Discover a World of Knowledge: An In-Depth Guide to Open Yale Courses

Open Yale Courses (OYC) is an outstanding open educational resource that provides free access to introductory-level courses taught by distinguished Yale University faculty. Through OYC, learners worldwide can experience a Yale education without the costs or prerequisites of traditional university enrollment. With over 200 courses spanning the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, OYC offers a treasure trove of knowledge just waiting to be explored.

What are Open Yale Courses?

Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory-level courses taught by distinguished Yale faculty. The goal is to expand access to educational materials for self-directed learners worldwide. All OYC courses were initially recorded in Yale College classrooms and are now freely accessible online through multiple formats.

Courses span Yale’s liberal arts curriculum, covering disciplines like humanities, social sciences, and STEM subjects at the introductory level. Topics range from foundational sciences to American history to philosophical issues. Course materials include video lectures, audio versions, downloadable transcripts, and other supplemental resources. Learners can structure their learning by downloading, sharing, or remixing course content.

While OYC courses do not offer credits or degrees, the integrated online interface allows users to audit Yale courses flexibly according to their needs and schedules. There are no prerequisites or costs to participate. Anyone with an internet connection can explore OYC’s diverse selection of high-quality courses taught by renowned Yale professors. Now, look more closely at some of OYC’s most popular offerings.

The Most Popular Open Yale Courses on YouTube

The Gospel of Thomas

One of the most viewed OYC lectures on YouTube comes from Yale’s Introduction to the New Testament course. Titled “The Gospel of Thomas,” this video has garnered over 100,000 views discussing this ancient yet enigmatic text. The lecture provides essential historical context around discovering the Gospel of Thomas manuscript. It also examines its “Gnostic” theological perspectives that diverged from orthodox Christianity. Viewers gain valuable insights into ongoing scholarly discussions surrounding this fascinating early Christian work.

Investment Banking Explained

With over 110,000 views, the lecture “Investment Banks” from the Financial Markets class delves into the inner workings of investment banking. The presentation distinguishes this influential sector from related fields like commercial banking and securities trading. It also explores principles formulated by industry pioneers and regulatory changes in light of economic crises. Learners interested in finance, economics, and public policy have much to gain from this insightful look into investment banks’ substantial yet often misunderstood power.

Socratic Citizenship through Plato’s Apology

Open Yale Courses

Holding the #48 spot with 112,000+ views, this political philosophy video analyzes Plato’s Apology of Socrates. The lecture discusses how the Apology symbolizes the importance of free expression and the justified use of reason within political life. It focuses on Socrates’ defense of the “thinking life” and its role in civic affairs. Educators and students continue to appreciate this compelling analysis that sheds light on the foundations of Western democracy.

Understanding Mental Illness

With over 117,000 views, the psychology lecture “What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness” addresses how clinical practice identifies and treats mood disorders. It describes current diagnostic approaches and treatment practices through an empathetic yet evidence-based lens. Diverse viewers seeking a well-informed perspective on important issues like depression and bipolar disorder have embraced this informative discussion.

Arguments for the Existence of the Soul

Continuing to intrigue audiences with nearly 119,000 views, this philosophy course video presents various arguments surrounding soul theory. Through precise, balanced analysis, the lecture outlines proofs for the existence of the soul while leaving room for belief and skepticism. Viewers are stimulated to conclude this eternally fascinating topic that probes the most profound questions of human existence.

Which Open Yale Courses Are Worth Taking?

Open Yale Courses

Beyond the most popular videos, which complete OYC courses provide the wealthiest educational experiences according to past students? On Quora, several users shared their recommendations based on course quality, topic relevance, and instructor enthusiasm. Here are some of the top suggestions:

Science of Well-Being by Laurie Santos 

This popular psychology course applies science to finding fulfillment and increasing happiness. Santos brings the material to life through compelling stories and research.

Game Theory by Ben Polak 

Polak makes strategic decision-making accessible and thought-provoking through interactive examples from economics, politics, and beyond.

Chemical Biology by William J. Greenleaf 

For science enthusiasts, Greenleaf’s energized lectures illuminate the intersection of chemistry and biology with clear explanations.

Philosophy & the Science of Human Nature by Shelly Kagan 

Kagan’s examinations of free will, personal identity, and the mind/body problem stimulate deep philosophical reflection.

Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties by Akhil Amar 

Amar brings constitutional concepts to vivid life through real-world cases relevant to aspiring lawyers.

Educators have also found OYC courses highly adaptable for the classroom, according to the education blog Pedagoglog. Lectures provide a foundation for further discussion and hands-on assignments. Instructors appreciate OYC’s high production values and Yale’s rigorous academic standards. Students gain exposure to “name brand” university-level content without the costs or prerequisites.

Overall, OYC’s diverse selection allows learners to discover new interests or delve deeper into favorite subjects through some of the best university teaching in the world – all freely accessible online. With topical, engaging courses taught by renowned Yale faculty, Open Yale Courses truly offers a world of knowledge just waiting to be explored.

Applying OYC Courses to Your Learning Goals

Whether pursuing new skills and knowledge or advancing your career, Open Yale Courses can likely support your goals through one or more outstanding offerings. Here are a few examples of how to apply OYC:

Explore fields of interest

Browse course catalogs to uncover fresh topics and decide which piques your curiosity the most. OYC covers a vast academic territory.

Supplement formal studies 

Reinforce concepts from your degree by accessing related OYC courses for review. Share online to connect with global peers.

Gain job-relevant credentials 

Courses like Constitutional Law or Chemical Biology demonstrate competencies valuable in many careers.

Advance professionally 

Use OYC certificates of completion in professional bios and discussions to signal lifelong learning.

Satisfy personal curiosities 

Follow passions through OYC’s breadth of humanities and sciences without academic commitments.

Inform further education 

Decide which subjects to major in by sampling OYC introductory courses from Yale faculty.

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With over 200 courses and growing, Open Yale Courses offers boundless opportunities for self-directed learners and educators alike. Dive in to experience Yale education freely online!


Open Yale Courses (OYC) provides open access to introductory Yale University courses on diverse topics taught by distinguished faculty. With over 200 free online courses available, OYC offers learners worldwide a valuable opportunity to experience high-quality Ivy League education at their own pace and convenience. Popular courses cover subjects like mental health, investment banking, philosophy and more. Educators also use OYC materials to supplement classroom teaching.

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