53 Free Undergraduate Business Classes You Can Take Online in 2023

free undergraduate business classes online

Written by Rowan Jones

Are you interested in but not certain about pursuing a degree or a career in business? Would you like to get some cursory instruction and get your feet wet at a prestigious college or university without having to pay exorbitant tuition fees? If so, never fear! There is a multitude of options out there for you, whether your interest is vague or intense.

From well-known higher education institutions to hidden gems, there are excellent schools across the entire country that offer fantastic educational opportunities in business that don’t cost a dime. There are classes in finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, business writing, international trade, and more, all of which anyone can take at any time.

Most free courses, also known as open courses, are prerecorded lectures. Navigating to the course webpage, you will find a syllabus, class videos, as well as a list of required books that are often available for purchase directly from the school.

As a student in a free course, your only monetary expenses will be course materials, many of which you will keep as valuable resources and business references for your future career! You will exit each free online course with a significantly more solid foundational understanding of various components of business.


Financial Markets

This online open course in Financial Markets is designed to educate students in mitigating risk and fostering enterprise in global trade. It provides incredibly in-depth examples of current practices and how to create effective strategies for the future. Financial Markets is an undergraduate class available through Coursera at Yale University in which students receive some of the best academic instruction in the world. Some of the topics that the professor covers include the theory of debt, corporate stocks, real estate, and behavioral finance.

Financial Theory

Financial Theory is another Open Yale Course that expounds upon the financial system’s pivotal role throughout worldwide economies. It is an excellent free online option for business professionals because it offers a comprehensive scope of how financial equilibriums are created and maintained across the globe.

The syllabus includes archetypal business and economic publications, and the class itself is 75 minutes twice a week. Students receive a superb education in hedge fund analysis and critical thinking at Yale University that is 100% free except for textbooks. Still, all open course students get a 10% discount on course materials purchased from the school bookstore.

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

Harvard University offers this free, six-week, introductory online course in entrepreneurship that requires about three to five hours of commitment per week. It is a self-paced business class offered through edX and is, of course, entirely free unless students decide they want to add a Verified Certificate of completion for $199.

Entrepreneurship in Merging Economies is a categorized as a business and management course that includes a strong focus on individual agency. Students learn creative solutions to ongoing problems in the industry and how to navigate domestic markets.

Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health

This nine-week introductory business open course is entirely self-paced and designed to teach students how to implement, establish, and maintain healthy workplace culture. It is 100% free aside from the optional $149 Verified Certificate and provides prestigious instruction in increasing revenue, reducing costs, and enhancing reputations through a Culture of Health.

Aside from Harvard’s obviously outstanding worldwide education, Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health has been named one of the best open courses of its kind and is well-known for its effectiveness in strengthening businesses everywhere. 

Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles

Learning how to use leadership skills appropriately is just as important as gaining the skills themselves. The HarvardX open course in Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles involves just that—how to identify what methods to use during incidences of conflict and complex challenges.

The skills learned in this introductory business class can be applied, not only to business scenarios and environments, but to every aspect of one’s life. Students learn invaluable leadership skills at their own pace over four weeks. Like all open courses at Harvard, it is absolutely free with an option Verified Certificate.

Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market

Taking an exciting product or innovative technology and creating a marketing and distribution scheme requires a detailed understanding of numerous business components. There are hundreds of products developed in labs across the country that never actually reach the shelves, and those that do are often not marketed well enough to attract appropriate buyers.

Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market uses real-world examples to develop critical thinking skills and enhance students’ understanding of the business processes involved from design and production to profit. Individuals who exit the course have a much more firm understanding of technology commercialization.

Innovating in Health Care

At nine weeks long with a six to eight-hour weekly time commitment, Innovating in Health Care is slightly longer in comparison to other free online HarvardX open courses. It is focused on improving business ventures in health care and is an intermediate business class that is more challenging than others yet provides more in-depth information.

Students gain valuable exposure to the six critical factors that shape new health care businesses, which include financing, structure, consumers, regulations, technology, accountability, and public policy. The syllabus supplies superlative real-world case studies, fascinating lectures, and insights from the world’s most prominent health care innovators. 

