The doors of the world’s best Universities are being swung wide open for a new generation of self-directed learners who want to learn independently online.

You can now take online courses from the most popular professors at the world’s best Universities from anywhere in the world. Leading the way are online learning platforms Coursera and edX who each give you the option to freely audit nearly every course or pay a small fee to gain access to course certificates, assignments, and tests.

It’s now easier than ever before to constantly upgrade your skills. With degrees and certifications becoming less important outside of the traditional professions, demonstrating your burning desire to learn and sharing what you know is becoming much more important.

You can now easily demonstrate what you know and the projects you’ve completed with your own personal website, a digital portfolio, and by building a personal brand that shows both your initiative and adoption of the latest technological tools.

With this Open Curriculum, you can learn new skills in your spare time and develop your own self-directed program of long-term study, which ensures you stay sharp and flexible in a fast-changing world.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means through our affiliate partnership we get a share of the revenue if you purchase a course. If you choose to buy through our links (you have the option to freely audit most courses), your purchase supports the creation of more educational content like this.

The Open Curriculum:

Design your own education by choosing from these online courses in these emerging fields and subjects areas in structured online courses that are taught by professors at some of the world’s best Universities.

Browse 150 online courses across 30 subject areas:

1. Sustainability

Explore how sustainable practices are reshaping the economy.

1. Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action – University of Michigan 

2. Introduction to Sustainability  – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3. Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities  – Lund University

4. Biosphere 2 Science for the Future of Our Planet  – University of Arizona

5. The Sustainable Development Goals – A Global, Transdisciplinary Vision for the Future – University of Copenhagen

6.  Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems: The Nexus between Water, Energy and Food – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

7.  Sustainability through Soccer: Systems-Thinking in Action – University of Virginia

8. Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon  –  Yonsei University (Coursera)


2. Renewable Energy

Learn the basics of how renewable energy can power the world.

1. Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship – Duke University

2. Introduction To Solar Cells  – Technical University of Denmark

3. Our Energy Future – University of California San Diego

4. Wind Energy – Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

5. Energy, Environment, and Everyday Life – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


3. Ecology

Discovers the wonders of nature and learn how ecosystems work.

1. Ecology: From Cells To Gaia  – National Research Tomsk State University

2. Living Cosmology – Yale University

3. Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation  – American Museum of Natural History

4. The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community – Yale University

5. Tropical Coastal Ecosystems – University of Queensland

6. Our Earth: Its Climate, History and Processes – University of Manchester


4. Sustainable Commerce

Learn how to apply sustainability practices in commercial organizations.

1.  Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent Specialization – University of Colorado Denver (Coursera)

2. Corporate Sustainability. Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity – Università Bocconi (Coursera)

3. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A Strategic Approach – University of Pennsylvania (edX)

4. Strategy and the Sustainable Enterprise – IIM Bangalore


5. Business Strategy

Develop your business strategy and communication skills.

1. Foundations of Business Strategy – University of Virginia (Coursera)

2. Business Foundations Specialization – University of Pennsylvania (Coursera)

3. Business Analytics Specialization – University of Pennsylvania (Coursera)

4. Business Strategies for A Better World – University of Pennsylvania (Coursera)

5. Business Communications – University of British Columbia

6. Intelligence Tools for the Digital Age – IE Business School


6. Entrepreneurship

Learn the fundamentals of how to launch and grow your own business.

1. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business Specialization – University of Maryland

2. Creativity And Entrepreneurship – Berklee College of Music

3. Social Entrepreneurship – University of Pennsylvania

4. Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship – University of Illinois

5. Corporate Entrepreneurship: Innovating within Corporations Specialization – University of Maryland

6. Startup Entrepreneurship Specialization – Israel Institute of Technology


7. Leadership

Develop your leadership skills and grow faster in your career.

1. Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence – Case Western Reserve University

2. Inspired Leadership Specialization – Case Western Reserve

3. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator – Yale University

4. Introduction to Public Speaking – University of Washington

5. Leading People and Teams Specialization – University of Michigan


8. Finance and Investing

Expand your knowledge of international financial markets and investment strategy.

1. Financial Markets and Investment Strategy Specialization – Indian School of Business

2. Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization – Rice University

3. Welcome to Game Theory – University of Tokyo

4. Introduction to Finance: Valuation and Investing – University of Michigan

5. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making – University of Michigan


9. Digital Marketing

Learn how marketing and advertising is changing in the digital economy.

1. Content Strategy for Professionals: Ensuring Your Content’s Impact – Northwestern University

2. Foundations of Marketing Analytics Specialization – Emory University

3. Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content – University of Pennsylvania

4. Social Media Specialization – Northwestern University

5. Marketing In A Digital World – University of Illinois


10. Critical Thinking

Develop your critical thinking and logic skills.

1. Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age  – University of Michigan

2. Critical Thinking Skills for University Success  – University of Sydney

3. Philosophy and Critical Thinking – University of Queensland

4. Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World  – The State University of New York


11. Psychology

Improve your understanding of your mind by learning the foundations of Western Psychology.

1. Introduction to Psychology – University of Toronto

2. Positive Psychology Specialization Project: Design Your Life for Well-Being -University of Pennsylvania

3. A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment – Indian School of Business

4.  The Psychology of Thrill Seekers – Emory University

5. Psychology at Work – University of Western Australia


12. Design Thinking

Learn how to apply design thinking to complex, real-world problems.

1. Getting Started: Agile Meets Design Thinking – University of Virginia

2. Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector – University of Virginia

3. Design Thinking for Leading and Learning – MIT

4. Product Management with Lean, Agile and System Design Thinking – Boston University


13. Design

Develop your graphic design skills and build more effective user interfaces.

1. Interaction Design Specialization – University of California San Diego

2. Design and Make Infographics – Michigan State University

3. Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society – University of Pennsylvania

4. Gamification – University of Pennsylvania

5. Fundamentals of Graphic Design Specialization – California Institute of the Arts


14. Science

Learn about some of the most interesting topics in science.

1. Science Literacy: How Solid Science Can Help You Save the World – Erasmus University Rotterdam

2.  Genomics: Decoding the Universal Language of Life  – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3. Quantum Mechanics for Everyone – Georgetown University

4. How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics – University of Virginia

5. DNA: Biology’s Genetic Code – Rice University

6. Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life – Massachusetts Institute of Technology


15. Health

Learn the foundations of physical and mental health.

1. The Addicted Brain – Emory University

2. The Science of Exercise – University of Colorado Boulder

3. Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome – University of Colorado Boulder

4. Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us – University of Pennsylvania

5. Introductory Human Physiology – Duke University

6. Introduction to the Biology of Cancer – John Hopkins University

7. Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life – University of Chicago

8. The Science of Well-Being – Yale University


16. Artificial Intelligence

Learn about the emerging technologies that are powering the 21st-century economy.

1. Emerging Technologies: From Augmented Reality to IoT to Big Data – Yonsei University

2. Deep Learning Specialization – Stanford University

3. Machine Learning Specialization – University of Washington


17. Data Science

Learn about scientific methods for data analysis and getting insights from data.

1. Data Science Specialization – John Hopkins University

2. Introduction to Data Exploration and Visualization – Arizona State University

3. Data Systems Specialization – University of Michigan

4. Introduction to Applied Data Science – IBM Learning Labs


18. Blockchain

Learn the blockchain platform that is powering the next state of the Internet.

1. Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies – The Linux Foundation

2. Blockchain Specialization – University of Buffalo

3. Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cryptocurrencies – University of California Berkeley


19. Computer Science

Learn how computers work and how to program them.

1. Python for Everybody Specialization – University of Michigan

2. Learn to Program: The Fundamentals – University of Toronto

3. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science – Harvard University

4. Problem Solving, Programming, and Video Games – University of Alberta


20. Web Development

Learn how to make websites and program for the web.

1. Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding) Specialization  – University of Michigan

2. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT) Specialization – UCI

3. Full Stack Web and Multiplatform Mobile App Development Specialization – Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

4. Programming for the Web with JavaScript – University of Pennsylvania


21. Mobile Development

Learn how to develop apps for mobile devices, including VR and AR.

1. iOS App Development with Swift Specialization – University of Toronto

2. Android App Development Specialization – Vanderbilt University

3. Mobile VR App Development with Unity – Unity Labs

4. Getting Started with Augmented Reality – Institut Mines-Télécom

22. Hardware

Learn how to build robots, computers, and networks from scratch.

1. Robotics Specialization – University of Pennsylvania

2. The 3D Printing Revolution – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3. CyberSecurity Specialization – University of Maryland

5. Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris – Hebrew University of Jerusalem

6. Circuits and Electronics 1: Basic Circuit Analysis – MIT


23. Mathematics

Learn more about mathematics, statistics, and probability.

1. Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio – The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

2. Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up – Harvard University

3. Pre-University Calculus – TU Delft

4. Math in Sports – University of Notre Dame

5. Introduction to Logic – Stanford University


24. Current Issues

Learn more about the current issues and events that are changing society.

1. International Women’s Health and Human Rights – Stanford University

2. The Science and Modeling of Climate Change – University of Chicago

3. The Opioid Crisis in America – Harvard University

4. Justice, Mercy and Mass Incarceration – Vanderbilt University

5. Securing Digital Democracy – University of Michigan


25. Music

Explore the history of music and learn how to play popular musical instruments.

1. The Music of the Beatles – University of Rochester

2. Introduction to Classical Music – Yale University

3. Introduction to Guitar – Berklee College of Music

4. Introduction to the Music Business – Berklee College of Music

5. Music’s Big Bang: The Genesis of Rock ‘n’ Roll – University of Florida


26. Languages

Challenge yourself to learn a second or third language.

1. Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish Vocabulary Specialization – University of California Davis

2. Learn Mandarin Chinese Specialization – Shanghai Jiao Tong University

3. Learn English: Advanced Grammar and Punctuation Specialization – UCI


27. History

Learn the lessons of history and understand why the world is the way it is today.

1. Hollywood: History, Industry, Art – University of Pennsylvania

2. Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization – University of Pennsylvania

3. Big History: Connecting Knowledge – Macquarie University

4. The Ancient Greeks – Wesleyan University

5. Greek and Roman Mythology – University of Pennsylvania

6. The Modern World, Part One: Global History from 1760 to 1910 – University of Virginia

7. The Modern World, Part Two: Global History since 1910 – University of Virginia


28. Religion

Discover the history and scriptures of the world’s religions.

1. The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future – Emory University

2. The Science of Religion – University of British Columbia

3. A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 – 1650) – Yale University

4. Christianity Through Its Scriptures – Harvard University

5. Islam Through Its Scriptures – Harvard University

6. Judaism Through Its Scriptures – Harvard University

7. Buddhism Through Its Scriptures – Harvard University

8. Hinduism Through Its Scriptures – Harvard University

9. Buddhism: Diamond Sutra and World Peace – University of Hong Kong

10. Introduction to Kabbalah – Ben-Gurion University


29. Philosophy

Philosophy is a way of understanding thinking and your place in the world.

1. Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness – MIT

2. Moralities of Everyday Life – Yale University

3. Soren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity – University of Copenhagen

4. Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors – University of Pennsylvania

5. The Modern and the Postmodern – Wesleyan University


30. Liberal Arts

Become more well-rounded by studying literature, the arts, and culture.

1. Masterpieces of World Literature – Harvard University

2. Fantastic Places, Unhuman Humans: Exploring Humanity Through Literature – Brown University

3. Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture – Vanderbilt University


Did I miss any online courses that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments.