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Course Report

How to Make An “MBA” Using Free Online Courses from Top 10 Business Schools

An MBA-equivalent education, with coursework from the Penn, MIT, Northwestern, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Michigan.

Back when massive open online courses (MOOCs) were new, I (Laurie) started a project to complete the equivalent of an MBA, using free courses. Platforms such as Coursera and edX were making headlines, and when I learned that leading universities (including business schools) were distributing online courses for free, I was inspired to construct a business education rather than pay an exorbitant amount for a degree.

I called the project the “No-Pay MBA” and I blogged about it at www.NoPayMBA.com. I finished my business education in 2016, and wrote a book to guide others interested in doing a self-made MBA (Don’t Pay For Your MBA, HarperCollins, 2017).

After I started working for Class Central, I wondered how would I approach this project, given the wealth of new courses and tools that are now available?

When I was doing my No-Pay MBA, there were only a few business MOOCs available, so I basically signed up for all of them.

Fortunately or unfortunately, it would be impossible to do that today. More than 3,000 free business courses from numerous universities around the world are currently listed on Class Central.

Through my studies, I also came to believe that putting together an MBA-level education requires much more than simply ticking through a checklist of course topics. That’s partly because MOOCs differ from on-campus courses in scope, length, and rigor; and partly because creating your own MBA offers a tremendous opportunity to tailor the curriculum to your needs.

My advice: start by learning some foundational business concepts in introductory-level courses, then develop some general business skills, and finally, dive deep in an area of concentration.

Below is a sample course list that follows this advice, drawn entirely from business schools in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten. I cross referenced the U.S. News list with Class Central’s database to find around 90 courses from top ten schools, including the including the University of Pennsylvania (#2), Northwestern (#3), Stanford University (#4), Harvard University (#5), MIT (#6), Yale University (#7), Columbia University (#8), and the University of Michigan (#10).

I used only courses from these schools not because there aren’t great MOOCs from business schools lower down in U.S. News’ ranking (the full course catalog of the University of Illinois’s iMBA, for example), but simply because A) I had to cut down the number of courses somehow, and B) I wanted to demonstrate that the content for a top-tier MBA is there for the taking.

Note: The curriculum below is a pretty solid MBA program. However, it doesn’t include every topic that might be included in an MBA. Some notable gaps: project management, micro- and macroeconomics, and business ethics. It’s also rather light on operations management.

Another Note: While many of these courses do involve fees, all of them can be audited for free, either in full or in part. If you’re new  to online learning, take a look at our Beginner’s Guide.


Click to jump to the corresponding section.

More Courses

If you don’t find what you need in the lists below, Class Central’s got you covered. Browse our catalog of 100K+ courses or visit these collections: Massive List of MOOC-based Microcredentials

Foundational Business Concepts (4-5 courses)

The Business Foundations Specialization from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is a popular starting place for those new to the world of business. The first five courses can be audited for free, but you can only access the Capstone after completing the others (including graded items). Some courses are also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Introduction to Marketing, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introduction to Financial Accounting, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Managing Social and Human Capital, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introduction to Corporate Finance, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introduction to Operations Management, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introducción al Marketing, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introducción a la Contabilidad Financiera, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introducción a las Finanzas Corporativas, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introducción a la Gestión de Operaciones, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

市场营销概论 (中文版), University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

财务会计概论(中文版), University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

企业金融概论(中文版), University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

运营管理概论(中文版), University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

CS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals, Harvard University via edX

Becoming an Entrepreneur, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

How to Create a Good Business, University of Michigan via Coursera

Free Online Courses in Business Strategies and Management (4-6 courses)

Quantitative modeling, negotiation, project and people management, decision-making, leadership, and communication are important skills regardless of industry. I recommend taking at least one course that covers each of the aforementioned topics, for a total of between four and six courses.

Business Strategies for A Better World, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera (Specialization)

Business Strategies for Social Impact, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Building High-Performing Teams, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Management Fundamentals, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Creating a Team Culture of Continuous Learning, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

The Power of Team Culture, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Managing Talent, University of Michigan via Coursera

Leading Teams, University of Michigan via Coursera

Leading Diverse Teams & Organizations, University of Michigan via Coursera

Reigniting Employee Engagement, University of Michigan via Coursera

High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis, University of Michigan via Coursera

Scaling Operations: Linking Strategy and Execution, Northwestern University via Coursera

High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation, Northwestern University via Coursera

Leadership Communication for Maximum Impact: Storytelling, Northwestern University via Coursera

