4 Free Online Photography Classes from Prestigious Universities

SMP Digital Photography Free 300x200 - 4 Free Online Photography Classes from Prestigious UniversitiesThe Digital Age we live in continues to change and disrupt the education industry—which is great news for photo fans like us. Becoming a pro photographer is no longer dependent on getting a $40,000 degree at a local college or university—there are plenty of ways for us to attend free online photography classes right from the convenience of our own homes.

In fact, several prestigious and Ivy League schools offer their very own photography courses right online—so quality of education is hardly an issue. The only thing you’ll need to decide is which course best fits your needs and lifestyle.

So, to help you determine which free online photography classes are best for you, we pulled together the following rundown:

Harvard’s Alison Digital Photography Course


  • Ivy League school offering
  • Great rundown of the basics
  • Receive an official diploma/certificate upon completion
  • Module based to make for easy stop/go


  • Rumor has it that this course might be a bit outdated
  • Very basic–not a great fit for those looking for in-depth training

Stanford professor’s free online digital photography course


  • Standford-level course by Mark Levoy, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford, and Principal Engineer at Google
  • No sign-up required—the instructor’s course is available right on his website


  • This doesn’t appear to be directly affiliated with Stanford
  • No certificate or diploma
  • Course is a bit low-tech

Cambridge in Colour


  • Yes, *that* Cambridge
  • As more of a learning community than a course, it’s a great opportunity to connect with other members and photographers
  • You can skip around to the information you need rather than sift through an entire course


  • More of a learning community than a course (this may be considered a pro to some)
  • No diploma or certificate of completion

MIT’s OpenCourseWare Introduction to Photography and Related Media


  • Online downloadable video lecture of the MIT course
  • Excellent for learning the basics
  • Great options for visual learners


  • Course is from 2007 so might be outdated
  • No diploma or certification

While you’re out there snapping new memories and moments with your newly sharpened photography skills, don’t forget to make sure those old print photos are digitized as well.

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