Learn about elasticity, viscosity, mayonnaise, baking, and more.

Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A Roadmap for Getting Results

Enroll for free

Learn the skills and tools of improvement science to make positive changes in health, healthcare, and your daily life.

*This course is currently archived, but it is still available to audit.

CS50's Mobile App Development with React Native

Enroll for free

Learn about mobile app development with React Native, a popular framework maintained by Facebook that enables cross-platform native apps using JavaScript without Java or Swift.

*This course is currently archived, but it is still available to audit.

Saving Schools: Reforming the US Education System

Enroll for free

An overview of the past, present, and future of the United States public K-12 education system.

*This course is currently archived, but it is still available to audit.

Poetry in America: Modernism

Enroll for free

Reading works by Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens, among others, learn how American Modernist poetry departed from past traditions and past forms.

*This course is currently archived, but it is still available to audit.

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