21 Free Graduate Courses Online

21 Free Graduate Courses Online

Free online graduate courses are a great way to brush up on your skills before entering a graduate program or to further your knowledge! More than ever, students are turning to online learning (we’re looking at you, COVID-19!).

But did you know that you can pursue free online graduate programs and classes at the professional level right from home? That’s right: from the comfort of your couch and for absolutely nothing. Cue the popcorn.

Whether you’re looking to brush up on skills to further your career, we’ve gathered up 21 places where you can find free grad school classes. Some will house thousands of classes, and some will serve as a resource. But either way, there’s something here for you. So start your school search today for a free online course or a free master’s degree online!

Featured Schools:


To rank the most accessible online graduate programs, we scored the schools based on 3 criteria: their Student to Faculty ratio, the school’s graduate in-state graduate tuition, and the duration of the graduate programs. We used the school’s website for information and the National Center for Education Statistics. If any information didn’t fit within the scoring parameters, zero points were awarded for that category. In the case of a tie, the school with the lower tuition pulled the higher rank.

To keep things simple for you, we have organized these free master’s classes  online into the following sections:

  • Universities with free online graduate certificate programs, free online graduate classes, and a free masters degree online.
  • Websites that serve as consortiums and offer free online Masters degree courses with certificates and free online graduate programs and courses through multiple universities at once
  • 3rd party websites that offer their curriculum for free graduate credits for teachers and free online graduate programs and courses with certificates available
  • And a good ole fashioned “other” category where all the unlabeled ones hang out!

Make the most out of the time spent in self-quarantine by learning something new! Be ready to further your career when the doors open back up and we begin to work towards a return to the normal.

Universities that Offer Online Graduate Students Free Classes

When it comes to universities offering free online graduate credits, you’ll be surprised at the names on this list. Yes, you can pursue advanced and professional level coursework and lectures from reputable and ivy-league institutions. And then? You’ll be able to say, “Hey! I took classes at Yale!” Impressive, right? The world is your oyster, friends. Here are a few we found:

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University logo

Through Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative, graduate students can benefit from open and free classes and low-cost, independent paid courses. But don’t worry; when we say low-cost, we mean it!

While there are plenty of free couses, the ones that cost money will only cost you about $10 or 25. Choose from various academic subjects or boost professional skills like Evidence-Based Management. Note that many of the academic subject areas are more entry-level. All classes are independent, self-paced study with no grades or credits.

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

2. Brigham Young University Independent Study

Brigham Young University logo

While the free online graduate courses at Brigham Young University aren’t necessarily labeled as graduate courses, we still wanted to include them in this write-up. And with good reason. The subject matter of several courses would be an excellent fit for someone looking to advance their interpersonal skills or even to understand the world around them.

These graduate students take classes in family history and genealogy, parenting, and leadership. Sample free grad courses online include unique options like Planning and Preparing your Garden, Rearing Responsible and Righteous Teens in a Wicked World, Strengthening Family and Finance, and Personal Finance.

Loaction: Provo, Utah

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

3. Duke University

Duke University logo

The free online master’s courses at Duke University find themselves on several consortium lists. To access these classes, check out these two platforms: Class Central and Coursera. (To understand these better, read the consortium section below).

Class Central houses over 85 free online courses from Duke University. Students can filter by whether or not the course offers a certificate, by start date, and by subject matter. Similar courses are offered on Coursera; if you want to take free classes from Duke, then decide which platform you prefer.

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

4. Harvard University 

Harvard University logo

Students seeking free grad courses for teachers or free online master’s degrees in education might want to check out the free education course created by the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

“Introduction to Data Wise: A Collaborative Process to Improve Learning & Teaching” is presented on the Edx platform and will give students a comprehensive understanding of the Data Wise Improvement Process. This class targets teachers, school and district leaders, and policymakers who desire to improve student outcomes.

Location: Cambridge, Massachsetts

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the world’s most prestigious universities. So, if you’re looking for free online STEM courses, check out MIT’s options through Open Courseware. OCW enables people worldwide to access the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s reputable course content for no cost at all.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students can choose from various STEM and Liberal Arts classes. Or they can take one of the program’s cross-disciplinary topics, including Energy, Entrepreneurship, and also Environment. This Massachusetts Institute of Technology program collaborates with the Open Education Consortium.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

6. Stanford University


Stanford University’s online division has more free online graduate courses than many others on this list. Offered through the edX platform, students can choose paths from several subject areas.

Students seeking a free online master’s degree in computer science or a free online master’s degree in project management might want to take a look at free classes like Giving 2.0 from the Graduate School of Business or Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Introduction to Web Security through the School of Engineering. SU also offers many free graduate education courses for those seeking a free masters in education.

