Usc free online courses

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Announced this week, USC has said that most fall term classes for undergrads will be taken online while on-campus housing and activities would be extremely limited. Coming to a head based upon the changing guidelines from public health officials, this decision also comes in light of the fact that Los Angeles County had yet to approve the school’s reopening plan for the fall term on campus.

“The once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives – the way we interact, work, and socialize – and with each new permutation of the pandemic, we must find ways to thrive,” the university said in a statement. “The fall semester will be a completely new and different experience.”

The full letter from Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs can be found here:

Greetings Trojan Community,

The once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives – the way we interact, work, and socialize – and with each new permutation of the pandemic, we must find ways to thrive. The fall semester will be a completely new and different experience. We will overcome the challenges by drawing on the creativity of our faculty, staff, and students, and create a semester that delivers on our commitment to supporting outstanding education, research, and service.

Four pillars underlining our work are to ensure:

safety (e.g., testing, tracing, facilities upgrades, and medical care);

excellence (e.g., impactful learning, new ways to engage, career services for a new era);

flexibility (e.g., USC at your fingertips, available in every time zone, responsive to individual needs); and

looking forward (e.g., building opportunities that prepare leaders for the future, having the University ready for whatever opportunities or challenges we face).

Today we write to update you on undergraduate classes for fall 2020, including scheduling, and on-campus housing.

Public health guidelines continue to change, and Los Angeles County has yet to approve our plans for returning to full campus operations. Los Angeles is experiencing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases, making it clear we need to dramatically reduce our on-campus density and all indoor activities for the fall semester.

Indeed, the Governor of California issued an order today (based on a 52 percent increase state-wide in COVID-19 hospitalizations in just 14 days), severely restricting indoor activities in a variety of businesses. While we are still processing this new information, we know some of you have July 1 deadlines for leases off campus – so we wanted to get this information to you to help with your decision-making.

Given the continuing safety restrictions and limited densities permissible on campus, our undergraduate students primarily or exclusively will be taking their courses online in the fall term, and on-campushousing andactivities will be limited. While not what we hoped, we are now recommending all undergraduates take their courses online, and reconsider living on or close to campus this semester. We are continuing with limited in-person, on-campus activity because we believe we can keep students, researchers, staff, and faculty safe with our low-density plan.

We will be offering a rich array of courses and out-of-class experiences online. We are building vibrant platforms, including a new student portal that will serve as a virtual quad and promote social engagement. We also will be providing a host of experiences for our entering first-year and transfer students from across the world, so that they feel part of our community, and can seamlessly transition in person as soon as possible. Many additional details will follow.

Schedule of Classes

Our top priority is to provide an excellent educational experience, in and out of the classroom – and to foster engagement with the Trojan Family that lasts for a lifetime. These experiences will be different, but our goal is unchanged – to make our courses excellent, convenient, and interactive; to challenge our students intellectually, inspire their creativity, and take them to the frontier of knowledge, no matter how or where the learning experience occurs.

Faculty across the schools are always thinking of new ways to teach and engage. They are taking advantage of additional resources available in our Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) as they create exciting new online environments for students. USC also has some of the leading online programs in a number of schools, and they have been sharing their experiences with faculty across the institution.

The revised class schedule will be available by July 8. This schedule will reflect that a majority of undergraduate classes will be available solely online. There will also be courses that will be offered in a hybrid format (combining in person and online course sessions). We anticipate that 10-20 percent of our classes will be conducted in person, on campus. These will be primarily face-to-face labs, studios, performance, and other courses involving hands-on work, and independent research studies that require facilities and equipment only available on campus. Even these courses, for the most part, will also be available online this semester.

Each school will be contacting students in the coming days with more detail about its classes, co-curricular activities, student organizations, and much more. Plans for graduate programs will also be addressed by the individual school and program. One important goal is to keep everyone advancing toward their degrees, and so advisors in each school will be available to help answer questions about how best to maintain academic progress this semester.

Extra assistance. We understand that for some students, the capacity to connect off campus is difficult. To help, we are expanding our program to provide financial and technical support for domestic and international students who have connectivity or hardware issues, and will provide application details soon.

We are offering a new scholarship opportunity for this year only. Students will be able to apply for a scholarship to provide for up to two free online classes in the 2021 summer session. This is designed to help ensure academic progress. More details on this offering will follow.

On-campus Housing and Dining

Earlier this week we announced we will limit housing to one student per bedroom in our residence halls, suites, and apartments. The city also expects USC to hold a number of rooms vacant to provide quarantine space should a surge occur during the semester. As a result, our availability is less than half of what it would normally be.

We will honor current contracts, but room assignments and building locations will change, in order to adhere to the one student per bedroom requirement. We encourage all students holding contracts – particularly those who do not have any in-person classes or who live in the greater Los Angeles area – to reconsider on-campus housing.

The deadline to cancel an existing contract or housing application in order to have a full refund of fees or deposit has been extended to July 15.

