October 13, 2022

Can international students study online in America?


In the last few years, especially during the corona pandemic, the world has been suffering from many crises; one of the most affected sectors is the education sector. Due to lockdown and restrictions, students are unable to attend their classes in hybrid mode. But everything has a solution, and online classes are introduced as a solution to this issue. Online classes are a more flexible and convenient way to attend classes, especially for international students. 

The US has world-renowned Universities with millions of international admission every year. The biggest thing is that these universities are offering distance classes, due to which, in 2019, more than 7313623 students enrolled in distance classes. Although, during the COVID outbreak in 2020, the number of students in online classes increased by huge numbers. Nowadays, many Universities in the US are offering online courses as both the faculty and students appreciate it. 

Also, the international students presenting the degree courses online have distinct considerations. And the SEVP (Student and Exchange visitor program) has also extended the exemptions for international students and online learning during the academic year 2022-2023. Do you know that there exist some free online courses in the USA for international students? 

Free online courses for Students 

Online courses and certificates are the best way to enhance your CV and improve your qualifications. You will be eligible for more opportunities, and the chances of your nomination will increase by several percent. Almost all the topmost universities, including the UK, Canada, Australia, and the US, also offer free online courses in almost every field. Here in this article, you are going to see the free courses offered by US universities. 

First of all, let me know about the Universities that are offering free courses in the USA. Anyone across the world can avail of these courses. Here are these universities: 

  • Stanford University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Can international students study online

Now, we will elaborate on the free courses offered by these universities one by one. Let’s start with Harvard University, 

Harvard Online free courses 

Hayward is one of the best universities across the globe. To provide skillful courses to international students, they offer more than 100+ free online courses that international students can avail of. These courses are available to take at edX (platforms). You can download the certificate for a fee of $200; some of these courses are: 

  • Advanced Bioconductor 
  • Introduction to Game development 
  • Linear models and matrix algebra 
  • Accounting and financial statements 
  • Nonprofit financial stewardship and many more. 
  • Can international students study online

Yale Online Free courses 

Yale University offers free online courses for students, and the most prominent feature is that these courses are open-sourced and can be accessed by students globally. Also, each course is made by qualified teachers of the University, and there is no need for any registration to access the courses. The courses are available in many formats, including audio, video, and text. These courses are: 

  • Financial Markets (2011) with Robert J. Shiller
  • Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner with Wai Chee Dimock 
  • Milton with John Rogers 
  • Science and philosophy of Human nature and many more. 

University of Pennsylvania Free Online Course

Online learning initiative is a name given to free online courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania; these courses are free to every student but to download the certificate, you need to pay a nominal fee. The main motive of the course is to provide free skill courses to students globally. Here are some of their courses: 

  • Javascript and web programming 
  • Intellectual policy and property law 
  • Education and Big data 
  • Art and history of Hollywood 

Stanford Online Courses 

The University aims to develop the skills of the students globally, and these courses are based on Humanities, Arts, Health, Medicine, Education, and Engineering. One can easily access these courses online on edX and other platforms. Here are some: 

  • AI (artificial intelligence) 
  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Program, strategy, and evolution 
  • Introduction to a natural approach 
  • Poverty and inequality in the USA 

Columbia University Online courses 

Columbia University is one of the first universities that started free online courses in 2013; these courses are recognized as Massive Open Online courses (MOOC). Many fields, including Arts and Science, are covered in their courses, and more importantly, they have collaborated with edX to make it possible for everyone to access these courses. After completing the courses, you can also download the certificate for a small fee. Here are these courses: 

  • Corporate Finance 
  • Indian and Tibetan Rivers of Buddhism 
  • Free cash flow analysis 
  • Risk and return 
  • Learning the success 

Caltech Online courses 

Caltech also offers free online courses for students globally on edX and Coursera. One can only learn new skills but can not get credits for the course as certificates are not available. The prime focus of these courses is on building innovative engineers and Scientists. Below mentioned are some of their courses: 

  • Quantum Cryptography
  • Learning from data 
  • Evolving Universe 
  • Principles of economy 
  • Calculus 
  • Pricing options 
  • Mathematical models 

MIT free online courses 

All the courses offered by MIT for free come under their MITx program, by which free skills are provided to each student globally. There are millions of international students who benefit from their online courses for free. After the completion of the course, you can get a free certificate for a small fee. Here are some of these courses 

  • Physics of COVID-19 transmission 
  • Cell Biology 
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Supply chain analysis
  • The global history of architecture

How can you apply?

Hope you know about the free courses offered by the top universities in the US. Now, most of you doubt how you can apply for these courses. Well! Most of these universities offer these courses for free on edX and Coursera platforms. Also, the registration process is straightforward. Just register yourself on these platforms and search for the course or University. Enroll and start your classes. 


One of the most significant benefits of taking these free courses is the quality and qualified teaching. Long-term studies are capable of sky-shooting your career and skills. Can international students study online in America?


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