• Judy Tay

8 Free Courses You Can Take Online With Harvard University


Pictured above: Harvard University at Cambridge | Credit: bjaglin

The boredom is starting to sink in, and you feel like your brain is in a mush. This is what being in a #circuitbreaker may do to you these days. There's only so much Netflix you can watch, Dalgona coffees you can make and social media you can browse, so why not do something more productive and scholarly?


Harvard University recently announced that they are offering 67 free online courses during this pandemic period. They are not low-grade online courses. You can get access to quality courses which range from 1 week to 12 weeks! They are self-paced, so you can do it OTOT.


Here are 8 courses you can take with Harvard University online:


Artificial Intelligence with Python


AI is transforming the way we live, work and play - but have you ever wondered how they really work?


Harvard says:

CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python explores the concepts and algorithms at the foundation of modern artificial intelligence, diving into the ideas that give rise to technologies like game-playing engines, handwriting recognition, and machine translation.

Isn't this cool? And if you are running a business or are a manager, it is worth checking this course out as many firms are already applying AI to transform how they run their businesses.


The Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python course runs for 7 weeks, requiring 10 to 30 hours per week.


Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology


If you, like me, have watched The Mummy Returns 7452901 times, this course is for you! Become an archaeology master (or at least someone who knows what he's talking about) by learning about the Old Kingdom pharaohs and elites, tombs, the Sphinx, and the technologies behind some of their most magnificent structures.


Harvard says:

The Giza Plateau and its cemeteries — including the majestic Pyramids and the Great Sphinx — are stirring examples of ancient Egyptian architecture and culture. They provide windows into ancient Egyptian society, but also contain mysteries waiting to be solved.

And if you are having wanderlust withdrawals, why not travel to Egypt digitally through this course?


The Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology course runs for 8 weeks, requiring 2 to 4 hours per week.


Child Protection: Children's Rights in Theory and Practice


Sometimes all it takes to protect the little 'uns is someone to speak up for them. The world can be a disturbing place, so why not learn how to protect children from violence, exploitation and neglect through a structured framework?


Harvard says:

Join Harvard faculty, practitioners, and a global community of learners to master a child-centered systems approach to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children.

Led by Jacqueline Bhabha, Research Director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, this course will teach you the causes and consequences of child protection failures.


Now go, Mother Theresa.


The Child Protection: Children's Rights in Theory and Practice course runs for 11 weeks, requiring 4 to 6 hours per week.

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science


Food is one thing all human beings share among each other, and there are countless of cuisines worldwide so it is no surprise to get lost in the world of culinary science. Take cooking to the next level with chemistry and learn to make magic like those you see on molecular gastronomic shows!


Harvard says:

The lab is certainly one of the most unique components of this course — After all, in what other science course can you eat your experiments?

This can't get any better, can it?


The Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (Chemistry) course runs for 6 weeks, requiring 5 to 7 hours per week.


Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather

Don't be like Homer from Simpsons. He gets caught off guard because he cannot predict the weather.


In this course, you will learn to forecast the weather just by looking out of your window, so you can be the Umbrella Man!


Harvard says:

Can the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Take this course to find out!

Now this is one handy skill to boast about.


The Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather course runs for 6 weeks, requiring 3 to 5 hours per week.


Data Science: Productivity Tools


It may sound dry, but productivity is highly valued in Singapore. Enhance your employability by learning how to keep projects organised and produce useful reports for yourself or your company.


Harvard says:

You will be introduced to the version control systems git, a powerful tool for keeping track of changes in your scripts and reports. We also introduce you to GitHub and demonstrate how you can use this service to keep your work in a repository that facilitates collaborations.

Blah, blah, blah but I dare say this course is a must-go!


The Data Science: Productivity Tools course runs for 8 weeks, requiring 1 to 2 hours per week.

Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print

Japan lovers, fall in! Be the saiko no hito (Japanese for highest master) of Japanese linguistic culture. This course expands the definition of the “book” to include scrolls and albums, focusing on the reading experience of a variety of formats in Japan. You will begin by examining rare and beautifully preserved manuscripts in the Harvard Art Museums in an introduction exploring the material properties of Japanese books and scrolls, binding techniques, and important terminology.


Harvard says:

Drawing on the rich collections of Harvard’s libraries and museums, this course is part of a larger series on the history of books, where learners explore the book not merely as a container of content, but as significant physical objects that have shaped the way we understand the world around us.

The Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print course runs for 9 weeks, requiring 1 to 2 hours per week.


Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Are you an introvert or simply dislike speaking up in a large group of people? Surprise your colleagues by coming out of this #circuitbreaker a super speaker! Although this course is anchored in American politics, you can still gain critical communication skills and master the art of persuasion - so this can be useful for salespeople as well or if you want to escape from signing another beauty package!


Harvard says:

Built around Harvard Professor James Engell’s on-campus course, “Elements of Rhetoric,” this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you.

Perhaps a particular orange-y person should go for this.


For more free and paid online courses with Harvard University, go to their website.


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