Depending on availability, priority for existing applicants will be given to students whose study requires in-person education, are in named scholarship and athletics programs, who may require special accommodations, or are international students. We will provide more information as soon as possible.

Our dining halls are being reconfigured to allow for scheduled dining in a manner that is distanced, appropriately sanitized, and safe for students and our staff members. Food will be pre-packaged and a number of pick-up options, including outside vendors will be available. Much more detail to follow.

Students living in the surrounding neighborhoods should be aware that access to campus will be limited. In most cases, students will be required to make an appointment to use campus services, such as library study spaces, the student health center, and dining facilities.

In closing, this semester will be a new and different experience for all of us. Whether students are here on campus or pursuing their studies and activities online, we want everyone to feel safe and supported. USC’s student life activities, support services, and programs will be offered virtually, and we will stay connected through activities and events. We are in this together and together we will make this fall a rich and rewarding experience.


Charles F. Zukoski

What this means for athletics as a whole, is not yet to be known, but we’ll closely monitor that as we go along.

The school website also has a COVID-19 Resource Center for your convenience.


USC should not suddenly switch synchronous classes to an online format

A painting of a person with long hair staring at computer screen.

Back in March, the University made it clear that classes would be in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. After over a year of online learning, most students made the decision to return to brick-and-mortar classrooms this fall in order to stimulate a more interactive and intimate educational experience. 

Students who registered for certain courses under the impression that they were in-person, synchronous lectures and labs are now discovering that the University unexpectedly switched said classes to hybrid or fully online formats. Because the University did not originally notify those students that their classes would be hybrid or online, it is unfair of them to implement those unanticipated changes.

If the USC administration was truly confident in its execution of the “swiss cheese” coronavirus defense model — including measures such as enforcing daily Trojan Check wellness assessments and weekly saliva testing — then there would not be a concern for in-person classes. And if the school was comfortable enough to hold crowded social events, such as the Welcome Concert, and consequently boast footage of hordes of unmasked attendees on their Instagram page, then surely the preservation of physical academic spaces would be of an even higher priority. 

The University’s focus is backward. Over the past few weeks, the dining halls have been egregiously crowded, with long lines, overworked staff and little to no enforcement of social distancing. Pair this with a lack of disciplinary action against members of Greek life who have been endangering the USC and South Los Angeles communities with excessive — and unmasked — partying. It seems like the University is using the switch to hybrid and fully online learning as an eleventh-hour opportunity to save face — and money. 

It is also worth pointing out that the University waited to announce these changes until after tuition for the semester was due. In fact, on Aug. 5, President Carol L. Folt announced in a fall semester update, “We are on track for a return to the full breadth of in-person academic, research, clinical, and service activities after nearly 18 months of video classes and Zoom meetings.” If nothing else, this statement was misleading to students who were yearning to break free from Zoom fatigue.

Besides, with a current positivity rate of 0.4% for students and 0.9% for employees, it appears that USC has the virus relatively under control on campus. There should definitely be an option for students who are immunocompromised, otherwise at risk, or just uncomfortable with in-person instruction to join classes via virtual format; students must be given that choice instead of being caught by surprise when their courses change formats to hybrid or fully online models.

Additionally, these swift adjustments could negatively impact students with disability accommodations that are incompatible with online learning. U.S. News & World Report details a survey from the Association on Higher Education and Disability that found that “students with disabilities were more likely to experience difficulty with accessing the internet, technology training and support, course materials and assessments, as well as using learning management systems and communicating with instructors.” Reporters for Axios describe how certain students with disabilities depend on in-person learning in order to “pick up on social cues and further develop socially and behaviorally.” 

In an article for CNN, special education specialist Sara Finegan explains that “what works in general education doesn’t work for special education students. New concepts must be broken down into manageable parts, taught in isolation and practiced a lot. That’s really hard to do in digital learning, even if you’re a terrific teacher.” Students facing learning challenges cannot be left behind.

USC must reconsider its transition of classes from in-person to online formats and instead offer students the choice to access their courses virtually. This will make academics more accessible to students with disabilities. Given the context of the school’s coronavirus policies and its relatively successful test rates, this option makes the most sense as an important step forward in returning to some sense of normalcy.

Tags:#fall-2021, #hybrid-learning, #joshua-yuan, #michael-pincus, #opinion, #ZoomSours:
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Free USC course can open new career pathways - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Free USC course can open new career pathways

With many adults reassessing their career options as 2020 draws to an end, USC is offering those looking to upskill or reskill a free course as an introduction to higher education.

The two-day University Skills for You course will be held at USC’s Fraser Coast campus on 6-7 January and Gympie Campus on 12-13 January, 2021.

University Skills for You coordinator Liz Davison said the course was ideal for anyone contemplating university or TAFE study next year and unsure about what was involved.

This USC course presents an obligation-free and cost-free opportunity for people looking towards university study as an option,” Ms Davison said.

Facilitated by experienced USC advisers, it caters for people aged 18 years and older who may have not formally studied for many years or did not finish high school.