Leadership Through Design Innovation, Northwestern University via Coursera

Leadership Through Social Influence, Northwestern University via Coursera

Organizational Analysis, Stanford University via Coursera

How to Start a Startup, Stanford University via Independent

Design Thinking: Transforming Teams, Stanford University via YouTube

Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles, Harvard University via edX

Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health, Harvard University via edX

Connected Leadership, Yale University via Coursera

Inspiring and Motivating Individuals, University of Michigan via Coursera

Making Successful Decisions through the Strategy, Law & Ethics Model, University of Michigan via Coursera

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills, University of Michigan via Coursera

Removing Barriers to Change, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Managing Social and Human Capital, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introduction to Data Analytics for Managers, University of Michigan via edX

Concentration (8-10 courses)

I advise anyone pursuing self-directed education to develop deep knowledge and skills in an area of concentration. This is where you can reap the real value of a self-directed education. Focus on a discrete area, take courses that are rigorous, and put what you learn into practice in real world scenarios. We’ve listed various possible MBA concentrations that could be constructed from courses offered by the top ten business schools, excluding pre-packaged options such as the MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management from MIT.

Free Online Courses in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the obvious choice for someone interested in starting a business. Added bonus: if you’re planning on being your own boss you won’t have to defend the value of your self-directed education in a job interview.

Entrepreneurship 1: Developing the Opportunity, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Entrepreneurship 2: Launching your Start-Up, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Entrepreneurship 3: Growth Strategies, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Entrepreneurship 4: Financing and Profitability, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Creation, Stanford University via edX

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Harvard University via edX

Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Entrepreneurship 102: What can you do for your customer?, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Entrepreneurship 103: Show Me The Money, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Improving Communication Skills, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Free Online Courses in Marketing

With plenty of courses and many opportunities to use your skills in the real world, digital strategy makes for an excellent area of concentration. Being a relatively new field, it may also be easier to get a job in this area without a traditional degree.

Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

What is Social?, Northwestern University via Coursera

Leadership Through Marketing, Northwestern University via Coursera

The Importance of Listening, Northwestern University via Coursera

Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies, Northwestern University via Coursera

Content, Advertising & Social IMC, Northwestern University via Coursera

The Business of Social, Northwestern University via Coursera

Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences, Northwestern University via Coursera

Content Strategy for Professionals: Managing Content, Northwestern University via Coursera

Content Strategy for Professionals: Expanding Your Content’s Reach, Northwestern University via Coursera

Content Strategy for Professionals: Ensuring Your Content’s Impact, Northwestern University via Coursera

Free Online Courses in Finance

Finance is a more risky area of concentration, since it can be hard to break into the industry without the right credentials. However, if you already have a foot in the door, there are plenty of finance courses at the MBA level.

Introduction to Corporate Finance, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Modeling Risk and Realities, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

The Free Cash Flow Analysis, Columbia University via edX

Business and Financial Modeling, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera (Specialization)

Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Modeling Risk and Realities, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Decision-Making and Scenarios, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Fundamentals of Finance, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Lending, Crowdfunding, and Modern Investing, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Foundations of Modern Finance I, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Foundations of Modern Finance II, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Derivatives Markets: Advanced Modeling and Strategies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Finance: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Raising Capital: Credit Tech, Coin Offerings, and Crowdfunding, University of Michigan via Coursera

Free Online Courses in Accounting

More Introduction to Financial Accounting, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Management in Engineering: Accounting and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Free Online Courses in Business Analytics

Business Analytics Specialization, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera (as in the Business Foundations Specialization, the Capstone course is only available to learners who have completed the graded items in all the other courses).

Customer Analytics, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Accounting Analytics, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Operations Analytics, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

People Analytics, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Demand and Supply Analytics, Columbia University via edX

Analytics in Python, Columbia University via edX

Data, Models and Decisions in Business Analytics, Columbia University via edX


(Original post by Laurie,revised by Pat.)

Laurie Pickard Profile Image

Laurie Pickard

I got into MOOCs when I started a project to replicate a traditional MBA using free online courses. My blog at NoPayMBA.com resulted in a book called Don't Pay For Your MBA.
Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 150+ MOOCs 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

Comments 75

  1. Jason

    While this is a great option, my question is how do you establish this education on a resume and express it to an employer or potential employer? I wouldn’t want to put that I have an MBA from some schools while if those schools were contacted there would be no evidence of me obtaining an MBA. So how do you verify the education?

