Top 20 Online Science Courses

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for new ways to improve your skills. Whether you want to advance your career, get back into school, or simply learn something mind-blowing, taking online science courses is one of the best ways to quickly level up in a completely new subject. And, thanks to the Internet, you can now take classes from the comfort of your couch. But there are a lot of time-wasters out there, which is why we’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a list of nine online science courses from prestigious universities such as MIT, Harvard, and UC Berkeley. 

They’re life-changing, and available for free through the online learning platform edX. Check them out and make sure that the next time you spend a couple of hours online procrastinating, you’re also learning something.

 

Why Should You Take Free Online Science Courses?

Science is one of the most diverse fields, attempting to explain how the world works. Physics (the study of the physical world), chemistry (the study of chemical interactions), biology (the study of living beings), social science (the study of human behaviour in groups), geology (the study of the earth), and medical science are just a few of the specializations and courses of study available in science (the study of healthcare methods). However, all of these fields share some common assumptions, such as the notion that knowledge can be gained through experimentation and data collection.

The scientific method, which is used in settings such as college science programs and practical research laboratories, is the core method in all science fields. Scientists develop a testable question as well as a hypothesis about how that test will turn out. The predicted results are then tested to see if they match the prediction. The findings are then analyzed, and scientists determine whether their initial predictions for their central question were correct. These findings are then reported so that other scientists can consider them in the future.

Online science courses can be useful as introductory classes in fields such as physics, psychology, computer science, and biology, but in most cases, you will want to transfer to a traditional campus for later laboratory work. An online science course can teach you how to answer questions such as:

  • How do I manage experimental variables that could lead to erroneous results?
  • What is the interaction of physical objects?
  • What are the most vital components of some of the world’s ecosystems?
  • What are some of the practical issues that arise when developing artificial intelligence?
  • What are the most common types of mental illnesses?

When considering an online science course, consider the quality of your chosen institution and its professors. Do most of the professors at this school have a PhD in science? At this school, do students enrolled in online courses and those enrolled in classroom courses have equal access to faculty? Is this school well-known for the science you’re interested in? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you determine whether the school you choose is a good fit for you.

 

Top 20 Accredited Online Science Courses

We’ve compiled a list of online open courseware from top universities around the world. These are provided for free and include lecture notes, video lectures, practice exercises, and other science teaching tools. These online science course documents do not provide you with access to top science faculty to ask questions, but they can serve as a good way to gauge your interest in science.

1. Super-Earths and Life

This is one of the Harvard online science courses and among the short online science courses. What you will discover: Will we ever find life outside of Earth? This course will teach you everything you need to know about the search for extraterrestrial life, including where to look, how it might have begun, and how we will find it if it exists.

Harvard University is the host university.

The next session begins on January 10th.

Time commitment: 3-5 hours per week

 

2. Quantum Mechanics for Everyone

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. What you will learn: This four-week MOOC (massive open online course) is ideal for anyone interested in quantum mechanics. It is suitable for all enthusiasts because no complicated mathematics is required, but quantum theory is taught without “dumbing down” any of the material. One of the most intriguing ways to spend your Christmas vacation.

Georgetown University is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 7-10 hours per week

 

3. Scientific Methods and Research 

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will learn: In a post-fact world, this could be one of the most important subjects to study. The course teaches you the scientific method, how to tell good science from bad research, and how to analyze and discuss scientific articles.

Ural Federal University is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 3-4 hours per week

 

4. Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (part 1)

This is one of the Harvard online science courses and among the short online science courses. What you will discover: We all want to be better cooks, but it’s difficult to know where to start. Top chefs and Harvard researchers have collaborated on this course, which uses scientific and engineering principles to help you create culinary delights in your kitchen.

Harvard University is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 5-7 hours per week

 

5. Introduction to Computer Science

This is one of the Harvard online science courses and among the short online science courses. What you will learn: While not strictly science, programming is the language of the future. This is the best introductory computing course for people who have never programmed before. It will teach you C, PHP, JavaScript, SQL, CSS, and HTML, among other languages.

Harvard University is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Required time commitment: at least 100 hours total.

 

6. Climate Change: The Science 

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will learn: From now on, win every debate with climate deniers. You will learn all of the hard scientific facts about climate change, as well as how to explain them to anyone. You will also learn what we can do to combat global warming.

The University of British Columbia is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 2-5 hours per week

 

7. Introduction to Astrophysics

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will learn: It seems like we learn something new about the Universe every day, from black holes and exoplanets to the amazing science of gravitational waves. But how do scientists figure it all out? This course will teach you the fundamentals of astrophysics so that you can better understand the amazing phenomena that make our Universe what it is.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week

 

8. The Extremes of Life: Microbes and Their Diversity

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will discover: Life on Earth is far stranger than we ever imagined; in some of the most remote parts of the planet, researchers have discovered creatures that eat nothing but air and can withstand massive amounts of radiation. Learn more about the amazing microorganisms that exist on Earth and why they are so vital to our future.

Kyoto University is the host university.

The next session begins on December 21.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week

 

9. Cell Biology: Mitochondria

This is one of the Harvard online science courses and among the short online science courses. What you will discover: Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouses! These amazing organelles play an important role in our energy production and overall health, and scientists are finally learning more about where they came from and how they function. It’s ideal for all you biologists out there.

Harvard University is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want; it is self-paced.

Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week

 

10. The Science of Everyday Thinking

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will learn: Science will teach you how to think better, argue better, and choose better. Learn about the psychology of why we think the way we do, as well as how our opinions, expectations, and judgments are formed. It’s the one course that is guaranteed to have a direct impact on your life and make it a lot better.

The University of Queensland is the host university.

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 2 hours per week

 

11. Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe

This is one of the short online science courses for college credit and among the Top 20 online science courses. What you will learn: We’re learning more about the Universe every day, but there’s still a lot that has scientists baffled. And these aren’t minor issues: we still don’t know whether alien life exists in space, what the majority of the Universe is made of, or why the Big Bang occurred. This course will assist you in gaining a more in-depth understanding of these mysteries than what you may have read in popular media.

ANU (Australian National University) is the host university

The next session will begin whenever you want (this is a self-paced course).

Time commitment: 3 hours per week

 

12. Anatomy: Gastrointestinal, Reproductive and Endocrine Systems

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. What you will learn: The human body is awe-inspiring, and this course will teach you the basic functions and layout of three of the most important systems. This is a lot of fun for anyone who has ever had an interest in medicine or anatomy.

The University of Michigan is the host university

The next session begins on February 27.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week

 

13. Oregon State University eCampus Chemistry Courses Online

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. This fantastic state university offers General Chemistry I and II, as well as labs for engineering, pharmacy, chemistry, nursing, and biology majors. Organic Chemistry is also available to dentistry, pre-med, pharmacy and chemical engineering majors.

 

14. CalCampus Computer Assisted Learning Center

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. This private company does not offer degrees but does provide online regionally accredited college courses that can be used toward degrees or professional licensing requirements for nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists. CalCampus offers online Biology I and II lab courses, as well as College Chemistry I and II lab courses. Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology I and II are two other difficult-to-find courses with lab components of interest to nurses and medical professionals.

 

15. The Georgia College Systems eCore Chemistry with Lab Online

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. The Georgia State University system has collaborated with eCore, a private company, to provide the lab component for Chemistry I and II. These courses are approved for lab majors and are designed to meet the rigour required for science, pre-med, and health majors.

 

16. Philosophy, Science and Religion: Religion and Science (Coursera)

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. The third course in the Philosophy, Science, and Religion Online series is titled ‘Religion and Science.’ The course will cover five topics, each of which will be presented by an expert in the field.

  • Science, Religion, and the Universe’s Origin (Professor Tim Maudlin, NYU )
  • Buddhism and Science, Part 2 (Professor Graham Priest, CUNY)
  • Design and Evolution (Dr Kevin Scharp, St Andrews)
  • Evolutionary Issues in Sin Suffering and Salvation (Dr Bethany Sollereder, Oxford)
  • The Uniqueness of Human Beings in Science, Theology, and Ethics (Professor David Clough, Chester)

The University of Edinburgh is the host university.

The course lasts for 6 Weeks

Time commitment: 3 hours/week

Cost:  44.00 EUR

 

17. Philosophy of Science (Coursera)

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. Scientists have aimed to provide us with an understanding of the world around us for the last four centuries. Science appears to have made significant progress during this time. Is this progress, however, real or illusory? And, if it’s true, how has this progress been achieved? These critical questions will be addressed in this four-week course. 

Specific topics will include how scientists generate knowledge through observations, scientific objectivity and its failures; experiments, and simulations; the scientific community’s self-correcting nature; the relationship between science and religion; the positive and negative influences that values can have on science; and the role of the public in guiding the scientific enterprise. The syllabus includes;

Week 1: Introduction And Primary Examples

Week 2: Research Methods

Week 3: Objectivity In Science

Week 4: Science Values

 

The University of Pennsylvania is the host university.

