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Course Report

90+ Chemistry Courses to Expand Your Knowledge of the World

There are quite a number of high-quality courses you can take for free online to learn various aspects of beginning or advanced chemistry!

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Look at the world around you–what do you see? There is all this “stuff” that things are made of, and there is even more “stuff” that we can’t see (for example oxygen or microorganisms). This is why chemistry has been and always will be relevant. But chemistry is even more important in our modern technological age where we step on brakes with ceramic composite brake pads, look through lightweight glasses with polycarbonate lenses, play tennis with carbon-fiber racquets, and manufacture biological protein-based medicines. We are even starting to create lab-grown meat! All this points to the foundational nature of chemistry, which covers the physical building blocks of “stuff”, whether it is inorganic or organic. So if you could benefit from learning about this further, or want to improve your understanding of the world around us, check out this list of courses below–and get your chemistry on!

Quick note: While many of these courses do come with fees, all of them are available to audit in full or in part. If you’re new to MOOCs and want to learn more (including how fees work in these courses), check out our Beginner’s Guide to Massive Open Online Courses.  

Intro to Chemistry Courses
General Chemistry Courses
Biochemistry Courses
Organic Chemistry Courses
Atmospheric Chemistry Courses
Physical Chemistry Courses
Materials Chemistry Courses
Analytical Chemistry Courses
NMR Spectroscopy Courses
Medicinal Chemistry Courses
Food Chemistry Courses
Chemical Engineering Courses

Intro to Chemistry Courses

Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios
Duke University via Coursera
This is an introductory course for students with limited background in chemistry; basic concepts involved in chemical reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, periodic trends, nomenclature, and chemical problem solving will be emphasized with the goal of preparing students for further study in chemistry as needed for many science, health, and policy professions..
★★★★★ (8 ratings)

Introduction to Chemistry: Structures and Solutions
Duke University via Coursera
This is an introductory course for students with limited background in chemistry; basic concepts such as atomic and molecular structure, solutions, phases of matter, and quantitative problem solving will be emphasized with the goal of preparing students for further study in chemistry.
★★★★☆ (4 ratings)

Chemistry – Guided Memorization Nomenclature
via Udemy
Ditch the Flash Cards and Master Nomenclature 5 Minutes at a Time

Chemistry
Modern States via Independent
This course covers material that is usually taught in one-year college course in general chemistry.

University Chemistry: Molecular Foundations and Global Frontiers Part 1
Harvard University via edX
Learn the fundamentals of chemistry and energy on a molecular and a global scale in this introductory chemistry course that engages scientific principles with the global context of advancing technology in energy, climate, and pathways to the future.

Life in the Universe: Syntheses for Life
Seoul National University via edX
Learn about the chemical principles behind key synthetic processes relevant to life such as protein synthesis, photosynthesis, and ammonia synthesis. Nobel Lectures and key scientific papers will be used.

General Chemistry Courses

Exploring Everyday Chemistry
University of York via FutureLearn
Explore the organic chemistry behind perfume, medicine, brewing and sport from one of the UK’s leading universities
★★★★★ (6 ratings)

Chemistry
University of Kentucky via Coursera
This course is designed to cover subjects in advanced high school chemistry courses, correlating to the standard topics as established by the American Chemical Society. This course is a precursor to the Advanced Chemistry Coursera course. Areas that are covered include atomic structure, periodic trends, compounds, reactions and stoichiometry, bonding, and thermochemistry.
★★★★★ (6 ratings)

General Chemistry I: Atoms, Molecules, and Bonding
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn about the world at the molecular level by exploring chemical structure and bonding from a quantum mechanical perspective. Topics include wave-particle duality, electronic structure of atoms, chemical bonding models, and intermolecular interactions.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application
Rice University via Coursera
This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course. We will use a free on-line textbook, Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, available via Rice’s Connexions project.
★★★★☆ (5 ratings)

