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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Circuits and Electronics 1: Basic Circuit Analysis

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


Want to learn about circuits and electronics, but unsure where to begin? Wondering how to make computers run faster or your mobile phone battery last longer? This free circuits course taught by edX CEO and MIT Professor Anant Agarwal and colleagues is for you.

This is the first of three online Circuits & Electronics courses offered by Professor Anant Agarwal and colleagues at MIT, and is taken by all MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) majors.

Topics covered include: resistive elements and networks; circuit analysis methods including KVL, KCL and the node method; independent and dependent sources; linearity, superposition, Thevenin & Norton methods; digital abstraction, combinational gates; and MOSFET switches and small signal analysis. Design and lab exercises are also significant components of the course.

Weekly coursework includes interactive video sequences, readings from the textbook, homework, online laboratories, and optional tutorials. The course will also have a final exam.

This is a self-paced course, so there are no weekly deadlines. However, all assignments are due when the course ends.


Week 1: From physics to electrical engineering; lumped abstraction, KVL, KCL, intuitive simplification techniques, nodal analysis

Week 2: Linearity, superposition, Thevenin & Norton methods, digital abstraction, digital logic, combinational gates

Week 3: MOSFET switch, MOSFET switch models, nonlinear resistors, nonlinear networks

Week 4: Small signal analysis, small signal circuit model, dependent sources

Taught by

Anant Agarwal, Gerald Sussman, Piotr Mitros, Chris Terman and Khurram Afridi


4.6 rating, based on 52 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at edX based on 10 ratings

Start your review of Circuits and Electronics 1: Basic Circuit Analysis

  • I took this class in 2012 when it was available as a single course (all 3 parts combined) and was a prototype from MITx. That was the time when edX was not created, and it was created during the time this class was in session! So, I started thi…
  • Anonymous
    This was a terrific class that teaches the fundamentals of circuit analysis, including resistors, capacitors, inductors and with a particular focus on MOSFET transistors and their applications to amplifier circuits and digital logic circuits. The b…
  • Session was amazing It’s gave me opportunity to learn so much new things . I would recommends you to please see once you’ll love the they explain

  • Profile image for Ram Ramabhadran
    Ram Ramabhadran
    This is a great course. I will be 70 years old this week. As a physics student who took electronics nearly 45 years ago when I was trained in radiological physics. I have been at it less than a week now and I am finding this course refreshing and rejuvenating. I enjoyed the math review although it took some work after all these years. I am finding the transition from physics thinking to the EE thinking a bit hard right now because of the sign issues in KCL and KVL, but hope to overcome it soon.

    I have taken this course for a certificate and I am looking forward to finishing it ahead of the deadline.

  • The material has been presented wonderfully! It has been ensured that no basic concept is unclear in the mind of the learner. You will definitely enjoy this course, as it is the best introduction to electronics. It is highly recommended that you take the 2nd and 3rd parts of this course as well. I am a high school student; the knowledge of High School Mathematics and Physics helped me in completing the course in lesser duration with 100 % final grade.
  • Profile image for BEIER LU
    有可能,优秀的;能干的,擅长的;好的,会心愿的;令人愉快的,合意的;(心情)愉快的;迷人的,漂亮的;成功的,可能的,合适的;合适的,方便的,有好处的,有用的;顺的,乖的,有礼貌的;乐于助人的心地的,善良的;符合程度的,正派的,高尚的;(数量或)相当大的,相当多的;很,非常;太空的,完全的;合情理的,有指挥力的,有充分根据的;计划算的,结果的;观点的;一致的,赢得赞许的;(表示)好;表示),或者语气;(至少打招呼)的,比赛的;比赛的;在……有效的打比赛的;有能力的(有效中笑的) ;苏丹的;上流的,支付贵的;(衣服的)方式的高,适合正式场合的;亲近的,尊崇的;以人为本的了,到此为止了;合理的,准确的
    n. 合乎道德的行为,正直的行为,善行;对的事情好);好事(好的);好的方面;好结果;有道德的人,尚的人,好人(好);用处,高处(好) ,;商品,所有物;(与乘客相区别的)待利益运货物(货物);私人财物(货物);真货,正品(货物)
    【名】 (Good)(英)古德,(瑞典)戈德(人名)
  • Anonymous
    For any beginner who wants to know about electronics :start learning from here . This course assumes no prior experience in electronics . In fact this course is also learned by mit students so it is a good opportunity learn from this course.
  • Anonymous
    i did this course and is good, i recommend thi to all my friends in this field hi to all my friends in this field
  • Anonymous
    This was my first online class and I still consider it THE benchmark for what a great MOOC experience should be. Dr. Agarwal's passion for teaching really comes through in his ah-ha moments and other fun distractions that help make learning a tedious subject fun and engaging. The course also includes challenging homework assignments and a breadboard simulator too. One of my favorite parts of the course was discussing the lectures with friends on the forums.