    • Laurie Pickard

      Great question! I agree it is a challenge to be overcome with this type of education. My advice is not to put on your resume that you have an MBA, but rather to give the education a unique title, something like “Graduate-level business studies”. Then give a short description of what you did (e.g. Took more than 20 courses as part of a self-directed business education program) and list a few of your more impressive courses below that. For the courses that you list, it would be helpful to actually purchase the certificate, which you can produce as proof of the work you did in those particular classes.

      It does require more creativity and marketing savvy than just writing “MBA degree” on your resume, but it also costs a whole lot less!

      • Haya

        Do we get any certificate after we finish no pay MBA

        • Laurie Pickard

          That’s the thing. You can get individual certificates for courses you complete, but not the overall MBA. If that is a deal breaker, then this probably isn’t a great option for you.

          • Rodrigo Francozi

            What a fantastic solution to the world Laurie! I will never forget taking a sports management class that I’ve learned nothing from just to graduate, or to get into a Microeconomics class in Harvard listening to the professor say “Reality will sometimes conflict with some of the theorems we will review”. In a world where time is our most valuable asset, your input and strategy has made it possible to people that now live in third world countries (dollar is 5 to 1) and despite the wage disparity are still able to structure their own MBA. May your life be as blessed as this solutions.

          • Muvaffak GOZAYDIN

            I do .
            Go to http://www.worlduniversity.london

            Get courses from all wonderful MOOCs .
            At the end I provide a MBA in Marketing, MA in Artificial INteligence, MA in Data Science . Sure it is unaccredited . But no problem . You have certificate for every course you took from Harvard, Stanford, MIT etc .

          • FP

            I always think I’m very thorough and meticulous, however, this is the most awesome list I have ever seen.

            I have come to realize the needs for me to seek knowledge in these listed areas and almost started a regular MBA. After reading your post I feel so lucky!

            No pay MBA it is.

  2. Gareth W

    Sounds like a good option for self improvement but given that like graduates, MBA post grads are likely to be attempting to gain a place on an MBA programme… this is not going to be a viable option

  3. Abdullah

    This is a huge effort and than to you Pickard. My question is, how long will it take to do this ? Can you give us a ball park ? Thanks again

    • Laurie Pickard

      I think you could probably do a program like this in as little as 18 months, but you would have to be very disciplined. A more reasonable estimate would be 2-3 years of part-time study.

  4. Samuel Gachoki

    I once studied so hard online courses but after doing my exam, i was told to $1000 which i dint have so as to receive my certificate. Tell me howuch should i pay as shipment fees. Am in kenya

    • Saurabh

      Well, Samuel you can apply for Financial Aid on Coursera or other platforms, if that is an issue

  5. Fatou Gillen Njie

    I am interested in this MBA course how would I be enrolled to enable me take this course

    • Kunal Bhatia


      If I understood the article properly, I would like to infer and tell you that it is NOT a professional MBA certification that you would be doing. Rather, its a way of learning everything (Well, most of it !) that an MBA degree would otherwise offer through an On-Campus program.

      The difference is, you gain knowledge by doing every subject as an online course and then purchase the certificate as a mark of authenticity. This certificate is only for this particular subject NOT an MBA certificate.

      The Idea behind this article is to tell the world that there are options to gain MBA-Level knowledge for a bare minimum cost , with a caveat ! You’ll have all the knowledge but not an Official MBA stamp and NO convocation ceremony! If that is something that works for you… then go ahead !

      I hope I have provided some clarity here. Good Luck
      Kunal Bhatia

  6. Warren

    Thank you for the wonderfully presented outline of an MBA equivalent at little or no cost, other than a personal investment of time and energy which we should always be willing to invest in order to truly succeed.

  7. medy

    how do i enroll in this programme, i like it!

  8. medy

    WIll the programme be available after August 2019?

    • Laurie Pickard

      No official “program” to enroll in. This is a sample guide for self-directed study. These courses appear to be here for good, so no need to start at any particular time.

      • Victoria

        Thank you Laurie. Your MBA outline is fantastic!


    Thank you so much Laurie. That’s a great job.
    Idrissa from west africa, Cote d’Ivoire

  10. Ecmcomalley

    Aside from MBA program Does MOOC offer the same platform on other Post Graduate studies with other Academic discipline or subject of interest? Thank you.

    • Laurie Pickard

      The subjects with the most robust course offerings include business, computer science, and data science. You could easily put together a graduate-level program in any of these subjects.

      • Noor

        Jeannie will you be kind enough to share a similar article for data science as soon as you do it.

