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Best Courses Guides

Anatomy eLearning Excellence: 7 Best Free Human Anatomy Courses for 2024

Explore the Abdomen, Neuroanatomy, Musculoskeletal Anatomy, or Anatomy for Artists with the best online general Anatomy courses.

Anatomy is the study of the structural organization of living things. Knowledge of human anatomy is relevant for anyone in the medical field as well as artists and sculptors. Class Central has a catalog of over 80 anatomy courses and we’ve collated ratings and reviews to compile a list of the best ones here, including courses from Harvard and the University of Michigan.

You’ll find general anatomy courses as well as top courses in various subfields in this Best Courses Guide (BCG). And if you’re interested in related topics, take a look at our Neuroscience and Genetics BCGs.

Click on the shortcuts for more details:

Here are our top picks

Course Highlight Workload
Best General Anatomy and Physiology Course (CrashCourse) 8 hours
Also Great General Anatomy and Physiology Course (Professor Dave Explains) 4-5 hours
Best Course on Anatomy of the Abdomen (Leiden University) 43 hours
Best Short Short Overview of Anatomy of the Abdomen (University of Leeds) 4 hours
Best Neuroanatomy Course (University of Michigan) 17 hours
Best Coverage of Musculoskeletal Anatomy (Harvard University) 21-42 hours
Best Anatomy Course for Artists (Proko) 23 hours

Course Ranking Statistics

Here are some aggregate stats about the ranking:

  • All of these courses are free or free-to-audit.
  • 5 courses offer a certificate.
  • Between them, they have more than 460K enrollments and millions of views.
  • More than 50K learners are following the Anatomy subject on Class Central.

Best General Anatomy and Physiology Course

With more than 26 million views, Anatomy & Physiology by CrashCourse is the most popular course in this list. The ever-reliable Hank Green from CrashCourse will teach you about the chemistry and cell biology of systems in the human body and how tissue types define the function of each organ system. You’ll learn how the failure of an organ system can lead to disease, how energy is changed into different forms throughout the body, and how to break down the names of anatomical systems using Greek and Latin root words.

“The educational videos were so good as they helped me understand the anatomy and physiology of the human body…” – Myrielle Anne Francisco.

Course Anatomy & Physiology by CrashCourse
Provider YouTube
Instructor Hank Green
Time Commitment 8 hours
Class Central Rating 5.0
Views >26M
Cost Free
Quizzes/Assessment Items No
Certificate No

Also Great General Anatomy and Physiology Course

Anatomy & Physiology by Professor Dave Explains (Dave Farina) is another popular video course covering anatomy and physiology. You’ll learn about epithelial and connective tissues, bones, joints, and muscles, then move on to the endocrine, nervous, and circulatory systems. Then you’ll study the immune, respiratory, respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems. Finally, reproduction, the heart, the brain, and the digestive system are explored.

“I’ve learned a lot by attending this course. The lecturer is very good…” – Folorunso Olamilekan Mathew.

Course Anatomy & Physiology
Provider YouTube
Instructor Dave Farina
Time Commitment 4-5 hours
Class Central Rating 4.8
Views 2.6M Subscribers
Cost Free
Quizzes/Assessment Items No
Certificate No

Best Course on Anatomy of the Abdomen

The digestive system is a crucial part of our bodies. Using microscopic and macroscopic images, models, and animations, Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis; a journey from basis to clinic takes a detailed look at the organs, blood supply, nerves, and membranes in our abdomen before discussing various illnesses and conditions. Gut development during the embryonic phase is covered, which helps you better understand how everything fits together.

According to Shady Ahmed Elsalhawy: “this is a very comprehensive course on anatomy of the abdomen. the biggest strength of this course is the models…”

Course Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis; a journey from basis to clinic
Provider Coursera
Institution Leiden University
Instructor Marco de Ruiter, Paul Gobée, Daniel Jansma and Beerend Hierck
Time Commitment 43 hours
Enrollment >62K
Class Central Rating 5.0
Cost Free Audit
Quizzes/Assessment Items Free
Certificate Paid

Best Short Overview of Anatomy of the Abdomen

Do you know exactly where your stomach is? Your gallbladder? What about your spleen? And what does the spleen do anyway? Anatomy: Know Your Abdomen answers all these questions and more, includes a glossary of anatomical terms, and even discusses your abs (6-pack) and their significance. You’ll learn about some common problems that can occur in your gastrointestinal tract and hear from an abdominal surgeon about how he treats and cures these issues. This popular short course from the University of Leeds is in Class Central’s Best Online Courses of All Time list.

