Top 9 Harvard Online Courses You Should Attend

Harvard offers hundreds of online courses for the enterprising student. Some are meant for serious professionals and degree seekers; others can be taken by anyone with a curiosity for the subject. All of them can be accessed with the click of a button. If you’re ready to dive into the knowledge base of one of the most prestigious schools in the world, here are nine Harvard online courses worth your time.

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Popular Harvard Online Courses to Look In To

1. HBX CORe

Subject: Business
Duration: 8-18 weeks
Free or Paid: Paid

The Harvard School of Business (HSB) is one of the most recognized in the world, and you can gain a non-credit, Harvard-branded certificate of completion when you finish HBX CORe. Designed to give its students a thorough foundation in business, it covers everything from economics to management to financial accounting. While you don’t need any previous business knowledge to sign up, you should be warned that this is an intense course meant for serious business students, so you’ll need to work hard to keep up.

2. CS50: Introduction to Computer Science

Subject: Computer Science
Duration: Self-Paced
Free or Paid: Free

One of the most popular Harvard online courses, CS50 will teach you everything that you need to know about the basics of computer science. From algorithms to data structures, it will show you how to use technology to approach and solve problems in a faster, more efficient way. You don’t need any prior knowledge of computer science to follow along, and you can control your own schedule with CS50’s self-paced learning format.

3. Justice

Subject: Government, Law and Politics
Duration: Self-Paced
Free or Paid: Free

Bestselling author Michael Sandel leads this popular course on ethics and politics. Not only will you study the teachings of ancient philosophers like Aristotle and Kant, but you’ll also learn how to examine current, real-world ethical dilemmas in a way that applies critical analysis to your own thought processes. Lessons are available in both video and podcast form, and closed captioning is offered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, German and Chinese.

4. The Data Wise Leadership Institute

Subject: Education
Duration: Five days
Free or Paid: Paid

This brief but intense seminar was designed as a crash course for teachers, principals and administrators who are ready to implement positive changes in their schools. True progress starts from within, and this course will show you how to re-structure your policies, plans and procedures in a way that fosters student achievement. Take mini-lessons in video form; create data displays and meeting agendas for review; receive feedback from accomplished educators every step of the way. At the end of five days, you’ll be a veteran of Harvard online courses and ready to face the challenges of your school district.

5. The Cyber World: Hardware, Software, Networks, Security, and Management

Subject: Computer Science
Duration: Self-Paced
Free or Paid: Paid

As the world grows increasingly digital, it can be difficult to keep up with the changing infrastructures of cyberspace. This course will answer all of the questions that you have about the Internet but are too embarrassed to ask. From individual laptops to the crazy labyrinth of global web databases, Cyber World will take you on a journey of “tech literacy.” Best of all, since it’s one of the self-paced Harvard online courses, you can take your time exploring its concepts and absorbing its information.

6. ChinaX

Subject: History
Duration: 10 self-paced units
Free or Paid: Free

Perfect for liberal arts majors, ChinaX offers a comprehensive look at more than 6,000 years of Chinese culture and history. You’ll watch videos, analyze artwork, peruse ancient texts and explore interactive maps. You can even take “virtual field trips” and meet famous Chinese writers, scholars, priests, politicians and agriculturists. If you’re at all interested in China as a country, this is one of those Harvard online courses that you won’t want to miss.

7. AnatomyX: Musculoskeletal

Subject: Medicine
Duration: Self-Paced
Free or Paid: Free

Offered by the official Harvard Medical School (HMS), this course dives deep into the human body to teach its students about bones, muscles, joints and cartilages. It isn’t for the faint of heart: You’ll be expected to watch real surgical videos and cadaver dissections, and you’ll need to answer questions and quizzes posed by actual doctors, surgeons and radiologists. If your stomach can handle it, however, AnatomyX will give you valuable real-world knowledge as an aspiring doctor or just a curious student looking to learn more about the human body and its mysteries.

8. Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change

Subject: Government, Law and Politics
Duration: 14 weeks
Free of Paid: Paid

Earn an official Harvard certificate of completion when you finish this course about leadership and change. Meant for activists, advocates, social workers and community organizers, Leading Change will instruct you in both managing and mobilizing a diverse group of people for a good cause. You’ll need to fully dedicate yourself to the course, however; it lasts 14 weeks and involves a lot of collaborative work between student groups and partnerships, so don’t sign up unless you’re ready to commit.

9. The Meaning of Life

Subject: Religion and Spirituality
Duration: Self-Paced
Free or Paid: Paid

“We all will die eventually,” this course promises, so seek the truth of existence while you still can. Exploring different artistic, religious and philosophical concepts from across the globe, The Meaning of Life dives right into the big questions and offers no easy answers. Why are we here? What really matters? What happens after we pass? If you’re already a Harvard student, you can earn course credits for figuring it out; if you’re just sampling Harvard online courses for the thrill of it, it’s still a mystery worth contemplating.

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Whether you’re hoping to finish up a degree, obtain a professional certificate or just learn something new, Harvard online courses can teach you valuable lessons. But what do you think? Did we miss an interesting course that isn’t offered here? Or are you looking for something different in particular? Sound off in the comments.

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