Some college students love learning for the sake of learning.
But elective classes, however interesting and engaging, don’t count toward a major, and students might have to forgo the fun classes in favor of a degree.
For the students who didn’t get to explore all the subjects they wanted before graduation or just want to continue their education, perhaps it’s time to look at your online options.
Free online classes, open to the public, are growing more popular and extensive. They are offered through many websites and universities, including Harvard, Yale and Duke.
These classes, which cover nearly every subject and have various formats, are ideal for anyone with a love for learning but not the funds or grades needed to get a top-rate education.
Here are six unique, inspiring and beneficial classes anyone can take in their spare time — free of charge!
Entrepreneurship – From Idea to Launch
This class is offered by Udemy, a website that has a wide variety of free online courses, from sports to music to languages. This course is composed of more than 32 lectures and 10 exercises.
The class “provides a series of lectures that can guide an aspiring entrepreneur through the steps that will greatly increase their chances for successfully turning their idea into a successful business.”
This eight-class Missouri State University course can be found on both iTunes U and YouTube though Open Culture, a site that allows you to search for free online classes by topic, then directs you to all available formats. The class is composed of videos and covers topics such as personal saving, credit and retirement planning.
Designing Your Life
This class is offered by MIT OpenCourseWare. The site explains that virtually all of the content from every class at the university is offered there. Designing Your Life is intended to provide an “exciting, eye-opening, and thoroughly useful inquiry into what it takes to live an extraordinary life, on your own terms” and “address what it takes to succeed, to be proud of your life, and to be happy in it.” This class includes lecture notes, assignments and other downloadable course material.
This course offered by Yale may sound morbid, but at some point, we all think about what happens when we pass. This philosophy class explores the possibilities. The course examines concepts such as death not being the end of our journey, how knowing we will eventually die should affect the way we live and the different attitudes toward death. The videos are offered through both YouTube and iTunes U, and the course pages can be downloaded.
This class is offered by Coursera and is a bit different than most. Coursera classes begin on specific dates — just like online classes you would take at a university — and last for a specific length of time. The course description says it is meant to create a sense of community with others taking the class. This specific class is being offered on Nov. 1 and May 1. The Useful Genetics course is designed to deliver a college-level understanding of how genes function and the role of inheritance, as well as tackling questions such as “Is there a gay gene?” and “Do different races have the same genes?”
Food preparation in the home
This free, online class offered by BYU is good for those who want to improve their skills in the kitchen. You can start the class at any time, and it is very interactive. The course is meant to help you “understand food in relation to health, develop skills in buying and preparing foods” and teach you to “practice safe handling, storage and preservation of foods.”
Degrees may not be free, but learning can be.
Jasmine Barta is junior at Arizona State University.