      • Hassan Ali

        You know what Laurie? I love and admire you for the amazing work you’ve done for every business student out there. I’m sure even if I can’t get a job, I might surely carry skills for free and from different individual courses provided by the top ranked universities rather than a MBA from a specific university which could be expensive yet be lower in ranks. Thank you so much for putting it all up I’m looking forward to acquire as much knowledge as I can from these courses online that would certainly help me to be skilful and then I’m sure I can even launch my own business if an employer finds me not competitive enough just because I don’t hold a freaking degree!

  11. Ricardo

    This is awesome!

  12. Nick

    This is a great alternative approach to doing a conventional MBA, and it may not be for everyone. Laurie’s book highlights the pros and cons quite well.

    In my opinion, the value of such a MBA is not just the lower cost (which seems to be played up more than it needs to be), but rather the incredible access to high-quality content from some of the most knowledgeable and engaging professors working at top ranked institutions, that I may have the smallest chances of being accepted into.

  13. Jeannie

    This looks fantastic!! Thank you, Laurie, for researching and putting together such a helpful list! I’m in the process of changing careers (from 20 years of bodywork to data science) and your list seems like a great place to start. I imagine I can customize my own unique list, doing further research and building in this one.


  14. Mary

    Thank you, Miss Pickard.

    Taking the time to complete the No-Pay MBA yourself and then posting such a comprehensive path to taking on this kind of initiative is beyond inspiring; it’s notable and pretty awesome!

    While a current student in a traditional on-line college, I’m holding on to this information with hopes of completing a NP-MBA one day.

    Going forward, I’ll be aligning myself with your articles and posts borrowing the tag-line from the past political campaign: “I’m With Her!”

    Outstanding job!!!

    Thank you for sharing so generously.


    If I have correctly noticed, Harvard is let out in the list. Is there any specific reason?

    • Laurie Pickard

      There actually are a couple of Harvard courses on this list, under the Entrepreneurship concentration. The reason there aren’t more courses from Harvard is that while Harvard does offer some free courses, the business school has primarily released courses through its own paid platform, not as MOOCs.

  16. Helga M.

    All I can say is, from someone who actually completed an MBA degree without any concentration, this is a solid, exhaustive list from what’s available in MOOC. Thank you, Laurie, for this. This guide is great for someone who is running a business and does not really care about the title next to the name, but can use the next level learning to support better decision making in moving the business forward.

  17. Kessete Admass

    Dear Laurie
    warm greetings
    I have professional Diploma in Management Development from the open university UK school. I have taken full courses but not reached MBA. The program was within the MBA program. How could I undertake the rest couses not fulfilled to satisfy my masters degree in MBA?

  18. Francis Peter Phiri

    Great work Laura, i like what you have said regarding self paced
    development, it provides room for a better understanding once one has read a variety of courses, although most employers do not understand this. That’s a great job. My fellow readers lets just join her and benefits will be seen later. The world is changing , you never know the future might demand her courses that she has done, and you will be caught napping once you realize that you never did any of her courses when she is actually giving us this important information.

  19. Pradeep

    Work you have done is awesome.

  20. Ggingo Hassan / Kim - From Uganda

    Hi ! MS’s Laurie pickard
    Thanks for this effort you expand to the generations and let the almighty God be with u in all.
    I liked this programme so much and iam ready to do what needed.

    My questions is , is it able for some one to come out wit MBA though he/ she stopped on an ordinary level ( O- level) because many countries in the world have different status of education. how have you come out to combine the all levels of education in different countries.


  21. Abdourahamane BARRY

    Wonderful , This is a great for us .

  22. Alyson Burn

    Thank you Lauren for your generosity in sharing this. I’m blown away that this has been made available, and hope that you are reaping the rewards of your studies and efforts!

  23. Reinhard Finke

    Dear Laurie, thanks for this great information. Do you know if and which of the Moocs mentioned above include ECTS information in the certificate ? European Universities often offer the possibility to get (or to purchase) a certificate after having successfully accomplished the course. Only few of them include ECTS validity, as for instance this one about aircraft : https://lennuakadeemia.ee/koolitused/mooc
    I think that this kind of recognition would be helpful and would add value to the certification.

  24. Edwin Ntaka

    Hie, I see you are not covering the Mechanical Engineering field, is this by design or I am missing something. I am in interested in this field.

  25. Rodrigo Suguimoto

    Awesome, Laurie!

    Thank you very much for gathering these opportunities together in just one place.