“There are no tests, assignments or exams,” Ms Davison said. “Instead, the emphasis is on helping people build their confidence and develop new academic skills in a supportive group learning environment.”

Another key focus is helping people to recognise the transferable skills they have gained from work and life experience.

“They are then taught how to turn this formal and informal learning into academic reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills,” she said.

At the end of the course, participants will explore their higher education pathway options and can arrange to have individual sessions with USC advisers to help develop study and career plans.

Workbooks are provided for free and there are no tuition fees. Places are limited and registration is essential. Register online or email [email protected]


Online education is ubiquitous, it seems, and has a lot to recommend it, such as the convenience of learning when and where you want, and the fact that there are so many free courses out there.

However, many online schools seem like they suddenly came out of nowhere, as if created yesterday by a committee of MBA types. The good news is that most brick and mortar schools now have online programs, including most of the best universities in America, and many offer online courses that are 100% free to take.

This post will list the top 40 US universities and present you with the free-for-all online education resources that each college (and/or members of it’s faculty) has on offer. This article aims to be the most comprehensive list of online education resources for the top colleges in America.

college logo grid

Note: scroll down for the list of 40 universities, and for an explanation of types of free online resources included in this article.

And the best colleges (in terms of free online education resources) are …

This is my own ranking of colleges based on the extent and quality of free online education resources they offer (as opposed to the big list underneath, which lists all of the top 40 schools as per the US News & World report college rankings).

  1. Stanford: unquestionably, the most active and the most involved in providing quality free online education resources. Stanford professors, moreover, seem to be everywhere, active in some of the best non-university affiliated free online education sites on the internet.
  2. MIT: not so much second best as tied with Stanford, really. But if you had to rank them, MIT is a close second.
  3. UC Berkeley: the free online education resources it offers are impressive. (All UC branches mentioned in this article had excellent resources).
  4. Yale: a wealth of resources, including it’s OpenYale initiative.
  5. Harvard: excellent resources in general.

Honorable mentions: Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, Rice, and Princeton.

Note on credits and degrees. although you can get a world class education for free if you (a) are willing, and (b) invest the time and energy; free online learning is different from being accredited or getting a degree. For that, you will have to go through an admissions process and (more importantly) pay tuition and fees in each and every case.

We found no free courses that can be taken for credit. None, sorry.

Note on rankings:

  • The rankings below are taken from the 2012 “US News and World Report College Rankings” of the best colleges in America.
  • The brief college descriptions below have been ‘influenced’ somewhat by the USN&WR descriptions, although we also looked into Wikipedia and other sources on the web.
  • Why top 40? It had a nice ring to it, like the music charts 😉

There are SEVEN kinds of online education resources mentioned in this post

  1. Free online courses offeredinternallyon the university website, or by sites that are created by or affiliated with the university.
  2. Free online courses offered on external sites,that may have some relationship with the university or it’s professors and/or faculty.
  3. OpenCourseWare resources: which denotes the sharing of “free, open, high quality education materials organized as courses, including lecture notes, assignments, exams, multimedia content such as videos, etc.”
  4. Internal university podcasts, feeds, videos, and live streaming events.
  5. External sites featuring videos, feeds, etc. from professors or courses affiliated with the university.
  6. The university channel on YouTube
  7. Courses offered on iTunesU (a free iTunes and iOS app which can distribute courses through multiple mediums; audio, video, and text).

Note: we list resources that are FREE TO THE PUBLIC. We do not list any resources, including courses and seminars, that are free for registered students or faculty.

The list of colleges and universities is as follows:

(*) Denotes so-called  Ivy-leagueUniversities.

Harvard University logo1. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The oldest institute of higher learning in America, and probably the best in the world. In the heart of Cambridge, MA.

  • Free Online Courses: Harvard offers these through the Harvard ‘Extension School’s ‘open learning initiative’. Not for credit.
  • Academic Earth / Harvard: contains a slew of Harvard courses. Academic Earth offers “online courses from the world’s top scholars”.
  • edXOnlineis a joint venture between Harvard and MIT, offering many Harvard and MIT courses online for free.
  • Harvard at Udemy: a few courses by Harvard professors
  • Harvard on the Virtual Professors site: a site featuring videos of leading professors (taken from Harvard’s YouTube channel).
  • FreeVideoLectures: Harvard Online Courses
  • Harvard’s YouTube Channel: featuring Harvard-related videos, playlists, and lectures, as well as entire courses.
  • Harvard on iTunesU: quite the selection of courses available here, for free, for both Harvard and Harvard Extension school.

Princeton University logo2. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

The first to institute a ‘no loans’ policy, offering grants instead to students who cannot afford tuition.

Note: for a list of the 70+ colleges with no loans policies, see this article (scroll down).

Yale Universitylogo3. Yale University, New Haven, CT

Combines small college life with the resources and reputation of a world class research institution.

