14 Cornell classes you can take online for free, from how to structure a business agreement to the ethics of food

14 Free Online Classes From Cornell University in 2021

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Cornell; Alyssa Powell/Insider

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Cornell is one of the most prestigious schools in the world. To set foot on campus as a student, you need to be in the 11% of applicants who had the test scores, extracurriculars, and je-ne-sais-quoi-factor to be accepted. 

But, thanks to partnerships with e-learning companies like edX, you can also take a handful of Cornell courses for free — without relocating, adhering to strict class times, or spending a dime. You can also do the same with other Ivy League institutions and top schools including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, MIT, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, Duke, Stanford, NYU, and more.

Below, you can find 14 of the best free Cornell courses available online. Some have the option to pay a small fee for certificates of completion that you can show potential employers or add to your LinkedIn or resume.

14 free Cornell courses you can take through edX:

Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom

Cornell classes

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kali9/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 5 weeks

Learn how to create inclusive, student-centered learning environments with tools such as inclusive course design and student-centered pedagogical practices. Students listen and reflect on lived experiences — including their own — as well as explore key research on learning and diversity and its importance in education. 

Sharks!

cornell classes

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Julian Gunther/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 4 weeks

Learn about what makes sharks fascinating through activities — tracking the movements of a wild shark, observing shark habitats and behavior, diving into the fossil record — as well as their functional anatomy, biology, ecological role, impact on human behavior, and conservation efforts among other things.

Relativity and Astrophysics

Cornell classes

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MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 4 weeks

This course combines relativity and astronomy to give students insight and quantitative skills to better understand the universe — from analyzing paradoxes in special relativity to pinpointing daily instances in which relativity is important.

This class is archived, which means you'll have access to course materials but you won't be able to upgrade for graded homework or earn a certificate of completion. 

Structuring Business Agreements for Success

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Buro Millennial/Pexels

$0.00 from edX

Length: 5 weeks

Learn the laws, principles, and guidelines needed to structure business agreements and assess the merits and challenges of different choices.  

This class is archived. 

The Ethics of Eating

Cornell classes

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Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 4 weeks

This course leads students into an exploration of the ethical issues at play every time we consume or purchase food. Using insights from a diverse group of philosophers, food scientists, activists, industry specialists, and farmers, you'll consider the morality of food: how it's produced, distributed, marketed, and consumed.

This class is archived.

Advancing Learning Through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching

edX free Cornell courses man on couch with laptop

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Ekaterina Bolovtsova/Pexels

$0.00 from edX

Length: 8 weeks

This course prepares current and future STEM teachers in effective teaching strategies and accompanying research to create active, impactful classrooms — including the import of diversity and how to incorporate it into a classroom. This course builds upon the introductory course above.

This class is archived.

American Capitalism: A History

Cornell classes

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Maremagnum/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 4 weeks

Take a close look at how economic development fueled the US' rise to power In the end, you should be able to recognize and criticize public policies that interact with American capitalism and have a solid understanding of it as an ever-changing system, even if basic features remain unchanged. 

This class is archived.

Networks, Crowds, and Markets

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Alistair Berg/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 10 weeks

To understand the interconnectedness of modern life, students get into game theory, the structure of the Internet, social contagion, the spread of social power, and information cascades.

This class is archived. 

The Science and Politics of the GMO

Cornell classes

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Kseniya Ovchinnikova/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 5 weeks

Learn the basics of genetic engineering and biotechnology in this introductory Food and Nutrition course. Students delve into the political debate surrounding GMOs, evaluate how social science concepts affect biotech development and usage, and learn to form good research questions and assess research reports, among other things.

This class is archived. 

The Computing Technology Inside Your Smartphone

Cornell classes

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Towfiqu Barbhuiya / EyeEm/Getty Images

$0.00 from edX

Length: 10 weeks

Explore the powerful computer processor that enables smartphones to be so indispensable. Students start with the fundamentals of computing technology and then move into advanced performance techniques and details of processors. 

This class is archived.

Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

edX free Cornell courses woman sitting on couch with laptop

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Christina Morillo/Pexels

$0.00 from edX

Length: 6 weeks

How does cellular technology enable massive surveillance? Do users have rights against surveillance? This social sciences course grapples with these big questions surrounding privacy issues in modern life and introduces students to related issues in WiFi and Internet surveillance. 

This class is archived. 

Original author: Leighton

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