20 of the Best Free Engineering Courses Online

Your greatest investment in life is in yourself. We have collected the top 20 free online engineering courses for you consideration.
Christopher McFadden

Convenient, easy to access and sometimes free, online courses can offer you a font of knowledge, until now, unheard of in human history. The following are a select list of 20 free engineering courses that can be found at some of the most prestigious universities throughout the world.

Although students don't earn college credits or have access to professors in these free courses, they also don't have to register or pay tuition. The available materials may not represent all content of the original courses. Undergraduate and graduate engineers can find courses offered in many areas of specialization.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The following five engineering courses are by no means exhaustive, there are extensive resources available on their MIT Open Courseware pages.

1. Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV

This course is designed to give you a good grounding in the fundamentals of aerospace engineering. This is taken be every undergraduate to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

2. How and Why Machines Work

Originally taught in 2002, this course includes a wealth of materials, including lecture noteslab notesassignments, and useful software guides.

3. Fluid mechanics

Originally taught in 2013 this course aims to cover the principal concepts of fluid mechanics. It covers pressure, hydrostatics, buoyancy to name but a few concepts. A good back to basics course to either add to your repertoire or brush up.

4. Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation

Another introduction to nuclear science and engineering applications. It covers topics rich as basic nuclear models, radioactivity to kinematics. It also presents energy systems, based on fission and fusion, as well as industrial and medical nuclear science applications. This course was originally taught in 2013.

5. The Society of Mind

This course offers an introduction to the theory of how our minds are a collection of simpler processes.

It covers aspects of thinking as vision, language, learning, reasoning, memory, consciousness, ideas, emotions, and personality. It also contains elements of psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science to resolve theoretical issues in this field.

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Carnegie Mellon University

With a smaller selection of free courses, not all related to engineering, Carnegie Mellon University none the less has a nice selection of engineering courses covered. Check it out here.

6. Engineering Statics

Including notes, videos, graphics, simulations and self-checking assessments this course covers force, friction, trusses, equilibrium and engineering connections. It also covers trigonometry and algebra, so users may find it helpful to have already completed courses in beginning physics before attempting this class unless of course, you are a glutton for punishment.

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Delft University of Technology

Like MIT Delft University has also produced a range of free online engineering courses. Feel free to have a look for yourself at Delft Open Courseware. The following are a select few that you may find interesting.

7. Geoscience and Earths Resources

I needed to get a Geology related subject in here somewhere. This course will help you develop knowledge on the behavior of petroleum and water resources.

8. Analog Integrated Circuit Design

This course covers topics like DC voltage references, trans-linear circuit, and oscillators. All notes are available for this microelectronics course in PDF format.


9. System Identification and Parameter Estimation

A graduate-level biomedical engineering course made up of 12 lectures which include the analysis of linear/non-linear model structures, optimization techniques, and impulse response functions. Contains free pdf notes and other resources.

10. Electronic Power Conversion

This 100+ hour course will help you get acquainted with applications of power electronics. It will also help you obtain insight in the principles of power electronics, to get an overview of power electronic circuits and be able to select appropriate circuits for specific applications and finally to be able to analyse the circuits.

geometry-1044090_960_720[Image Source: Pixabay]


edX resulted from the collaboration of many global universities such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley University. It offers a wide variety of self-paced and timed enrollment courses on their online courses. We have taken the liberty of linking to their engineering courses.

11. Leadership for Engineers

It's important to become rounded as you strive forward in your career and balance the hard with the soft skills base.

This self-paced course will help you learn how to effectively lead in a technology-driven world, define your personal leadership journey, and make your career choices.

12. Geology and Engineering Geology

Enrollment is currently open for this one at the time of writing. This will give you a good grounding in the concepts and principles of this beautiful subject (I might be a bit biased).

13. Robotics

Learn the core techniques for representing robots that perform physical tasks in the real world.

14. Project Management of Engineering Projects: Preparing for Success

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Make sure you get to grips with project management best practices. This course will help you create your own project plan and learn the importance of the early project phases in achieving project success.

15. The Conquest of Space: Space Exploration and Rocket Science

To be honest this might be the most underrated title I've seen in a long time. This one will help you explore the history of space travel and learn the basics of aerospace engineering.

16. Hypersonics – from Shock Waves to Scramjets

"Understand flight at speeds greater than Mach 5 and discover how to analyze the performance of a scramjet." - edX

A free course but you can tag on a small contribution to get a verification certificate on completion.

17. Principles of Synthetic Biology

Learn how to engineer biological systems and program organisms to perform novel tasks.

18. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Learn the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and apply them. Design intelligent agents to solve real-world problems including, search, games, machine learning, logic, and constraint satisfaction problems.

19. Relativity and Astrophysics

It's always nice to expand your knowledge outside of your own field. This course will help explore the powerful and intriguing connections between astronomy and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

20. Sustainable Energy: Design a Renewable Future

"Learn how to make the transition to 100% renewable energy from wind, solar and biomass for electricity, heat, and fuels for a sustainable future." - edX