  • Open Yale: is a rather impressive website. It provides “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University”.
  • Academic Earth / Yale: offers Yale online courses for free.
  • Yale at Udemy:  a few courses by Yale professor on Udemy, a site which, among other things, lets users design their own online courses.
  • Virtual Professors’ Yale Channel: featuring videos of talks and lectures by leading Yale professors (taken from Yale’s YouTube channel).
  • The faculty project: some Yale professors offer free courses here; unfortunately, there is not a specific link or page that filters them out.
  • FreeVideoLectures: Yale videos
  • Yale at Futurity: research news.
  • Yale’s YouTube Channel
  • Yale on iTunesU: a good selection of courses and lectures, including Open Yale courses.

columbia logo4. Columbia University, New York, NY

Columbia University is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the US, and the oldest in New York. Columbia administers the Pulitzer prize and, according to Wikipedia, is “affiliated with more Nobel prize laureates” than any other college.

  • Columbia Video Network’s (CVN) Free course previews: from Columbia’s Graduate Engineering Distance Learning program.
  • Academic Earth / Columbia: slim pickings. One one (Pol-Sci) course offered at the time of this writing. Free to take by anyone, no credit.
  • Columbia at Udemy: free courses and lectures by Columbia professors.
  • Columbia at Fathom: a handful of online courses. Note that the Fathom site is no longer being developed and no new content added.
  • University events video gallery: an archive of free talks and events held at Columbia
  • YouTube Channel: featuring commencement speaker for 2012 for Barnard College, Columbia’s sister school — Barack Obama!
  • Columbia on iTunesU: contains public and private sections. The public, free-for-all section is not as rich as, say, most of the schools mentioned in this article.

California Institute Of Technology logo5. California Institute Of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Actively involved in research projects with NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and others, while simultaneously keeping the student-to-faculty ratio an impressive 3:1.

  • Telecourse:featuring a real Caltech course broadcast live, free to take (but there are academic prerequisites). At the time of this writing the course is “Introductory Machine Learning”, although that may have changed to something else at the time you read this. Not for credit.
  • Caltech at Futurity: research news.
  • YouTube Channel: includes the lectures from the free course above, as well as various videos and lectures, including a TEDxCaltechplaylist.
  • Caltech on iTunes: free lectures and podcasts.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology University logo6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

MIT may be the best college for math, science, and engineering education, but it also offers architecture, humanities, management, and social science programs.

  • MITx: an online learning initiative, offering a “portfolio of MIT courses for free to a virtual community of learners around the world”.
  • edXOnlineis a joint venture between Harvard and MIT, offering many Harvard and MIT courses online for free.
  • Academic Earth / MIT: offering an impressive range of courses. Free to take by anyone, no credit.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare provides education materials for courses (lecture notes, assignments, exams, multimedia content, etc.), but not structured courses to take. Also check out the MIT page on the OpenCourseWare site.
  • Alison: interactive learning website, featuring courses published by MIT as well as courses published by MIT Labs(not many, but noteworthy).
  • MIT at Udemy: a good number of courses and lectures by MIT professors.
  • MIT channel on the Virtual Professors site: featuring videos of leading MIT professors doing what they do best (taken from MIT’s YouTube channel).
  • MIT Video site: why MIT has it’s own video site alongside it’s YouTube channel is a mystery, but my guess is that it probably this 10,000+ video archive pre-dated YouTube by a couple of decades 😉
  • FreeVideoLectures: MIT videos
  • YouTube Channel: everything from MIT news to full course lectures.
  • MIT on iTunes U: podcasts, courses, etc., piped straight to your ears via stylish headphones. Add a pair of shades and a cool T-shirt, and people may not even know you’re a geek

Stanford University logo7. Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Stanford stresses the combination of teaching, learning, and research, and has a strong connection with Silicon Valley and California’s tech industry.

  • Check out Stanford’s own Online Learning page, with a menu of options similar to the one presented here (although ours is more comprehensive, and outlines only the free options.)
  • Stanford’s Free Online Courses offered through Coursera.
  • Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE): free courses (lecture videos and courseware), including popular engineering and advanced computer science courses offered by Stanford. See also their free online courses on Artificial Intelligence and Intro to Databases.
  • Stanford Center for Professional Development: offers mainly for-pay certificates, degrees, courses and seminars, but also offers some free lectures and webinars.
  • Udacity online courses: was founded by three Stanford professors, and offers courses on the cutting edge of technology, free to take by all. (Technically it is not affiliated to Stanford, so of course no course credit is given).
  • Stanford coursed on Alison: some excellent courses here; a good range of courses,  including “iPhone App Development”, which I would love to take.
  • Academic Earth / Stanford: featuring a wealth of courses in a wide range of subjects. Not for credit.
  • Stanford’s eCorner: free videos and talks on business, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
  • Stanford at Udemy: a huge selection of courses and lectures by Stanford professors
  • Virtual Professors Stanford Channel: featuring a great wealth of content (taken from Stanford’s YouTube channel).
  • The faculty project: some Stanford professors offer free courses here; unfortunately, there is not a specific link or page that filters them out.
  • FreeVideoLectures: Stanford Online Courses.
  • Stanford at Futurity: research news.
  • YouTube Channel: Stanford news and courses on video
  • Stanford on iTunes U: full courses at your fingertips.

