Free Computer Science Courses From Harvard That You Can Take Online

Did you know that Harvard University offers free courses that you can take online? You really don’t want to miss out! 

Together with MIT, Harvard has founded edX, an online learning platform dedicated to making quality education accessible to everyone. Through edX, you can access a huge selection of Harvard courses from a variety of fields, one of which is in computer science.  

With the growing industry of tech, learning computer science remains valuable and Harvard’s free computer science courses are a great opportunity to do so. Let’s take a closer look at 4 of Harvard’s free computer science courses that you can take online for free: 


CS50: Introduction to Computer Science 

Duration: 11 weeks 

Time commitment: 10-20 hours per week 

Topics covered: Abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. 


Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science is a beginner-friendly course that teaches the basics of computer science and programming. It caters to both experts and non-experts with or without prior knowledge and experience, making it open to a wide audience. 

The course covers relevant topics including data structures, software engineering, and web development using languages like C, Python, JavaScript, and more. Designed to teach foundational knowledge of computer science, the course is perfect for those looking to get started in computer science. 


CS50’s Introduction to Game Development 

Duration: 12 weeks 

Time commitment: 6-9 hours per week 

Topics covered: Principles of 2D and 3D graphics, animation, sound, and collision detection using frameworks like Unity and LÖVE 2D, and languages like Lua and C#. 


Many people get into computer science or programming because of their interest in video games. If you’re one of them, CS50’s Introduction to Game Development course will surely get your attention. 

The course offers an immersive journey into the world of video game design, drawing inspiration from iconic titles like Super Mario Bros. and Pokemon. At the end of the course, students are expected to have programmed several games and gained an understanding of game design and development. 


CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python 

Duration: 7 weeks 

Time commitment: 10-30 hours per week 


This Harvard online course allows students to explore concepts and algorithms related to artificial intelligence. CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python showcase the theoretical foundations and practical applications of AI technologies, offering students a comprehensive understanding of concepts such as graph search algorithms, machine learning, and reinforcement learning.  

Through hands-on projects and exercises, participants learn to implement AI algorithms using Python, gaining practical experience in developing intelligent systems. By uncovering the mysteries behind game-playing engines and machine translation, students emerge prepared to tackle real-world challenges and drive innovation in the field of AI. 


CS50’s Understanding Technology 

Duration: 6 weeks 

Topics covered: Internet, Multimedia, Security, Web Development, Programming. 


Do you work with tech but feel like you still don’t know much about it? Here’s a course for you. Harvard’s CS50’s Understanding Technology course is specifically designed for those that already work with technology but still lack the technical understanding. 

Through engaging lectures and practical exercises, students will gain invaluable insights into the foundations of modern technology, empowering them to troubleshoot problems and harness technology effectively. The course provides a comprehensive overview of hardware, the Internet, multimedia, security, programming, and web development.  


Harvard’s free computer science courses present a great opportunity for learners of all backgrounds to understand computer science. All the courses above are self-paced and free to access – the only limitation is you can only access it during a course session and once the session ends, the course will be archived. Additionally, if you’d like to get a certificate, you’ll have to purchase it separately. 

Don’t miss out on this chance to learn computer science from Harvard for free! 

Join free and certificated online courses here. 

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