    The course combines RLC circuit theory with digital concepts which helps break it up into digestible chunks. My one knock is we did spend a lot of time on mosfets. If you want a thorough anlog and digital circuits introduction this is the best.
  • Anonymous
    I gave this 5 stars because it does teach a lot and I don't see any other equivalent MOOC for electrical engineering. I hope MITx continues this course as it has helped me out tremendously.

    The only critique I have is I wish it gave more detail about how circuits work in the beginning. I had a tough time trying to understand direction/sign of current and then direction/sign of power. The book didn't explain it well and it took several youtube videos for me to pick up on it. After I got past the basics the course started to make a lot more sense.
  • Anonymous
    I took this course when it was launched for the first time through MITx, which is now edx. Right throughout the course it was very interesting, the sessions taken by Mr. Anant Agarwal were the best. He knows how to explain a concept in the easiest manner. Along with the classes, the quizzes and the problems at the end of videos and chapters were really testing our application of learning a concept. Overall the best course if you would like to learn basics of electronics and circuit analysis.
  • Anonymous
    Fantastic course! I learned so much about circuits, and Dr. Anant Agarwal's demos and lectures were clear in illustrating the bridge from the high school physics I had learnt to Electrical Engineering. I especially liked the way that he left me in a cliffhanger at the end of most of his videos, leaving me to think, for example, how the Small Signal Method could be implemented without completely revealing it just yet. This course was definitely demanding and required a lot of effort, but taking the time to learn the material is definitely worth it!

    - Surya Rajan
  • Anonymous
    I loves the format. The content was good. Be warned that the interaction is very limited. If you’re stuck on a concept, it’s not easy to get help. Yes, I posted (more than once) and no one responded or answered (even after 3 weeks of waiting). I thought that getting verified and pursuing the paid certificate might garner a response, not so. If you know someone in this field that you can talk things through to, then I definitely recommend it. Good luck.
  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course to get you started in electronics. The textbook is very helpful. It gives you confidence when reviewing schematics and solving for voltages and currents. I would recommend this course to any student that wants to be an electrical engineer.
  • Anonymous
    Of the 5 courses I've taken on edx and coursera, this was the Gold Standard. Everything was done right. The lectures were exceptional with annotated and clean lecture slides. The homework, exams, and labs are both challenging and instructive. Course administration was well managed. (Took spring 2012)
  • Anonymous
    It is good course for beginners to understand the basics for the way of fixing electrical circuits.
    you might able to do in the circuit which contains 1000 resistors, independent 100 power supplys in 30 minutes as long as you can replace by hands.

    As the professor says, it could be normal that your watch changes the current time during using the chainsaw and hammer and tightening up bolts without the lubricant.
  • Anonymous
    This course is the one I currently rank above all the other online courses I have taken. The lectures were clear and interesting. The problem sets were the right difficulty and very insightful. Some work does need to be done on the homework page layout and input of formulas. They may have fixed that in the current iteration (I took the initial March-June 2012 class). Excellent course.
  • Anonymous
    I watched these lectures on MIT's OCW as a supplement to a circuits and devices course at Penn State University -- University Park (EE 210). These lectures helped reinforce (and, at times, clarify) the most important concepts in my course. Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    Really excellent courses, all three of them. Never banal, full of insights. It was really a pleasure to work ('cause you have to work) with such a good professor, helpful assistants and fellow students. I've learned a lot, much more than I initially expected.
  • Anonymous
    Wow! What an amazing effort. I am a university professor, taking this course to learn about MOOCs. I cannot express how much I admire Prof. Agarwal and his team for putting this superb course together and offering it for free to the world.

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