Over 400 Ivy League classes are now free online

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ByTebany Yune
Originally Published: 

Kids aren't the only ones who can take online classes during our coronavirus-riddled time. Ivy League schools in the U.S. are offering 450 free courses for any adults who have spare time while trapped at home. And according to some of the reviews, these classes are for real. Expect to spend a good amount of hours per week watching lecture videos, completing assignments, and doing quizzes.

If you're interested in bettering yourself while social distancing, check out the plethora of subjects and courses offered below.

Computer Science

Computer science is where one can learn how to understand computers and computational systems beyond 'it's a machine with the internet on it.' Instead of looking at the physical parts of a computer, this subject focuses on the software that people use — like Microsoft Word or Minecraft. If you've ever wondered how people create computer programs using different computer languages, this could be a good subject for you.

Computer science also encompasses subjects such as cyber security, artificial intelligence, robotics, and solving human-computer interaction. With technology becoming a part of nearly every industry, these skills can easily transfer to fields like manufacturing, healthcare, arts and creative design, and agriculture.

Data Science

With computers comes the need to analyze the data. Data science does just that by taking a look at massive amounts of information and prying patterns and predictions from the mess. These skills can help people understand trends, organize information to present to executives, recognize opportunities for a business to pounce on, and take part in designing experiments and prototypes based on the company's data. Folks interested in playing around with math and statistics might enjoy learning more about data science and how it can apply to businesses.

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Programming is a smaller part of computer science that centers on understanding and using code to tell a computer what to do. This can mean using computer languages to make software, solve problems, and automate tasks. Every website, social media app, and video game you use involves programming to make it work. One author for online education company Codecademy described programming as something "technical and analytical, yet creative at the same time" because of the need to understand how to turn technical instructions into a people-friendly product.


The humanities pull the focus away from computer screens and direct them to the people who made these devices. The Stanford Humanities Center calls it "the study of how people process and document the human experience." It encompasses subjects like human history, art and music, religion, literature, and philosophy. The humanities are essential to understanding the past, present, and future of mankind — things that can influence politics, culture, and how we use and develop technology based on our desires.


The study of business can include accounting, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and much more. Anyone who's managing their own work, whether it's as a freelancer or YouTuber or brick-and-mortar business owner, could benefit from the analytical skills and techniques taught in these courses. These classes might also be a good way to dip your toes into the water before jumping into an expensive master's in Business Administration.

Art & Design

Art is a great subject study, whether you're interested in the fine arts or video games. Art can enhance the creative designs that drive game development, business advertisements, and product engineering. After all, a big reason we like smartphones isn't just the tech behind them — we like devices that look good, too. Instead of dropping mad money for an art degree, which is as expensive as any other bachelor's, dive into some of the free courses offered.


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The sciences are the backbone of breaking down and understanding the world around us. While the humanities look at how people see the world, the sciences tend to look at how the world is. Both are important for a well-rounded education. Learning the basics of science can also help people learn how scientific studies work, how science applies to every aspect of life (including cooking), and what lies beyond our Earth.

Social Sciences

Political science, sociology, anthropology, law, and social work are all topics beneath the social sciences umbrella. Humans are social creatures that create relationships with other humans while living in groups. It makes sense, then, to have a field that studies how we interact with each other, how criminal and delinquent behavior develops, how the environment can affect families, and what happens when the justice system succeeds or fails in communities.

Health & Medicine

Medical school is scary and expensive, but the subject makes for a very interesting read to pass the time. If you're interested in how the body works, the health issues that affect the world, and the policies that regulate medicine, this is a good topic to dive into. However, keep in mind that none of the health and medicine courses will qualify you for a medical license.


Engineering is about taking what the sciences learn and using the information to invent, create, and design practical things that can solve problems. Roads, buildings, rocket ships, bridges, and vehicle engines are all objects that were designed by engineers. There are over 40 types of engineers such as mechanical engineers, electric engineers, aerospace engineers, architectural engineers, and chemical engineers. Now's a good chance to learn what, exactly, they do.

Education & Teaching

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Has homeschooling your children given you the teaching bug? Or maybe you're interested in knowing how to get back into higher education after being out of school for so long? The courses in this subject highlight the U.S. school system, how to apply to college, and the science behind teaching.


Math! The bane of many, many people. If the sight or mention of a math problem makes your brain freeze up in instinctive fear, then perhaps this is the perfect time to overcome it. Mathematics can help people develop problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, and the confidence to face challenges. Most, if not all, industries and fields of study require some level of math ability. Keep yours refreshed with a few courses and feel free to brag that, yes, you've studied math in your spare time.

Personal Development

Not everything has to be strictly based on academics. Sometimes a person needs personal development courses that can offer ways to advance their career or improve their life skills. This can be useful for those moments when work requires you to become a negotiator or sharp communicator. Unfortunately, there aren't any classes on how to keep your stress levels low during a pandemic.

Free Classes for Kids

These 450 free Ivy League courses are bound to keep any adult busy for a long time. But for anyone who's already beginning to run out of schoolwork ideas can find inspiration from other resources as well. Scholastic, the book publishing company, has a website with daily activities for each grade level for families to use for teaching. Khan Academy has plenty of subjects for students to study for free as well, including how to take the SAT and ACT exams.

Don't let the kids be the only ones learning. Take advantage of all the free courses available online while we're all stuck in our homes.