Become a More Resilient Leader in Turbulent Times

This short, self-paced, free open course provides excellent insight into what it takes to be a successful leader in dire situations. Using the experiences of Ernest Shackleton and his crew, who were marooned in Antarctica and survived only because of Shackleton’s excellent guidance, Harvard Business School’s Professor Nancy Koehn delivers an extraordinary lecture on how to Become a More Resilient Leader in Turbulent Times.

For many reasons, this topic is highly applicable to the current political and economic climate of 2023, and business professionals at all levels will appreciate this excellent educational opportunity to become a more decisive and compassionate leader. 

Salary Negotiation Techniques

One of the most complicated things to accomplish for both employees and employers is a successful negotiation, particularly when it involves a highly sensitive topic like salary. Mike Wheeler of Negotiation Mastery at Harvard Business School created this unique, self-paced online lesson designed to hone any business professionals’ technique.

To illustrate successful negotiation tactics, Wheeler utilizes the journey of how, in 1972, former center for the Boston Bruins, Derek Sanderson, became the highest paid athlete on the globe. A fun, short, and fascinating look into discussions on pay scale, Salary Negotiation Techniques that is guaranteed to provide some insight into future negotiations.

Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A Roadmap for Getting Results

This is an introductory business course that helps students and professionals who are involved in the health care industry improve the standards of work and patient experience in their environments. Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A Roadmap for Getting Results involves instruction in the development and execution of personal improvement projects in both solo and team efforts.

The syllabus was created in collaboration between the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and HarvardX and trains learners to translate innovation into practice. Using a scientific approach alongside a group of highly prestigious faculty members, students learn to run small tests of change to determine appropriate improvement methods.

Remote Work Revolution for Everyone

Since 2020, more and more businesses are turning to remote platforms, which almost always has a significant impact on culture and strategic management. While some may return to the old standard in the future, for many, remote work is here to stay. Transitioning to at-home operations creates an entirely new set of demands that can be incredibly intimidating, especially to professionals who have spent their entire careers working face-to-face.

This free online course supplies personal and team-based strategies to improve communication, productivity, and collaboration, as well as navigate new systems of trust and accountability. In Remote Work Revolution for Everyone, students learn how to create and launch effective plans to improve their remote business management and teamwork experience.

Managerial Psychology

There are a huge number of open course opportunities available at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including several undergraduate topics in business. Managerial Psychology is an upper-level undergraduate class that is often taken by numerous grad students, as well. Its content is somewhat challenging but provides an unprecedented amount of knowledge in business.

The lectures draw from behavioral science theories and provide effective solutions for today’s modern industrial organizations. There are no fees or costs for textbooks, and all of the course materials are downloadable at no charge.

Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager

Another free online business course from MIT, Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager provides basic instruction in corporate business issues and critical law principles. The goal of this course it to provide a foundational understanding of the legality behind challenges facing current and future corporations.

There is extensive emphasis on business law as it applies to the responsibilities of managers, entrepreneurs, advisors, and consultants, that prepares them to make sound legal decisions. The course is instructed by two impressive professors of the Sloan School of Management who created an outstanding no-cost syllabus.

Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods

This open course is the result of efforts put forth by two professors and two doctors, all of whom are extraordinary instructors of business offering in-depth collaborative knowledge in fundamental Lean Six Sigma principles. The Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods provides invaluable information on how modern organizations conduct business and advance their operations.

This particular course is offered in January during MIT’s four-week Independent Activities Period and is an excellent choice for non-business students to learn more about a field that might directly effect their future profession.

Topics in Mathematics with Applications in Finance

Undergraduate students, graduate students, and seasoned business persons sometimes need exposure to certain areas of the profession outside their expertise. For example, not all Operations Managers and Entrepreneurs have a clear understanding of mathematics and finance.

In such a case, these individuals should consider Topics in Mathematics with Applications in Finance through MIT OpenCourseWare, which provides free instruction in the techniques and concepts utilized by the financial industry. The syllabus was designed by four doctors at MIT and offers complete video lectures and full lecture notes.

Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies

This specialized class is an excellent free online course for business people to gain in-depth knowledge from renowned energy and power professionals. The MIT Sloan School of Management instructor of Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies goes into great detail regarding how numerous intricate systems of all kinds work in tandem to allocate appropriate energy levels to meet consumption.

Students examine the constraints and choices involved in the usage of energy with relevance to households, governments, and firms, as well as how to make sound decisions using different frameworks. It is a great choice for individuals who are exploring new enterprises outside of their expertise.

Project Evaluation

MIT OpenCourseWare offers this extremely in-depth, 100% free online class in Project Evaluation that puts a strong emphasis on managing uncertainty in critical situations. The syllabus provides highly applicable topics in life-cycle costing, net present value analysis, benefit-cost analysis, and other relevant areas wherein students gain invaluable information at no cost.

The course instructors use historical, traditional, and real-world examples to frame complex theories, methodologies, and principles while also putting classroom information into practice. Students can undertake some or all of the implemented features, which include lectures, lecture notes, homework assignments and exams (without answer keys), and projects that reinforce project evaluation techniques. 

Inventions and Patents

Here is a course topic that provides an outstanding amount of information regarding a critical business area that is often the difference between success and failure. The Inventions and Patents syllabus explores the long history of public and private rights to applied engineering and scientific discoveries that led to a global patent system.

Students learn how to apply for and obtain patents in various industries, such as chemical processing, biological and genetic engineering, ocean exploration, aeronautics, computer software and hardware, medical pharmaceuticals, and more. One of this online open course’s many exciting features is its live, real-time, video-audio class sessions conducted in collaboration with other universities!

The Art and Science of Negotiation

One of the skills most paramount to the business industry is negotiating and bargaining n to get the best deal. Anyone who has had to engage and make a deal with a tough negotiator knows that it can be not only stressful and intimidating but also challenging to achieve the desired goal.

MIT OpenCourseWare provides a free, undergraduate, introductory approach to The Art and Science of Negotiation wherein they develop and enhance sharpened negotiation techniques. This class combines theoretical and hands-on methods and is a fabulous choice for business professionals, as well as individuals working in public and legal settings.

International Trade

International and global trade is a tremendous component in current business industries, and it is crucial for business professionals with worldwide reach to understand their controlling power. International Trade at MIT provides an analysis of the causes and results of overseas investments. as well as individual country’s motives for regulating and restricting international trade.

The syllabus goes over an incredibly wide array of topics in economics and business, such as economic growth, wage inequality, foreign and multinational investment, current trade policy, and international trade agreements. Throughout the course, students can expect to complete homework assignments, problem sets, and exams, all of which do not provide solutions.

Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting

A healthy understanding of finance and accounting is pivotal to the success of most aspiring and current business professionals, despite their particular area of expertise. This Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting course offers basic and brief yet highly relevant information that is guaranteed to enhance the careers of all interested professionals.

The class instructor has provided an impressive reading list of both required and supplemental materials that vastly expands students’ knowledge base. Learners can expect to take part in exams, assignments, projects, and lectures. Navigate to MIT OpenCourseWare to learn more about all of the school’s free online business courses.

Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes

Have you ever wondered how the cookies on your computer let businesses know when, where, and what to advertise? Or perhaps how Netflix and Hulu understand what kind of content you are interested in?

Discover how this intricate technological business process works in Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes, a 100% online and 100% free Princeton University course available through Coursera. The syllabus can be completed in about 37 hours and is accessible to its 20,000 students in English, French, Portuguese, Russian, English, and Spanish!

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

It is imperative to stay up-to-date as business industries change and adapt to current technologies. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies is another excellent Massive Open Online Course in business from Princeton University that introduces students to the new and incredibly complex world of bitcoin. The syllabus provides the step-by-step conceptual framework needed to engineer software that securely interacts with cryptocurrency.

