Free Online Courses at UPenn

October 25, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Free Online Courses at UPenn

Does UPenn University Offer Online Courses?

Does UPenn University offer online courses? Leading the way in online education, UPenn gives students everywhere in the country and the world the chance to advance their careers, earn college credits, and immerse themselves in intellectual pursuits. Free online courses at UPenn started when the school introduced its first MOOCs in 2012 and established an office devoted to online education.

Before changing its name to the Online Learning Initiative, OLI was known as the Open Learning Initiative. Its initial goals included advising the UPenn administration on online projects and creating MOOCs with faculty from the University of Pennsylvania.

As one of the four original university partners of the Coursera platform, UPenn was one of the first universities in the world to employ MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, to open its doors to online students.

The Open Learning Initiative at UPenn has so far reached more than 2 million students in close to 200 countries by providing free online courses taught by UPenn faculty in a variety of fields. The collaboration with edX will broaden UPenn’s exploration, innovation, and reach.

Male student attending an online class in a room.

Today, the OLI initiative’s goals are substantially broader, and it acts as a hub for information about online learning at UPenn. The University provides numerous online learning alternatives, including certifications, continuing education, micro-credentials, and degrees.

What Courses Can I Take Online For Free?

Most of the free online courses at UPenn are available on edX and Coursera. You will typically need to pay a price ($29-$300) if you wish to upgrade to a version of the course that includes features like graded homework or a certificate of accomplishment. The websites Coursera and edX both offer financial help, while edX’s procedure is more user-friendly.

Now, let’s proceed to “What courses can I take online for free?” The following are some of the most popular online courses offered by UPenn.

Global Trends for Business and Society

Duration: 4 weeks

You will learn how to examine quickly evolving global trends, their impacts on the consumer and labor markets, financial systems, and geopolitical interactions between nations throughout the world in this course.

This course was created to help you comprehend the degree of influence these developments have on the business world and society by Professor Mauro Guillen of the Wharton School. You will investigate how changes inside one civilization will affect other societies through real-world case studies, both historical and modern.

Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization

Duration: 4 months

Through four of Wharton’s well-liked courses, this concentration aids students in developing the skills necessary for both personal and professional success. In order to decide what they want and how to get it, students perform activities, self-diagnostic surveys, and study case studies. In contrast to many business courses, this one focuses on successful human habits rather than primarily on organizational methods.

Students have the option of enrolling in the program as a whole or in each course separately.

Foundations of Positive Psychology Specialization

Duration: 5 months

The “father of Positive Psychology,” Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, is a part-time instructor for this five-course specialization. It provides possibilities for the application of fundamental positive psychology ideas and research.

Students have the option of enrolling in the program as a whole or in each course separately.

Software Development Fundamentals

Duration: 4 weeks

Several free online courses at UPenn are introductory courses for specific topics or fields of study. This intermediate computer science course will teach you Java for software development, starting with developing a sizable Java program utilizing Java keywords, syntax, and libraries and moving on to environments, tools, and frameworks for contemporary Java software development. It is a part of a more rigorous course, Computer Science Essentials for Software Development Professional Certificate program.

Intellectual Property Law and Policy: Part 1

Duration: 6 weeks

This is a general introduction to the increasingly significant field of intellectual property (IP) law and significant court decisions, including information on how patent law functions and the political consequences of IP. The second section explores copyright, trademark law, IP alternatives, and the future of a still-evolving legal field.

Hollywood: History, Industry, Art

Duration: 4 weeks

Students examine Hollywood’s development from the 1920s to the present to understand how it evolved into the dominant force it is now. Topics covered include how Hollywood adapted to new technology, its relationships with independent cinema, and its influence on American politics. Additionally, students pick up skills in film analysis and opinion-making about the direction of the business.

Programming for the Web with JavaScript

Duration: 4 weeks

With this intermediate computer science course, learn about contemporary web development using JavaScript. Beyond learning the fundamentals of building web pages with HTML and CSS, you gain more confidence with more complex language features, jQuery, and other things. It is also a part of the Computer Science Essentials for Software Development Professional Certificate curriculum.

Business Analytics Specialization

Duration: 6 months

In this five-course specialization, subject specialists from the famous Wharton School introduce big data analytics to the students. To better educate students in thinking analytically and strategically about data, the courses specifically demonstrate how data analysts discuss and have an impact on corporate decisions in four areas (marketing, human resources, finance, and operations).

Business Foundations Specialization

Duration: 7 months

Some of the best instructors at Wharton are combined in this six-course specialization to assist students in developing their fundamental business abilities in marketing, finance, accounting, and operations. The skills in strategy, decision-making, and other adaptable talents can be applied to your work, a developing small business, or a business school. There is no prerequisite knowledge needed.

Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“ModPo”)

Duration: 10 weeks

Greetings and welcome to ModPo, a fun and brisk course that introduces students to modern and contemporary US poetry. The course covers experimental verse and includes works by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, the Harlem Renaissance, and contemporary authors. Students will be able to recognize key themes and comprehend “difficult” poetry at the end of the lesson.

Urban Transit for Livable Cities

Duration: 8 weeks

Students learn about transit systems in “Urban Transit,” from their technical and operational features to the laws that can improve the system’s balance, as well as how they affect cities and people’s quality of life.

Students who have taken engineering, city planning, business, and economics courses may benefit the most from this course, which is intended for transportation engineers, city planners, and “general city planning enthusiasts.”

Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases

Duration: 4 weeks

A basic course on the US Constitution and some important Supreme Court cases is offered by law professor Kermit Roosevelt, III, for people who are interested in learning more about the American legal system. Students gain knowledge of the Constitution’s history, amendments, and methods of interpretation.

Are Online College Courses Worth It?

A lot may wonder why people choose the University of Pennsylvania’s free (or paid) online courses rather than visiting the physical campus and learning the material “the old-fashioned way”. Are online college courses worth it? Let’s see some credible reasons why taking the free online courses at UPenn might be for you.

Unidentified person typing in a laptop.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world, and the US is not an exception. Universities throughout the nation are responding to the pandemic in a variety of ways, one of which is converting the classes to an online learning environment.

Now consider your options: would you like to pay high tuition and learn the topics you desire from the institution itself, or would you prefer to pay much less (or maybe nothing at all) and continue to study the same subjects? Does the solution not seem obvious? Even if the latter option does not provide you with a diploma, you can still get a certificate after finishing a course.

Undoubtedly, cost plays a significant role. It can be incredibly expensive to attend an Ivy League school. If you choose to take UPenn online classes, you can still get a similar education even though you might lose out on some of the broader courses.

Of course, convenience is another important consideration. Free online courses at UPenn provide you the flexibility to learn at your own pace whenever suits you. While specific courses or specialties might still have deadlines for assignments and tests, the overall principle is still true.

It may not be the best option for you to take traditional classroom courses whether you work full- or part-time or even if you have other obligations. Online courses, however, can provide the flexibility you require, and you might even be able to complete your full degree online.

Finally, it’s important to recognize that not everyone will be able to study in the US due to geographical constraints. Free online courses at UPenn could be a fantastic alternative if you adore everything about the university but live on the other side of the world and have no way to relocate.

How Do I Choose A Course At UPenn?

The University of Pennsylvania offers many choices for online learning. The twelve schools that make up the University each provide opportunities for you to achieve both your personal and professional objectives. Now, how do I choose a course at UPenn?

View of young woman writing next to a laptop.

Are you trying to quickly develop a certain skill? You may be best served by a MOOC (massive open online course), specialization, or series. Looking to learn more about a subject while receiving academic credit? Your needs might be met by a degree or a certificate for credit.

Consider what you hope to gain from the experience and what kind of experience best suits your life before looking at all the course options. Remember that you can mix and, in certain cases, build upon each of these possibilities. Here are a few online learning opportunities you can benefit from:

  1. Degree and Certificates: Earn a degree or credit by including experiences in your course of study with degrees and certificates.
  2. Non-Credit Certificates: Research topics thoroughly without receiving UPenn credit.
  3. Gaining Education Units: Meet your field-specific professional development requirements.
  4. MOOCs: Focus on a particular skill or subject in 4-6 modules per week for a non-credit course.
  5. Series and Specializations: Explore a subject or talent in greater detail through several non-credit courses that are typically finished in 3-6 months.
  6. Micro-credentials: Follow a path that can result in credit toward a degree by earning this program.

An increasing number of students, workers, and professionals are looking for the best online courses as online learning becomes the new norm to stay engaged, be creative, and add new skills to their resumés while being safe at home. Though it can be intimidating, there are over 15,000 online courses available from dozens of universities and organizations around the world.

Therefore, a free course is a wonderful place to start if you have decided to invest time in developing your profession by acquiring new skills but are not sure where to start. We will explore how to pick the best course for your time and money.

Picking a course at random or choosing one that will not be useful might be detrimental in terms of time, effort, and confidence. Even if you may have some free time right now, you should use it to enroll in a course that will advance your profession.

Here are a few things to think about when picking the best course among free online courses at UPenn:

Establish Your Standards

It’s important to decide what you hope to achieve from a MOOC before enrolling in it. Why do you wish to sign up for a free online course? Do you want to learn specific skills to increase your chances of landing a job or are you just doing it for fun? Make a list of the subjects that interest you and determine how many hours a week you can devote to learning.

Young man smiling while holding a laptop.

Investigate and Explore

When you have a clear idea of your objectives and a list of the subjects you are interested in, you can conduct enough research and look up free courses on learning platforms that are well-known in the business.

Examine the Course Materials Carefully

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, it is essential to double-check the course content after selecting the appropriate course to ensure that the modules are in line with your goals. Before moving forward, you must know the course material and its learning objectives completely.

A professor assisting a student in a computer lab.

Delivery of Content

Although many educational institutions provide free courses, very few are qualified to present material that is specially designed for online platforms. Watching some of the institution’s demo videos can offer you an idea of how their online courses will appear, which is a smart approach to assess the institution’s content delivery quality. Make careful to select a school that utilizes cutting-edge technologies for content distribution and has an excellent website.

Check the Course’s Flexibility

The versatility of online courses is one of the primary factors influencing student choice. Therefore, it is essential to take into account whether or not your course provider offers an adaptive learning environment while selecting the appropriate course.

To make sure that the online course does not place unavoidable burdens on your shoulders, check the length of the courses, the accessibility of the modules, the requirements, the timing, and the frequency.

UPenn is consistently ranked among the top ten universities in the US every year. On the yearly ranking of the best colleges and universities in the United States that is compiled by US News & World Report, Penn University is now rated eighth as of the year 2022.

Getting into this institution will be extremely challenging however, these free online courses at UPenn could be your gateway to experiencing being a UPenn student and gaining more extensive knowledge on various topics. AdmissionSight can assist you in choosing which courses best fit you. Furthermore, we can help you in crafting an impressive application to the University of Pennsylvania. Book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts now.

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