You won’t learn as much detail as from the course above, but it’s a great overview, especially if you’re a bit squeamish about seeing graphic images of body organs. While models and diagrams are generally used, one video has images and microscopic views of organs.

Sonal P Patel loved the course: “This class is a real treat for any curious learner…”

Another highly-rated course from James Pickering and the University of Leeds is Exploring Anatomy: the Human Abdomen (12-14 hours) which goes into more anatomical details of the abdomen.

Course Anatomy: Know Your Abdomen
Provider FutureLearn
University University of Leeds
Instructor James Pickering
Time Commitment 4 hours
Class Central Rating 4.4
Enrollments >143K
Cost Free audit
Quizzes/Assessment Items Free practice quizzes
Certificate Paid

Best Neuroanatomy Course

Anatomy: Human Neuroanatomy will teach you about the central and peripheral nervous systems, including basic neuroanatomy, sensory pathways, motor pathways and the autonomic nervous system.

The brain stem, cranial nerves, and cortex are also explored. Diagrams, animations, and images of real brains and other body tissues will reinforce concepts and functions and help you better understand anatomical relationships.

This course is part of the University of Michigan’s Anatomy Specialization.

And if you’re interested in Neuroscience, take a look at our Neuroscience BCG for more top courses in the field.

Violet McNece was keen: “This course was so informative and I absolutely loved it…”

Course Anatomy: Human Neuroanatomy
Provider Coursera
Institution University of Michigan
Instructor Kelli Sullivan
Time Commitment 17 hours
Enrollment >42K
Class Central Rating 5.0
Cost Free Audit
Quizzes/Assessment Items Behind Paywall
Certificate Paid

Best Coverage of Musculoskeletal Anatomy

Human Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Cases is from Harvard. In the first two modules, you will learn the basics of human anatomy and prepare for the five clinical cases of common musculoskeletal injuries examined in detail later. Tools used include microscopy, X-rays, CT scans, and dissection, so be prepared for some detailed images! Anatomical terms are gradually introduced as you progress through the course.

“The course was great. It was interesting, engaging, educational, and visual (which is something I really liked)…” – Anonymous.

Course Human Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Cases
Provider edX
Institution Harvard University
Instructor Trudy Van Houten
Time Commitment 21-42 hours
Enrollment >223K
Class Central Rating 4.8
Cost Free audit
Quizzes/Assessment Items Free
Certificate Paid

Best Anatomy Course for Artists

Stan Prokopenko (left), instructor, and Skelly (right)

Anatomy of the Human Body for Artists isn’t a course for the medical field but if you’re an artist, including animation such as Manga, some knowledge of anatomy is critical. This engaging course by Stan Prokopenko teaches anatomy through an artist’s eyes. You’ll learn the names of many bones and muscles, the types of joints, and how to draw various parts of the body. If you’re in the medical field, this course could even help you better visualize what different muscles look like and where they join onto the skeleton.

You’ll also find this popular course in Class Central’s Drawing BCG.

In the words of @jjbhcm: “Thanks Stan for developing this in-depth anatomy course designed especially for artists.“

Course Anatomy of the Human Body for Artists
Provider YouTube
Institution Proko
Instructor Stan Prokopenko
Time Commitment 23 hours
Views >5M
Cost Free
Quizzes/Assessment Items No
Certificate No

Why You Should Trust Us

Class Central, a Tripadvisor for online education, has helped 60 million learners find their next course. We’ve been combing through online education for more than a decade to aggregate a catalog of over 150,000 online courses and 200,000 reviews written by our users. And we’re online learners ourselves: combined, the Class Central team has completed over 400 online courses, including online degrees.

I’ve personally completed over 150 online courses in a variety of topics.

How We Made Our Picks and Tested Them

Trying to find “the best” can be daunting, even for those of us who live and breathe online courses. Here’s how I approached this task.

First, I combed through Class Central’s Catalog to find a variety of free and paid open courses, some with certificates. You don’t need to enroll in a university to learn about anatomy. I extracted information from course syllabi and reviews, and compiled their popularity and ratings, leveraging the Class Central database with its thousands of course ratings and reviews written by our users as well as available course provider data. I watched some course videos to sample courses I hadn’t already taken.

Then, I defined the scope for these recommendations and chose the top courses from a range of anatomy sub-fields.

Ultimately, I used a combination of data and my own judgment to make these picks. I’m confident these recommendations will be a reliable way to learn about anatomy.

Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 200+ online courses completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

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