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Harvard Math Courses Online: 7 Top-Rated Options

Did you know that the majority of mathematical symbols weren’t invented until the 16th century? You’re probably wondering how the equations were written then? Well, people simply used words

If you’re a math-driven individual and this subject inspires you, then Harvard math courses are exactly what you need. While studying you will find out not only interesting facts about math that you didn’t know before but also gain job-applicable skills and knowledge that will help you to take your career to the next level. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most recommended Harvard Math courses online, focus on the skills you’re going to learn, instructors, the content quality, pricing, certifications, and even more. That said, you’ll be able to find a Harvard math course that’s suitable for your needs. 

You can have a quick glance at the courses we’re going to discuss

Now let’s move further and find out why studying Harvard math courses online is a good idea. 

Why Study Harvard Math Courses Online? 

Harvard was established back in 1636 and is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States that’s located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s also known as one of the Ivy League Universities that also include 7 other members: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.

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Traditional education has its own perks, especially if you were accepted to Harvard and other Ivy League universities. It allows you to meet new people who have similar interests, participate in various activities for students, and simply have the experience of living on campus. While it sounds really attractive, there are also significant drawbacks that you should take into account. 

First of all, even though Harvard offers one of the best mathematics programs in the world today, the acceptance rate for 2023 is only 5.2%. This means that only 5 out of 100 of those who applied were accepted. Needless to say, the chances are not that high. 

Harvard math course: Harvard university.

Talking about Harvard math courses online that are available on some top-rated online learning platforms, no one will tell you that you cannot study, everyone is accepted. The only thing you need is the desire to study and keep improving your knowledge gradually. 

Another factor why many students cannot study at Harvard is pricing. Harvard costs about $70,000 per year, so the majority of students take loans that they’re paying back years after graduation. In fact, statistics show that 30% of undergraduates are taking student loans. While the number doesn’t sound very significant, that 30% account for 92.6% of student loan depth

When it comes to studying online, you will find many free courses. Even if some classes are paid, the majority of them will cost you less than $100 and will last for weeks. I’m talking about online learning platforms specifically.

COVID-19 is another obvious reason why you should choose to study online. Due to the pandemic that already took millions of lives, it’s still uncertain when the majority of universities will get back to traditional teaching in classes. That said, even if you choose to enroll in a university, you won't be getting a full learning experience. For this reason, it’s way safer and smarter to go for Harvard math courses online

The final, yet significant aspect to be mentioned is that once you choose to study online, you can do that anywhere, anytime and at your own pace. This means that if you have a full-time job and a family to support, you can learn whenever you have some free time. Needless to say, that’s super convenient

Now that you’re aware of the main reasons why it’s recommended to choose Harvard math courses online, I would like to introduce some of the most popular courses that will improve your math skills. 

Introduction to Probability (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Introduction to Probability.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Course
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: $139
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Apply HERE

If you want to understand more about randomness, uncertainty and data, then Introduction to Probability course might be the perfect Harvard math course for you. More than 100 thousand students have already enrolled in this course, so it’s one of the more popular options among eager-to-learn individuals.

Introduction to Probability course is suitable for intermediate-level students. So even though anyone can enroll, it might be too complicated for beginners and those who have no previous knowledge. The course should take about 10 weeks to complete, however, you’ll be able to learn at your own pace

Just like the majority of Harvard math classes online, you can enroll in this one completely free. The only thing that you need to know if you’ll want to get a certificate after completing this course is that you’ll need to pass all the tests and it will cost you $139

Even though certificates for Harvard mathematics courses are paid, there are significant reasons why they’re completely worth it. First of all, the certificates are official and verified, meaning that they’re recognized among employers and can help you to land a better job offer. 

Harvard math course: online learning.

What is more, since the certificates are shareable, they can be easily added to your resume or CV. Also, everyone would agree that certificates can motivate you to continue learning

Now, this course includes 7 different parts: course introduction, conditional probability and Bayes’ rule, discrete random variables, continuous random variables, Markov chains, joint distributions and conditional expectation, and others. 

There’s one instructor that will guide you through this course - Joseph Blitzstein. He’s a professor of the Practice in Statistics at Harvard University who has been teaching since 2006 in this prestigious university. The main focus of his research is statistical inference for networks, “big data”, and other complex data structures. Since the professor is highly qualified and has more than 15 years of experience, you can learn a lot from him. 

Now, after completing this Harvard math course, you’ll learn and understand more about

  • Uncertainty and randomness. 
  • Making predictions.
  • A way to understand random variables. 
  • Probability distributions that are commonly used in statistics and data science. 
  • Different methods on how to find the unexpected value of a random quantity. 
  • How to approach complicated problems using conditional probability. 