University of Chicago8. The University Of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Although the University of Chicago is a leading center of scientific research, it is better known for advances in humanities, such as sociology, political science, and economics.

Not much in the way of online education resources, compared to some of the others.

Penn logo9. University Of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Founded by Benjamin Franklin, ‘Penn’ is a private institution in Philadelphia that offers Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering, Applied Sciences degrees, and Business degrees through the Wharton School of Business.

DukeUniversity10. Duke University, Durham, NC

A private research university founded by Quakers, Duke, in Durham, NC, has some of the best undergraduate and graduate programs in the US. In 2011 it was ranked as being one of he top 20 universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

  • YouTube Channel: a rather modest selection of videos
  • The faculty project: some Duke professors offer free courses here; unfortunately, there is not a specific link or page that filters them out.
  • Duke at Futurity: research news.
  • Duke on iTunes U: not a lot of material, at least in the free public section, but the podcasts by Dan Ariely are very cool  (yes we actually listened to some of them).

Dartmouth logo11. Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH

The smallest school in the Ivy League, Dartmouth College is a private institution in Hanover, N.H. that comprises Liberal Arts, Medicine,  Engineering, and Business colleges, and offers 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences.

  • Dartmouth at Academic Earth: while Dartmouth is listed at the Academic Earth website, there was not a single course available when we wrote this. Try the link, though; it may have changed since.
  • YouTube Channel
  • The faculty project: some Dartmouth professors offer free courses here; unfortunately, there is not a specific link or page that filters them out.
  • Podcasts and media: the Tuck Business School offers a Media Library that contains videos and audio broadcasts which they call RadioTuck (also get it on iTunes here)

nwlogo12. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

A private school in Evanston, Ill., that offers undergraduates more than 70 majors, with the option to design their own degree program.

Johns Hopkins University logo13. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

A private research university in Baltimore, Md. that offers a wide array of academic programs in the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, and engineering. The National Science Foundation ranked it #1 in science, medical and engineering R&D spending for 31 consecutive weeks (from Wikipedia).

  • Bloomberg school of Public Health OpenCoursWare: provides open courseware (lectures, syllabi, assignments, media, etc.) by course. Also see their OpenCourseWare consortium page.
  • John’s Hopkins at Futurity: research news.
  • YouTube Channel: each school (e.g. the medical school, the business school, etc.) has it’s own sub-channel.
  • Podcasts: Bloomberg School of Public Health Social Media, Public Health Audio Podcasts from Johns Hopkins, Public Health Video Podcasts from Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Player, Johns Hopkins Medicine Gastroenterology Podcasts, Johns Hopkins SAIS Events, Johns Hopkins great ideas podcast.

Washington University IN St.Louis logo14. Washington University in St.Louis, St. Louis, MO

Named after George Washington, WUSTL is a private research university that offers programs in architecture, art, arts and sciences, business, engineering and law. According to Wikipedia, “more than 90% of incoming freshmen were ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes”.

Brown University logo15. Brown University, Providence, RI

A private university in Providence, R.I., with the distinction having been the first American institution of higher learning to accept students regardless of religious affiliation, Brown is an Ivy League college that offers undergraduates more than 70 concentration programs to choose from, and holds them responsible for designing their own academic study plan.

Not much in the way of FREE online resources, unfortunately.

Cornell University logo16. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

A private research university in Ithaca, N.Y., which was co-educational and non-sectarian since its founding in 1865, and is consistently ranked among the world’s 20 best universities across many different rankings.

  • eCornell free resources: including webinars and course ‘demos’.
  • [email protected]: multimedia and video archive.
  • Three lectures by Hans Bethe: quantum physics “made relatively simple”.
  • Internet first University Press: manuscripts and videos freely available online
  • Cornell at Futurity: research news
  • Cornell YouTube Channel
  • Podcasts: Cornellcast recent items,CornellCast live,More Cornell Audio and Video, Cornell Speakers, Medicine, Literature, History, Psychology, Architecture, Economics, Law, and Health and Nutrition.
  • Cornell on iTunes (note: link will require iTunes to be installed in order to open).

Rice University logo17. Rice University, Houston, TX

A private research university located in Houston, TX. Rice adopts a “need-blind” admissions policy whereby it will meet “the full demonstrated need of any accepted student who requires help paying tuition”. (from Wikipedia, USN&WR).

