College credit online courses are cost-effective, allowing you to acquire knowledge from anywhere in the world without having to attend traditional classes on campus. Since the introduction of e-learning, online classes are gradually revolutionizing the way we learn and obtain college credit.
Moreover, online courses are typically less expensive than traditional college courses, making them an excellent choice for students looking to save money on tuition and other expenses. They also provide a diverse choice of disciplines, ranging from business and technology to humanities and social sciences, allowing students to pursue their interests and broaden their knowledge.
Online college credit courses are ideal for students who are looking to get ahead in their degree program, or are simply interested in learning more about a particular subject. In this piece, we’ll explore the benefits of online college credit classes, how to sign up for them, and what to expect from the online learning experience.
Let’s delve in!
What Are College Credits?
College credits are a measure of how much courses a student has completed in college or university. In general, one credit hour equals one hour of instructional time per week for one semester. For example, a typical college course might be worth three credit hours, implying that students would attend three hours of class each week for a semester, which is typically 15 weeks. A student who completes the course will receive three college credits toward their degree.
Furthermore, college credits are used to track a student’s progress toward a degree, and the amount of credits required for a degree can vary based on the institution and the program of study. Typically, a bachelor’s degree requires 120-130 credits, whereas a master’s degree may require 30-60 credits.
What Are The Benefits Of College Credits?
Earning college credits comes with a lot of perks including personal growth, improved employability, and help you to reduce time required to complete a degree. Below we dive more into the benefits of earning college credits:
#1. Progress toward a degree
College credits earned can count towards the completion of a degree program. This can reduce the time and cost required to complete a degree, as students can transfer credits from one institution to another or take courses during summer/winter breaks.
#2. Saving money
By earning college credits through dual enrollment programs, students can save money on tuition and other fees. This is especially beneficial for students who plan to attend a four-year university, as they can complete some of their coursework at a community college for a lower cost.
#3. Demonstrating academic ability
Earning college credits can demonstrate to potential employers or graduate schools that a student is capable of handling rigorous academic coursework. Hence, it’ll improve your job prospects and odds of admission to graduate school.
#4. Personal growth
The process of earning college credits can also help students develop invaluable life skills, such as critical thinking, research skills, time management, and self-discipline. These skills are useful in life and career.
#5. Improving employability
College credits can also enhance a student’s employability by showing that they have the skills and knowledge required for certain jobs. Overall, earning college credits can help students advance their academic and career goals while also providing a valuable learning experience.
Top 15 College Credit Online Courses
Below are our picks of college credit online courses:
#1. Introduction to Psychology – Offered by Arizona State University
Introduction to Psychology is first on the list of college credit courses. In this course, you’ll get an overview of the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. Also, you’ll learn about various subjects, including the history of psychology, research methods, perception, learning, memory, development, personality, abnormal psychology, and social psychology.
As a college credit course, “Introduction to Psychology” can be taken by undergraduate students who are seeking to fulfill their general education requirements, or who are pursuing a major or minor in psychology. The course is typically worth three credit hours and can be applied toward a degree program.
To receive college credit for the course, you must complete all of the required coursework, which may include reading assignments, quizzes, exams, and writing assignments. However, the specific requirements may vary depending on the instructor and the institution offering the course.
#2. Introduction to Computer Science – Offered by Harvard University
Introduction to Computer Science provides an introduction to computer science and programming using the Python programming language. The course is aimed at students who have no prior programming experience, but it can also be useful for those who have some programming experience but want to learn Python specifically.
Furthermore, the course covers fundamental concepts of computer science, such as algorithms, data structures, and abstraction, as well as fundamental programming concepts, such as variables, functions, and control structures. Hence, you will learn how to write programs in Python and develop your problem-solving skills through assignments and projects.
#3. Calculus 1A: Differentiation – Offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Calculus 1A also ranks on the list of college credit online courses. The course provides an introduction to the fundamental concept of calculus, differentiation, and its applications to various fields of study, such as physics, engineering, and economics.
Generally, the course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts of differentiation, including limits, derivatives, and applications of derivatives. As a result, students will learn how to calculate derivatives using various techniques such as the power rule, product rule, quotient rule, and chain rule. They will also learn how to apply derivatives to solve real-world problems, including optimization and related rate problems.