  26. Godsday Idanegbe USIABULU

    Laurie, you’ve done more than noble!

  27. Flori

    Laurie you are just amazing, Wanted to ask if you can get a list of free courses for an MBA specialization in International Business, Non Profit Management or Strategic Management. Thanks

  28. k kiran kumar

    courses like a sea
    god bless you all
    i try to do one course coming days
    u said “No Pay MBA


  29. Josh

    Hello, I’m new to MOOCs, are MOOCs considered and accepted universally by Accredited American Universities and colleges? Do you know if universities will accept MOOC courses as transfer credit for conventional coursework in the course of study? (i.e. Basic mathematics MOOC = Basic Mathematics course offered in conventional college degree program)? Or are MOOCs not accepted by conventional universities and colleges as completed course work?

    I’m just wondering if MOOCs are worth the effort or if MOOCs are considered more of “hobby” education which cannot be applied to or will not be considered as formal higher educational study.

    Thank you!

  30. sarosh

    in school, it is possible to study in any school, or do home schooling and then appear for a board exam to get certified eg Cambridge or ICSE or baccalaureate etc.
    Why not create a national or (international) board of examiners for MBA, who allow anyone who has the online certificates, to take a final MBA.

  31. Lazz Lazz


    Thanks alot for this ❤️❤️.

    You are the best.

    From Kenya with Love,


  32. Paola

    Nice job Laurie!
    I was thinking about doing an MBA but as I work 40 hours/week I though it would be quite hard to learn so many new things after a working day. I guess this would be quite useful as a pre-learning phase. I guess what I mean is if I would have already some knowledge then the MBA would not be so hard. Does that make sense?

  33. Ameya Gokhale

    This is a great compilation… good effort!!

    Yet, everyone on this page should remember that MOOCs cannot directly substitute an educational degree. Even the depth in which MOOcs are treated is very different from that of an educational course.

    The advantage though is – you study the latest and the greatest techniques (educational courses tend to be sluggish in terms of changing their curricullum.. MOOCs dont have that issue).

    If you wish to establish this on a resume, the only way is to provide an appendix of all the MOOCs that you took and add present that extra page when you actually appear for an interview.

    Another possibility is to highlight that you yourselves proactively took all these courses.. which establishes your willingness to learn

  34. Hugo Sanina

    High value initiative !

    In the end of the day is waht you do with it.

    If you take the MOOC´S path and really live up t o it, it´s a mather of time until you find the road to sucess.

    my belief and results.

  35. Arpit

    Thank you, Laurie.

    There are a few things that I would like to include in the list.

    1. Course on economics (as you mentioned). Other courses use the concept of economics, so something on economics will be useful.

    2. Many MBA schools have Organizational Behaviour (OB) in their curriculum. I don’t know if any online course is available. I would have included OB on the list.

    3. As far as I know, most MOOC does not use simulations to provide practical knowledge on the subject. So, if possible include simulations to the list. (I know simulations are expensive)

  36. Charles ikechukwu Udeagu

    How can you get a certificate of achievement that represents and equal to MBA?
    Which institution will give you the MBA?
    Are the courses totally free online?

  37. Ozel

    Genius! Thank you

  38. Aijaz

    Dear Laurie,great stuff from your side, I just wanted to know whether any MOOC courses are available specializing in tax management / policy or any courses relating to taxes ,thanks and regards

  39. Tim Hooker

    Great article. Thanks, I personally do not have the time to attend a formal MBA program nor do I have the funds so your approach fits well with me. I have had a boutique web, security, analytics, and corporate intelligence firm since 2007 so having the ability to start and stop a course works perfect.

    This online MOOC system is genius. All the time wasted going to a brick building, sitting in lecture classes, buying $300 textbooks is crazy.

    Can I take all Concentrations you listed? Entrepreneurship, Digital Strategy, and Finance?

    Thank you again for your hard work.


  40. Aijaz

    Dear Laurie,great stuff from your side, I just wanted to know whether any MOOC courses are available specializing in tax management / policy or any courses relating to taxes ,thanks

  41. kay

    Thanks Laurie !!!

    i would include these courses:
    Basic Economics (micro and macro)
    Basic Accounting + GAAP + Financial Statement Analysis
    Basic Auditing (understanding of MOVECOP) + GAAS
    Business Plans + Financing

  42. Eman

    Great list. Thanks a lot!

  43. Ralph Wilkins

    Thank you very much for this resource Laurie. I’ve been trying to do this for some time but Coursera tries to tie you into a paid membership scheme & edX often has, ahem… lesser universities’ free courses (yes, I realise the hypocrisy of turning a nose up at non-Ivy League free courses!)

