Free online college courses for credit

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Are you interested in knowing Free online college courses for credit? If so, feel relaxed and make sure you go through the article.

Free online college courses for credit

You may have noticed an abundance of free online courses lately. It’s a trend that has exploded over the past few years. As a result, many universities have begun to offer some of their most popular courses online. These usually consist of standalone classes that are part of a paid degree program. Although nearly all components of a school’s degree programs are offered in some cases.

Most free college courses for credit are called MOOCs. They were first introduced in 2008 but really took off in 2012. And we’re going to discuss them a whole lot in this article.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more colleges are offering courses for credit online for free through MOOC (massive open online course) providers. Many of these courses are part of larger degree programs at online and physical universities, designed to give students a taste of what it’s like to be involved with their full programs. These courses are a perfect way to see if you enjoy the learning style or subject offered as a full degree program at your university of choice.

All of the courses on the list below are completely free for you to access as long as you have an internet connection, and are offered by some of the world’s preeminent universities. Upon completing these courses, you will receive college credit only if you enroll in some form of university or degree program. If you were planning on enrolling in a full program anyway, these courses could save you a significant amount of money. However, if you aren’t planning on enrolling, it’s still significant that you can take the same courses that other, paid students are taking for free on your own.

We’ve chosen these options using an exclusive methodology we use to find the top free online learning opportunities. If you want to see the wide variety of free courses you can take for college credit, keep reading the list below.

More and more universities are offering online courses for credit by using MOOCs. Class Central has already compiled 70+ MOOC-based master’s degrees. Many of the courses in these online degree programs are publicly available: anyone with an internet connection can take them.

Some of these courses are “freebies”, meant to give prospective students a taste of what the full online degree would be like. Others, like edX’s MicroMasters, are essentially partial degree programs, equivalent to about one semester of university. And others, like Illinois’ iMBA and Georgia Tech’s OMSCS, are full degree programs that can be audited for free online.

The catch (yes, there’s a catch) is that in order to convert MOOC coursework into university credit, you have to enroll in the corresponding university. And that usually means going through an admissions process and paying tuition.

That said, by making these courses free-to-audit, universities are giving online learners the same learning opportunities afforded to students taking the courses for credit.

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However, the online course will be provided by your university so that the credit you have will count but if you aren’t enrolled in a university and still want to take the online college courses that are fine too, it will act as “testing waters” for you before you are officially enrolled in the university.

These for-credit programs are usually paid for, but there are many out there that are free to access, meaning you won’t pay a dime to take the college courses for credit, this article provides various free online college courses for credit spanning across different level of study, undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and field of studies such as technology, business, the arts, and the humanities.

The free online college courses for credits are amazing in that they are online thus self-paced, flexible and are available 24/7. There are no tuition fees or fees for learning materials, no due dates and no way to fall behind, it is the easiest and fastest means of earning college credits but the benefits don’t end here

Benefits of Taking Free Online College Courses for Credit

There are many benefits attached to taking online college courses and I have mentioned a few of them above but there are yet more exciting ones as I have listed out below;

Taking online college courses is considerably cheap and in some cases is free. This lessens tuition fee expenses as you get to accumulate credit to transfer into a degree program prior to enrolling.
Students can take free online college courses for credit while enrolled in a college degree program which helps to accelerate the completion of your degree and prepares better for the job force.
Taking an online college course prior to enrolling in a college degree program will give you experience, develop your study skills and discipline.
Students gain advanced standing and complete prerequisites which make them start college with advanced standing.
Students get to explore a wide array of different academic options.
What is college credit?

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According to Wikipedia, college credit is a recognition for having taken a course at school or university, it is used as a measure to know if enough hours have been made for a student’s graduation.

Are there free online college courses?

Yes, there are several free online college courses for undergraduate and graduate levels across various fields of study. You will learn about most of these free online college courses through this article and their application links will be made available too.

Do you get college credit from free online courses?

This article provides full information on free online courses for real college credit for students. You have to be enrolled in a program at a university to convert the online course work into college credit.

How can I get free college credits?
To get free college credits, students enrolled in a program at a university should take and complete a free online college course for credit which includes taking the exam related to that program and transferring the credit to their course work.

With these questions and confusion cleared out of the way, I will go ahead to list out and explain each of the free online college courses for credit.

