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Harvard Online Courses

In the United States, there are a group of schools known as the Ivy League. Thanks to Wikipedia, I just learned that it is the name of the sports conference all eight schools belong to. But when you say the phrase, Ivy League, you are talking about the oldest private schools in the United States. These are the best schools in the country. And the best of the best?

Harvard University. Founded in 1636. Incidentally the oldest university in the United States. The all-in tuition for one year at the school runs $57,000.

Like MIT, the name Harvard on your resume carries with it a lot of weight. Graduating “top of your class” at Harvard virtually guarantees you job offers from the top firms in your field. Yes, Harvard is a bit mythical.

So for those reasons, Harvard was among the last major institutions to dip their toe in the waters of online education. While MIT was doing OpenCourseware for years, Harvard did not have an equivalent program.

Harvard is one of the founding members of edX (called HarvardX). So there are a handful of courses available online from them. Almost the same as MIT, at 25.

  • CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science
  • GSE1x: Unlocking the Immunity to Change: A New Approach to Personal Improvement
  • SW12.4x: China (Part 4): A New National Culture
  • BUS5.1x: Innovating in Health Care
  • ER22.1x: Justice
  • PH525x: Data Analysis for Genomics
  • PH210x: United States Health Policy
  • SW25x: Global Health: Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective
  • SW12.3x: China (Part 3): Cosmopolitan Tang: Aristocratic Culture
  • AI12.2x: Poetry in America: Whitman
  • HDS1544.1x: Early Christianity: The Letters of Paul
  • SW12.2x: China (Part 2): The Creation and End of a Centralized Empire
  • PH201x: Health and Society
  • AI12.1x: Poetry in America: The Poetry of Early New England
  • SW12x: China
  • MCB80.1x: Fundamentals of Neuroscience, Part I
  • HSPH-HMS214x: Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
  • SPU27x: Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
  • HKS211.1x: Central Challenges of American National Security, Strategy and the Press: An Introduction
  • CB22.1x: The Ancient Greek Hero
  • PH278x: Human Health and Global Environmental Change
  • PH207x: Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research

As you can see, the course offerings are diverse. There are a few courses on China, one on Cooking, Early Christianity, Poetry.

I am not sure how many of these cover each level of study – from freshman to senior – but there seems to be some very specific topics in there. My hope is that one day you’ll be able to choose from dozens of Harvard courses just like students on campus. Hopefully this process is working for Harvard, and we’ll see more.

I have not taken any Harvard classes yet, but I am very keen to. When I do, you’ll see the reviews posted here of course.


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