Free Photography Course Now Available From Harvard

Free Photography Course Now Available From Harvard

Whether you’re an amateur photographer who takes photos as a hobby or someone who just constantly snaps photos of their kids, pets, etc., you may be interested in Harvard University’s free photography course. Of course the Ivy League school isn’t known for offering anything for free, and few people can afford to go there without sizable scholarships. But apparently it’s willing to share its knowledge—just this once.

Free photography course offered online

Harvard has uploaded the course (spotted by The Next Web) to ALISON, a massive collection of online learning courses. The free photography course is separated into 12 modules covering the basics of photography. It’s designed for those who are interested in digital photography and even in editing their photos because it even includes details on software tools.

The free photography course also covers elements of actually snapping a photo, such as lighting. Those who are really dedicated to the craft can opt to take the 13th module, which is basically just an assessment. Pass that assessment with a score of at least 80%, and Harvard will send you a diploma to print and hang.

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Harvard’s course is outdated but still helpful

Those who do decide to check out the course should keep something in mind, however, especially in terms of the software it covers. Some fundamentals of photography don’t really change, especially when it comes to taking photos. However, software changes regularly, at least once a year, if not more often. New software and apps are being released all the time, and this course is from 2009 so it’s a bit outdated.

One thing Harvard’s free photography course does have going for it is that it is designed with a focus on the creative aspect of the art. Most of the other free courses that are offered online from major universities such as Princeton, UCLA, or Yale are focused more on computer science or with a focus on the academics of the topic rather than on the art.

If you do decide to check out Harvard’s online course, you might want more updated information on photography software or apps. Prisma is a good app to check out, and if you have an iPhone, iOS 10 supports raw photos, so you might want some tips for working with raw photos.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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