Anatomy classes can be taken online through various colleges and universities across the country. Some of these classes award credit and can be applied toward degree programs in nursing and other areas. Students can also enroll in free, non-credit classes through OpenCourseWare (OCW) programs at many colleges. These courses may be blended, as some will include on-campus lab work.
Anatomy Classes for Credit
Many colleges offer online anatomy classes for credit. Introductory courses are the most common, but there are a few advanced anatomy courses available online as well. Most of these courses are at the undergraduate level. For the lab component, some schools allow students to study online through 3D interactive programs. Other schools require students to take an in-person lab along with the online coursework.
West Virginia University
The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at WVU provides an online introductory course in human anatomy with a virtual anatomy lab component. The course presents structural organization and relationships in four major body systems. Educational methods combine interactive activities and lectures.
Renton Technical College
RTC offers two online courses in human anatomy and physiology. They both offer studies of gross anatomy. Topics covered include the function, physiology and structure of the human body and its composite cells. Three lab sessions each semester must be completed on campus.
Herkimer County Community College
A member of the SUNY (State University of New York) educational system, HCCC offers a 1-semester class in the basics of human anatomy and physiology. Both the function of body systems and common diseases are covered. A variety of teaching and learning methods are presented through the online learning software Blackboard.
Free Non-credit Anatomy Classes
Colleges in more than 30 countries have agreed to put at least ten of their courses online for free use by the public as part of the OpenCourseWare program. These are strictly not-for-credit classes and do not include direct access to a professor or other instructors. These archived classes often include audio and video lectures, suggested readings, lecture summaries, questions and quizzes, and students can take the courses anytime.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT's OpenCourseWare project provides numerous free online anatomy classes. Course topics include neuroanatomy, brain structure and its origins, comparative anatomy, gastroenterology and lab techniques.
Harvard University Medical School
Harvard University's OpenCourseWare initiative contains free online anatomy classes that fall into three main categories: clinical application of anatomy, continuing study in gross anatomy and anatomy of speech and hearing. Students can view lectures and operating room procedures through videos, study text resources and take quizzes based on the information covered.
University of California - Berkeley
UC Berkeley's free online basic human anatomy class is made up of a series of 39 integrated biology lectures covering skeletal, digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems, as well as hematology and cardiology. Review lectures are also included throughout the classes.
Online anatomy classes may be entirely online or involve some in-class lab work for practical experience. Some courses are available for free through OpenCourseWare, including through Harvard University Medical School and University of California - Berkeley.