MIT offers over 2,000 free online courses — here are 13 of the best ones

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be one of the most prestigious universities in the world — and, through the lenses of price, location, and a 7.3% acceptance rate —  could also be seen as one of the least accessible. But, for an institution that says "the soul of MIT is research" — it has made considerable efforts to remove barriers to its faculty and classes.

In 2012, the university co-founded edX, an education non-profit, with Harvard and currently offers more than 200+ courses that are free to audit. And since 2001, the university has been publishing all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online for free, so anyone with access to the internet can experience over 2,000 MIT courses through MIT OpenCourseWare.

If you choose to learn through edX, many classes will give you a more traditional classroom experience, including video lectures, community engagement in discussion forums, and (in paid versions) graded assignments and a completion certificate  you can share on LinkedIn or on your resume. MIT OpenCourseWare has more course options, but is scrappier and less intuitive; you'll be on your own aside from access to course materials like readings and lecture notes. 

Below, you'll find a few of the most popular Massachusetts Institute of Technology courses you can take online for free. For more, we'd suggest browsing MIT Opencourseware and the whopping 200+ courses offered through edX — spanning topics from computer science to social policy.

13 MIT courses you can take online for free: