Whether you’re considering earning a degree in psychology or just want to freshen up your knowledge in the field, there are plenty of free courses available to explore psychology. These courses are offered by top universities from around the world. Whether you want to check out a course from MIT or explore psychology from an international perspective, free online courses are available. We created this list of 10 great places to find free psychology courses online. Some courses are offered directly from the school and some can be found through searchable databases, so we have included both in our list. The variety of free courses in psychology is vast and we think you’ll be impressed at what you can access at no charge.
1. MIT OpenCourseware
MIT OpenCourseware through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a web-based publication of almost all MIT course content. They offer a wealth of Life Sciences courses that cover topics related to psychology. Both undergraduate and graduate level courses are available are are easily searchable based on category. Some of the most interesting psychology courses include:
- Human Memory and Learning
- Advanced Animal Behavior
- Evolutionary Psychology
Each course link includes a description of the course and the semester/year it is offered.
2. Open Yale Courses
Open Yale Courses is a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished Yale professors. Students can view lectures, hear audio, or read text transcripts. There is no registration required for these courses. The project is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is supported by The Center for Teaching and Learning. Psychology courses include:
- The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food
- Introduction to Psychology
You can view the professor’s name and the date the course was conducted for easy reference. Courses are updated regularly.
With over 2500 online courses available from 140 institutions, edX is a valuable tool for anyone looking for free psychology courses. Top universities like The University of Texas Systems and Georgetown are included. International universities like the Australian National University and The University of British Columbia can provide a unique international perspective to the field. You can search on psychology by field and further refine your search to include courses in areas like:
- self improvement
- personal development
- cognitive science
Many courses are self-paced which are great for independent learners. In addition to free content, edX also offers verified certificates in psychology that can enhance a resume.
Coursera was created with the idea in mind that anyone, anywhere can have access to the world’s best learning experience. There are hundreds of free courses taught by instructors at world-class universities. Online courses include on-demand video lectures, homework, and discussion forums. Free courses include:
- Machine Learning from Stanford University
- The Science of Well-Being from Yale University
- Social Psychology from Wesleyan University
Universities from the US and abroad offer free courses.
5. Johns Hopkins OpenCourseware
Johns Hopkins OpenCourseware is a resource offering open public health courses and materials, including psychology courses. Course offerings include the schedule, lecture materials, readings, and other resources. Lectures can be viewed in any order and may include slides and/or MP3. Psychology courses include:
- Statistics in Psychosocial Research: Measurement
- Health Behavior Change at the Individual, Household and Community Levels
- Life Course Perspectives on Health
You don’t need to register or sign up for your courses, you can browse and access what interests you.
FutureLearn features a searchable database of free courses offered by universities from around the world. You can search by subject and uncover single courses, certificate programs, and online degrees. Course information includes an overview, start dates, and whether any paid upgrades are available. Courses are available through top universities like Monash University, Central Queensland University, and The University of Sheffield. If a course is full or is not available, you can have the site email you when you can join. Reviews are available for each course so before you register you can see what others thought.
7. Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative
The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University offers free online psychology courses for independent learners. Students can access course topics and see a description, review an outline, and look over learning objectives. Courses are self-guided, self-paced, and self-supported. There are no teachers, no tests, no college credit, and no certificate of completion.
8. Colorado State University Online
Colorado State University offers a variety of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are free and available to the general public. These courses feature instructor driven content. The level of participation is entirely up to the student, allowing them to pick and choose which modules to complete. Students can earn a Statement of Accomplishment if they desire after completing a brief assessment. For a small fee, students can access course tests and earn a Certificate of Achievement upon competition. Course offerings change throughout the year.
9. Stanford Online
Stanford University offers budget friendly courses to the public on a variety of interesting topics. Courses are taught by Stanford instructors and industry experts in areas like:
- arts and humanities
You can search by topic, school/partner, or keyword to find an area of interest. A search for “psychology” brought up courses like “Love as a Force for Social Justice” and “Staying Fit.” Course offerings also include statistics and data mining, which are key skills in psychology research.
10. Academic Earth
Academic Earth was founded in 2009 with the premise that everyone should have access to a world-class education. They created a collection of free college courses offered by some of the top universities around the globe. Courses are hand selected by their staff and there is a wide variety of subject areas included. You can search courses by subject or by university. A list of courses is available along with information about which university is offering the course. This site offers some additional features that are nice for someone just beginning in psychology or looking to freshen up their skills. Journals/trade magazines, popular grants and scholarships, internship opportunities, and student/professional organizations are also included!