Even though this course is not that long, it definitely covers a lot of information and will require your effort. 

Start the course NOW.

Data Science: Probability (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Data Science: Probability.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Course
  • Duration: 8 weeks 
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: $99
  • Level: Introductory
  • Apply HERE

Probability is one of the subjects that every math enthusiast should understand and be able to apply in real-life situations. This is one of the Harvard math classes that will help you to achieve this goal. 

This course is a part of the Professional Certificate Program in Data Science, so you can choose to either take it separately or enroll in the program to gain in-depth knowledge regarding data science. 

The course focuses on different concepts of math and data science, including Monte Carlo simulations, random variables, independence, standard errors, expected values, and Central Limit Theorem. It will provide you with the mathematical basics of statistical inference which’s crucial for those who want to become data scientists. 

This probability course is one of the shorter ones, it should take you about 8 weeks to complete when learning about 1-2 hours per week. Just like all the others, it allows you to learn at your own pace, whenever you find the time. 

What is more, it’s suitable for beginners, so it’s great for those who don’t know where to begin. Also, it’s recommended for intermediate-level students who want to refresh their knowledge in the field. 

You can enroll in this course completely free. However, if in the process or after this course you decide that you need a professional certification, it will cost you $99. Needless to say, it’s very affordable

This Harvard math course is taught by Rafael Irizarry - Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard University who specializes in the genomics, data analysis and R programming. As introduced before, the professor is very successful and has been specializing in his field for the last 15 years

After completing this course, you will learn about

  • The main concepts in probability theory, such as independence and random variables. 
  • Performing Monte Carlo simulation
  • How to compute the meaning of expected values and standard errors in R. 
  • Central Limit Theorem and its Importance. 

As mentioned, this course is beginner-level, so you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you may not have enough knowledge and experience. After all, you need to start somewhere, so this course might be exactly what you need. 

Start the course NOW.

Calculus Applied! (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Calculus Applied.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Course
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: $139 
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Apply HERE

Learn how to create and analyze mathematical models by applying single-variable calculus tools. It’s used in social, life and physical sciences by real practitioners, so the knowledge that you’ll gain is not only theory, it will be easily applied in real-life situations

The Calculus Applied course takes about 10 weeks to complete when learning 3-6 hours per week. So it’s quite intensive, however, you can take it at your own pace without anyone telling you that you’re taking it too fast or too slow. 

Also, if you're looking for the best free Harvard math courses online, this is one of the better alternatives. You’ll get high-quality material, valuable knowledge and so much more, without spending your money. The only thing that you will need to pay for is a certificate. However, as you already know, that’s something that you can choose to purchase. Of course, it’s highly valuable when it comes to new career opportunities. The certificate costs $139 at the moment. 

In this course, you will learn from 3 experts in their field: John Wesley Cain - Senior Lecturer, Mathematics at Harvard University; Juliana Belding - Professor of the Practice in Mathematics at Boston College; Peter M. Garfield - Teaching Faculty at University of California Santa Barbara. Each of them has years of experience in this subject, so you’ll get valuable knowledge in math, especially calculus

After completing this course, you’ll learn

  • Analyzing various mathematical models, including variables, parameters, and constants. 
  • Understand how calculus can be applied in various situations to solve problems based on different examples and case studies.
  • Mathematical assumptions and complications when it comes to real-world situations. 

There’s a lot to learn, so now is the best time to start! 

Start the course NOW.

Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Probability from the Ground Up.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Course
  • Duration: 7 weeks
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: $139
  • Level: Introductory 
  • Apply HERE

The Probability from the Ground Up course is suitable for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of probability and statistics in order to increase quantitative reasoning skills. More than 75 thousand students have already enrolled and continue improving their knowledge in the field. 

When learning 3-5 hours per week, you should be able to complete this course in 7 weeks or even faster, depending on your pace. Also, it’s also completely free, unless you decide to get a professional certificate that you’ll be able to add to your CV or portfolio to show off your skills. 

The course consists of 7 parts/classes: basic counting, advanced counting, basic probability, expected value, conditional probability, Bernoulli trials, and the normal contribution. That said, even though it takes only 7 weeks to complete, you’ll gain valuable knowledge. 

When going through this course, you will meet 3 different instructors: Benedict Gross - Leverett Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus at Harvard University; Joseph Harris - Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University; Emily Riehl - Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University. Each of them is better than the other, so you should definitely enjoy this learning experience. 

Talking about the knowledge and skills that you’ll gain

  • Basic probability and statistics.
  • Solving combinatorial counting problems.
  • Using basic and advanced probability to solve problems.
  • Basic knowledge of the normal distribution and its many statistical applications.
  • Recognizing common fallacies in probability.

