Free Online Courses & Books

Harness the power of the Internet! There's a wealth of insight, enthusiasm, and information out there waiting for you.

The online courses listed below don't earn UCSC course credit, but they don't cost anything, either. Use them to prepare for your UCSC courses, or for extra support while you're taking your UCSC courses.

Everyone has their own learning style, so if you're not completely satisfied with the tools you start with, shop around—as you learn what works well for you (and what doesn't), you'll be able to make better informed searches and choices.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Free e-courses

Khan Academy

Kahn Academy's free online courses, featuring video lectures and instant feedback on exercises, include geometry, advanced algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus. Subtitles available.

Some students love the structure, while others get impatient with the detailed explanations.

Go to Khan Academy.

UCI Precalculus

The videos—which cover algebra and geometry as well as precalculus—are closely matched to subtopics in ALEKS, so they're ideal for targeted review.

Heads up: The Introduction videos are only for UCI students.

Thanks to Sarah Eichhorn and Rachel Lehman for sharing these videos!

Go to UCI's Precalculus.

Highlights of Calculus

Highlights of Calculus is a series of chalk-and-blackboard lectures by the award-winning researcher and educator Gilbert Strang. Professor Strang has spent most of his career at MIT, but with a quick wardrobe change, this sweet and insightful powerhouse would fit right in at Hogwarts, nonchalantly banishing confusion and anxiety. Subtitles and transcripts available.

Go to Highlight of Calculus

Single Variable Calculus

Single Variable Calculus is a complete online calculus course, taught by Professor David Jerison of MIT. The course includes lecture videos, lecture notes, recitation videos with problem-solving tips, worked examples, problem sets and exams with solutions, and interactive applets. Subtitles and transcripts available.

Go to Single Variable Calculus

Free e-books


Author: Gilbert Strang, MIT.

This is an introductory calculus text. It pairs perfectly with the Highlights of Calculus videos, but can be used as a standalone resource, or as a supplement to any other calculus course.

Go to Strang's Online Calculus Text

Calculus for Beginners and Artists

Author: Daniel Kleitman, MIT.

This irreverent and enlightening calculus text begins with "To study calculus it is essential that you are able to breathe. Without that ability you will soon die, and be unable to continue." and strives to make calculus accessible to anyone with that ability. The undead should try Zombies and Calculus, by Colin Adams (book—not free, but cheap—or NOVA video series).

Go to Calculus for Beginners and Artists

Taking The Fear Out Of Math

Lead author: Herbert Gross, MIT 

The Taking The Fear Out Of Math website has algebra materials, including the e-text Algebra By Example (with solutions) and the PowerPoint slideshow collection The Game of Algebra, and the Calculus guide Calculus in Everyday Life. Professor Gross has also created the video series Calculus Revisited.

Go to Taking The Fear Out Of Math

Open Culture

Open Culture provides a catalog of links to free educational media. Their list of math texts covers a broad range of material, from elementary algebra through graduate level mathematics. They have a variety of calculus texts and a college algebra text. Warning: "abstract algebra" is an upper division topic, not another name for advanced algebra!

Go to Open Culture's list of free math books

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