  • Connexions: open courseware at Rice, featuring educational materials that anyone can view or contribute to.
  • Openstax: a Rice initiative that aims to produce creative commons licensed, downloadable eTextbooks and resources on many topics, that would be free to download and use.
  • Rice’s “Center for Technology in Teaching & Learning” offers many interactive games and projects that aim to teach various topics. Check out their “Science and Health-Related Games”, educational “Mobile Applications“, Oral History Projects, and more.
  • Academic Earth / Rice: while Rice is listed at the Academic Earth website, there was not a single course available when we wrote this. Try the link, though; it may have changed since.
  • Rice at Futurity: research news.
  • Rice’s YouTube Channel
  • Podcasts: PHYS101 – Mechanics, PHYS102 – Electricity and Magnetism.

Vanderbilt University logo18. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

A private research university established in 1873. Vanderbilt University consists of four undergraduate and six graduate and professional schools, and it’s admission policy is extremely selective.

University Of North Dame logo19. University Of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

A private, independent, Catholic research university in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame is not just competitive in the football field, it is also one of the best universities in America.

Emory Logo20. Emory University, Atlanta, GA

A private research university that operates in metropolitan Atlanta as Emory college and at a smaller campus 40 miles away as Oxford College. It offers about 70 majors in the arts, sciences, nursing, and business administration.

UC Berkeley University logo21. UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

A public research university that overlooks the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, Calif. UC Berkeley has a long list of notable alumni, faculty, and staffs, and is one of the best institutions of higher learning in the world.

georgetown-university-logo22. Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Located in one of the most vibrant areas in the nation’s capital, Georgetown University is a private research university that is the oldest Catholic university in the country.

Carnegie Mellon University logo23. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

A private research university in Pittsburgh, PA. It specializes in academic areas including engineering, business, computer science, and fine arts, and according to Wikipedia “consistently ranks among the top 25 universities in the United States”.

University of Southern California logo24. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

California’s oldest private university, USC is a not-for-profit research university based in Los Angeles.

UCLA University of California, Los Angeles University logo25. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

The University of California—Los Angeles is a public research university that, next to UC Berkeley above, is one of the ‘flagship’ institutions of the University of California system. It offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines.

University of Virginia logo26. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

A public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia and established by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. “UVA is the only university in the United States to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO”, according to Wikipedia.

Wake Forest University logo27. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

A private, coeducational university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university was originally located in Wake Forest, NC, where it got it’s name, but it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.

University of Michigan logo28. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

A public research university. The Ann Arbor branch is considered the ‘flagship’, but there are other branches in Flint and Dearborn. UM admissions are considered most selective.

tufts_logo29. Tufts University, Medford, MA

“Tufts University is a private institution that was founded in 1852. The school has 69.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students, and the student-faculty ratio at Tufts University is 9:1”. Source: USN&WR.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill logo30. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

One of the oldest public universities in the US and one of the 16 public state Universities in that state. Its admissions policy is considered very selective.

Boston College logo31. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

A private Jesuit research university with just over 9000 students (most of whom are graduate students), and a an acceptance rate of just over 30% (which is quite selective).

Brandeis University logo32. Brandeis University,Waltham, MA

A private research university founded in 1948, with a liberal arts focus, a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, and a selective admissions policy.

Not too much in the way of free online education resources though.

College of William & Mary logo33. College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

A public research university founded in 1693. The school has a the student-faculty ratio of 12:1 and a selective admissions policy.

Not too much in the way of free online education resources though.

  • YouTube Channel
  • College of William & Mary does not seem to have an iTunes U presence, although we did find this page which claims differently (we checked iTunes itself and found no listing). Coming soon, perhaps?.

New York University logo34. New York University, New York, NY

A private research university located in the the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, with a selective admissions ratio of around 38%

University of Rochester logo35. University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

A a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, with about 10000 students split approximately evenly between undergraduates and graduate students.

Georgia Institute of Technology logo36. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

A public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1865 during the reconstruction period in the wake of the America civil war, it has grown to become one of the best institutes of higher learning in the United States.

University of California San Diego37. University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA

A public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. UC San Diego has very a selective admissions policy, with an acceptance rate of around 36%.

Case Western Reserve University logo38. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

A private research university in Cleveland, Ohio that has a student to faculty ratio of 9:1 and almost two thirds of classes having less than 20 students.

Lehigh University  logo39. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

A private university in Bethlehem, PA, with admissions that are considered very selective. Lehigh was ranked as 12th in the nation in terms of “return on investment” by the Wall St. Journal.

University of California Davis logo40. University of California Davis, Davis, CA

A public teaching and research university, with the largest campus of the University of California system and very high research activity.

Thanks go to Alaa K. for doing considerable research for this article.

That’s it. If you know of any related free online education resources that I missed, please let me know in the comments section above.

