The 5 Best Ivy League Online Courses for 2021

Here are five Ivy League online courses that'll give you a world-class education for only a fraction of the price of an Ivy League degree.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin

For students looking to leap ahead in their education, an Ivy League education has always been the golden key. After all, the median salary for Ivy League graduates is two times higher than for non-Ivy League graduates: $70,000 compared to $34,000.

However, these numbers do not come free.

The average yearly cost of attendance in Ivy League schools is a whopping $78,417, nearly four times the cost of the average public university. This automatically puts Ivy League education out of reach for the majority of students.

But, nowadays there’s a real alternative.

By taking strategic advantage of MOOCs, you can get an Ivy League education for a fraction of that price. In fact, you can access a range of Ivy League universities for no more than $399 per year with the help of Coursera’s subscription plan: Coursera Plus.

In this article, I’ll be taking a look at some of the most popular Ivy League courses available to take online so that you can play around with the idea of getting a cheap world-class education from the comfort of your home.

These are 5 of the best Ivy League courses you can take online:

Business Foundations (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Business Foundations (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Wharton’s “Business Foundations” is a 6-part specialization aimed at giving students an introductory business education from one of the world’s top business schools. The courses are led by an all-star cast of Wharton business professors including Barbara E. Kahn, Peter Cappelli, ‪Brian Bushee, and Peter Fader.

This online course series includes lessons on various essential business topics such as branding, financial statement analysis, marketing, and operations management. At the end of the curriculum, all students complete a capstone project designed to put all their acquired theory into practice.

The famed Wharton School, located in Philadelphia, is the Ivy League school with the highest combined net worth of billionaire graduates (at a whopping $284.8 billion). And, the median average salary of Wharton graduates is an impressive $150,000. Not bad at all considering the U.S. average of $31,133.

Wharton is the business branch of the University of Pennsylvania and it boasts a number of high-profile graduates such as:

  • Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and PayPal, graduated from Wharton with a BS in economics.
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google/Alphabet, graduated from Wharton with an MBA.
  • Donald Trump, former president of the United States, also graduated from Wharton with a BS in economics and he’s often eager to remind people of this fact.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these Wharton graduates have all left their mark on the world. Enroll in a world-class Ivy League course such as “Business Foundations” and you might just be on your way to do the same. But, your Wharton education will come at a considerably smaller price tag than what these individuals likely paid for theirs. After all, you can get access to this Wharton course and all the others on this list for $59 per month with a Coursera Plus Monthly Subscription.

Introduction to Negotiation (Yale University)

Introduction to Negotiation (Yale University)

Yale University’s “Introduction to Negotiation” is a 31-hour online negotiation course led by Barry Nalebuff, a world-renowned expert on business strategy, innovation, and game theory. In this online Ivy League class, Nalebuff teaches students how to go from “zero to hero” as negotiators by utilizing game theory and analyzing case studies. Not only will the course give you all the fundamentals you need to become a well-versed negotiator, but it’ll also come with an Ivy League certificate from Yale.

The renowned Yale University likely needs no introduction, as it was established as early as 1701. It has consistently ranked among the world’s top universities during its entire existence and it has a very high student satisfaction rate compared to most institutions in North America, with 70% of surveyed students being either “extremely happy” or “happy” at Yale.

Studying negotiation at Yale University makes perfect sense as this Ivy League college has a long-standing reputation as being one of the best universities for international relations studies. Thus, if you want to become a world-class negotiator without breaking the bank, Yale University’s “Introduction to Negotiation” is a no-brainer. 

Don’t take it from just me, though. Here are a few notable Yale alumni that you might recognize:

There are endless excellent reasons to take an online course from a prestigious university like Yale. But, if you’re not interested in learning about negotiation strategies, you might want to consider another Yale course instead…

The Science of Well-Being (Yale University)

Yale University’s “The Science of Well-Being” is a free Ivy League online course led by professor Laurie Santos. In her online class, Dr. Santos teaches students about happiness, productivity, and building healthier habits. The course syllabus is also filled with actionable tips on how to overcome biases, establish social connections, practice meditation, and rewire your negative behaviours.

Earlier this year, we had an interview with Dr. Santos where we discussed some of her preferred stress management strategies. Dr. Santos also hosts her own podcast “The Happiness Lab”, where she discusses the latest scientific research on happiness. There really is no one more qualified in the world to tell you about the science of well-being than Dr. Santos.

And, that is why it’s no coincidence that “The Science of Well-Being” is Yale’s most popular online course ever. Not only does it have an overwhelmingly positive 4.9 student rating on Coursera, but it has also been praised by news outlets such as CNBC, New York Times, and Business Insider. In the U.S. News ranking, Yale is considered among the best psychology schools in the world, and Dr. Santos showcases the best of what the Yale University Department of Psychology has to offer in terms of faculty. If you’re interested in learning about mental well-being, you really can’t miss this course.

Construction Management (Columbia University)

Construction Management (Columbia University)

Columbia University’s “Construction Management” is a 5-part online course series led by professor Ibrahim Odeh. In these five Ivy League courses, Ibrahim Odeh covers all major aspects of construction management: strategizing, market analyzing, scheduling, cost estimating, and more.

The famed Columbia University, established in 1754 and located in New York City, is one of the oldest universities in the United States and it constantly ranks among the top universities in the world. It is one of the original eight Ivy League schools and one of the most respected educational institutions out there. 

Throughout the years, countless heads of state and billionaires have attended Columbia University and it’s an Ivy League university that is consistently producing great minds.

Here are just a few notable examples of Columbia University alumni:

  • Barack Obama, former president of the United States, graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s in political science.
  • Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors, graduated from Columbia University with an MSc in economics.
  • Daniel S. Loeb, hedge fund manager and philanthropist, graduated from Columbia University with an A.B. in economics.

Columbia University is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading universities, and their “Construction Management” course series is a must-take for anyone interested in real estate.

English for Career Development (University of Pennsylvania)

The University of Pennsylvania’s “English for Career Development” is a 40-hour online class developed by UPenn and funded by the United States government. 

This Ivy League course is led by language specialists Brian McManus and Robyn Turner and it’s designed to bring non-native English speakers up to speed with the English-based job market. The course syllabus covers lessons on topics such as crafting effective résumés and cover letters, nailing job interviews, and establishing social connections.

Similarly to the other Ivy League schools on this list, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has been ranked in the top 10 world university rankings for the better part of 15 years, and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. Located in Philadelphia, UPenn ranks #4 in the world for English degrees, so it’s not difficult to understand why this online course gathered so much popularity among students.

With a world-class quality of education and a world-renowned faculty, UPenn offers students a learning experience that is second to none. And, with funding from the United States government, you can rest assured that all of the resources put into this course went into the content rather than the marketing. For learning English, it’s without a doubt one of the very best Ivy League courses in the world. And, together with all other courses on this list, you can take it at no extra cost with an active Coursera Plus subscription.