Students who exit the course are prepared to integrate bitcoin into their own business ventures. Indeed, several of those who have successfully completed the class have provided only the very highest recommendations on the course webpage, explaining the clarity they had after learning about cryptocurrency at PrincetonOnline.

Applied Scrum for Agile Project Management

The University of Maryland System offers numerous exciting online open courses in business through edX, such as Applied Scrum for Agile Project Management, which provides a sound education in the most effective technique for managing teamwork—agile project management.

This four-week free online class requires two to three hours of work per week, all of which is entirely self-paced, and introduces students to the historical usage of Agile and how to develop and maintain an effective, innovative, expeditious Scrum team. This free online business course is an excellent segue to a Professional Certificate in Agile Project Management from the University of Maryland, or there is a verified certificate option for $199. 

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

As more and more students and professionals start learning and working from home and using more and more internet, keeping up with the role of digital-based marketing is paramount. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing is another UMD online open course, but this class is provided through the prestigious Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The course content is focused primarily on the role that digital marketing plays on multiple user-based platforms, such as apps and social media websites like Facebook or LinkedIn. It is a self-paced, four-week syllabus that is massively popular and enrolls over 10,000 students at a time.

Product Management Fundamentals

Product Management is an incredibly lucrative profession that is coveted by business persons more every day because it provides a perfect foundation for future chief executive officers and business owners. Product Management Fundamentals at USMx offers key principles for success in product management, such as how to successfully navigate the numerous roles that the product manager plays in their environment.

It is one of Maryland’s most popular open courses, with over 20,000 students enrolled in each session. It explores the critical competencies required for success and how to engage with the entire product management process from team to stakeholders to clients.

Financial Accounting

While there are several other free online classes in finance and accounting on this catalog, it is the only course categorized explicitly as Financial Accounting. It is perfect for any business professional working outside the accounting department because it provides a straightforward, seven-week education that develops a basic yet effective understanding of financial management.

Students learn to communicate and interpret financial statements confidently with cursory but sound knowledge of three essential components: the income statement, the statement of cash flows, and the balance sheet. It is an advanced undergraduate class that does not require any prerequisites for enrollment and can be taken at any time. 

Digital Transformation in Business

As the whole modern world completely transitions towards a digital age where personal and professional relationships are maintained fully at a distance, businesses must keep up with the wave of the future and transform their interactions. New technologies like e-commerce platforms, social media, mobile devices, artificial intelligence, and software services have changed entire companies at their center, requiring them to either pivot or fold.

Digital Transformation in Business is an advanced, free online business course through the Smith School of Business that gives students a basic tool kit for approaching all of the most popular current interfaces and technology principles.

Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities

New business opportunities come and go at break-neck speed, and anyone who wants the ability to take advantage of such chances needs a foundational understanding in Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities. The syllabus consists of four modules that explore the various levels of entrepreneurship, including startup and corporate innovation, critical thinking, identifying profitable opportunities, and taking advantage. Students learn how to implement

The Opportunity Analysis Canvas from the course instructor, Dr. James V. Green, who has an extraordinary reputation for developing this popular business model. The OAC distills a tremendous amount of sociology, psychology, and business research into a practical guide for entrepreneurs.

Effective Communication for Program and Project Stakeholders and Teams

Ask any business person in any workplace environment what the most pivotal aspect of running a successful organization and team is, and they will all answer: communication. This USMx course in Effective Communication for Program and Project Stakeholders and Teams explains how to compose a clear message using The Understanding Triad: know-how, know-what, and know-why.

Students learn to give constructive criticism and feedback that helps encourage a specific individual or group while simultaneously avoiding humiliation and punishment. The syllabus delves into the communication methods necessary to structure a program or project for 100% understanding by project teams, managers, and stakeholders.

Managing Conflicts on Projects with Cultural and Emotional Intelligence

When two or more individuals work together in a team, there will always come a time when they need to address a conflict. Small or large, conflicts arise, and it is essential for business professionals in positions of management to resolve such instances as they arise.

