Top 25 Online Courses for College Credit 2022

Are you looking for cheap college credits? If you are, then you are among the many students who want to get ahead with college and earn an undergraduate degree sooner than later. There are a lot of courses for credit offered by universities, colleges, and community colleges

You will find an array of online college credit courses for high schoolers. Many students take these classes in the summer to earn college credit right before they start their undergrad program. Then there are accredited courses for professionals. These classes are designed for individuals who have decided to go back to school and earn an advanced degree or simply complete their education. They are both convenient and quite affordable, making it easy for students to earn credits without commuting. 

Students who are not looking to spend more than what they have set aside for their college education can find alternative solutions. They can opt for free online college courses for credit at all levels of math or science. These vary from remedial classes to advanced classes in various disciplines. Examples include languages, business, social studies and English credits, humanities, technology, business, and health science. 

In this article, we have listed the top 25 popular online college credit courses. Most accredited colleges and universities accept these courses for credit transfer. Students can complete these courses within 4-6 weeks or less. 

#25 Introduction to Information Technology 

In this self-paced course, students get an introductory overview of Information Technology. This lays a foundation for further studies in the subject along with earning college credits. It covers fundamental concepts in:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Networks
  • Databases
  • Ethics
  • IT Careers

The comprehensive overview of IT concepts and career options emphasizes applications of IT in business. This makes it a great choice for students looking to pursue IT education and earn college credit while working on their own time.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $79
  • Format: Online

#24 Accounting 

Offered through many accredited colleges, accounting is one of the most popular courses students take to earn credit. Self-paced students explore the fundamental concepts of accounting and learn the procedures of the modern practice of accounting. They gain practical experience with preparing financial reports. Other curriculum topics include bookkeeping and applying accounting principles for merchandising operations.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $75 
  • Format: Online

#23 Business 

A business course that addresses common concepts, principles, and operations is often a good choice for students looking to earn credits from accredited colleges. It also offers them foundational knowledge to pursue a business program as they develop critical business skills. Via a distance learning format and self paced schedule, they learn about various topics. Examples include business management, entrepreneurship, economics, business strategy, and accounting. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $75
  • Format: Online 

#22 Business Law

An online business law course is a low-cost way to earn college credits. It also meets most accredited colleges’ general education business requirements. Most of these courses provide thorough instruction on the constitution and various schools of jurisprudence. Students learn to compare and contrast ethics, morality, law, values. They also acknowledge the need for promoting corporate social responsibility. Most self-paced students earn course credit within 4-6 weeks. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $75
  • Format: Online 

#21 Introduction to Statistics

In this course, students get an overview of the applications of statistical knowledge via an online format. It is a popular choice for students who enjoy mathematics and analytics and helps them earn college credits fast. It meets the general education math requirements for most accredited colleges. The course topics include:

  • Applied Statistics
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Statistical Quality Control
  • Design and Analysis of Experiments

It helps students to strengthen their data analysis and statistics skills via self paced instruction.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $65
  • Format: Online

#20 Technology

Various IT and technology certification courses make excellent options for students in STEM. These affordable distance education courses help them develop the technology skills necessary for a successful career in IT. Some of these classes include:

  • IT Fundamentals
  • CompTIA Certification Training Courses
  • MTA Certification Training Courses
  • Introduction to Programming Courses in Java, C++, and Python

Most students complete them within 4-6 weeks of self paced study.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $75
  • Format: Online

#19 Art History 

Students who love art can take an art history course via a distance learning format and earn credit. Through self-paced classes, students learn about the fundamentals of art history through the ages from prehistoric and Medieval times to the Renaissance. They analyze buildings and architecture, explore art exhibits, and also examine art in everyday life.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $65
  • Format: Online 

#18 Elementary Spanish

Spanish is a common language requirement for many accredited colleges. Thus, taking an elementary Spanish course in an online learning format is a fast and affordable way to earn some credits. Students develop the language skills necessary to read, speak, and understand basic Spanish. The course places special emphasis on:

  • Auditory Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Basic Speech Production
  • Composition

The goal is to equip students to use Spanish in communication via self paced study.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $65
  • Format: Online 