    This is a great list of links to fabulous free resources for personal education & I honestly believe that No-pay MBAs (or any quality free courses) will be far more acceptable in the future to employers. Afterall, studying in one’s own time is entirely laudable.

    The entrepreneurship courses you link to are gold dust for the new generation of start up founders and anyone wanting to start a business.

    Your links take all the work out of finding quality free courses. Thank you.

  44. Prashanth

    Probably the best thing I stumbled upon during my lockdown due to the Corona outbreak. Being an entrepreneur in manufacturing, I am looking for the knowledge more than the educational degree itself. So this is gold for someone like me. Although I wonder if “real MBA” students also learn the same content or if they are privy to the real secrets fo the trade, because you know, obviously they pay ?

    Nevertheless, for me, some knowledge is better than no knowledge at all. Kudos to the team behind this.

  45. Olyvia

    Great info, thank you for putting this together!
    How much are usually the certificates? I haven’t been able to see any numbers anywhere when I scroll trough/read about courses. Are there any other ways to prove that I’ve completed a course? New to this..
    Thank you!

  46. tayo akanbi

    laurie, really love this article. thanks

  47. Ait-SSI

    Hi Laurie,
    I like your idea and I thank you so much for your sharing.
    I wish make an MBA with concentration in HR .

    Could you please give me à hand to find somme courses from Michigan Unviersity, Toronoto, Berkeley.

    Thank u so much

  48. Laurence Yap Tung Siong

    Thank you so much of your creative ways to learn the essential of MBA! I love it very much.

  49. Arthur Banshayeko

    Dear Laurie,

    I appreciate such a creative thinking, thank you. I’d like to ask if you can give me any guide like this to Psychology Courses.

    Thank you

  50. Ankit

    How are these courses equivalent to no pay MBA as only course audit is free, in the end to get the certificate, the user have to pay .

  51. Chaitanya

    Hi, this is very informative. Most of the courses suggested here are provided by coursera.

    Can you kindly let us know the alternatives available on EDX, Linkedin Learning or other platforms.

  52. Stephen M

    Great work Laurie, thanks a lot!
    Wondering if you have any thoughts on a final project and the best way to approach that. Thanks!

  53. Lisa

    I am a female living abroad in Asia and I would like to start and complete this MBA program of study for the knowledge I can gain from it. I have no savings. I am sure the effort would be more meaningful if I can find a mentor or volunteer coach who might offer me some guidance for this study path. How do I find a mentor or coach that would be willing to share some of their time and knowledge with me?

    • H Kabir

      You don’t need a mentor to go through this MOOC MBA, just complete all courses (list) in order from Coursera/Edx by downloading these two free software from playstore and start leaning !

  54. Mohmmed

    I am sorry; let me say it’s clearly wasting time, Why? the first reading on this idea — Don’t Pay for MBA– or — Free MBA– that is not accurate this is let anyone looking for cheap MBA or free MBA spend on reading nothing on this blog.

    Everybody knew how to collect data or how to look for courses, and this only you can do here you just remove (MBA) from this Blog, Site, Article,

    After you collect, 36 hours credit and months of time them no MBA certificate! Why

    Ok if you like to do that great, do PHD also and with no certificate.

    There are two things here and chose:-
    1-Real knowledge only (like here in this site) an or;
    2-Official credit with real Knowledge (with certificate) commit in business school.

    Kindly note that time in your life value more than MBA cost even by loan or financial aid, partial scholarship

  55. Roberto Picado González


    The courses on finance are not available when I search them, except for one or two.

    Will there be other options within Coursera that have similar content?

  56. Manav

    Hi Laurie, you surely provided a completely different view of the world. I wanted to ask that how would we be able to select the courses for each stage from the choices given and what should a person look for in the courses ?

  57. Derek

    University of the People has a low cost MBA ($300 a course or scholarships for those in need) and you could even take these free Ivy League online courses and transfer the credits for modest admin and assessment fees to accredit your MBA.

    Often at a University 60% or 70% of the courses need to be from your main University to achieve their degree. So look into that.

  58. Christian

    Hi ! The above approach might sound good as part of CPD.

    But can anyone enlighten and assist on info. with regards to the followings:-

    1) the strenght of an online MBA degree from the University of the People;

    2) Information on colleges or universities offering a 100% online MBA (General track or in
    Banking and Finance) and with a full scholarship.


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