Such superiors must have an understanding of emotion and culture during moments of disagreement, and Managing Conflicts on Projects with Cultural and Emotional Intelligence is an outstanding five-week open course that gives students just that. The syllabus introduces the Coordinated Management of Meaning and how to use it to identify and manage communication issues.

Creating Innovative Business Models

Creating Innovative Business Models was designed by the University Of Maryland’s Technology and Enterprise Institute as an educational guide for corporate innovators and active and aspiring startup entrepreneurs. Innovating corporate ventures, finding the right time for the right team, and creating fresh, new business ideas can be incredibly frustrating without the proper framework.

Students learn how to effectively develop value-based propositions that align directly with popular consumer interests from a doctoral instructor renowned for his personal contributions to the business and management industries. For absolutely no cost, this free online business course radically enhances the business modeling skills of any professional.

Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers

For managers, business leaders, administrators, and other individuals in positions of corporate authority, it is much easier to command a room with a high level of confidence and knowledge of relevant persuasion tactics. Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers educates students on how to make decisions quickly and decisively by communicating more persuasively.

The course is designed for certified professionals who have successfully completed either the Certified Associate in Project Management exam or the Project Management Professional exam. The most excellent syllabus outlines ten professional development units and vastly enhances communication techniques. Aside from the ten open courses outlined on this index, the University of Maryland provides yet even more free online business courses.

Retail Fundamentals

The incredibly prestigious and well-known Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business offers this four-week free online business course in Retail Fundamentals that is extremely popular with nearly 40,000 enrollees in early 2021. Throughout this class, students gain a foundational understanding of the four critical retail business components, which include demand forecasting, assortment planning, inventory management, and pricing decisions.

It supplies effective methods to address such challenges through the usage of simulation tools that help internalize complex concepts. The professor has a hands-on approach to problem-solving, and those who successfully complete the entire course can more easily make decisions.

Omnichannel Strategy and Management

Omnichannel marketing is virtually a requirement for any retail business to achieve commercial success. Omnichannel Strategy and Management, another open course from DartmouthX, details the necessary steps to create a seamless client experience between a mobile device, laptop and desktop, and in-store interactions.

Consumers expect their needs to be met without question (such as buying an item online and returning it at the store), and it is up to the retailer to keep up with such demands. This class teaches the transition from traditional to omnichannel retailer and is a component of the Retail Management Professional Certificate at Dartmouth University. 

Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work

Losing valuable employees to burnout is one of the most common occurrences in workplace turnover in any business or corporate environment. Many individuals say that they feel overwhelmed at work and need help managing their stress. Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work provides research-based strategies for handling workplace anxiety.

The focus of the course is on practicing mindfulness and an awareness of sensations, thoughts, and feelings, without judgment of either good or bad. Instructed by two professors, both of whom have terminal degrees in their fields of expertise, it offers academic resources through the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley.

Marketing Analytics: Marketing Measurement Strategy

Another free online business course from edX and the University of California, Berkeley, Marketing Analytics: Marketing Measurement Strategy is only one of four classes in marketing analytics that can be taken at no required tuition cost whatsoever. This component of the topic focuses on the execution of market sizing, identifying market trends, and predicting future conditions.

Verified Learners who choose to pay the $249 certificate fee receive exclusive access to how-to videos and lectures. The course is taught by a highly renowned professor with past leadership roles in product development and marketing at industries such as NASA, Oracle, and 3Com.

Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation

The second course of the BerkeleyX Marketing Analytics MOOCs, Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation, will enhance the practical and theoretical skills of any marketing professional. In this section, students learn how to analyze competition and gain an understanding of effective segmentation to improve both profit centers and consumer experience.

While it is categorized as Computer Science, this class is an excellent undertaking for any business professional because of the vastly relevant information that it offers in four short weeks of study. It is an intermediate-level free online business course, and the instructor prefers students to be familiar with Microsoft Excel.

Marketing Analytics: Products, Distribution, and Sales

Marketing Analytics: Products, Distribution, and Sales is the final marketing analytics courses offered through the University of California, Berkeley, at absolutely no cost to the distance learner whatsoever. It is a somewhat challenging approach to conjoint analysis, critical decision-making and decision tree methodologies, and creating store location decision models.

