The 15 Best Free Online Courses You Can Take From Harvard

Access Harvard's elite education for free through these handpicked online courses.

Man taking an online class
Updated May 28, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Free classes are available everywhere online these days. Even Ivy League schools like Harvard University are sharing their courses with the public.

Some of these classes can help you learn skills that will transfer to the workplace and help you move beyond living paycheck to paycheck. Others can deepen your knowledge in topics you’re passionate about.

Following are the 15 best free classes available from Harvard.

Earn money online by taking surveys

$55,000 might sound crazy … but with a company called Survey Junkie, it’s possible to get your share of it every day by taking their surveys in your extra time.

Follow these simple steps to start earning:

  1. Sign up for an account with Survey Junkie here.
  2. Take surveys.
  3. Repeat daily and get paid for sharing your opinion!

P.S.: You can cash out with as little as $5 through PayPal or bank transfer, or transfer to gift cards from a number of stores.

Get your share of $55,000 daily by signing up here

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

VisualProduction/Adobe Employee on video call with colleagues

Even in a time when artificial intelligence can write a full-length report, it still pays to know how to write.

If you work in marketing, communications, or fundraising, this eight-week class can help elevate your writing. You’ll learn how to craft a more persuasive argument to get what you want.

Managing Happiness

pressmaster/Adobe Man using laptop while wearing headphones

Most people think happiness is something that just happens to you, but this six-week course teaches students how to actively create and sustain the feeling.

Although it might sound like a fluff class, the course utilizes principles from neuroscience and psychology to show that happiness isn’t just about feeling good — it’s also about building a life of which you can be proud.

CS50's Introduction to Game Development

deagreez/Adobe Man developing website at home office

Perfect for beginners with or without programming experience, this 11-week self-paced course teaches you how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently.

You'll learn essential concepts like abstraction, data structures, and web development, along with popular languages like C, Python, and JavaScript.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

The Science of Corresponding with Busy People webinar

Kateryna/Adobe Female student attending online class

In an era of digital communication, most employees spend a good deal of time communicating with people who are even busier than they are.

This webinar class shows students how to create messages that cut through the noise so their emails are always answered — no matter how busy the recipient is.

Resilient Leadership

shurkin_son/Adobe Woman learning at laptop

As a boss, your job is to motivate and support your workers so they can reach their full potential. That can be difficult in a world that is changing so much.

This self-paced class teaches you leadership lessons from the life of legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton that you can take directly to the office.

Negotiating Salary

Mariia Korneeva/Adobe Happy woman studying on laptop

While this course is an introductory 15-minute video, its lessons might impact the rest of your life.

The class will teach you how to get a higher salary based on the story of Derek Sanderson, former center for the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.

Research shows that most workers don’t negotiate well, meaning you could be missing out on thousands of dollars each year by not taking advantage of the strategies shared in this course.

Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health

insta_photos/Adobe Woman using tablet

If you work in human resources, you know that employee health is a crucial building block to a successful and profitable company.

This nine-week class will show you how to reduce employee health costs while providing tangible benefits for your workers.

CS50's Computer Science for Business Professionals

BullRun/Adobe Woman making notes in library

This six-week course is an introductory class that helps business professionals with no experience in computer science learn the basics.

Students will learn about web development, various programming languages, cloud computing, and more. If you’re interested in further pursuing computer science after the course ends, you can take other free Harvard computer science classes.

Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up

Rido/Adobe Student getting online lessons on laptop

Individuals constantly misunderstand statistics and probability. Consider taking this class if interpreting data and statistics is crucial to your job.

This course lasts for seven weeks and explains concepts related to probability. It is designed for those with no previous experience.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A Roadmap for Getting Results

fizkes/Adobe Working on a laptop

If you work in health care, you know that improvements in the workplace can impact the level of care received by patients.

Improvement science is the study of how to make systems better over time. This course takes seven weeks to complete and is self-paced.

Introduction to Family Engagement in Education

Prostock-studio/Adobe Student taking notes for online class

As most education professionals know, student success is tied directly to how engaged and interested the parents are, not just how good the school is. This self-paced course can offer strategies to increase family engagement.

Teachers, principals, and anyone else who works in education can benefit from this course.

Innovating in Health Care

fizkes/Adobe Someone learning online from doctor

The class covers different health care business models and how innovation is changing long-standing systems.

Employees who work in health care can learn much from this self-paced course.

The Path to Happiness: What Chinese Philosophy Teaches Us About the Good Life

Oleksii/Adobe Woman taking online class

Chinese philosopher Confucius changed the world with his teachings. And if you’ve always been curious about studying his work, now is your chance.

This course is 13 weeks long and covers Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, detailing how insights from their work can help you become a happier, more fulfilled person.

New Ideas for Nonprofit Leaders webinar

Alexandr/Adobe Businessman on laptop

When you’re working at a nonprofit, you need to find ways to connect to your constituents, donors, and the general public.

This webinar from Harvard professor Arthur Brooks shows nonprofit leaders how to use the principles of human connection in their current role.

Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract

Andrey Popov/Adobe Learning about law online

Even if you don’t have a law degree, you may still be in a position where you have to read and understand contracts. But without a legal background, you could wind up signing a document you don’t fully understand.

That’s where this class comes in. It will teach you how to read a contract so you can make an intelligent choice the next time you sign your John Hancock on a document.

Bottom line

Prostock-studio/Adobe Person doing thumbs up with laptop

Harvard offers many free courses that can help build your skills while allowing you to keep more money in your wallet.

The school also offers a wide variety of paid courses online. While some of these classes cost thousands of dollars, many of Harvard’s paid courses are less than $100.

SurveyJunkie Benefits

  • Over $55,000 paid to members daily
  • Earn up to $130 a month taking 4 or more surveys daily
  • $76 million paid out to date
  • 20M+ lifetime members and BBB accreditation

Author Details

Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance personal finance writer specializing in student loans, credit, personal loans, mortgages, investing, and more. As a former newspaper reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four, and everything in between. She also paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years.