In addition, the course is delivered through a series of video lectures, readings, and problem sets, all of which are available online. Also, students can access the course materials at their own pace, and they can interact with instructors and other students through online forums and discussion boards.
#4. Introduction to Environmental Science – Offered by University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
The Introduction to Environmental Science course offered by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is an online credit course designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of environmental issues and their impact on our planet.
The course covers a wide range of topics, including the history of environmentalism, ecosystem dynamics, population growth, pollution, climate change, and environmental policy. The course also introduces students to basic scientific concepts, such as the water cycle, energy flow in ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles.
Likewise, students who successfully complete the course will earn credit towards a degree at UCSD or another institution that recognizes UCSD credits. The course is designed to be accessible to students with a wide range of backgrounds, including those who have little or no prior experience with environmental science.
#5. Introduction to Microeconomics – Offered by University of Pennsylvania
If are interested in economics, business, or social sciences, and want to develop a strong foundation in microeconomic theory and practice, then this course is for you. Introduction to Microeconomics is designed to provide students with an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of microeconomics.
Through this course, students will learn about key economic concepts such as supply and demand, elasticity, consumer behavior, market structures, and production costs. They will also explore how these concepts apply to real-world situations such as pricing strategies, government policies, and international trade.
#6. Introduction to Statistics – Offered by the University of California, Berkeley
Introduction to Statistics is an excellent option for anyone looking to develop their statistical skills and enhance their understanding of data analysis. By taking this course, students can earn credits towards their degree while building valuable skills that will serve them well in their future careers. Additionally, this course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and techniques of statistics, including probability, random variables, sampling, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and data visualization.
Through this course, students will learn how to analyze data, draw conclusions, and make predictions using statistical methods. They will also gain a deeper understanding of how statistics are used in a variety of fields, including business, healthcare, social sciences, and more.
#7. American Government – Offered by University of Notre Dame
One of the reasons why the American Government ranks in the list of online credit courses is because it provides an in-depth examination of the structure, functions, and processes of the United States government. Typically, the course is designed for students who are interested in politics, government, law, or public policy.
Throughout the course, students will learn about the foundations of the American political system, including the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Besides, students will also explore the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in shaping public opinion and influencing government policy. Additionally, students will develop critical thinking and analytical skills through reading assignments, discussions, and writing assignments.
#8. Introduction to Marketing – Offered by University of Pennsylvania
Introduction to Marketing is an online credit course offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. This course provides a comprehensive overview of marketing concepts and strategies and is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in marketing, as well as business professionals who want to enhance their marketing knowledge and skills.
The course covers topics such as customer behavior, market segmentation, product development, pricing strategies, advertising and promotion, and distribution channels. Additionally, students will learn about different marketing frameworks and tools, and how to apply them to real-world business situations. The course also explores current marketing trends and challenges, such as digital marketing, social media, and globalization.
#9. Introduction to World History – Offered by the University of Virginia
Introduction to World History is a renowned program among the best online credit courses, offered by the University of Virginia. It explores the major themes, events, and figures of world history from ancient civilizations to the present day. This course will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the key developments and interactions that have shaped human societies over time.
Similarly, the course is structured around a series of modules that cover different periods of world history, including the ancient world, the Middle Ages, the early modern period, and the modern era. Each module includes lectures, readings, and interactive activities designed to help students engage with the material and deepen their understanding of the topics.
#10. Fundamentals of Neuroscience – Offered by Harvard University
One important aspect of the Fundamentals of Neuroscience course is its focus on interdisciplinary perspectives. Because the study of neuroscience involves insights from a range of fields, including biology, psychology, physics, and computer science, the course emphasizes the importance of integrating diverse perspectives to understand the complex workings of the nervous system.
The Fundamentals of Neuroscience course covers a range of topics related to the study of the nervous system, including the structure and function of neurons, the mechanisms of synaptic transmission, the organization of neural circuits, and the relationship between the brain and behavior.
As a credit-bearing course, students who enroll in the Fundamentals of Neuroscience course will receive credit towards their degree program upon successful completion of the course. The course typically involves a combination of lectures, readings, and assignments, and may also include hands-on laboratory work or research projects.