Students learn important sales processes necessary in both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar channels. Each of these four classes is four weeks long, yet also self-paced, and can be completed at each individual’s learning rate, meaning that students can gain a relatively in-depth understanding of marketing analysis for free in less than three months!

Sport Business Foundations

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is very well-known for its exemplary degree programs of all kinds and is recognized far and wide as one of the best schools in the state. Fairbanks offers three exciting introductory sports business courses for free in partnership with edX, the first of which listed here is, of course, Sport Business Foundations.

This course explores the myriad of pathways a career sport management can take, a highly competitive field. The syllabus covers international, professional, collegiate, and interscholastic sports and helps students identify their personal strengths, professional development, and opportunities in sports business.

Sport Analytics: Data Driven Decision Making

Sport Analytics: Data Driven Decision Making instructs free online business learners on using facts, data, and metrics to identify and solve problems and make sounds decisions guiding strategic business management. Like most courses on this index, it is self-paced over four weeks. It introduces students to the best practices used in sports business analytics.

Students learn pivotal techniques in fact-finding, data collection, metrics, and visualizations to enhance their decision-making skills and more clearly understand objectives and benefits in the field. The course is perfectly broken down into exciting weekly segments that build upon a central theme while educating students in many relevant areas.

Sales in Sport Business

Fairbanks’ third and final free business class is Sales in Sport Business, a highly valuable topic in which everyone, even the best salespeople in the country, could use sharper skills. This course supplies a strong education in critical revenue and sales generation strategies and is instructed by highly esteemed experts across multiple areas of the sports industry.

Students learn more about ticket, group, and corporate sales, as well as practical applications of theoretical fundamentals. Individuals who make it to the end of the four-week syllabus have the refined ability to take on executive roles in their current or future establishments.

Business Strategy from Wharton: Competitive Advantage

The University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School provides several business classes for free online through edX, all of which vastly exceed excellence. For example, the Business Strategy from Wharton: Competitive Advantage course teaches students how to evaluate their personal business strategies and locate potential sources of competitive advantage from dynamic, internal, and external perspectives.

They also learn how to anticipate and assess the moves of competitors and how to maintain strategic and profitable advantage. The syllabus is six weeks long and is separated into four course modules that demand about three-four hours of weekly work, all of which is completely self-paced.

Introduction to Connected Strategy

Introduction to Connected Strategy helps students identify and take advantage of the potential and value proposition of connected strategies. Those who enroll will analyze customer experiences in order to understand their consumption drive and motive. The class also emphasizes connected professional relationships to improve connected strategy.

Some of the main topics included in the syllabus are Connected Strategy Framework, Four levels of Customization, and Classification Trees and Selection Tables. The syllabus is instructed by two extremely well-respected Wharton School professors and requires a basic understanding of concepts in business. Interested readers should also explore the Professional Certificate in Strategic Management.

Strategic Management Capstone

This intermediate Wharton School course, Strategic Management Capstone, instructs learners to create connected customer relationships and delivery tactics for a specific organization. Those who complete the syllabus above will refine their skills in connected strategy and develop new, innovative techniques that can be directly applied to students’ personal institutions and places of work.

Individuals in this course are given tailor-made worksheets that detail strategic processes, and the capstone project is a culmination of both the worksheets and a final analysis. The class is comprised of in-depth video lectures, assignments, and homework designed by the same instructors as Introduction to Connected Strategy. 

Selling Ideas: How to Influence Others, and Get Your Message to Catch On

The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School offers another distinctive free online business course entitled Selling Ideas: How to Influence Others, and Get Your Message To Catch On, a fun and interactive syllabus. Students learn how to spread a message that sticks and become more successful in business.

It is relatively challenging compared to other courses on this index and is typically completed over six weeks but allows enough flexibility for students to finish at their own pace before the conclusion of the class. The five modules that make up Selling Ideas introduce learners to innovative and influential tactics that are vastly beneficial.

