Top Ten Free Online Courses in Biology With Certificates in 2022

If you want to learn about living things and how they relate, studying biology might be the best option for you. Having known that, this article offers you a list of the top free online courses in biology with certificates.

Whether you are a beginner who is enthusiastic about biology or you already have prior experience or knowledge in the field, this course offers you great values to either start out in the career or improve on your ‌existing knowledge.

Even better, all the courses on the list come at no cost at all. Also, you get to receive a shareable certificate upon completion.

So, why don’t you get right in and begin?

Top Ten Free Online Courses in Biology With Certificates

Free Online Courses in Biology with Certificates

This is a carefully and thoroughly researched list of the top 10 free online courses in Biology with certificates in 2022.

You can take as many courses as you desire too. So, let’s get right in!

1. Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

This course is offered by Duke University, a university with a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge and as well devoted to applying knowledge in service to society.

It offers the core overview of the principles behind the fundamentals of biology. Also, it explores new “genome sequences”, commercial kits through which you can learn about your ancestry; from your DNA or disease predispositions as well as the debates about the truth of evolution.

Also, the course answers why animals behave the way they do as well as how found genetic evidence for natural selection.

If this interests you, then this course offers the basic biology required to equip you with the knowledge of these issues. Also, it provides tests to clarify some misconceptions and prepares students for the future.

Course Syllabus:

  • Welcome t genetics and evolution
  • Evidence for evolution
  • Genetics 1, 2 & 3
  • Heritability and population growth
  • Population genetics 1 & 2
  • Molecular evolution
  • Adaptive behaviors and sexual selection
  • Speciation and phylogenetic
  • Applied evolution

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 25 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

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2. Contemporary Biology

This course is offered by the University of North Texas and it explores the introduction to biology as it applies tour day-to-day life. It will help learners to understand the interplay between science and self, using a personalized case study of themselves as well as their environment.

Furthermore, the course will help the learners to recognize and understand the interactions among natural phenomena as well as the implications of the scientific principles guiding the physical world and their experiences living in it.

Course syllabus:

  • Introduction to cell structures and function
  • Energy transfer and flow
  • Eukaryotic cells and DNA
  • Cell division and heredity

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 10 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

3. Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation

Offered by the American Museum of National History, one of the preeminent scientific, cultural, and education institutions in the world, this course is offered in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a non-profit organization aimed at advancing biomedical research and science education.

This course explores the ecology and ecosystem dynamics with a system thinking lens. Also, it explores how scientists study ecosystems as well as how to investigate the complex collection of factors that facilitate management efforts.

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Furthermore, learners will learn to understand some real-world questions some of which includes:

  • Can an ecosystem recover from anthropogenic disruption?
  • What roles can and should humans play in recovery?

Course Syllabus:

  • Can an ecosystem recover?
  • How do we study populations?
  • How do species coexist?
  • How is an ecosystem a system?
  • Can an ecosystem recover?

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 9


Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

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4. Genes and the Human Condition (From Behavior to Biotechnology)

This course is offered by the University of Maryland, College Park, the state’s flagship university, which also doubles as one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities.

The course aims at providing an understanding of the basic concepts of genomics, and biotechnology as well as their implications for human biology, medicine, evolution, social policy, and the choices of individual life paths in the 21st century.

Course syllabus:

  • Introduction to genetics
  • Know thy ancestors
  • My genes made me do it
  • Mid-term exams
  • My genes made me do it
  • An introduction to genetic engineering and learning the lingo
  • The future is now
  • Final exam

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 12 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

5. The Exposome: cracking the science about what makes us sick

This course is offered by the Utrecht University, a university established in 1636, set in the heart of the Netherlands, and doubles as one of the top leading research universities in Europe. 

Also, the university is prominent for its high-quality, teaching and innovative approach to research. 

This course is taught by 7 expert researchers from the Utrecht University and the NWO Gravitation programme Exposome-NL.

It explores the Expoome concept:

  • Why it is important
  • How the exposome is measured
  • The data sciences steps are required to establish associations with health outcomes.

In conclusion, the course reflects what is needed to improve this nascent and transformative field of research. 

Course syllabus:

  • Introduction to the exposome concept
  • The transformative power of exposome approaches: using the example of cardiovascular disease research.
  • The external exposome: methodological approaches
  • The internal exposome: methodological approaches
  • Data science steps for analyzing exposome data
  • Future perspectives and the next generation of studies

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 15 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

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6. Bioinformatics Specialization

This course is offered by the University of California San Diego, an academic powerhouse and economic engine, known as one of the top public universities by the United States News and World Report.

The course provides a journey to the frontier of computational biology and aims at helping learners master bioinformatics software and computational approaches in modern biology.

In addition, the course offers the following questions:

  • How are sequences and genomes compared?
  • How is the genetic basis for disease occupied?
  • How is the evolutionary tree of life constructed for all species on earth?

While at that, this course offers learners a toolkit of existing software resources built on these computational approaches which are daily used by thousands of biologists in one of the tops and fast-growing fields in science.

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Furthermore, the course does not require that you have a prior experience in programming in order to complete it. However, if you want to learn to program, the course features an “Honors Track.”

The Honors Track, also known as the “Hacker Track” allows learners to implement the bioinformatics they will encounter in the automatically graded coding challenges in the course.