#11. Introduction to Philosophy – Offered by University of Edinburgh
The Introduction to Philosophy course offered by the University of Edinburgh is an online credit course that provides an overview of key topics and themes in philosophy. The course covers various areas of philosophy, such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy.
The course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and methods of philosophical inquiry, and develop your critical thinking and analytical skills. Also, students will be exposed to a range of philosophical texts and ideas and will be encouraged to engage in discussions and debates with their peers.
#12. Digital Photography – Offered by Harvard University
Digital Photography is another sought-after program among the college credit online courses. This online class will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of digital photography, from the basics of camera controls to advanced techniques in image processing and printing.
Similarly, you’ll learn about the concept of photography such as exposure, composition, lighting, color management, digital file formats, and printing techniques. The curriculum also includes hands-on exercises and assignments that’ll allow you to practice and apply the concepts learned in class to your photography projects.
#13. Introduction to Astronomy – Offered by Duke University
Introduction to Astronomy is designed for students who want to learn about the principles and techniques used in modern astronomy, as well as the latest discoveries and developments in the field. The course covers a range of topics, including the history of astronomy, the nature of light and matter, the structure and evolution of stars, the properties of galaxies, and the universe as a whole.
At the end of this course, students will have gained a deeper appreciation of the universe and the scientific principles that govern it. Likewise, they will also have developed a set of skills that are useful for a wide range of careers, including critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and communication.
#14. Introduction to Public Speaking – Offered by the University of Washington
Introduction to Public Speaking provides an overview of the principles and practices of public speaking. In this course, students will learn how to develop and deliver effective speeches and presentations that engage and persuade their audience.
The course covers a range of topics related to public speaking, including the process of speech preparation, audience analysis, speech delivery, and effective use of visual aids. Additionally, students will learn how to manage speech anxiety, develop critical thinking skills, and adapt their communication styles to different audiences.
#15. Introduction to Creative Writing – Offered by Wesleyan University
Introduction to Creative Writing is last on the list of college online credit courses. The course will introduce students to the fundamentals of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Hence, it provides an opportunity for students to develop their creative writing skills and explore various writing techniques.
The course is delivered entirely online and consists of a series of video lectures, reading assignments, and writing exercises. Thus, students will be expected to complete weekly writing assignments and participate in online discussions with their classmates. The course is designed to be flexible, allowing students to go study at their own pace and on their own schedule. However, it is recommended that students set aside a few hours each week to complete the coursework and engage with the online community.
How Do I Earn College Credits in High School?
There are several ways to earn college credits while still in high school. Here are some options you can consider:
#1. Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
AP courses are college-level courses offered in high school. If you earn a high enough score on the AP exam, you may be able to earn college credit for the course.
#2. Dual Enrollment
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take college courses and earn college credit while still in high school. These courses are typically offered at local community colleges or universities.
#3. International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs
IB programs are rigorous academic programs that offer college-level courses in high school. If you successfully complete an IB program, you may be able to earn college credit.
#4. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP exams allow you to earn college credit for knowledge you already have. You can take exams in a variety of subjects, and if you pass, you can earn college credit for that subject.
#5. Early College High School
Early college high schools are schools that allow students to earn an associate’s degree or up to two years of college credit while still in high school.
FAQs About College Credit Online Courses
Can you take credit courses online?
Yes, you can take credit courses online. Many universities and colleges now provide online credit courses, allowing students to receive academic credit toward their degree.
How long do college credits last?
College credits normally do not expire because they represent the academic work that a student has done in a specific course. However, the value of college credits may decrease with time, particularly if the knowledge and skills acquired in a certain course become outdated or irrelevant.
Finally, online college credit courses are a valuable and handy choice for individuals who desire to acquire college credit while maintaining work or personal responsibilities. However, it’s important to note that online courses require self-discipline and time management skills, as students are responsible for their own learning and progress.
In addition, each course may have different requirements for enrollment, including prerequisites and fees. It’s always a good idea to check with the school offering the course for the most up-to-date information. Similarly, before enrolling in any of these courses, check with your high school counselor and the college or university you intend to attend to ensure that the credits will transfer and contribute toward your degree program.