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Free Academic Courses – Finance & Economics

Open learning initiatives are a growing trend among universities and the below list can be considered somewhat limited in the fact that it emphasizes Finance and Economics.  There are now many schools all around the world that offer free, online course materials extracted from their regular curriculum ready for download, at any time.

Also check out the aggregate resources listed below for substantially more full courses and lectures available online for free viewing.  The resources posted below will provide you with a very substantial framework from which to get started in your open online studies of finance or economics, or a continuing education for those seeking something more advanced.

In our constant efforts here to be continuously learning, I encourage you to please contact me or post in the comments below in regards to any that you think I might have missed or feel are of good value to our readers.  Enjoy!


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Perhaps one of the most popular by now (and the best in my opinion), MIT has been posting materials on their OpenCourse Ware site from most, if not all, of their departments over past several years.  Some courses include literally everything, including video lectures, assignments, exams and solutions, while all contain syllabuses, readings and lecture notes. Here, you're going to find everything from basic to the most advanced topics courtesy of MIT.


Yale University

“Open Yale Courses” is somewhat limited (re: Economics) in the sense that they only offer introductory classes but they are complete and contain a range of topics.  Click on the links followed by “view class sessions” to see them all.  They are also posted on Youtube alongside a large number of lectures from some of the world's greatest speakers:


Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative offers full courses on several subjects, one of which is Economics.  The course itself focuses on nuts and bolts economics (supply and demand, taxes, wages vs. output, etc.) as opposed to standard macroeconomic theory.


University of California Berkeley

UCAL Berkeley's list of online courses offer .mp3 listening, or webcasts, of actual courses conducted, three of which are focused on economics.  This link points to their spring 2011 courses.  As always they are free licensed under the creative commons noncommercial license.


MIT's Open CourseWare Consortium

This could be considered the mother of current academic aggregates as it pools the resources of 60 sources, offerring appx. 5, 600 courses in several different languages.  This link shoots to their search page where you can find pretty much anything your heart desires.

Also be sure to check out this page where you will find a massive listing of individual universities that post materials online from a wide range of countries.


Wikiversity and WikiBooks

Huge collection of online resources that delve deep into finance and economics.  As is the case with Wikipedia, these works are continuously being updated and added to in terms of content.


Academic Earth (NYU, Yale, UCLA, University of Michigan, Princeton, etc)

Academic Earth conducts a search of many of the sites posted above and hosts the videos in a central location.  An easy-to-reach portal but not as complete as going to the others individually.



In the iTunes Store or on Your Mobile Device in iTunes

iTunesU is  right under the noses of millions of people yet goes largely unnoticed, and is in my opinion, highly underrated.  Simply stated, it is a very valuable hub of podcasts that cover a beyond-massive range of subjects, with business being one of the more popular categories.  In that category, you're going to find courses, lectures, book readings, etc., focused on finance and economics.  The providers are far from shabby, either.  A quick browse and I saw the following names:

University of Cambridge, Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, University of Oxford, MIT, Stanford University, University of Michigan, etc.

To access iTunesU, go into iTunes on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, click on “more” at the bottom of your screen, and there it is, as it has been, all along.  Note that your iPod functions contain a separate category for iTunesU, so after you download that's where you'll be finding them, not in your podcast section.