Discovering Science: Chemical Products
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
With chemistry providing us an endless amount of possibilities, what would you choose to develop?
★★★★☆ (6 ratings)

Free Chemistry Course – Colligative Properties of Solutions
via Udemy
Freezing point depression, boiling point elevation, osmotic pressure, Raoult’s law of volatile and nonvolatile solutions

General Chemistry II: Chemical Equilibrium, Kinetics, and Transition Metals
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Experience the world at the molecular-level! Learn about spontaneity, equilibrium, and mechanisms and rates of reactions. Applications include the energy problem, acid/base chemistry, electrochemistry and batteries, climate science, catalysis, and more.

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

Biochemistry Courses

Principles of Biochemistry
Harvard University via edX
This introduction to biochemistry explores the molecules of life, starting at simple building blocks and culminating in complex metabolism.
★★★★★ (13 ratings)

Biochemistry: Biomolecules, Methods, and Mechanisms
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Enhance your scientific thinking and data analysis skills with this in-depth adventure through biochemistry.
★★★★☆ (31 ratings)

Chemical Biology
University of Geneva via Coursera
Although its boundaries are endless, the multidisciplinary nature of chemical biology can make the field seem daunting; we beg to differ! Here, we deconstruct chemical biology into its core components, and repackage the material
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Capstone Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability
Wageningen University via edX
This Capstone project is the final part of the MicroMasters Program in Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability. Design a sustainable biobased process and evaluate the technological, societal and economic impact to finish the MicroMasters Program.

From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Chemistry Perspective
Wageningen University via edX
Explore how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on fossil resources to biomass resources for the production of food, chemicals and energy-carriers. Discover how to use microorganisms and catalysts to create biobased products.

Biorefinery: From Biomass to Building Blocks of Biobased Products
Wageningen University via edX
Learn how to design an effective biorefinery to obtain valuable components from various biobased feedstocks such as plants, organisms and waste streams.

Catalytic Conversions for Biobased Chemicals and Products
Wageningen University via edX
Design new (bio)catalytic conversion routes that allow you to use biobased feedstocks to their highest potential as building blocks for chemicals, materials and fuels.

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

Organic Chemistry Courses

The Chemistry of Life
Kyoto University via edX
Learn how to generate ideas at the interface between chemistry and biology.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

YouTube Classroom Experiences available:

Atmospheric Chemistry Courses

Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Learn about the atmospheric chemistry of planets and celestial bodies and explore the possibility of finding life beyond Earth.
★★★★★ (51 ratings)

Discovering Science: Atmospheric Chemistry
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
What can we learn about Earth, and other planets in and beyond our solar system, by studying their atmospheres?
★★★★★ (5 ratings)

From Chemistry to Life
Harvard University via World Science U
To look for evidence of life on other planets, we have to adapt what we know about chemistry on Earth to aid our search. Astronomer Dimitar Sasselov explains how we can use what we already know to search for alien life in this Master Class.
★★★★☆ (3 ratings)

Big Bang and the Origin of Chemical Elements
Seoul National University via edX
Discover the ultimate origin of all chemical elements essential for life. Explore the Big Bang through Nobel Lectures and scientific papers in part 2 of Life in the Universe.
★★★☆☆ (1 rating)

Physical Chemistry Courses

Introduction to Physical Chemistry
University of Manchester via Coursera
The course covers the key concepts of three of the principal topics in first-year undergraduate physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics. These three topics cover whether or not reactions occur, how fast they go and what is actually going on at the sub-atomic scale.
★★★★☆ (12 ratings)

Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics
University of Minnesota via Coursera
This introductory physical chemistry course examines the connections between molecular properties and the behavior of macroscopic chemical systems.
★★★★☆ (4 ratings)

Introduction to Geochemistry
Kyoto University via edX
The goal of the course is to apply chemical principles to understand the natural (non-living) world around us and appreciate its complexity.