#17 Macroeconomics 

Macroeconomics is a popular choice for students who wish to pursue economics in college as well as other majors. These online classes help them earn credit fast while fulfilling graduation requirements for economics or business. The course is basically a study of economic systems and the various tools economists use in their work. Through self paced learning, students learn about:

  • Inflation
  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Monetary Policies
  • Unemployment
  • Supply and Demand 
  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $65
  • Format: Online

#16 Languages

Students can choose from languages like Spanish, French, or German to fulfill one of the most common language requirements for transfer credit. Learning another language is also a great way to connect with global peers while at school and be responsive to international clients in future careers. Students develop the basic skills necessary to speak, read, and comprehend the language through these short, self paced classes. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $60
  • Format: Online

# 15 College Algebra

A college algebra course helps students earn transferable credits while fulfilling one of the most common general education math requirements. Through self-paced learning, students receive the foundational knowledge that helps them prepare for future math courses. They learn:

  • Calculus
  • Rational Functions
  • Linear Equations
  • Problem-Solving Techniques

Depending on course schedules, these popular courses can be completed in 4-6 weeks. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $59
  • Format: Online 

#14 Environmental Science 

Students learn to use various scientific methods and research to understand the environment in this course. Via distance learning, they earn credit while learning about factors that determine the health of various species and examine threats to populations and biodiversity. They study ecosystems on both land and water and correlate them with economics, policy, and health issues. Most importantly, they analyze natural and human activity as it impacts the environment, weather, and climate. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

#13 General Chemistry 

In this course, students analyze the properties of liquids, solids, and gases. They explore the nature of matter. This includes its components, stoichiometry, intermolecular force, and phase changes. They also study the concepts of entropy, the laws of thermodynamics, radioactive decay, along with the use of radioisotopes. Though the course is short and self-paced, they can still gain a thorough understanding of:

  • Solubility
  • Chemical Periodicity
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Quantum Theory
  • Atomic Structure
  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

#12 Health Science

In this self-paced course, students learn about the basics of health sciences. This prepares them for college courses in the same field later in the educational journey. Topics include:

  • Ethics
  • Global Health
  • Leadership and Management
  • Epidemiology

Students gain an understanding of community and public health systems and related issues. Students can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field. Likewise, they can prepare for leadership and management positions in health-related settings. Examples include public policy and community health, administration, and public health research. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $59
  • Format: Online 

#11 Introduction to Biology

Students gain some fundamental college-level biology knowledge in this course. It fulfills general education requirements in many science fields. This helps students get a jumpstart into their freshman year at college. Students explore human and animal life topics, major plant groups, types of animal tissues, and various scientific methods. Via self paced credit courses, they also learn about:

  • Plant Anatomy
  • Cell Structure and Molecules
  • Natural Selection
  • Evolution
  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $59
  • Format: Online 

#10 Introduction to Psychology 

Psych 101 or Intro to Psychology is a popular choice for students looking to earn college credit. The online course provides them with fundamental knowledge of psychology and helps them become familiar with basic concepts like Nature vs. Nurture. and the relation between biology and behavior. Students also study advanced subjects. Examples include psychological disorders, psychosexual development, ethical standards of psychotherapy, and how stress impacts personal health.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $59
  • Format: Online 

#9 Mathematics

Mathematics is a popular choice for students to earn college credit because it can be completed in a short time and is very affordable. It is mostly taken by students looking to go into a STEM field in college, but students in other fields take it as well. Students develop mathematical and analytical skills for college courses as well as for future careers. Topics covered in this self paced online college course include:

  • Algebra
  • Precalculus
  • Calculus
  • Statistics 
  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online

#8 Science

Science is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of college credit courses in Anatomy, Biology, Physics, and Nutrition. Fully online and affordable, the online course offers students a fast and easy way to earn college credit. Students going into any STEM field can opt for this course, but that does not mean that students from other fields cannot. In fact, it’s a great trial run for students who are still deciding whether they would choose STEM or some other field on their educational journey. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $59
  • Format: Online

#7 College Composition 

College Composition is a common course students take for transfer credit. It is often part of the general undergraduate course requirements across all majors. It introduces students to writing techniques and improving reading skills. Through self-paced study, they read a variety of books and develop an understanding of language structures. In most cases, students have to complete a writing project that includes research, multiple drafts and edits to create an improved final product.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

#6 Communications 

In this online college course, students explore the basics of communication, including how to send and receive communication effectively. The course touches upon the importance of both verbal and nonverbal communication and how they can make a big difference in perception and understanding. It equips students with the various tools to analyze and improve individual and group communications. Students can use this knowledge to deal with interpersonal and intercultural communication, interviews, conflict resolution, and negotiation throughout their educational journey and beyond. 

