Check Out These Free Online Courses Starting This September

Illustration for article titled Check Out These Free Online Courses Starting This September

If you’re looking to brush up on a skill, learn a new thing, or add a little spice to your intellectual life, there are a whole bunch of free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) starting this month that you might want to check out.

If you’re not familiar, MOOCs are online courses offered by reputable universities for free (although you may need to pay a fee if you want a certificate that documents you’ve successfully completed the course). MOOCs are offered periodically throughout the year, but more than 3,700 of them start this month, according to Open Culture.

If the idea of taking a free college course just for the hell of it appeals to you but you’re not sure where to start, I’ve picked several worth checking out:

  • Chinese for Beginners from Peking University
  • Children Acquiring Literacy Naturally from University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Age of Jefferson from University of Virginia
  • Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot from Wesleyan University
  • Job Success: Get Hired or Promoted in 3 Steps from State University of New York
  • Corruption from University of Pennsylvania
  • Improving Communication Skills from University of Pennsylvania
  • Confronting The Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy from University of Rochester
  • Guitar for Beginners from Berklee College of Music
  • Ruby on Rails: An Introduction from Johns Hopkins University
  • Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop from California Institute of the Arts
  • Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) from Michigan State University
  • Bonds & Stocks from University of Michigan
  • Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach from Johns Hopkins University
  • How To Create a Website in a Weekend! (Project-Centered Course) from State University of New York

I could go on and on. There are courses on a wide range of topics—science, health, business, communication, music, technology, language, etc. If there is a specific topic you’re interested in, try searching the full list by keyword (I searched for “writing” and got 39 hits).

Be aware that for the most part, these courses won’t count toward a college degree. They’re more of a it’s-good-to-be-a-lifelong-learner sort of thing.