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

Materials Chemistry Courses

Introduction to Solid State Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn chemical principles by examining materials with examples from energy generation and storage to emerging technologies.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)

Science in Art: The Chemistry of Art Materials and Conservation
Trinity College via edX
Learn the chemistry behind the visual arts, and how an understanding of art’s material properties helps preserve our cultural heritage.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Structure of matter: atoms, molecules, nanomaterials. Part 2
Saint Petersburg State University via Coursera
A two-part course lays down an understanding of the fundamental foundations of the structure of atoms and molecules, chemical bonds, intermolecular interactions.

Structure of matter: atoms, molecules, nanomaterials. Part1
Saint Petersburg State University via Coursera
A two-part course lays down an understanding of the fundamental foundations of the structure of atoms and molecules, chemical bonds, intermolecular interactions.

From Chemistry to Living Materials: Matter & Sound
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via World Science U
MIT professor and materials scientist Markus Buehler discusses how scientists can design new proteins that can revolutionize materials engineering through manipulating vibrations that have been changed from matter into sound and from sound back into matter.

Cement Chemistry and Sustainable Cementitious Materials
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
Learn the basics of cement chemistry and laboratory best practices for assessment of its key properties.

Functional Polymeric Materials
Osaka University via edX
Learn the functional polymers, including chemistry, physics, and biology.

Self-Assembly for Functional Materials
Osaka University via edX
Learn design and structures of functional materials formed via self-assembly.

Technology of modern composite materials with carbon fillers
St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University via Coursera
The course will help train specialists in the field of processing of hydrocarbon raw materials, creating effective chemical means for protecting agricultural plants and animals, new materials, including advanced alloys (superalloys), advanced polymers, advanced composite materials, advanced ceramic materials, metal powders and metal-powder compositions, and metamaterials.

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

Analytical Chemistry Courses

Basic Analytical Chemistry
The University of Tokyo via edX
Gain a physical understanding of the principles of analytical chemistry andtheir application in scientific research.

NMR Spectroscopy Courses

Introduction to Molecular Spectroscopy
University of Manchester via Coursera
The course introduces the three key spectroscopic methods used by chemists and biochemists to analyse the molecular and electronic structure of atoms and molecules.
★★★★☆ (6 ratings)

Basic Steps in Magnetic Resonance
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
A MOOC to discover basic concepts and a wide range of intriguing applications of magnetic resonance to physics, chemistry, and biology

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

Medicinal Chemistry Courses

Discovering Science: Medicinal Chemistry
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
What role does chemistry play in healthcare and our ability to diagnose and treat patients?
★★★★★ (12 ratings)

Introduction to Stewart’s Model of Physiological Acid-Base Chemistry.
University of the Witwatersrand via edX
Aimed at physicians, ICU nurses and others working in acute care, this course provides an introduction to Peter Stewart’s model of clinical acid-base chemistry.

Drug Discovery & Medicinal Chemistry
Davidson College via edX
Learn how scientists in drug development modify and test molecules to improve potency and reduce toxicity. Discover the criteria that regulatory agencies use to approve molecules that are shown to be both safe and effective as pharmaceuticals for the treatment and prevention of diseases.

Food Chemistry Courses

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (chemistry)
Harvard University via edX
Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering.
★★★★★ (15 ratings)

The Science of Gastronomy
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera
This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application.
★★★★☆ (105 ratings)

Chemical Engineering Courses

Physico/Chemical Processes of Environmental Engineering
Purdue University via edX
Students will learn fundamental principles of physico/chemical processes that are commonly used by Environmental Engineers. Emphasis will be on fundamental concepts, so as to prompt their application in a wide range of settings, and to promote creativity.

YouTube Classroom Experiences:

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Bobby Brady

Bobby has successfully utilized MOOCs in his professional career twice, transitioning from the service industry to IT support and then again to Development. He now works full time as an edtech consultant and contractor helping students from all over the world learn React and JavaScript.

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