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Level up with these free Harvard courses

free Harvard certifications
With free Harvard certifications, students from any corner of the globe can experience an Ivy League course. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Harvard is notoriously difficult to get into. This Ivy League admitted just 3.19% of applicants to its class of 2026 — the lowest admit rate in its history! While not everyone has the chance to attend Harvard, you can, however, get free Harvard certifications from the comfort of your home. 

Their online course catalogue includes a variety of subject areas, such as art and design, business, computer science, data science, education and teaching, health and medicine, humanities, mathematics, programming, science and social sciences. 

So, whether you’re looking to put your free time to good use or are looking to supplement your classroom learning with online courses, here are five free Harvard certification courses worth looking into: 

Free Harvard certifications worth exploring

Game development

Are you interested in programming? Harvard’s CS50’s Introduction to Game Development is a 12-weeks long hands-on course that will let you learn about the development of 2D and 3D interactive games. 

This will be done by exploring the design of popular childhood games such as Super Mario Bros., Pokémon, Angry Birds, and more. 

You’ll also learn languages like Lua and C#. By the end of the course, you’ll have programmed several of your own games and gained a thorough understanding of the basics of game design and development.

Computer science

CS50: Introduction to Computer Science is Harvard’s introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming. No programming experience is needed for this 11-week long course. 

CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering and web development. Languages include C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML. 

Artificial intelligence 

Harvard’s CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python explores the concepts and algorithms at the foundation of modern AI, diving into the ideas that give rise to technologies like game-playing engines, handwriting recognition and machine translation. 

There are hands-on projects for you to gain exposure to the theory behind graph search algorithms, classification, optimisation, reinforcement learning, and other topics in AI and machine learning as you incorporate them into your own Python programmes. 

By the end of the course, you’ll have experience in libraries for machine learning as well as knowledge of AI principles that enable you to design intelligent systems of your own.

Free Harvard certifications

Learn the basics of computer science via Harvard. Source: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP

Programming 

As the name suggests, CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Scratch is an introduction to programming using Scratch. It is a visual programming language via which aspiring programmers can write code by dragging and dropping graphical blocks (that resemble puzzle pieces) instead of typing out text. 

Using Scratch, this course introduces students to the fundamentals of programming, found not only in Scratch itself but in traditional text-based languages like Java and Python. This Harvard certification takes three weeks to complete.

Calculus

If you’re not looking to learn the basics of calculus but want to learn applications of calculus to other fields, then Calculus Applied! could be the course for you. This 10-week long course is for anyone who has completed or is currently taking a single-variable calculus course (differential and integral), at the high school (AP or IB) or college/university level. 

You’ll need to be familiar with the basics of derivatives, integrals, and differential equations, as well as functions involving polynomials, exponentials and logarithms. Expect to work with practitioners in social, life and physical sciences to understand how calculus and mathematical models play a role in their work.

You’ll also learn about a wide range of applications, from predator-prey models to how statisticians use functions to model data through a series of case studies. 

There are many more free Harvard certifications available on its website. Check out its course catalogue here