Free Online Courses at Caltech

October 27, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Free Online Courses at Caltech

Does Caltech Offer Online Courses?

Does Caltech offer online courses? For students who are interested in taking online classes without charge, then Caltech is the school for you. Free online courses at Caltech are provided through online learning platforms like edX and Coursera, along with other reputable institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UPenn, and Cornell.

The mission of the Online Education programs at Caltech is twofold: first, to enhance how the institution educates the next generation of scientists and engineers who will work at Caltech; and second, to demonstrate how our rigorous approach to education in science and engineering can have an impact that extends beyond the confines of its student body.

Caltech is an institution that is known across the globe for higher education and research in the fields of science and engineering. It is a place where great individuals come to find answers to difficult questions, uncover new information, pioneer innovation, and shape the future. Caltech aims to broaden the scope of human knowledge and contribute to the betterment of society via the integration of research and education.

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The professorial, research and other faculty of the Institute investigate some of the most difficult and fundamental problems in science and technology in an environment that is notably collaborative and interdisciplinary. At the same time, they educate exceptional students to become innovative contributors to society.

Coursera and edX are educational technology platforms that provide online university-level courses in a wide variety of subject areas to an audience located all over the world for free. However, the free online courses at Caltech do not count toward a student’s degree at the institute.

What Courses Can I Take Online For Free?

What courses can I take online for free? The online courses provided by Caltech cover a wide range of subjects, from astronomy and machine learning to economics and quantum theory. This post will introduce you to several courses offered by Caltech online.

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These classes will improve and simplify your educational experience by focusing on engineering and other scientific fields of application. Though some of these courses need prior expertise at the undergraduate level in mathematics or the natural sciences. Here are a few of the free online courses at Caltech you could study without charge.

The Evolving Universe

Duration: 4 weeks

This is an introductory survey course in astronomy that covers what we know about the physical universe and the major components that make up the cosmos, such as planetary systems, star systems, galaxies, black holes, quasars, bigger structures, and the cosmos.

Students will discover how modern astronomical measurements and applications of physics that we are familiar with from our home planet Earth reveal the nature of these objects and explain their observed attributes, as well as teach us how they originate and evolve. In addition to this, we will investigate a variety of cosmic phenomena, such as stars that fluctuate in size or explode, the expansion of the universe, and the evidence for the existence of dark matter, dark energy, and the big bang.

The purpose of this course is not only to acquire knowledge about the intriguing occurrences and phenomena that can be found throughout the cosmos but also to comprehend how we came to possess such knowledge.

The Science of the Solar System

Duration: 5-12 weeks

As Caltech is known in the field of science, free online courses at Caltech often discuss topics under the said subject. This is a free program that will teach you about the science that is driving the current exploration of the solar system. Applying concepts from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology will help you interpret the most recent information from Mars, gain an understanding of the outer solar system, think about planets that aren’t in our solar system, and look for habitability in our immediate area and further afield.

Most of the concepts and lectures in this class can be grasped even without the required background in undergraduate-level physics and mathematics; nonetheless, the course is typically presented at a more advanced level, with the assumption that students already possess such expertise.

The purpose of the quizzes, as well as the final exam, is not to force you to merely memorize facts; rather, they are designed to force you to think critically about the content you have learned. It is believed that the class will be difficult, but also rewarding.

Learning From Data (Introductory Machine Learning)

Duration: 5-12 weeks

This beginning course in computer science will focus on machine learning, covering topics such as fundamental theory, algorithmic foundations, and practical applications.

Machine learning is an important technology that is used in many different applications across a variety of fields, including finance, medicine, business, and science. It grants computational systems the ability to automatically learn how to carry out a particular activity based on information that has been retrieved from the data.

One of the most popular areas of study in today’s society is machine learning, and the demand for professionals trained in this area is only likely to grow. If you want to work in data science or quantitative analysis, gaining experience in this area will get you one step closer to achieving your goal.

Principles of Economics with Calculus

Duration: 5-12 weeks

A quantitative and model-based introduction to fundamental concepts in economics, as well as applications to a wide variety of issues that occur in the real world. This class offers a quantitative and model-based introduction to fundamental economic principles, and it teaches students how to use those ideas to make sense of a wide variety of situations that occur in the real world.

Several examples of potential applications include forecasting the effect that advances in technology will have on market prices, determining the most effective tax rate for gasoline, and determining the worth of new items.

This is an actual class offered at Caltech. Both students at Caltech and those taking the course online will be exposed to it at the same time.

Pricing Options with Mathematical Models

Duration: 5-12 weeks

This is an introductory course on options and other financial derivatives, as well as the applications of these topics to risk management. It will begin by defining derivatives and options, then move on to modeling discrete-time binomial trees, and finally move on to modeling continuous-time Brownian motion.

The course will also start by discussing the most fundamental aspects of stochastic and Ito calculus. Students will explore more broad models, such as stochastic volatility models, in addition to the Black-Scholes-Merton pricing model, which will serve as the standard for comparison.

A fundamental understanding of calculus-based probability and statistics is required. It is good to have some experience with stochastic processes and partial differential equations, but it is not required.