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Featured Programs

1. Supply Chain Fundamentals
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most prestigious universities in the USA. They only accept seven percent of applicants, so most people will never have the opportunity to attend the highly-regarded college. With edX, however, you have the opportunity to take courses at MIT without ever applying or attending. edX is one of the most well-known and accessible MOOC providers, connecting users to both free and paid courses that are partnered with prestigious institutions like MIT.

This best free course for college credit is part of the site’s business and management sphere, tackling fundamental concepts for logistics and supply chain management. This course is part of the larger degree program called “MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management,” which you can pursue if you find yourself deeply engaged in the course’s subject matter. During this 13-week course, you will learn the basics of the skills needed for supply chain management and logistics. The main topic areas covered during the course are demand forecasting, management, inventory planning, control, transportation planning, and execution. By the end of the course, you will feel confident in incorporating and managing uncertainty in supply chain management.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes (With $299 fee)

Time to Complete: Approximately 13 weeks

Curriculum: Intermediate

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent


Start anytime and go at your own pace
Partnered with MIT, one of the USA’s most prestigious universities
Learn the fundamentals of supply chain management

Verified certificate costs $299

2. Business Model Thinking
If you want to turn your big ideas into real business plans, look no further than this free course from Future Learn. This course will teach you how to transform your ideas into something that can make a difference, and you’ll learn it all for free! Future Learn, like some of the other MOOC providers on this list, offers their course catalog on a rotating basis depending on the universities and institutions they are partnered with at the time. Future Learn is free to join, and most of their classes are free to enroll in and complete. This course will take you about two weeks to complete if you work at a pace of approximately three hours a week, and extra benefits like a certificate of achievement come at a $74 fee.

This top free course for college credit is taught by Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, an associate professor of supply chain management at Coventry University. The course is designed for those who want to move more into the business management sphere, especially those who want to have senior roles or work specifically with business ideas. By the end of the course, demonstrating business model thinking and justifying a business’s value will come easily to you, and you will feel confident working in business management.

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Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes (With $74 fee)

Time to Complete: Approximately 2 weeks

Curriculum: Intermediate

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent


Start anytime and go at your own pace
Learn about higher-level business model thinking
Great for those wanting to move into senior roles

Verified certificate costs $74

3. Advanced Operating Systems
Udacity is a MOOC platform that typically offers mostly paid courses, but this gem of a course from Georgia Tech is currently being offered for free. Udacity aims to connect students and professionals with the learning tools they need to further their careers, and the site primarily focuses on courses relating to professional skills, like coding, web development, and security. The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, cementing itself as one of the top technologically-focused universities in the USA. This Advanced Operating Systems course is part of Georgia Tech’s computer science program, and you should have some experience in either an OS course or within the OS field to take this course.

This five-week course features ten lessons that cover vital OS topics like OS structure, virtualization, distributed systems, internet-scale computing, and system recovery. The course is led by instructors Kishore Ramachandran and Charles Brubaker, who both teach at Georgia Tech. During this free course for college credit, you will explore all of the technological advancements that have led to the advanced operating systems we know today, and the course covers a variety of operating platforms including cell phones and cloud computing.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: Approximately 5 weeks

Curriculum: Advanced

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent


Start anytime and go at your own pace
Learn about the operating systems advancements made through time
Teaches you about cell phones as well as computers

Advanced material, requires some prerequisite learning

4. Introduction To Power Electronics
This electrical engineering course is offered by UC Boulder, a preeminent public research university in Colorado. Over 85,000 students have already enrolled in the course, and nearly 40% of the students who completed the course started a new career after finishing it. Additionally, about a quarter of the students who completed this course received some sort of tangible career benefit from completing it. Coursera is often noted as the most expansive and trusted MOOC platform, as they offer both individual courses and major degree programs through universities on a paid and free basis. They have thousands of courses to push your career or interests forward, and you will certainly walk away from a Coursera class with some tangible gain.

This engineering course takes about 12 hours to complete, and users will earn a shareable certificate upon completion that can easily be shared with employers or on a resume. This top free college credit course can be taken for academic credit for the CU Boulder course called ECEA 5700, which is part of the university’s masters degree in electrical engineering. By the time you’ve finished the course, you will have learned about the basic concepts of circuits and how to convert electrical power with high efficiency.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: Approximately 12 hours

Curriculum: Intermediate

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent


Start anytime and go at your own pace
Part of CU Boulder’s electrical engineering program
Learn about converting energy, circuits, etc.

