Free Online Classes for Seniors (College Courses, Hobbies, etc)

Online classes in a wide range of topics offer the opportunity for seniors to learn new skills, take up new hobbies, and/or enhance their knowledge. Below, we list courses available to seniors (and other adults) that are free of charge and take place entirely online.

Note that if your topic of interest doesn’t appear on our list, you can find a host of free “how-to” videos by searching on YouTube. You can also find in-person classes in your area through your local library, city or county’s recreation department, community adult education program, or nearby colleges.

The List

College Courses

Boston University

  • Subject(s): Ethics, business, health, religion, and more[1]
  • Registration required? Yes[1]
  • Additional materials needed: None[1]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: Astronomy

  • Subject(s): Basic astronomy[2]
  • Registration required: Yes[2]
  • Additional materials needed: None[2]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: Creative Writing

  • Subject(s): Introduction to creative writing[3]
  • Registration required: Yes[3]
  • Additional materials needed: Optional textbook you can purchase or check out at a library for free[3]
  • Find out more

Columbia University

  • Subject(s): History, religion, data science, robotics, and more[4]
  • Registration required? Yes[4]
  • Additional materials needed: None[4]
  • Find out more

Harvard University

  • Subject(s): Art, health, programming, game development, science, and more[5]
  • Registration required? Yes[5]
  • Additional materials needed: None[5]
  • Find out more

University of California, Berkeley

  • Subject(s): Literature, science, writing, and more[6]
  • Registration required? Yes[6]
  • Additional materials needed: None[6]
  • Find out more

University of Michigan

  • Subject(s): Art, health, programming, science, and more[7]
  • Registration required? Yes[7]
  • Additional materials needed: None[7]
  • Find out more

Practical Skills

BYU Personal Finance

  • Subject(s): Retirement planning; six online chapters (including videos)[8]
  • Registration required: No[8]
  • Additional materials needed: Optional free online manual[8]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: Speed Reading

  • Subject(s): Speed reading and reading comprehension[9]
  • Registration required: Yes[9]
  • Additional materials needed: Access to or a copy of the book the class will read (see class syllabus)[9]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: American Government and Citizenship

  • Subject(s): U.S. Government fundamentals; citizenship test preparation[10]
  • Registration required: Yes[10]
  • Additional materials needed: None[10]
  • Find out more

Institute of Culinary Education

  • Subject(s): Cooking for all skill levels[11]
  • Registration required: Yes — register on Zoom[11]
  • Additional materials needed: Recipe ingredients and kitchen equipment[11]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): Foreign language; about 40 different online courses[12]
  • Registration required: Create a free account[12]
  • Additional materials needed: None[12]
  • Find out more

Purdue University

  • Subject(s): Retirement planning; 10 online modules[13]
  • Registration required: No[13]
  • Additional materials needed: Optional free printable guide[13]
  • Find out more

Arts & Hobbies

BYU Independent Study: Drawing

  • Subject(s): Beginning drawing techniques and skills[14]
  • Registration required: Yes[14]
  • Additional materials needed: Sketchbook, graphite pencils, and colored pencils[14]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): Crochet; 23 lessons[15]
  • Registration required: No[15]
  • Additional materials needed: Crochet hook and yarn[15]
  • Find out more

Garden Tutor

  • Subject(s): Gardening basics; eight modules[16]
  • Registration required: No[16]
  • Additional materials required: Optional course kit available for purchase[16]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): About 15 drawing lessons[17]
  • Registration required: No[17]
  • Additional materials needed: Graphite pencils and sketch paper[17]
  • Find out more

Legacy Family Tree Webinars

  • Subject(s): Genealogy education via live webinars[18]
  • Registration required: Yes[18]
  • Additional materials needed: None[18]
  • Find out more

Nimble Needles

  • Subject(s): Knitting; nine online lessons plus tutorials[19]
  • Registration required: No[19]
  • Additional materials needed: Knitting needles and yarn[19]
  • Find out more


BYU Independent Study: Beginning Piano

  • Subject(s): Basic two-hand piano[20]
  • Registration required: Yes[20]
  • Additional materials needed: Access to a keyboard or piano, as well as a video recording device[20]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): Beginning guitar, techniques, and music theory[21]
  • Registration required: Sign up via email[21]
  • Additional materials needed: Guitar and pick[21]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): Nonprofit business strategies, from how to start a nonprofit to fundraising and grant writing[22]
  • Registration required: Create a free account[22]
  • Additional materials needed: None[22]
  • Find out more


American Feng Shui Institute

  • Subject(s): Introduction to Feng Shui[23]
  • Registration required: Yes[23]
  • Additional materials needed: None[23]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: Interior Design

  • Subject(s): Introduction to basic interior design[24]
  • Registration required: Yes[24]
  • Additional materials needed: Camera, paper, pen, pencil, markers, and a ruler[24]
  • Find out more

  • Subject(s): Minimalism — how to simplify your life[25]
  • Registration required: Sign up via email[25]
  • Additional materials needed: None[25]
  • Find out more

Organizing Maven

  • Subject(s): Decluttering; six lessons via email[26]
  • Registration required: Yes[26]
  • Additional materials needed: None[26]
  • Find out more

Palouse Mindfulness

  • Subject(s): Mindfulness-based stress reduction[27]
  • Registration required: No[27]
  • Additional materials needed: None[27]
  • Find out more


  • Subject(s): Zero waste living basics[28]
  • Registration required: Yes[28]
  • Additional materials needed: None[28]
  • Find out more


Art of Living

  • Subject(s): Breathing and meditation techniques[29]
  • Registration required: Yes[29]
  • Additional materials needed: None[29]
  • Find out more

BYU Independent Study: Beginning Bowling

  • Subject(s): Bowling for beginners[30]
  • Registration required: Yes[30]
  • Additional materials needed: Access to a bowling alley — you will bowl 15 games during the course[30]
  • Find out more

Golf Info Guide

  • Subject(s): Golf; text and video lessons emailed to you[31]
  • Registration required: Provide your name and email[31]
  • Additional materials needed: Golf clubs and golf balls[31]
  • Find out more

Yoga With Adriene

  • Subject(s): Yoga for seniors; approximately 30-minute sessions[32]
  • Registration required: No[32]
  • Additional materials needed: Yoga mat and a blanket or towel[32]
  • Find out more