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online  

#5 English

In this college credit course, students develop quality writing skills that will help them tackle all college assignments well and also prepare them for business communications. The lessons touch upon basics like:

  • Proper Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Fundamentals of Writing

The latter includes techniques of writing like argumentative, compare and contrast, narrative, persuasive, and descriptive. Students also learn about editing, effective research techniques, and revision.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

#4 Humanities

Humanities is a broad term that includes a wide range of college credit courses for students to take. These include online courses in:

  • Government
  • Philosophy
  • Communications
  • United States and World History
  • Religion
  • Western Civilization
  • Criminal Justice

Most students complete these affordable humanities classes at their own pace within 4-6 weeks. They develop the writing and critical thinking skills necessary for college education and careers in the future.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online

#3 Introduction to Philosophy

In this course, students learn about the major themes and concepts of philosophy. They are also introduced to major philosophers like Socrates, Locke, Descartes, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Mill, Nietzsche, and Marx. The course also touches upon Eastern and Western philosophies that have influenced each other. Topics include:

  • Metaphysics
  • Free Will and Determinism
  • Epistemology
  • Evil and The Existence of God
  • Ethical Values and Politics
  • Personal Identity
  • Modern Cognitivism 
  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

#2 Religions of the World

In this course, students learn about different religions and how they have impacted lives around the world. The introductory course is often counted as a history course or a humanities course. The main religions covered are:

  • Christianity
  • Buddhism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Hinduism

Along with the different beliefs, the course also covers the study of rituals, practices, and myths.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online

#1 Social Science

Social science certification courses are great options for students interested in liberal arts, humanities, and social studies. The chief content areas for these college credit courses include:

  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Western Civilization
  • Sociology
  • Government
  • Political Science

The courses not only help students earn credits, but also expand their knowledge of society and build a strong foundation for general education.

  • Average credits required: 3
  • Average course fee: $55
  • Format: Online 

More About the Top 25 Online College Credit Courses

What are the benefits of taking courses for credit online?

Online college courses for credit are a popular option for students because they give students a head start on a degree while in high school and also save a lot of money on tuition. Students who are looking to earn a degree at an accelerated rate can take more online courses for credit and significantly reduce college costs. They can transfer their accumulating credit into a degree program before enrolling and thus graduate with considerably less debt. Opting for cheap online classes means that students have an extremely affordable and flexible option to pursue higher education. Some even offer textbooks and student support for free, which sets students up for success throughout the educational journey. 

There are many online college courses for secondary school students online. Taking an online course before enrolling in an undergrad program helps them build the study skills and discipline for the future. Since most take an online course at some point during their academic journey, this is a good preparation indeed. Students, whether they are high schoolers or working adults, can take courses online while enrolled in a college degree program. They can also enroll in multiple classes concurrently to save time and earn college credit fast. This will help cover most of the prerequisites and general ed courses needed to graduate and accelerate the completion of one’s degree. By completing prerequisites, students can start college with advanced standing and advance directly to their majors. Some students have even completed their degree program a semester (or year!) ahead of schedule.

Students can take online courses at various levels. For example, they can take undergraduate courses towards a bachelor’s degree or graduate classes towards a master’s degree or for doctoral programs. Every college or university has its own transfer policy that explains in detail the credits that they accept. These include the minimum grade standards and the conditions for transfer. Most schools accept a “C” or better, though this criterion could differ between schools.

What are the various courses for online college credits?

Deciding what online college classes to take is important. As students explore accredited college courses for credit, they will find that there are numerous options spanning multiple academic fields. They can earn college credit in art, math, English, science, computer science, languages, business, and social studies. It’s a lot of information to take in, so students need to research well and find courses that align with their interests and career goals. Some of the things to keep in mind are affordability, flexibility, and accreditation. Looking at the online courses offered against these criteria may help in better decision-making. 

How many online courses for college credit can students take at a time?

