Can anyone suggest sources of online graduate-level education, as well as some criticism of them? Both free and paid are valid. I'm familiar with these sources:

and I'm curious to know what other resources are available.

  • Cloud you be more specific? Currently the question is way, way to broad. Mar 6, 2012 at 11:10
  • Do you mean free online graduate education? Lots of universities have online MS programs that charge tuition.
    – JeffE
    Mar 6, 2012 at 15:33
  • @JeffE Free and paid.
    – Red Banana
    Mar 6, 2012 at 20:06
  • Oy. Okay, in what field(s)? Computer science? Economics? Nursing? Russian history? Can you at least narrow it down a little?
    – JeffE
    Mar 6, 2012 at 20:12
  • Also, do you want criticism of specific venues for online graduate education, or do you want criticism of online education in general? (Please don't say "both"!) And criticisms about what aspects—educational quality, reputation, intellectual depth/rigor, schedule flexibility, access to faculty, expected economic payoff, or what? (Please don't say "all of the above"!)
    – JeffE
    Mar 6, 2012 at 20:16

3 Answers 3


A few points:

  1. What subject are you looking at? The answer varies significantly if you are not looking at science/math/engineering.
  2. Define 'graduate level' because the Khan Academy (Not Kahn) is far from graduate level.
  3. This is a very good link. I'll paste an excerpt here:

MIT OpenCourseWare : undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.

Open Yale Courses : astronomy, biomedical engineering, history, economics, English, philosophy, physics, political science, and psychology.

UC Berkeley Webcast : biology, computer science, electrical engineering, physics, political science, and psychology.

Stanford Engineering Everywhere

NPTEL basic undergraduate science and engineering courses. The courses include biotechnology, civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, electronics and communication, and mechanical engineering.

McGill Univ. COurses OnLine (COOL) : chemistry, biology and computer science.

UCLA BruinCast offers some free audio/video lectures for certain undergraduate courses from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Open Learning Initiative | Harvard University Extension School brings free audio/video lectures on topics in computer science, English literature, history, and mathematics.

Video & Audio | University of Cambridge offers free access to audio and video lectures from the University's institutions including the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

Podcasts from the University of Oxford provides free access to certain course materials and audio/video lectures on a variety of subjects, including chemistry, engineering, humanities, life science, medical sciences, physics, and social sciences.

YouTube - UHouston's Channel (University of Houston) contains lots of video lectures on various subjects: anthropology, chemistry, English literature, history, philosophy, and psychology.

nanoHUB Courses contains free educational materials about nanotechnology. The courses cover the following subjects: nanoelectronics, NEMS/nanofluidics, nanomedicine/biology, and nanophotonics.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) provides a large number of free video lectures on a variety of subjects in mathematics and mathematical sciences.

CERN Document Server provides a huge collection of text documents and video lectures in particle physics and related areas.

Department of Mathematics, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers free video lectures on mathematics including calculus, discrete mathematics, linear algebra, differential equations and mathematical statistics. Registration is required to access the lectures.

Indiana Multimedia Distribution System offers free audio/video courses and lectures in business and management from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington.

The pasted website has links to all the places, alternately, you could simply google the words in bold.


At the graduate level there is less and less 'standardized' material like in undergrad. You might take a few introductory graduate courses that are pretty similar across universities, but then you tend to take very specialized courses (at least in my experiences with fields like math, computer science, and physics; and my answer should be taken as only relevant to those fields). Further, the number one skill you are suppose to learn in grad school seems to be independence.

If some specialized course is not offered at your university then the standard procedure is to look for good lecture notes on the websites of experts in that field. These experts usually teach relevant graduate level courses and post their lecture notes online. In fact, some of these lecture note become rather famous:

What Lecture Notes (in theoretical computer science) Should Everyone Read?

Then you have to do what every graduate student has to do, and that is to motivate and teach yourself with the guidance of those lecture notes (and maybe Q&A sites like SE or emails to the relevant experts). Some tricks to make this is easier is to form groups with other graduate students and learn the material together through regular meetings and discussions.


I've found many interesting & diverse lectures in the Education section of Apple's podcast directory (I can't verify that link at work, I hope it's correct). While most are undergraduate, some are taught at a higher level, and they're a good resource for when you need to learn a new discipline in grad school.

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