If you have a computer, tablet, or smart phone, you can go to college for free. Hundreds of colleges and universities around the world offer free downloads of popular courses and lectures in architecture, urban design, and engineering.
Yes, there are drawbacks. You can't chat with the professors or classmates. You can't earn credits or work toward a degree. But you'll get the same lecture notes and assignments as "live" students. In some cases, you can even download free audio files and videos.
Established in 1865, the Department of Architecture at MIT is the oldest and one of the most highly respected in the United States. Through a program called OpenCourseWare, MIT offers almost all its classes online - for free. Downloads include lecture notes, assignments, reading lists, and, in some cases, galleries of student projects for more than 100 undergraduate and graduate courses in architecture. MIT also offers some architecture courses in audio and video formats
Since 1898, Notre Dame has offered widely acclaimed undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Notre Dame's OpenCourseWare offerings are not nearly as extensive as MIT's, but you can download free lecture notes and illustrations for an advanced seminar in architecture.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers free online materials for several courses that explore environmental planning and the design and construction of physical works.
Green Building Techniques, Sustainable Cities, and Rebuilding New Orleans are just a few of many audio lectures offered by the Architecture School at the University of Virginia. Listen to UVA's esteemed professors now, or download the audio files to listen to later.
Thirteen walking tours from a New York University class in New York Architecture are posted online, along with walking tours, suggested reading, and other resources. To begin your tours, follow the links in the left hand column.
The University of Hong Kong offers several free online courses in sustainable architecture and energy-efficient design. The course materials are all in English.
Located in the Netherlands, Delft is one of the most respected universities in Europe. Free OpenCourseWare classes include Sustainable Development
, Water Management, Offshore Engineering, and other science and technical courses.
CornellCast and CyberTower have videotaped many talks and lectures at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, from "A Brief History of English Garden Design" to William McDonough speaking about Cradle to Cradle Design