The course is part of a masters program, requires some prerequisite knowledge

5. Programming For Data Science
Programming knowledge is absolutely essential for any kind of career in data science or data analysis, and this course from The University of Adelaide can help you get there. The course is part of what edX calls a MicroMasters program in Big Data, which means completing this class will bring you one step closer to getting a legitimate credential in a highly competitive field. As mentioned previously, edX is completely free to join, and courses on the site vary as to how much they cost and what institutions they are partnered with. Even if you find that the course is too difficult for you, it’s a great way to start on a path of success.

This online free course for college credit takes about ten weeks to complete if you work at a pace of between eight to ten hours a week. The course is instructed by three professors who work in the department of computer science at The University of Adelaide, and they are all more than qualified to teach you about big data. While a verified certificate does come at an additional cost of $199, you always have the option of purchasing one at the completion of your course.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes (With $199 fee)

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Time to Complete: Approximately 10 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent


Start anytime and go at your own pace
Taught by three computer science professors
Offers credentials in a field that’s extremely competitive

Certificate of achievement costs an additional $199


Not all sources have free online college courses for credit. Some aren’t even offered through an academic institution. In many cases, learning resources are offered through non-academic sources.

For example, Google offers its own free learning platform. The site is called Digital Garage. And it offers classes in things like online business skills and digital marketing. These courses are available to any individual who wants to learn. Digital Garage aims to help people learn skills for high-paying online careers.

Other organizations and businesses provide free courses too. For example, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers free online courses for aspiring business owners. And they even have classes specifically for women and veterans.

Whether you take one or two of the courses we’ve listed or find another source, there is so much available. In this post, we will talk about 50 free college courses you can take online. Of course, we haven’t listed every available course. Instead, we’ve highlighted just a few of the hundreds of available options.

If you’re thinking about boosting your knowledge or learning a new skill, our list is a great place to begin.


Most of the courses on this list are offered as MOOCs. These are classes you can take from actual colleges and universities at no charge. Let’s discuss MOOCs in more detail.

When you search for free online courses for college credit, you’ll often see the term MOOC, but what is it? MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). It’s an online course that is open to anyone. As long as you can access the web and have an internet-enabled device, you can take a MOOC.

There are no restrictions on who can participate. There is no application or acceptance process. You don’t have to show your transcripts or test scores. In fact, you don’t even need to be a high-school graduate to take a MOOC. Best of all, these courses are entirely free.

The goal of Massive Open Online Courses is to connect learners from around the world with educators and each other.

Students can complete a MOOC all by themselves. Or, they can use only those parts of a MOOC they need and ignore the rest. They can interact with their peers via forums or social media groups if they choose to. For example, they may want to get immediate feedback on homework or quizzes. Or they might want a study partner. However, usually, this interaction isn’t always a requirement.


If you take free online courses, you need to know if you’ll receive college credit. Some free online courses and MOOCs are not for credit. However, you can still benefit from them. Free online college courses usually fall into one of these categories:

Completely free courses: You won’t have to pay a fee for taking these courses. But your credits will transfer to other schools.
Pay for credit after completion: Many classes are entirely free to take. But if you want to take these free college courses online for credit, you’ll need to pay. In other words, you can take them for personal enrichment and leave it at that. Or, you can pay upon completion for college credit. Then, you can apply the credit toward your degree or transfer the credit to another school.
Subscription-based program: You pay a small fee each month with these programs. Then, you can take the courses you want and receive credit. You should always read the terms of these programs carefully before enrolling. After all, if you need free online courses for credit, taking classes that have no value to you doesn’t make sense.
Transfer credit policies and processes differ from school to school. An admissions advisor can help you determine if the school will accept your transfer credits. Most schools also provide information about their transfer policy on the school website. This will include how many credits they accept and other details.

No matter how you plan to earn free online college credits, do some research before enrolling. Make sure the program is accredited. And verify that the credits you earn will transfer to other institutions. Schools that are accredited meet a set of quality standards. Accreditation can make a difference when it comes to a school accepting the credits. And it can also affect your eligibility for financial aid.

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