Students can take multiple online college courses for credit if they have the capacity and can handle the workload. Most universities allow students to take anything from one to three online college courses at a time. Students who are working and wish to study online to gain their degree as they continue with their day jobs take a single class before starting the next one. Ultimately, it’s on each student to determine how many classes they can take at a time without feeling overwhelmed and earn good grades. 

Are there free college classes for credit online?

Yes, there are many free online college classes for credit that are accepted in most leading colleges and universities. Students who pass these courses with a satisfactory score can easily get credit for college-level courses that cost little or no money. There are also work-study programs that offer college credit in exchange for volunteering. Students can choose any of these options to advance their college education journey. 

Can online college credits for high school students be transferred to an on-campus program?

Online education has become the way of the world, and more schools now readily accept remote online college courses for credit, even for their on-campus programs. This is especially true of accredited for-credit courses since it assures the university or college of quality education. Another sure way to ensure that credits are transferred from one school to another is to transfer within the same college system. There is also a high likelihood of the same state transfer of credits between online and on-campus programs. While most schools use these credits to meet the general education requirements, some may apply them towards a specific major as well. This can be true of many STEM, tech, or business degrees. Students should consult with their enrollment advisors to learn more about online for-credit courses and which one would suit their needs best. It will also ensure that they are taking online courses that have the best chance of credits being applied.

Is there a limit to the number of online college credits that can be transferred?

The number of credits that can be transferred depends on the school. Each school has a limit on how many individual courses and transfer credits they will accept and at which level. Their acceptance of accredited classes for credit may differ between undergraduate and graduate courses. Typically, a student may try to complete all general course requirements, but at times, they meet some of the credit requirements for majors as well, especially if they have gone to junior college instead of just completing certifications. Some school systems have their own set of rules and transfer agreements between their sister schools that ensure that credits easily transfer.

Do junior college credits transfer to a 4-year college or university?

Credits from junior colleges often transfer without issue to any four-year college or university. This is especially true of accredited junior colleges. Typically transferring to a same state four-year college is easier than transferring to a four-year college in a different state, but not impossible. If students have an idea of where they want to go, they can look up the prerequisites for the major. This way, they can plan ahead and take courses in junior college that they know will transfer and as early as possible. They should talk to their respective academic advisors to help them with the transition from a two-year to a four-year college.

Do college credits expire?

Credits technically don’t expire, but some are more likely to transfer than others, especially recent ones. However, since the rules vary from one school to the other, it is good to get some advice before enrolling. Older credits may be applied toward general credits, but not the major. One reason for this could be the fact that colleges want their students to have updated knowledge in their fields. This is particularly true for rapidly evolving fields like computer science or IT. Core courses and general education courses for college credit are likely to remain valid for a good number of years. Accreditation is an important factor, so credits from accredited courses are likely to remain valid for years. General education courses have the widest applicability. 

Are there cheap classes for college credit online?

While there are many remote classes that qualify for credit, not all offer the same value. Students need to do their research and see which courses suit them best. It is very important to choose a course that is widely accepted by most colleges or offered for college credit. There are many free online college classes for credit, but they may not be as widely accepted. It is best to look for accredited courses because they will provide the best value for money. 

A college education is expensive, and many students place a lot of importance on affordability. While cost is an important factor, it does not always determine the quality of education. Cheap courses for credit do not mean inferior education, nor do free online college classes for credit. If the course is offered by a college that is accredited, then one can be assured of the credits being transferred easily.

Why does accreditation matter?

Accreditation sets high standards for education. If a college is accredited, then the remote classes are much more likely to transfer to another school, especially if they are in the same region. 

Are online for-credit courses flexible? 

Flexibility is a big criterion for all online programs, including the remote courses designed for high school students and working adults. Online education is designed to be self paced and easier in terms of commute, scheduling, and flexibility of attending classes. Students looking to earn credits may choose to take multiple courses at the same time. Or they may be working adults who are working and studying at the same time. Flexible distance education classes will go a long way to ensure that they earn their requisite credits while maintaining a life-work balance. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that most courses for credit have a time limit that requires students to complete assignments according to a set schedule. Some students may need to participate in group chats or attend video conference calls at set times though it is not mandatory. Most students can learn on their own pace and dictate their own course load.


Sources:

Sophia
EDX
Study.com
Straigterline.com

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