Online Physics Courses for Credit
For students not looking to receive college credit, free courses online that don't require registration or tuition can be a great option. However, if you're looking to earn credit for school, you might check out the relatively inexpensive content found on Study.com. Here, you'll find engaging video lessons paired with resources such as lesson transcripts and self-assessment quizzes that can help you attain college credit.
Students focused on physics can consider taking Physics 101: Intro to Physics, which includes such chapters as:
- Vectors - Learn about vector addition, standard basis vectors, vector components, and other aspects of vectors.
- Kinematics - Explore distance and displacement in physics, acceleration, representing kinematics with graphs, and related concepts.
- Rotational Motion - Review the kinetic energy of rotation, conservation of angular momentum, work and power in rotational motion, and related physics principles.
Information on Free Online Physics Courses, Lectures and Learning Materials
The courses listed below don't require enrollment, but they also don't grant college credit. Students can also access free learning materials offered by colleges and universities to supplement their online studies. Special software, such as media players or document readers, may be required to access materials.
State University of New York - Stony Brook
- Fields is an online physics textbook written by Professor Warren Siegel of SUNY - Stony Brook. The text focuses specifically on quantum field theory and claims to discuss standard topics of field theory in a fresh, new way. It also features working hyperlinks to referenced papers.
- Fundamentals of Physics I consists of 24 class sessions. Each session has an audio lecture, video lecture and transcript, as well as assignments with solutions. Students will learn about basic principles of physics, including gravity, thermodynamics, relativity and waves. A textbook is required to get the most out of the course.
University of Michigan
- General Physics I introduces students to mechanics, with topics including Newton's laws, torque and angular momentum. They can download lecture notes and exam reviews. Students can also access interactive exercises that demonstrate various principles.
University of Colorado - Boulder
- Interactive Simulations on this site offer more than 90 online demonstrations of physics experiments. Students can manipulate data to test band structure, charges and fields, friction and other types of scientific phenomena related to physics. The simulations come with teacher's guides for learning.
- Introduction to Modern Physics looks at relativity and explores the principles of quantum mechanics. They can download slides of lecture notes and several years of exams and solutions. Topics covered include electron waves, atoms, molecules and radiation. A textbook is required, and other readings are recommended, to fully learn from the course.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Physics I provides 36 weeks of lecture notes with illustrations, as well as assignments and exams with solutions. This is an introductory course, and no prerequisite coursework is needed. Students will learn about energy and forces, Newton's laws, particle dynamics and other fundamental principles of physics.
- Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism consists of 22 PDFs of lecture notes, plus exams and assignments (without solutions). Physics I is a prerequisite. Students will expand upon the content areas they studied in Physics I; topics covered include energy density, conductors, currents, circuits, magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation.
- Physics III is a comprehensive course that includes 23 video lectures, some lecture notes and assignments and exams, both with solutions. Students will learn about vibrations and waves, including how they are manifested in such everyday experiences as music, rainbows and red sunsets. Two textbooks are required to benefit as much as possible from the course.
University of California - Berkeley
- Physics Courses offered here each contain multiple video lectures. There are a few introductory physics courses that discuss kinetics, waves, electricity, heat, radioactivity and optics, among other topics. Another course delves more into thermal physics and statistics, and one course is designed for aspiring engineers and scientists.
Utah State University
- Quantum Mechanics includes 37 sets of lecture notes that cover topics like angular momentum, stationary states, hyperfine structure and spin correlations. Students who purchase the textbook can also complete homework assignments, though no solutions are given.