Boost Your Brain at Home With These Free Online Ivy League Classes
You can learn something new from some of the most prestigious schools around the globe without leaving your couch.
Spending time at home might give you a little cabin fever, but the time indoors can provide an opportunity to stimulate your mind. After you've sanitized your home, watched zoo animals wander around, and sent cards to your friends and family, you can take some time to learn something new with free online courses from top universities around the world. And, you can do it all with just the click of a button.
There are 943 universities that offer free (or free to audit) courses include all eight Ivy League schools and are available on the Class Central website. To take advantage of these classes, go to the site, search what you want to learn about, and follow the sign-up instructions. To help you parse through all the possibilities, here are a few (broken down by subject matter) that look especially interesting.
As you're home eating all the snacks, you could learn a thing or two about your nosh, too.
- "Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science" showcases chefs from around the world talking about their famous dishes. Taught by William Starr and Andrew Chignell at Cornell University, this four-week course encourages you to experiment with food in your kitchen.
- "The Ethics of Eating" is perfect for those considering a plant-based diet as this class discusses how food choices affect the environment and economy. The four-week course, also taught by Starr and Chignell, features several notable individuals from the food industry, including Bryant Terry, award-winning chef, and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen, and Marion Nestle, nutritionist and author of Food Politics.
During this time of unpredictability, just about everyone is facing challenges, and it might be helpful to learn more about both ourselves and others.
- "Introduction to Sociology," taught by Mitchell Duneier at Princeton University, is a wonderful way to understand our own lives and the livelihoods of those around the globe. There is no course length, but the description notes it requires five to seven hours of work per week.
- "Moralities of Everyday Life" discuses right, wrongs, and moral issues. The six-week-long course is taught by Paul Bloom at Yale University. The course is so popular that it's an all-time top 100 class on the site.
- "The Science of Well-Being" is an offering that helps you increase your happiness and productive habits, which is especially useful if you're currently working from home. Laurie Santos from Yale University is the professor for the 10-week-long class.
First, watch celebrities perform virtual concerts on social media, then check out these musical offerings.
- "Introduction to Classical Music" is a beginner-friendly class taught by Craig Wright from Yale University. In nine weeks, Wright explores the works of some of the finest musicians, including Bach, Mozart, and Puccini.
- "Listening to World Music" lets you learn about cultures from around the world through songs. Carol Muller from the University of Pennsylvania is the teacher for the offering that asks for five-to-seven hours of effort each week.
It's timely to register for these courses focusing on women since March is women's history month.
- "Women Have Always Worked: The U.S. Experience 1700 - 1920" is a deep dive into the history of women in the workforce. Alice Kessler-Harris, Nick Juravich, and Suzanne Kahn teach the 8-week class that's offered by Columbia University. After that, check out "Women Have Always Worked: The U.S. Experience 1920 - 2016."
- "Women Making History: Ten Objects, Many Stories," is another female-focused class taught by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Jane Kamensky at Harvard University. In eight weeks, they'll discuss the increase of women running for political office and might even inspire you to do the same.