Location: Stanford, California

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

7. UC Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley has a long, rich history of providing a quality education for its students. And in 2012, they extended that reach by forming the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education (BRCOE). The BRCOE is considered a hub for innovative online resources, both for credit and non-credit.

Powered but edX, students can pursue many self-paced courses and courses leading to professional certifications like Blockchain Fundamentals and the Science of Happiness at work. Students can find free courses or paid lessons for a nominal fee.

Location: Berkeley, California

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

8. Yale University

Yale University

On its website, students looking for introductory-level courses can check out Yale University’s archive of free classes. This includes free downloads of class lectures and suggested reading and research. Other options can also look into Yale’s free offerings on their Coursera site.

Opportunities are available in medicine, science, politics, and history, which could be a good fit for anyone seeking a free online history degree. Sample course offerings include Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Workers, The Science of Well-Being, Financial Markets, and Climate Change and Health. Classes are free, and students who complete the hands-on project are eligible to earn a certificate in the courses.

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

Rather like a train station, the platforms offered by educational consortiums can take you anywhere you want to go. And unlike public transport, many of the educational offerings are free!

Consortiums that Offer Free Online Courses

You’ve read about platforms like Class Central and Coursera, but what are they? These platforms are consortiums that serve as a hub for a number of universities offering free online grad courses. That means that instead of visiting each university’s website, you can see the platform’s website and access all the free courses available across multiple colleges. Here are a few we are highlighting:

9. Academic Earth

With a mission to ensure everyone can access free education, Academic Earth created the first collection of free online courses by top universities back in 2009. Choose from reputable colleges like Yale, George Washington, Dartmouth, and Berklee College of Music. Regarding subject areas, students can pursue free online graduate courses in Physics, Psychology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and more. Look for advanced or professional-level lectures and courses.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

10. Class Central

What’s so great about Class Central is that you can set filters to search for what you’re looking for! When you put “graduate” into the search bar, nearly 400 options come up, about 275+ with certifications.

The site works sort of like a search engine. It generates the results and points you toward the resource (like Coursera or edX). The courses are pulled from a range of highly sought-after universities. Pursue classes like Writing For Graduate School or Getting Organized: How to Be a Together Teacher.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online courses!

11. Coursera

Join the millions of people learning for free on the platform Coursera and go after your goals. Whether you’re trying to learn the latest skills, earn a professional certificate or complete training for your job–you certainly need to check out their platform.

According to a survey conducted in 2019, “87% of people learning for professional development report career benefits like getting a promotion, a raise, or starting a new career.” Choose from free video lectures in popular subjects like business, computer science, data science, and language learning.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online programs and courses!

12. edX

Another platform to check out that houses free online graduate and professional courses is edX. Over 2,500 courses from 140 institutions are represented.

When searching for applicable courses, you can filter your results by categories, including options like “self-paced,” “advanced” courses, and more. Options to earn credits and certificates are also available.

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

13. Free Video Lectures

Free Video Lectures are precisely what you think it would be: free video lectures! This website is so enticing because there aren’t any hidden costs. All of your unlimited access to these lectures is truly free. Enjoy nearly 1400 courses from 68 universities.

This platform focuses on four key areas: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Engineering, and Math/Science. This website might be a good fit for students seeking a free master’s in computer science or a related field. Join the other 5 million students who are using Free Video Lectures!

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

14. Future Learn

With a goal to transform access to education, Future Learn is a platform to really dive into. But here’s the catch. You will have access to free online graduate courses. However, you can only get so far. To “unlock” unlimited access to the courses, you will need to pay $250 per year, which isn’t that bad considering what you would be getting access to.

When making a decision, browse around their site–look at what free options are available and relevant to you. You can also pursue those first and then decide on the $250 later.

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

15. Open Education Database

Open Education Database claims to be the “most comprehensive collection of online college rankings and free courses anywhere online.” If that’s really true, then RUN, don’t walk, to their site!

This platform stands out in its “advice” section that helps guide students toward a successful online learning experience. The free online graduate courses are powered through OpenCourseWare and offer options in fields like the Arts, Health and Medical, Science, Education, and Math.

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

16. Saylor Academy

Think of Saylor Academy more like a boutique academy. Unlike OED, which houses over 10,000 classes, Saylor Academy is home to 100 full-length courses. So you won’t be piecemealing your classes together and you can take courses in their entirety.

Students at SA typically seek career advancement, degree completion, or professional development. Some even just an online course for casual learning. Whatever you’re looking for, Saylor is there. You can earn digital certifications, free college credit, or even go a step further and earn a low-cost degree.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online learning!