Managing the Value of Customer Relationships

Customers are the key to profitable growth, but maintaining and supporting consumer relationships that have the most value is a skill in and of itself, entirely. Managing the Value of Customer Relationships instructs distance learners in the techniques necessary to identify the most valuable customers and how to implement approaches that maximize strategic value.

The fabulous Wharton professor and co-founder of Zodiac who designed this course emphasizes a focus on existing customers rather than developing new products and services to market and sell. Upon completion of the syllabus, learners can track their most profitable clients and establish customer-centric strategies with ease.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

This next series of free online undergraduate business courses is offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology, commonly known as RIT, starting with Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, which is, of course, one of the most crucial aspects of the profession. The class is part of the Leadership Essentials Professional Certificate, which is available in full for a nominal fee.

It delves into concepts of strategic analysis, adaptive problem-solving, and collaboratively working through workplace obstacles as a team and as a leader. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving is introductory, communication-based, and designed to provide discussion, demystification, and applicable techniques to approach numerous business issues. 

Project Management Life Cycle

RITx provides Project Management Life Cycle as an interdisciplinary approach to a complex and multifaceted area of business administration. At ten weeks with an estimated eight to twelve hours of work per week, it is one of the longer courses on this index and, therefore, provides a more in-depth education in a highly sought-after department of the profession.

The syllabus covers the entire development of a particular business venture, from project initiation to planning to execution to closing. Students learn quantitative methods, tools, and techniques to approach the field from beginning to end and are instructed by an expert in project management.

Business Communication

Business Communication instructs students to interact orally, non-verbally, and in writing to build strong professional relationships. As a vital part of any business or organization, communication is the key to building trust, establishing a hierarchy, and resolving conflicts. RITx provides an excellent free online introductory business course to meet the needs of any professional, wherein they learn effective techniques to articulate complex ideas succinctly.

The class is a strong emphasis on writing and listening through the critique of real-world workplace scenarios. There are multiple start dates throughout the year, and it has an average of about 8,000-9,000 students per session.

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

Here is another fabulous class that provides critical negotiation techniques from an incredibly well-respected business administration expert at the University of Michigan. This course is considered one of the most popular and successful massive open online courses in the country, in which students learn four fundamental negotiation techniques.

It consists of videos that range from five to 20 minutes, assignments, projects, negotiation practice, discussions that connect students with learners across the globe, and a final exam. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills is delivered over six weeks, and each week has a specific emphasis, such as planning strategy or creating a contract.

Do I ever have to pay for one of these online business courses?

Some platforms require learners to pay a fee after a certain number of courses have been completed. Usually, you will have a time frame to complete as many free courses as you want, but eventually, you will most likely be charged a small fee. However, even if you decide to take on a full program through MOOCs, it will still be a fraction of the cost (around $300-400) of even one traditional course at a college or university.

Are these courses as legitimate as classes I have to pay for?

The short answer is no: massive open online courses are not considered as legitimate compared to those taken directly from a particular school, such as one of the many listed above like Harvard or MIT. These classes are often intended simply for personal or corporate gain.

Do you struggle with a particular business area but don’t want to pay $1,000 or more for a class from one of the country’s most prestigious schools? Or do you have employees that could benefit from a course in communication or negotiation? Then these free online undergraduate business courses are definitely for you!

Will I have access to professors?

Most of the time, access to professors is reserved for learners who pay for the certificate of completion, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $300. Sometimes you might be given access via email, but even that is rare.

Oftentimes, the course lecture videos were recorded many years ago, sometimes over a decade, and enroll tens of thousands of students at one time. As you can probably imagine, on top of what they already teach on a day-to-day basis currently, instructors cannot possibly answer inquiries from that many people.

If classes are self-paced, can I take more than the allotted time to complete them?

Yes and no. It depends on the course, but most of the time, self-paced means that the materials are available for however many weeks the class remains open, and you can finish whenever you want in that time. Most are on a schedule and have start dates throughout the year. Once you enroll, there is a deadline to complete everything that’s included after it starts.

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor