Free Online Courses at Duke

October 28, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Free Online Courses at Duke

Does Duke University Offer Online Courses?

Does Duke University offer online courses? Free online courses at Duke are offered in addition to the online programs that are offered by the university at a reduced cost. These classes range from fundamental subjects like machine learning and English composition to highly specialized topics like behavioral finance and the science behind dogs’ emotional states.

Duke University is among the costliest universities in the United States. The overall expense at Duke is $82,477. It includes the price of housing, food, books, supplies, travel, and other expenses. 

In contrast, like other illustrious educational institutions including Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, and Stanford, Duke University provides a wide variety of online programs and courses that can be taken at a reasonable cost.

Through Coursera, students, staff, and professors at Duke University have unrestricted access to the more than 2,000 online courses and Specializations offered by Coursera. You are free to enroll in whichever class you choose, whenever you like. Acquire new competencies, broaden your academic horizons, or make progress toward your professional objectives.

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Access to video lectures, readings, and forums does not cost anything; however, there is an option to pay a one-time price of $49 to receive a certificate of completion that you can include on your resumé or LinkedIn profile.

What Courses Can I Take Online For Free?

Students, working professionals, and those who are simply interested in personal advancement can choose from a variety of online education opportunities made available. So, what courses can I take online for free? The fields of business, cloud computing, human resources, digital media and marketing, paralegal studies, and nonprofit management are some of the topics included in free online courses at Duke. 

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Here are some most sought-after free online courses at Duke:

Introductory Human Physiology

Duration: 10 weeks (33 hours total)

This is an introduction to the nine organ systems that make up the human body, beginning with homeostasis and devoting one week to gaining a deeper comprehension of each organ system. If you are considering a career in medicine or simply have an interest in learning more about how the human body works, this is the class for you.

English Composition I

Duration: 10 weeks (25 hours total)

This course is designed for anyone interested in gaining knowledge and experience in writing at the college level. It teaches students how to read and summarize texts effectively, how to make a convincing argument, how to understand the stages of the writing process, and how to properly cite sources.

Data Science Math Skills

Duration: 4 weeks (13 hours total)

If you are serious about pursuing a career in data science, there is no way to get around the requirement that you be competent in mathematical concepts. Those students who are comfortable with mathematics but have never studied algebra or calculus should enroll in this class (or have a very rusty memory of them).

Medical Neuroscience

Duration: 13 weeks (71 hours total)

This course guides students through the organization of the neural systems in the brain and how they control sensations, actions, memory, and cognition. It is beneficial for students who are thinking about pursuing a career in neurophysiology as well as those who simply want to learn more about neuroanatomy.

Dog Emotion and Cognition

Duration: 8 weeks (22 hours total)

Free online courses at Duke cover a wide range of topics. One intriguing course examines the cognitive psychology of your furry best friend, from the influence that evolution played in dogs’ cognition to how the canine mind functions, making it the ideal class for people who are passionate about dogs. You will finish the class with an in-depth comprehension of how dogs think and feel about people thanks to the information provided.

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

Duration: 11 weeks (25 hours total)

This course is designed for students who are interested in evolutionary biology and covers the fundamentals of topics such as genome sequences, natural selection, and behavioral science in animals. As a result of taking this course, students will have a better understanding of the aforementioned topics when they graduate.

Behavioral Finance

Duration: 3 weeks (5 hours total)

This relatively brief yet mind-blowing course explains how the financial decisions we make instinctively and with little consideration can cause us to lose out in the long run, such as continuing to hold on to the wrong assets or purchasing insurance plans that we do not require.

Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios

Duration: 7 weeks (18 hours total)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of chemistry, including chemical reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, periodic trends, nomenclature, and chemical problem-solving. It is intended for students who have a little experience in chemistry.

Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why

Duration: 6 weeks (17 hours total)

Another interesting class among the free online courses at Duke is “Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why.” This course examines the tones that humans find consonant and discordant as well as the broader feelings that music can generate. It combines elements of art and science to accomplish this. In addition to this, it investigates the tonalities that are shared among various civilizations and the sensory function that music serves in the lives of individuals.

Introduction to Machine Learning

Duration: 6 weeks (25 hours total)

This course covers the fundamentals of machine learning models, including logistic regression, multilayer perceptrons, convolutional neural networks, and natural language processing. It also covers the industries that make use of these models, such as natural language processing and convolutional neural networks.

The Brain and Space

Duration: 6 weeks (10 hours total)

Even seemingly straightforward activities, such as recognizing a familiar face or playing an instrument, require a high level of brain coordination between the numerous sensory and motor systems involved. This course will elucidate how the spatial emphasis of the brain influences the way we process and remember information.

Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship

Duration: 3 weeks (18 hours total)

Anyone interested in beginning a new business or career in the fields of energy, finance, real estate, design, engineering, or environmental protection while also taking into consideration environmental and human health would benefit greatly from taking this course.

Visual Perception and the Brain

Duration: 5 weeks (14 hours total)

This course on vision science covers the human visual system, the primary issues and limitations that our vision has, as well as what our physical perceptions tell about how our brain is functioning. Topics range from how we interpret color to how we view moving things in our field of vision.

Advertising and Society

Duration: 7 weeks (12 hours total)

In this course, we will investigate the economic, cultural, and societal effects that advertising has had throughout human history. Students investigate how advertising came to be, how it has portrayed sex, gender, and race throughout history, and whether customers can be persuaded by advertisements.

Are Online College Courses Worth It?

The conventional approach, which includes attending classes in auditoriums, on campuses, with large groups of people, and so on, certainly has its place, but taking free online courses at Duke University offers several benefits that make it an attractive alternative.

Let’s now tackle the answer to the query “Are online college courses worth it?”

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When talking about what is so great about online education, the word “convenient” needs to come up first. To tell you the truth, this technique of learning something that you would normally study in a university is a lot more convenient than the traditional route. 

If you take courses through Duke University’s online platform, you won’t need to worry about traveling to the main campus, occupying a seat in a lecture hall, or doing anything else of the sort. You will be able to learn at your own pace. No more predetermined due dates, no more rigid attendance requirements; none of that!

The question of price and the expense of attending university also has to be addressed. When you attend a genuine university or college, like Duke University, the price tags associated with your education may grow hefty. One example of this is the cost of tuition. Student debt is a significant obstacle that can hold a person back financially for a significant amount of time.

However, if you take advantage of the free online courses offered by Duke University, you won’t have to worry about this. Are courses completely devoid of charge? Yes, you read that correctly. Pricing may vary depending on your choice and learning goals, but we’ll get to those later.

Even with paid learning, it will be considerably more inexpensive to study a single course or even specialize in one field than it will be to attend a university, where the cost of education will be driven up by the presence of broad requirements.

In conclusion, it is important to bring out the fact that the free online courses at Duke University are going to be of tremendous assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online education might be the best option for you if you care about maintaining social distance, as well as your own and others’ safety and health, though how various universities approach the topic may vary.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the greatest online courses offered by Duke University and gotten that out of the way, let’s have a little discussion about the various payment plans and alternatives that are available for each of those courses.

You may enroll in free online courses at Duke, though, many classes are going to require either a monthly payment or a fee in order to receive a certificate upon completion of the program. However, this is not a “golden rule” that applies to all of them; rather, it is contingent. 

The costs will also vary widely; while some programs, particularly “specializations,” may be quite costly, others are budget-friendly. You should always keep in mind that studying Duke University online courses on Coursera is always going to be considerably more economical than doing so on the university campus. This is something that you should keep in mind regardless of anything else.

How Do I Choose A Course At Duke?

If you are thinking about furthering your professional standing by enrolling in online classes, you may be curious if those classes are given any consideration by human resources professionals and recruiting supervisors.

There are numerous online courses available. Some are well-known and of great quality, whereas others are neither of these things. Reputable online courses are worth something to those who might recruit you or promote you, but you must put in the research to vet each course before they are of any value.

View of young woman typing in a room near a window.

How do I choose a course at Duke? These factors are what you should be looking for in free online courses at Duke or in any other courses on the web.

A Well-known and Reputable Platform

On a personal website, anyone can give online classes, regardless of whether they have their qualifications confirmed. Your education will count for much more if it was obtained from a respected source such as Coursera, which collaborates with leading colleges to provide a curriculum on par with that found in universities. Rest assured, free online courses at Duke are accessible on Coursera.

Student Reviews

Examining the feedback left by students is the most effective method for determining if people take a platform seriously. On the course pages of some platforms and courses, testimonials are displayed; however, these are always subject to the site’s editorial oversight and control. Read about the experiences of real students, particularly if those students have completed coursework that is relevant to the interests you have.

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Course Syllabi

The most crucial aspect of a course that you complete online is what you learn and retain. Examine the course outline to become familiar with the material that will be covered each week before enrolling. Any credible school or program will make this information available to the general public.


Even the most fundamental lessons ought to be taught by knowledgeable people. When you take a class from a reputable university, the teachers you learn from will often be from that university. Check the instructor’s bio to see if they have a degree or a significant amount of experience working in the relevant field. In an ideal world, they will have experience teaching other classes on comparable subjects.


Most high-quality online classes will provide students with the opportunity to earn a professional certification. To obtain the certificate, you might be required to pay a cost; nevertheless, if you want to enhance your resume, the fee will be money well spent.

There is a good chance that you are familiar with Duke University and the excellent reputation that it has earned. Duke University is not only widely regarded as one of the top educational institutions in the United States but also as one of the most prestigious private institutions located in the center of the Research Triangle.

In addition, Duke’s acceptance rate is low enough to compete with that of most Ivy League schools. Due to the extremely high level of competition for admission to Duke University, the school only accepts 6.2% of applicants for the Class of 2026.

Enrolling in free online courses at Duke could give you a glimpse of how an esteemed university offers high-quality education to its students. Regardless if you want to enroll in courses online or get into Duke University, AdmissionSight can assist you in getting into Duke. Feel free to book an initial consultation to discuss your admission strategies with experts at AdmissionSight.

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