Skip the Tuition: 100 Free Podcasts from the Best Colleges in the World

We've shown you how to take online classes for free, and now we're helping you take free to a whole new level. For students enrolled in online colleges that offer laptops, these free, high-quality Podcasts can be an especially good way to make use of school computers. Even the best online colleges can keep you glued to your computer, but Podcasts grant even greater mobility than online classes. Learn about physics while jogging or explore the ancient Mediterranean world while you're washing dishes. To find a Podcast that suits your intellectual passion, check out these courses to get a high quality education on the go.


Stanford offers free podcast downloads via iTunes. You'll be able to study physics, computer design, and much more.

  1. Quantum Mechanics: Learn about classical mechanics, theories of relativity, and more in this physics course.
  2. Human-Computer Interaction: This course features a variety of speakers on interaction design.
  3. Geography of World Cultures: This podcast takes a look at geography and considers the way it impacts world cultures.
  4. Hannibal: In this course, you'll study the life and archaeological trail of Hannibal.
  5. Modern Theoretical Physics: Learn about quantum entanglement and other theories of physics in this course.
  6. Ben Franklin and the World of Enlightenment: You'll get to learn about Benjamin Franklin's life and achievements, as well as how he affected and was affected by the Enlightenment.
  7. Straight Talk About Stem Cells: This course discusses the fundamentals of stem cell biology as well as its surrounding controversy.
  8. The Geography of World Cultures: Here you'll be able to explore locational dynamics and the way they affect languages, groupings, and religions.
  9. The Future of the Internet: This course discusses the issues of network neutrality and ownership on the Internet.
  10. The Literature of Crisis: Learn the art of living and take a look at the circumstances of existence through discussions on writers and thinkers including Socrates and Shakespeare.
  11. Historical Jesus: This course considers the historical evidence of Jesus against that of traditional Christianity.
  12. Virgil's Aeneid: Here you'll get an analysis of this work that is essential to the canon of Latin literature.
  13. Computer Systems Colloquium: In this podcast, you'll hear from guest lecturers that discuss topics like VoIP encryption, computer architecture, and balancing methods.


MIT's courses feature either audio or video, sometimes both, and are available as podcasts by department feeds.

  1. Aircraft Systems Engineering: This course offers a view of the aircraft as a whole system, with an experienced astronaut as well as a shuttle project manager as professors.
  2. Introduction to Biology: In these video lectures, you'll cover core biology material.
  3. Introduction to Psychology: Introduction to Psychology is presented as a series of audio lectures, with accompanying lecture notes.
  4. Principles of Chemical Science: In this introductory chemical course, presented in video, you'll take a look at basic principles.
  5. Principles of Chemical Science: These video lectures build upon the previous chemistry course, further emphasizing basic principles.
  6. Circuits and Electronics: Get an introduction to electrical engineering with this video course.
  7. Introduction to Algorithms: Learn about techniques in design and analysis of algorithms with these video lectures.


Much of the media available from Harvard is presented as one full podcast, but we've hand picked a few of their courses and recurring series that you should look for.

  1. The City of Sardis: Approaches in Graphic Recording: Learn about the preservation and recreation of the ancient City of Sardis in this very detailed series.
  2. Human Systems Explorer: Available as video, this course looks at an interactive teaching tool that's used to teach pathophysiology.
  3. String Theory, Black Holes, and the Laws of Nature: These videos cover a beginning understanding of the basic laws of the universe.
  4. Women and War in the Twentieth Century: Consider the history of gender and war to get a better understanding of war itself with this series and tour of historical collections.
  5. Justice: This very popular course offers an introduction to moral and political philosophy, discussing great philosophers as well as debates on contemporary issues.
  6. 50 Years in Media: Changes in Journalism: You'll hear from eight panelists from the Harvard Class of 1955 as they discuss the changes journalism has experienced in the past 50 years.
  7. In the War Zone: How Does Gender Matter?: Here, you'll get access to discussions from a Harvard conference that considers gender and war.
  8. Interntional Relations: New Approaches in a Complex World: Take a look at important issues in international politics with this series.

Queen's University

This Canadian university offers a few iTunesU courses in engineering and social issues.

  1. ELEC 377: This core course for Computer Engineering covers basic concepts of operating systems.
  2. SOFT 423: You'll learn about advanced requirements in software engineering with this podcast.
  3. Ethnicity & Democratic Governance: This series discusses, globalization, democracies, social construction, and much more.


UCLA has BruinCasts for a number of courses online. Many of them are restricted for student use only, but we've listed the ones that are publicly open for the current academic year here.

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

UCSF's Office of Continuing Medical Education currently has podcasts available on the subjects of depression and obstetrics/gynecology.

  1. Depression: Psychiatric Pitfalls & Treatment: Consider the treatment of depression with this podcast course.
  2. Depression: Anxiety Disorders and Exercise: This course taks a look at the link between exercise and anxiety disorders.
  3. Depression: Differentiating Unipolar from Bipolar and Treating Dementia: You'll learn about assessment and treatment of a few different mental afflictions with this course.
  4. OBGYN: Women's Medicine: This course will teach you to consider obstetrics and gynecology with a woman in mind.
  5. OBGYN: High Risk Pregnancies: Take a look at some of the risk factors and treatments for troubling pregnancies in this course.
  6. OBGYN: Issues in Women's Health: This course will ask you to consider health issues for women that every OB/GYN needs to know.


Yale offers a small sample of their courses online, with MP3 downloads for each session.

  1. Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics: This Yale podcast offers information on extra-solar planets, black holes, and dark energy.
  2. Modern Poetry: In Modern Poetry, you'll learn about major poets, concerns, and the characteristic techniques of modern poetry.
  3. Death: Face the inevitable with this course that explores death.
  4. Fundamentals of Physics: In this course, you'll get a good introduction to the principles and methods of physics.
  5. Introduction to Political Philosophy: Examine important thinkers and writings of Western politics in this course.
  6. Introduction to Psychology: Introduction to Psychology answers questions about the mind and provides an overview of the study of thought and behavior.
  7. Introduction to the Old Testament: This course discusses the Old Testament as it relates to religious life and Western Civilization.

More Courses

Learn even more from these podcast courses.

  1. Politique: Every week, you'll hear analysis on a new political subject in this course.
  2. Oxford Medieval English Lectures: Study Medieval English with some of Oxford's best in this podcast.
  3. Saviors: You'll learn about politics, economics, philosophy, and other news in this podcast.
  4. Controversy: Hear opposing views on science, politics, and more here.

This list is by no means all-inclusive. Although we've specifically highlighted a few iTunesU courses, there are a number of other schools that share lectures there and through the Higher Education portal as well. Additionally, you can visit Princeton's UChannel to access a huge collection of individual lectures and events from worldwide universities.