Online Science Courses: Universities Offering Science Classes Online

Many different schools offer online science courses. Read the article below to find out more about some of these universities. Also get details about distance learning science classes.

Course Offerings

Online science courses are widely available at many colleges and universities in both for-credit and non-credit formats. Some schools, like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offer non-credit undergraduate and graduate science courses free of charge via the OpenCourseWare system. The following schools have offered the profiled courses in previous semesters; course availability may be subject to change.

Earth Science - Oceanography

Offered at the University of California at Santa Cruz, this class provides an expansive introduction to the topic. Coursework includes weekly discussion sessions and problems sets that apply simple mathematical concepts to oceanography.

Lectures cover the geology of ocean basins and their formation billions of years ago. Students also learn about the interaction between climate and ocean in the formation of waves, currents and hurricanes. Other topics include the emergence and evolution of life in the oceans and the effect of pollution on ocean ecosystems.

Alternative Energy Sources

This distance learning course provided by the University of Oregon is an exploration of the costs and benefits of alternative energy sources and the issues affecting their small, medium and large-scale deployment. The course relies on the Internet for information about alternative energy's various forms because the field of alternative energy technology is changing so rapidly.

It is arranged as a series of modules with associated homework assignments due at specified times. Students learn about solar, wind, tide, hydroelectric, ocean currents and geothermal energy sources.

Galileo and Einstein

This history of science course offered at the University of Virginia explains how Galileo's insights into the physical nature of celestial objects and Einstein's insights into the relationship between space, time, matter and energy changed perceptions about the natural laws governing humans, the earth and all of the cosmos.

The course also reviews the scientific contributions of ancient Greek and Middle Eastern mathematicians and astronomers. In addition, students learn about Issac Newton's synthesis of his predecessors' findings into a coherent system.

Online Learning Details

Online science courses introduce students to and familiarize them with some aspect of what humanity has learned about the natural world. Students take part in virtual lectures and discussion sessions. They also learn through the use of video, computer graphics and web-based visual aids. Similar to on-campus students, online students are often required to complete assigned readings.

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