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started


Free courses usc online

Online Courses

Master of Mass Communication in Journalism and Mass Communications - Strategic Communication Management track only

Master of Library and Information Science
Specialist in Library and Information Science
Certificate of Specialized Study in Information Science

Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner 
Master of Science in Nursing - Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Informatics
Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration
Certificate of Graduate Study in Advanced Practice Nursing
Certificate of Graduate Study in Nursing Administration 
Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Informatics
Doctorate of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Doctorate of Nursing Practice - Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
Doctorate of Nursing Practice - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Doctorate of Nursing Practice - Nurse Executive Leadership (NEL)

Master of Science in Speech Pathology
Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior
Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management

Harvard University Free Online Courses with Free Certificates - Harvard CS50 Certificates for Free

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We offer a variety of bachelor’s and master’s level programs that can be completed either entirely online, or through our hybrid model in which a majority of courses are completed online. No matter which path is the best fit for you, through our online learning programs you can expect a high-quality, supportive, convenient experience. 

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When you enroll in one of our online programs, you will experience the same level of academic quality and outstanding instruction that Upstate is known for with its traditional, on-campus programs. Same curriculum, same expert faculty, same reputation for excellence.

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Those new to online and distance learning are usually unclear at first about how the technology and delivery resources work. Understand that as an online student at Upstate, you will have access to all of the support you may need as it relates to technology, completing and submitting assignments, and your ability to communicate with faculty and fellow students.

Learn More About Online Programs

To learn more about offered online programs, visit the Upstate Online page. 


You will also be interested:

Must Reads: Online degrees made USC the world’s biggest social work school. Then things went terribly wrong

A decade ago, USC was looking for a way into online education, which promised a gush of new tuition dollars without the expense of additional dorms and classrooms.

Under then-Provost C.L. Max Nikias, USC signed on with an East Coast digital learning start-up, and the university’s well-regarded social work school soon rolled out an online master’s program.

Enrollment exploded. The student body grew from about 900 in 2010 to 3,500 in 2016, and the social work school became the largest in the world.

That rapid growth, designed to assure a stable future, has instead left the school reeling. As The Times reported in May, USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is facing a budget crisis so severe that nearly half of the staff may lose their jobs.


Though USC has yet to detail the full scope and causes of the fiscal emergency, some things are clear: Hiring teachers and administrators for the online program proved costly. Fees for the company that runs the digital learning platform ate up more than half of the online tuition revenue. Other, less costly programs came on the market. And the push to fill online classes led to the admission of less qualified students, a decision many on the faculty say damaged the learning experience and the school’s reputation.

Efforts are underway to restore admissions standards, but stricter criteria mean fewer students and less tuition money for the school.

The emerging problems at USC have reverberated all the way to Wall Street, where the start-up the university partnered with years ago has grown into a publicly traded company valued at more than $2 billion. Maryland-based corporation 2U Inc. now services universities around the country and abroad, but it relies on USC for about a fifth of its revenue.

Industry analysts have pressed 2U executives repeatedly about the unfolding situation at the social work school, and the company lowered revenue forecasts last fall, citing in part instability at the Los Angeles university.

“We will continue to work with the school to drive the best results possible,” said 2U Chief Executive Chip Paucek in a February earnings call. “We have to be patient here.”

The company said it did not contribute to the social work school’s financial problems, saying in a statement to The Times, “2U has consistently met our financial contribution targets for the school.”

The university, which has contracted with the company through 2030, said the factors that led to the school’s budget crunch were “much broader” than its relationship with 2U.

“Generally, this partner relationship has been positive,” the university said in a statement.

The severity of the social work school’s problems is evident in the steps that are being considered to shore up its fiscal footing. Part-time teaching positions are being largely eliminated and professors required to shoulder significantly heavier course loads. A university committee has recommended laying off up to 45% of the non-teaching staff. A USC spokeswoman said in a statement that “all administrative expenses” are being examined for savings and that the human resources department “is continuing to work through what the staff impact will look like.”

As the social work school struggles, there is growing scrutiny on campus about the relationship with 2U.

2U takes a 60% cut of online tuition from the social work program, and the contract carries onerous penalties if USC breaks the arrangement. People familiar with the agreement told The Times it contains a so-called poison tail that requires the university to continue handing over its revenue share for two years after canceling.

Paucek, the CEO, has described the company’s agreements with universities as essentially “non-cancelable.” In a statement, the company said the provisions, which it termed “teach out” clauses, are justified based on 2U’s upfront investment of up to $10 million in new degree programs. The provisions also ensure students 2U helped recruit and enroll get services they were promised, the company said. Its statement noted that since it was founded in 2008, “the company has not had a client fail to renew a graduate degree program contract.”

Ahead of commencement last month, the school gave faculty and administrators talking points that anticipated some in attendance would have concerns about 2U. If a parent or student raises the issue, the handout said, they should respond that there were no plans to end the partnership “at this time.”

2U, initially known as 2tor, started pitching USC shortly after its founding. It lacked a track record with universities but had a compelling vision. The founders, alumni of the Princeton Review and Hooked on Phonics, said they were committed to removing barriers to education. Its motto is “No back row.”

With 2U, students attend live online classes in which about a dozen students and a professor can see and talk to one another in a setup some compare to the game show “Hollywood Squares.” The experience is designed to be of higher quality than other programs on the market that offer recorded lectures, tutoring by email and, for some, a sense of isolation.