Everyone can enroll in this course as long as you’re motivated to learn. 

Start the course NOW.

Causal Diagrams: Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Causal Diagrams.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Course
  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: $169
  • Level: Introductory
  • Apply HERE

The Causal Diagrams is an introductory-level course that’s suitable for everyone who wants to use intuitive pictures to improve study design and data analysis for causal inference by using simple graphical rules. 

It’s recommended to learn this course about 2-3 hours per week. At this pace, you should be able to complete it within 9 weeks. As with the majority of Harvard mathematics courses on edX, you can complete the course completely free. The certificate is the only thing that you will need to pay for. Currently, it costs $169, so it’s for you to decide whether you need it to show off your new skills. 

In this course, you will be introduced to causal diagrams and their applications to causal inference. What is more, you will be presented with multiple case studies that will provide you with practical applications of the knowledge that you will learn, and so much more. 

In this course, you will have only 1 instructor - Miguel Hernán. He’s a Kolokotrones Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Harvard University who has been teaching different methods for causal inference. 

Now, after completing this course, you will learn

  • Translating expert knowledge into a causal diagram. 
  • Identifying common biases using causal diagrams. 
  • Guiding data analysis using causal diagrams.
  • Drawing causal diagrams based on different assumptions.

Start the course NOW.

Data Science (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Professional Certificate in Data Science.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Professional Certificate
  • Duration: 1 year 5 months 
  • Price: $792.80
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Beginner-Intermediate 
  • Apply HERE

Everyone who’s interested in math and data science should consider HarvardX's Data Science Professional Certificate. Even though it’s not a regular Harvard math course, this option will provide you with in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience that you need to get at least a few steps closer to becoming an expert in data science. 

After finishing these classes you will get a professional certificate, however, it will take about 1 year and 5 months to complete. Since this Harvard Professional Certificate is self-paced, you’ll be able to take your time and learn whenever you find the time. It also means that you can finish it much faster. 

Mathematical skills are necessary for data science, so if that’s the career you want to go for, then this Professional Certificate will be highly beneficial. It includes 8 different courses that each cover a different part of Data Science, including R Basics, Visualization, Probability, Inference and Modeling, Productivity Tools, Wrangling, Linear Regression, Machine Learning, Capstone.  

If you want to find the best Harvard math course, you should pay close attention to instructors. To tell you the truth, they’re all experts in their own field, only their teaching methods might be different. 

Harvard math course: online learning.

HarvardX's Data Science Professional Certificate is taught by Rafael Irizarry who is a professor of Biostatistics at Harvard University. He has been focused on the analysis of genomics data for the last 15 years. His publications related to this topic have been widely cited. Dr. Rafael Irizarry has also taught classes in applied statistics and is one of the founders of the Bioconductor Project. You have to say, that’s very impressive.

Now, when learning from the experts in their field, you get valuable information that will help you to achieve the best results in a specific field. At this point, that specific field is data science and mathematics

After completing this course, you will gain knowledge and skills in:

  • Statistics, probability, interference, and how to apply them in practice. 
  • Basics in R programming. 
  • Experience with tidyverse, including ggplot2 and dplyr
  • Knowledge in essential tools for data scientists, including Unix/Linux, git and GitHub, and RStudio.
  • The implementation of machine learning algorithms. 
  • Advanced knowledge in fundamental data science concepts that you will learn through real-life examples. 

There’s a lot to learn, so if you find that this course is exactly what you’re looking for, you should get right into it. 

Start the Professional Certificate NOW.

Data Analysis for Life Sciences (Enroll HERE)

Harvard math course: Professional Certificate in Data Analysis for Life Sciences.

  • Platform: edX
  • Type: Professional Certificate
  • Duration: 4 months 
  • Price: $626.40 
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Apply HERE

Another option for those who are interested in Harvard math courses is a Professional Certificate in Data Analysis for Life Sciences that includes 4 courses on statistics and R, linear models and matrix algebra, statistical inference on high throughput data, analysis of high-dimensional data. 

The course should take about 4 months to complete when learning 2-4 hours per week. Since it’s flexible, you can learn at your own pace and finish the course much faster, or take it slow, if that’s what you prefer. 

Professional Certificate in Data Analysis for Life Sciences currently costs $626.40, which’s about $156 per month. Even though it’s not the least expensive option, professional certification is definitely worth it. 

Talking about instructors of this course, there are two: Rafael Irizarry and Michael Love. As already mentioned, Rafael Irizarry is a professor of Biostatistics who has been analyzing genomics data for the last 15 years and is very successful in his field. 