Other Places for Free Courses and Other Free Programs

The following didn’t necessarily fit in any of the above categories, so we let them all hang out down here!

17. Canvas Networks

Canvas logo

Educators! Or those seeking a free online Master in Education! Listen up! Canvas Networks is your place for lifelong learning and professional development. Canvas Networks houses many courses with the mission of openness, innovation, and experimentation.

Sample course offerings include Finding and Helping At-Risk Students (K-12), Genius Matters, Safe and Resilient Schools: Mental Health, and Research Data Management Librarian Academy.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online education!

18. Learn@Forbes

Learn@Forbes logo

Yes–we’re talking about the actual Forbes! Like the Forbes Media, you know and trust. Students can pursue online professional coursework through their Learn@Forbes sector. Get a competitive edge at your job and invest in yourself through their on-the-job tailored courses.

The material taps into the platform’s global network of executives and educators. But yes, there is a catch. Learn@Forbes offers a 14-day trial for you to try out their classes for free. If you like what you’re learning and the platform itself, you can unlock access to the network for a low monthly fee. Specializations include HR Management, Marketing, Finance, and Leadership.

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

19. Online Course Report

Online Course Report logo

Online Course Report exists with you in mind no matter what graduate student you are. So, you can find something for you if you’re looking for Continuing Education Credits, Personal Enrichment Learning, For-Credit College Courses, or Professional and Graduate Degrees. For example, OCR has information for you if you’re looking for a free masters in public health or a graduate degree in science. Less like a consortium that houses full-length courses, OCR can point you in the right direction to match your interests. The articles break down where you can find what you’re looking for–with detailed analysis, including cost and outcome.

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online programs and courses!

20. Open Learn

Open Learn logo

You can create a free Open Learn account and access over a hundred courses. When searching, the site labels the course level to keep up with what free online graduate classes might be right for you.

Graduate students can choose topics like Money and Business, Nature and Environment, and Language. You can take classes to help your studies or to boost your employment skills. An option to earn a digital badge or Statement of Participation is available.

Learn More: Website to find out more about a free online course!

21. YouTube

YouTube logo

We know what you’re thinking. YouTube? Yes! Don’t underestimate this platform. It’s not just for watching silly videos and how-tos. On their comprehensive website, search for whatever free online graduate course you want.

You will be able to find videos of full-length lectures or you could discover shorter videos that will point you toward the right resources for you. Yes, this way might be a little unconventional, but with the technological world we live in–we can use that non-traditional pathway to our advantage. Ready, set, go!

Learn More: Website to find out more about free online programs and courses!

Are There Really Free Online Masters Degrees?

Both undergraduate and graduate students are interested in all the help they can find to pay for school. However, a school with completely free tuition or free college tuition is unheard of. Instead of searching for a free bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, refocus on how to graduate debt free.

The student loan debt burdening recent generations is tremendous. To be free from debt when you leave school, you need to find an inexpensive program. Many public universities are very affordable. So, to start your school search, check out our school rankings for specific degree programs.

If you look, you can find a tuition free college in the US. However, many have very specific stipulations. Online programs generally cost less than in-person programs. However, one way you can have much of your graduate education is with an Assistantship. This is a paid position some educational institutions offer. Students work specific hours each week and get a tuition waiver and a monthly financial assistance stipend for living expenses.

looking for a free masters degree online

Other Ways to Pay Less

Some universities offer a discounted tuition rate for prospective students with military service. Public service loan forgiveness is another popular program. Additionally, there are many scholarships and loan programs for specific careers. These are usually in-demand fields like Nursing and Cybersecurity. Below are other ways the find help with your education.

  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Fellowships for graduate programs
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Read the Fine Print

Why do accredited online colleges offfer free graduate programs, free college tuition, and tuition free master’s programs? Some of these offerings, allow you to pay extra to take additional coursework or earn a certificate for your class, so make sure to pay attention to what you’re committing to.

It is important to note that you may not receive credit for these courses at your university. Also check and make sure you meet requirements. For example, you may need a bachelor’s degree before you can enroll.

These free online grad school courses are used as digital tutors or essential continuing education. But if you want credentials or a certificate to show proof of your coursework, remember–you may have to pay. Make sure to check the specific details of your platform before moving forward.

Also, many colleges and consortiums don’t necessarily label whether a free online class is undergraduate or graduate level. Yet, sometimes they do. Confusing, right? We’re here to help. As a rule of thumb, try looking for courses labeled as “advanced” or offering specializations or certifications. When in doubt, contact the specific provider for help.


All school search, finder, or match results from featured or trusted partner programs are for schools that may compensate us. However, compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.