The course lasts for 4 Weeks

Time commitment:12 hours total

Cost:  40.00 EUR

 

18. Protists: Evolution and Ecology of Microbial Eukaryotes (Coursera)

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. The goal of this course is to create a complete picture of protistan diversity. The major stages of eukaryotic evolution will be highlighted. this course will elucidate the major branches of the eukaryotic life tree by tracking phylogenetic affinities in protistan lineages. this course will investigate how free-living and parasitic unicells move, acquire food, digest, regulate osmotic pressure, and complete their life cycle. We will also investigate how protists interact with their environment and achieve biological success. 

this course will discuss what protists are, sarcodines, slime moulds, flagellates, ciliates, apicomplexans, microsporidians, modern phylogeny, and also summarize life histories and talk about evolutionary trends in free-living and parasitic protists. This online course will have an optional on-campus extension in which students will have one week of lab exercises. They will observe, explore, and document live specimens and fixed mounts of naked and testate amoebas, foraminiferans, radiolarians, heliozoans, myxomycetes, flagellates, ciliates, gregarines, and coccidians using light microscopy.

The course syllabus includes the following;

Week 1: Basics

Week 2: Amoeboid Protists

Week 3: Flagellates

Week 4: Apicomplexans

Week 5: Ciliates

Week 6: Protists And Eukaryotic Evolution

 

Saint Petersburg State University is the host university.

The course lasts for  5-12 Weeks

Time commitment: 1-4 Hours/Week

Cost: 41.00 EUR/month

 

19. Challenging Forensic Science: How Science Should Speak to Court (Coursera)

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. The goal of this course is to encourage critical thinking about forensic science. Today, most people are awestruck by the technological possibilities offered by forensic science. They have the delusion that forensic evidence is impenetrable and provides factual findings with absolute certainty. This course, taught by experts in the field, goes beyond the conventional image promoted by TV shows like CSI. It informs (without alarming) the public about the limitations of the techniques to promote good forensic science administration in the criminal justice system. 

 

It enables participants to comprehend the significance of probabilistic reasoning in forensic science, as uncertainty is an inherent part of the field. The course is organized as a series of causes célèbres that may or may not have resulted in miscarriages of justice. Some of these cases were part of case reviews conducted at the University of Lausanne’s School of Criminal Justice.

The University of Lausanne is the host university.

The course lasts for  5 Weeks

Time commitment: 17 Hours

Cost: 40.00 EUR/month

 

20. The Science of Stem Cells (Coursera)

This is one of the accredited online science courses for college credit and among the free online science courses with certificate of completion. In this five-part online course, you will learn about the history and basic biology of stem cells, as well as new research techniques and how stem cells could lead to disease cures and individualized medicine. You’ll hear from Museum scientists, cutting-edge medical researchers, and a panel of bioethics experts about the ethical implications of stem cell research and therapy. Learn about what has already been accomplished, what challenges remain, and what medical breakthroughs may be on the horizon.

American Museum of Natural History is the host university.

The course lasts for 5 Weeks

Time commitment: 10 Hours

Cost: 40.00 EUR/month

 

Conclusion

There you have it, the Top 20 online science courses to help you advance your career, get back into school, or simply learn something mind-blowing. Check them out and make sure that the next time you spend a couple of hours online procrastinating, you’re also learning something.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some Science Careers, Jobs, and Businesses

Students can pursue a variety of careers in both science and non-science fields. Job/career prospects in the field of Science, on the other hand, are dependent on a candidate’s course and specialization. A student with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Physics, for example, can pursue a career in space & astronomy, healthcare, meteorology & geophysics, and so on. A student with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Chemistry, on the other hand, can pursue careers as a chemical engineer, analytical chemist, forensic scientist, nanotechnologist, biotechnologist, and so on.

  • At What Level Can You Study Science Courses?

Candidates can pursue a degree, diploma, certificate, integrated, and vocational Science courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. These courses are available in full-time, part-time, distance/correspondence, and online formats.

Degree Science courses: Candidates can pursue a BSc, BSc (Honours), or MSc degree at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Diploma Science courses: Diploma Science courses are typically one-year Science programs that can be pursued at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Certificate Science courses: Certificate courses are typically four to six months in length. These courses are available as both full-time and part-time programs.

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