Getting Started in cryo-EM

Duration: 5-12 weeks

This course will address the fundamental principles that underlie cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), beginning with the fundamental anatomy of electron microscopes and continuing to an introduction to Fourier transforms and the fundamental principles of image generation.

The course then moves on to discuss sample preparation issues, data collection strategies, and basic image processing workflows for each of the three fundamental modalities of contemporary cryo-EM, which are tomography, single particle analysis, and 2-D crystallography. This builds upon the foundation that was previously covered in the course.

The course places a greater emphasis on the concepts being taught rather than the mathematical intricacies and does so using a large number of drawings and example visuals.

It is designed for anyone interested in the developing fields of cryo-EM and 3-D EM. This includes cell biologists or molecular biologists who do not have extensive training in mathematics or imaging physics, as well as practicing electron microscopists who want to broaden their understanding of the field.

Quantum Cryptography

Duration: 5-12 weeks

Discover how quantum communication can provide a level of safety that is backed up by the natural order of things. When anyone and everyone can overhear what you’re saying, how can you possibly keep something a secret?

In this course, you will learn how to use quantum effects, such as quantum entanglement and uncertainty, to implement cryptographic tasks with levels of security that are impossible to achieve using classical methods. For example, you will be able to decrypt information that has been tampered with using quantum entanglement, but not using classical methods.

This multidisciplinary class was developed through a partnership between QuTech at Delft University of Technology and the California Institute of Technology. Its goal is to provide students with an introduction to the fascinating topic of quantum cryptography.

This class assumes that students have a strong background in linear algebra and probability, equivalent to that of an advanced undergraduate student. This course is one of the free online courses at Caltech that requires prerequisites. It is also expected that you have a fundamental understanding of elementary quantum information (qubits and straightforward measurements), however, if this is your first time hearing about quantum information, there are supplementary videos available to help you fill in any blanks.

Are Online College Courses Worth It?

Never-ending is the search for new information that can answer difficult issues and provide solutions to problems that occur in the actual world. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) provides its students with the opportunity to participate in online classes to make high-quality education available to anybody who has the desire to broaden their knowledge, foster innovation, and change the path of the future.

Online courses offered by Caltech provide students with a variety of research and educational possibilities that can help them contribute to the overall progress of the world.

Typing on a laptop in a table.

Are online college courses worth it? Taking free online courses at Caltech is absolutely worth your time. Considering that Caltech is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, enrolling in an online class offered by the school makes perfect sense. You will not only get knowledge from the most brilliant brains, but you will also receive certifications of completion that will enhance the value of your CV.

However, before enrolling in any of Caltech’s online programs, you should give some thought to the academic and professional objectives you wish to achieve. It is highly recommended that you enroll in one or more of the online courses if achieving your goals can be aided by doing so.

How Do I Choose A Course At Caltech?

There are several different aspects to take into consideration before enrolling in an online class at Caltech. If you make a checklist to check whether you meet all the prerequisites for the course, you will be completely ready for it before it ever starts.

Applying in college using a laptop.

So, how do I choose a course at Caltech? Before you pick among the free online courses at Caltech, you should give some consideration to the points listed below.

Areas of Interest

Your level of engagement and enthusiasm for a subject will have a direct bearing on how much you learn and how well you do so. It will inspire you to take the class more seriously and broaden your perspective in order to benefit from the experience. You will not have a complete grasp of the material if you don’t go beyond simply reading the course outline and engaging in some additional research.

Internet Access and Available Devices.

Internet connectivity is available to virtually everyone, but the quality of one’s connection is of critical importance. Because you will be taking an online class and most likely working on assignments, you must have access to a reliable Internet connection and a device that is in working order.

Study Area

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that taking lessons online is incredibly convenient since you may study anywhere, including on the train, in the park, or even while drinking a cup of coffee. However, the reality is that even taking classes online might still require a significant amount of effort and focus on your part. You will need a place to study where you can concentrate without being interrupted and where you can improve your learning process.

Personal Schedule and Study Time

In addition to this, you want to schedule all your lessons for a certain period of the day. You are responsible for adequately planning your calendar to accommodate learning daily, in contrast to the timetable that you are required to follow when taking traditional courses. After you have created your schedule, you need to be sure you stick to it.

Two women talking in a table.


Although there are many things to consider, one of the most important is the price of the class. Free online courses at Caltech are beneficial and will suffice until you have saved up enough money to enroll in the program that you want. If you are unable to purchase the program, you can take advantage of these free courses. If you wish to skip out on some of the course material or a certificate of completion, most courses provide a free audit alternative.

If your goal is to get into Caltech, with only 3.9% of applicants accepted for the Class of 2025, Caltech is often regarded as an extremely selective educational institution. Thirteen thousand students submitted applications but only 510 students were admitted.

These free online courses at Caltech could give you a glimpse of how prestigious is Caltech and how it values high-quality education as some courses online are also offered in on-campus classes. If you need assistance in navigating through online learning platforms, AdmissionSight is available anytime. Furthermore, if you need help boosting your application to Caltech, feel free to contact AdmissionSight for an initial consultation.

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