Dr. Michael Love specializes in genomics and data analysis. He graduated from Stanford University and received his bachelor’s in mathematics in 2005, master’s in statistics in 2010, also in Stanford, and Ph.D. in Computational Biology in 2013 from the Freie Universität Berlin.

Both instructors are experts in their field, so you can be sure to gain valuable knowledge from both of them. After completing this Professional Certificate, you will learn

  • Basics in R programming that are needed to analyze data in the life sciences. 
  • Different techniques that are used to perform statistical inference on high-dimensional and high-throughput data.
  • Useful linear models for data analysis in the life sciences. 

The knowledge that you’ll gain while learning this course will deepen your knowledge in math and data science as well as unlock new future opportunities. 

Start the Professional Certificate NOW.

The Benefits of Studying Harvard Math Courses on edX: 6 Reasons 

As you’ve already seen, all of the provided Harvard math courses that you can study online are available on edX. edX is known as one of the leading online learning platforms. I can provide you with obvious reasons for that. 

Harvard math course: Harvard courses on edX.

Reason #1: You can learn from the leading universities and institutions.

On edX you’ll be able to find courses not only from Harvard but also other top-rated universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, Boston University, Georgetown University, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, and multiple others. 

When choosing courses from leading universities, you can feel as if studying in that university, especially since the majority of universities transferred classes online due to COVID-19. 

Reason #2: Choose from free and super affordable courses

You can access the majority of edX courses completely free, especially if you don’t need a certificate. When it comes to edX certificates, the price varies from about $49 to $99. That’s still very affordable, especially since they’re accredited

Of course, you will be able to find some courses/programs that cost hundreds of dollars, however, there aren’t that many of them. It’s still completely worth it, though, considering that you would pay thousands of dollars to study in prestigious universities. 

Reason #3: Available for everyone.

Unlike universities, Harvard math courses on edX are available to anyone, as long as you have an internet connection. There are no difficult application processes or qualifications required. Simply choose a course that’s suitable for your knowledge level and start learning. 

Reason #4: You can get actual college credits

Surprising or not, some edX courses provide you with actual college credits. This means that students have an opportunity to start early and take some of the classes before arriving on campus. Even though there aren’t that many options to choose from, you should know that it’s available. 

Reason #5: Learn anywhere and anytime.

If you choose to study Harvard math courses on edX, you’ll be able to learn anywhere and anytime, it’s completely flexible. 

This means that you don’t need to change your plans or say no to your hobbies due to the intersecting timetable. Learn whenever you have time, energy and feel productive. 

Reason #6: Receive official and verified certificates

edX is one of a few online learning platforms that provide you with accredited certificates that are recognized among employers and can be added to your CV or portfolio instantly. Also, there are a few key points that you should be aware of when it comes to edX Harvard math courses

  • HarvardX Honor Code. 
  • HarvardX Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Statement.
  • HarvardX Research Statement.

The benefits of choosing online courses on edX are obvious, so if you find a course that you like, you should definitely go for it. 

What are Job Positions Available for Math Graduates?

It’s great that you find math interesting and want to continue improving your knowledge but it’s also important to be aware of job positions that are suitable for math enthusiasts

Let me quickly introduce a few job positions that are popular amongst math graduates

  • Data Scientist.
  • Economist.
  • Statistician.
  • Mathematician.
  • Business, Management and Consulting. 

There are many other jobs that are suitable for math graduates, it all depends on the field you choose and how much effort you put into your career. Each of these careers will require mathematical knowledge, and even additional skills, so Harvard math courses offered by edX are a great place to start, especially if you’re looking for affordable options

Needless to say, if you want to achieve your goal of becoming a mathematician, data scientist, economist, or aim for another math-related job position, you will need to continue learning and improving in this field. In the end, if you’re eager to learn and are passionate about what you’re learning - sky's the limit


When looking for the best Harvard mathematics courses, you’ll come across a variety of different options. Most of them, though, are available on edX which’s one of the leading online learning platforms when it comes to professional courses and certificates.

edX offers a variety of courses from prestigious universities and other institutions of higher education. The majority of courses on edX are completely free, only certificates are paid, if you decide to purchase them.

If you want to pick from the best Harvard math classes and Professional Certificates, you should go for the options in the list provided below

Each of these courses is well-evaluated among students and will help you to move towards your dream job. If you’re interested in finding more math courses, you should always go for reliable platforms, such as Udacity, DataCamp, Udemy and, of course, edX. 

Table: Udacity and edX comparison.

About Article's Experts & Analysts

By Aaron S.


Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era. W...
Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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Where can I study Harvard math courses online?

You can find a variety of Harvard math courses available on edX. It's one of the leading online learning platforms that offer professional courses and certificates from top-rated universities

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