Yale free online courses: 11 of the best classes to take

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Free online courses Yale


  • Yale University offers a selection of its courses for free or for cheap online.
  • Coursera hosts several Yale courses that mimic in-classroom settings. They’re typically free to audit, but come with a $49 fee for features like graded homework or a certificate of completion.
  • Below, you can find a selection of the most popular Yale courses on Coursera, with topics ranging from behavioral finance principles to the science of being happier right now.
  • If your educational plan for 2020 includes paying for multiple classes on Coursera, check out its new $399 annual membership, which could wind up being a better deal. 

Thanks to the internet and MOOC (massive open online courses) culture, it’s not hard to find courses from prestigious universities such as Yale online for free or cheap. Counter to the Ivy League’s legacy of exclusivity, MOOCs are designed to remove traditional education barriers: price and location. 

In fact, Yale offers access to a handful of recorded in-person courses such as African American History: From Emancipation to the Present via Open Yale Courses, a platform where anyone can access the lectures. However, lecture-listeners won’t earn course credit, degrees, or a certificate of completion. 

If you’re looking for a classroom-like educational experience with more structure, feedback, and peers, you’ll want to turn to Coursera. The online learning platform features more than a dozen Yale courses that range in topic from economics to parenting to happiness.

Coursera classes typically include video lectures, resources, community discussions, and quizzes. They’re free to enroll in, but you’ll have to pay a low fee (starting at $49) for features like graded homework assignments or certificates of completion, which can be added to a LinkedIn page. While most courses are available in English, you’ll also find a couple of popular Yale courses taught primarily in Arabic and Chinese.

If you plan on paying to enroll in multiple courses over the course of the year, you may want to look into Coursera Plus. The $399 annual subscription gives its members unlimited access to over 90% of the platform’s online courses (over 3,000 classes). Depending on your needs, you may end up saving money. 

Read on for 11 of the most popular Yale University courses you can enroll in online for free:


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