Also, learners would have become bioinformatics software professionals upon completing the Honors Track.

Course Syllabus:

  • Find hidden messages in DNA (Bioinformatics 1)
  • Genome sequencing (Bioinformatics 2)
  • Comparing genes, proteins, and genomes (Bioinformatics 3)
  • Molecular evolution (Bioinformatics 4)
  • Genomic data science and clustering (Bioinformatics 5)
  • Finding mutations in DNA and proteins (Bioinformatics 6)
  • Bioinformatics capstone: big data in biology.

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 9 months

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

7. Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution

This course, also one of the top free online courses in biology with certificates, is offered by the University of Alberta (UAlberta), a university considered one of the top universities in Canada. Also, it doubles as one of the leading public research and teaching-intensive universities in the world. 

The course comprises a four-lesson course aimed at teaching an extensive overview of the origin of vertebrates.

It explores the diversity of paleozoic lineages within a phylogenetic and evolutionary framework. Also, the course analyzes the evolution of primary vertebrate novelties, which include the origins of fins, tetrapod limbs, and jaws.

Furthermore, the course explores key Canadian fossil localities, which include the following:

  • Burgess Shale (British Columbia)
  • Miguasha (Quebec)
  • Man on the Hill (Northwest Territories)

Course syllabus:

  • The Phanerozoic begins
  • Learning to swim
  • Learning to bite
  • And learning to walk

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 7 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

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8. Introduction to Forensic Science

This course is offered by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), a young and research-intensive university that doubles as the 1st among the world’s best young universities and is ranked 13th globally.

This course aims to provide an in-depth explanation and knowledge about the scientific principles and techniques behind the work of forensic scientists. Also, this explanation will be illustrated with several case studies from Singapore as well as around the world.

Furthermore, the course aims to answer the following questions:

  • How did forensics come about? What is the role of forensics in police work? Can these methods be used in non-criminal areas?
  • Blood. What is it? How can traces of blood be found and used in evidence?
  • Is DNA chemistry really so powerful?
  • What happens (biologically and chemically) if someone tries to poison me? What happens if I try to poison myself?
  • How can we tell how long someone has been dead? What if they have been dead for a really long time?
  • Can a little piece of a carpet fluff, or a single hair, convict someone?
  • Was Emperor Napoleon murdered by the perfidious British, or killed by his wallpaper?

Course syllabus:

  • Information
  • Introduction to forensic science
  • Chemical analysis
  • Time of death: blood
  • DNA in forensics
  • Fingerprinting: polymers and fibers: firearms
  • Narcotics
  • Toxicology
  • Case studies

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 18 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

9. Introduction to Genomic Technologies

This course is offered by Johns Hopkins University, one o the top leading university aimed at educating its students and cultivating their capacity for lifelong learning as well as encouraging independent and original research. Also, to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.

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This course provides an introduction to the core biology of modern genomics as well as the experimental tools used in measuring it. 

Also, it introduces the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology and covers how next-generation sequencing can be employed to measure DNA, RNA as well as epigenetic patterns.

Furthermore, the course offers in-depth knowledge about how data from next-generation sequencing experiments can be generated and analyzed.

Course syllabus:

  • Course overview
  • Measurement technology
  • Computing technology
  • Data science technology

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 6 hours

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

10. Biology Everywhere Specialization

Also, one of the best free online courses in biology with certificates, this course is offered by the University of Colorado Boulder. Colorado Boulder is a dynamic community of learners and scholars recognized as one of the most exceptional college campuses in the country.

This course aims to bridge the gap between traditional biology classes and the practical knowledge the world needs. In the course modules, a different concept of biology is examined and related to some actual-world issues and experiences in order to show why the science of life is important in our daily experience.

Some of the subjects covered in this course include introductory biology classes like genetics, ecology, and the unique interdisciplinary topics like the relationship between the arts and biology.

Course syllabus:

  • Biology everywhere foundations
  • The little stuff: energy, cells, and genetics
  • The big stuff: evolution and ecology
  • Specialty topics: biology across disciplines

By the end of the course, learners would have learned:

  • How to apply concepts like cell biology, conversation, and genetics to your everyday life
  • How to relate parts of your everyday experience to biology
  • Have gained the ability to recognize and explain current biological issues in modern society.
  • How to relate the study of biology to other fields like business, chemistry, and arts.

Course Provider: Coursera

Duration:    Approximately 5 months

Cost:   Free

Certificate:  Yes  

FAQs Free Online Courses in Biology

Where can I learn biology for free?

This article offers a list of the best free online courses in biology with certificates.

Where can I study biology online?

Coursera. There are free online courses in biology with certificates offered on Coursera by the following universities:

The University of Colorado Boulder
Johns Hopkins University
Utrecht University
The University of Maryland, College Park
American Museum of National History in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore)
University of California San Diego
University of Alberta (UAlberta)
Duke University
University of North Texas

Which biology course is best?

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution
Contemporary Biology
Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation
Genes and the Human Condition (From Behavior to Biotechnology)
The Exposome: cracking the science about what makes us sick
Bioinformatics Specialization
Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution
Introduction to Forensic Science
Introduction to Genomic Technologies
Biology Everywhere Specialization


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