Nikias, who served as president from 2010 until last year, feared virtual learning would diminish undergrads’ distinct experience studying at the University Park campus, so he focused USC’s online efforts instead on graduate students. Many of those were working professionals who would benefit from the flexibility of off-campus programs.

USC’s Rossier School of Education launched a master’s in teaching through 2U in 2009. The social work school followed in 2010.

Marilyn Flynn, former dean of the social work school, told the Huffington Post in April that Nikias made it clear he wanted her and her peers to embrace online degree programs.

“Our merit reviews would reflect our ability to do this,” said Flynn, who left USC last year following a criminal inquiry into a donation she handled from a local politician.

Asked whether Nikias pressured his deans, a university spokeswoman said that although USC’s leaders supported online learning, the decision was left to individual deans.

Many professors and future social workers were pleased with 2U’s execution.

“Everything about it was perfect,” said Shona Shaw, 29, a single mom in Atlanta who worked full time and took classes in the evening while her child slept. The first time she stepped foot on USC’s campus as a student was in May, when she accepted her diploma.

“I had no idea how many students there were until I got to graduation,” Shaw said.

Flynn was so impressed with the technology that in 2015 she recorded a message for Wall Street analysts praising the company as “the gold standard in online education.” She said the partnership had left her with a “positive revenue flow.”

“I’m the best person in the United States to talk about this company. And what you’ve heard from me is something I think you can rely on,” Flynn said.

The company seemed equally smitten. “You can argue that 2U wouldn’t exist without USC,” Paucek, the CEO, told corporate analysts in 2017.

As part of a contract renegotiation, the company donated $2.5 million to the social work school to endow Flynn’s academic chair and made a separate donation to a $6-billion capital campaign spearheaded by Nikias. Paucek’s wife, Gabrielle, enrolled in USC’s online master’s in teaching in 2012 and later that year recorded a promotional video extolling it as “the best program there is.”

A company spokeswoman said Gabrielle Paucek was not compensated for the appearance.

USC has introduced more than half a dozen online degrees through 2U, including physical therapy, public policy, design and school counseling.

Trojan money poured into the company’s coffers. When 2U went public in 2014, about 70% of its revenues were coming from just two USC programs: the master’s degrees in teaching and social work. Tax records show that by last year, USC had paid at least $166 million to 2U. As of last year, more than 20% of company revenue came from the university.

The connection between 2U and USC was so close, Paucek once told an industry conference that the provost, Michael Quick, called him out of the blue and invited company executives to dream up a new graduate degree for the university to offer.

“Now, by the way, that’s a good day,” Paucek told the group. 2U, he said, chose the online master’s degree in nursing that debuted at the social work school in 2016.

Asked about Paucek’s account, the USC spokeswoman did not dispute it but said in a statement, “Ultimately, it is for the deans and the faculty of a particular school to decide what online programs, if any, are offered.”

Meanwhile, 2U was courting other universities and eventually inked deals to offer social work degrees at Simmons College in Boston, Fordham University in New York, the University of Denver and Baylor University in Texas.

2U’s new social work programs and others established at rival universities were significantly cheaper than a master’s of social work from USC, which runs up to $116,000 for the two-year degree, and those less costly competitors cut into the university’s applicant pool.

2U had an aggressive marketing arm that used social media to target prospects and employed a team of digital journalists to produce articles that raised the profile of its degree programs.

Even with these efforts, USC was struggling to attract enough students. The school had long required a 3.0 grade-point average, but over time, the university made more and more exceptions to fill the online classes. In recent years, about 40% of entering students were so-called conditional admits, meaning they lacked the requisite minimum GPA or failed to meet other stated requirements. In U.S. News & World Report’s ranking, USC’s social work school dropped from the top 10 a decade ago to 25th last year.

Faculty noticed many new students had difficulty doing graduate-level work. The school provided extra tutoring and counseling programs, but problems persisted. Faculty grumbled among themselves and, ultimately, to Quick and other administrators.

Flynn stepped down from her post as dean in June 2018. She departed the university entirely last fall after federal prosecutors started looking into her handling of a donation to the social work school from a county supervisor that ended up in the coffers of a nonprofit controlled by the politician’s son. No charges have been filed in the investigation.

After her exit, school officials reviewed financial records. The records and a subsequent outside review showed the school had operated at a loss for at least two years and had become financially dependent on the admission of students who fell below the normal academic criteria, faculty were informed.

The school is tightening admissions standards gradually, so as to avoid a catastrophic drop in enrollment and revenue. Asked about the size of the incoming class this fall, a spokeswoman said it was “too early to report.” She said “generally” the school enrolls about 3,200 students across all programs, which is 300 fewer than the number USC cited three years ago.

In a statement provided last month, Flynn’s lawyer blamed the applicant decline “as a result of rising USC tuition” and said the former dean agreed with her professors that it was necessary to shrink the size of the school “to improve quality and satisfaction with learning outcomes.”


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