MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) are your launching pad to learn beyond the realm of design. Register for these free classes from top-tier universities on a range of subjects including business, management, technology, humanities, social sciences, and more. You’ll grow personally and professionally, and they may even inform your design-related decisions.

For even more class options, visit Class Central, Coursera, EdX, or Yale Open Courses.

Upcoming classes

CourseStart date
Introduction to public speaking Ongoing
Projecting your brand through new media Ongoing
How to start a startup Ongoing
Philosophy and the science of human nature Ongoing
Beyond Silicon Valley: growing entrepreneurship in transitioning economies Ongoing
Introduction to sociology Future sessions
Better leader, richer life Future sessions
Sustainability in practice Future sessions
Understanding media by understanding Google Future sessions


Business and management

operations managementIntroduction to operations management
October 5, 2015
University of Pennsylvania

Learn to analyze and improve business processes in services or in manufacturing by learning how to increase productivity and deliver higher quality standards. Key concepts include process analysis, bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels, and more.

marketingIntroduction to marketing
October 5, 2015
University of Pennsylvania

Learn the fundamentals of marketing by getting to the root of customer decision-making. Key topics include branding strategies (e.g., brand positioning, brand communications), customer-centric marketing strategy, and new market entry (e.g., channel strategy, marketing planning).

High Impact Business WritingModel thinking
October 5, 2015
University of Michigan

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. How do we make sense of it? Models. Models help us to better organize information and improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts, make better decisions, and adopt more effective strategies. This class is your starter kit.

FinanceIntroduction to finance
October 5, 2015
University of Michigan

This course is primarily devoted to the fundamental principles of valuation. We will learn and apply the concepts of time, money, and risk to understand the major determinants of value creation, and will use both theory and real world examples to demonstrate how to value any asset.

competitive strategyCompetitive strategy
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

In this six-module course, you will learn how businesses and organizations behave in situations in which strategic decisions are interdependent, i.e. where my actions affect my competitors' profits and vice versa. Using the basic tools of game theory, we will analyze how businesses choose strategies to attain competitive advantage.

NegotiationSuccessful negotiation: essential strategies and skills
University of Michigan

We all negotiate on a daily basis. On a personal level, we negotiate with friends, family, landlords, car sellers and employers, among others. Negotiation is also the key to business success. Through this course you'll learn and practice the strategies and skills that will help you become a successful negotiator in your personal life and business transactions.

Public SpeakingIntroduction to public speaking
University of Washington

The goal of this course is to demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech. Upon completing this course, you should be able to design and deliver basic presentations concisely, speak confidently with appropriate rate, projection, movement, and vocal variety, and evaluate speeches insightfully.

Start-upHow to start a startup
Stanford University

This class is designed to be a simplified business course for people who want to start startups. Learn how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more.

transitioningMarketBeyond Silicon Valley: growing entrepreneurship in transitioning economies
Case Western Reserve University

In transitioning markets (where entrepreneurs do not have much access to private sector financing), government officials, donors, and business leaders are experimenting with creative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs. In this course, we will explore these innovative approaches.

BetterLeaderRicherLifeBetter leader, richer life
Future sessions
University of Pennsylvania

Learn a practical, proven method for how to articulate your core values and vision; and achieve "four-way wins"— improved performance at work or in school, at home with your family, in your community, and for your self (mind, body, spirit). It's not about "work/life balance"; it's about creating harmony among the different parts of your life as a leader in all of them.

sustainability_practiceSustainability in practice
Future sessions
University of Pennsylvania

Sustainability is a practice operating across a variety of scales and skills. We will explore the ways that decision makers use systems analysis and design thinking to confront the career-defining challenges facing the next generation of leaders.

googleUnderstanding media by understanding Google
Future sessions
Northwestern University

Few people who “just Google it” to find an answer to their every question understand just what the company does (and why). Through this course, you'll join the minority that really gets it.


Design methods

Design Research NeedfindingDesign research: needfinding and feedback
September 15, 2015
University of California, San Diego

Learn commonly used techniques to discover user needs, goals, and values that lead to untapped opportunities for design. This course explores techniques for unearthing ideas based on real world settings and examines how to turn observations into a concrete point of view.

game_theoryGame theory

October 3, 2015
Stanford University

The course covers the basics: representing games and strategies, the extensive form (which computer scientists call game trees), repeated and stochastic games, coalitional games, and Bayesian games (modeling things like auctions).

questionnairemoocQuestionnaire design for social surveys

October 5, 2015
University of Michigan

This course will cover the basic elements of designing and evaluating questionnaires. We will review the process of responding to questions, challenges and options for asking questions about behavioral frequencies,  techniques for evaluating questions, mode questionnaire characteristics, and review methods of standardized and conversational interviewing.

Green CityRe-enchanting the city—designing the human habitat
October 2015
University of New South Wales

This course investigates a key question facing global cities today: how do we make hyper-dense cities of the future green, livable, and poetic? We will investigate the development process from the earliest planning through completion and examine design innovations, framed within the wider context of infrastructure, governance, and the political economy.

Branding with new mediaProjecting your brand through new media
Cornell University

Explore how to use new media to communicate your brand promise in a cohesive way. Learn how to conduct an online customer review analysis to help you understand your customers and their interests so that you can tailor your brand promise to your target market. By the end, you’ll understand how your firm should communicate its brand promise and be consistent in messaging.



socialEntrepSocial entrepreneurship
September 14, 2015
University of Pennsylvania

Join us and learn how to develop, test, and deploy high-impact solutions to society's toughest challenges. Social entrepreneurs and social innovators are tackling and diminishing many of the world's problems.

readingFantasy and science fiction: the human mind, our modern world
October 5, 2015
University of Michigan

We understand the world—and ourselves—through stories. Of all the fictional forms that fantasy takes, science fiction is the most important in our modern world because it is the only kind that explicitly recognizes the profound ways in which science and technology, those key products of the human mind, shape not only our world but our very hopes and fears.

Philosophy and human naturePhilosophy and the science of human nature
Yale University

This course pairs central texts from Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, Rawls, and Nozick) with recent findings in cognitive science and related fields. The course is structured around three intertwined sets of topics: happiness and flourishing; morality and justice; and political legitimacy and social structures.

Introduction to SociologyIntroduction to sociology
Future sessions
Princeton University

To benefit from the sociological perspective, we need to learn how to ask certain basic questions: how are the things that we take to be natural socially constructed? How do we live today? Does the individual make a difference? This course explores how interaction in micro-level contexts affects larger social processes and how such macro-level processes influence our day to day lives.

These courses have been highlighted to provide members with access to topics that may affect their daily work, regardless of design discipline.

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