Want to brush up on your calculus? In this guide, we’ve listed some of the best online calculus courses you can take.
Calculus is considered to be a difficult entry point for high-level mathematics. Online calculus courses are helpful for college students looking for tutoring, returning students trying to get college credit, and home learners seeking self-improvement. These classes typically include online video lessons and sample problems to help you fully understand the material.
Choose a calculus class appropriate to your current level of education. All of these courses require a basic understanding of algebra. Start with precalculus if you have no experience with this subject; otherwise, you can jump straight into a course that starts with limits and continues through differential equations.
1. Introduction to Calculus from the Unversity of Sydney (Coursera)
School: University of Sydney
The University of Syndey offers a simple, five-week course that will introduce you to the fundamentals of calculus. The course is taught by David Easdown, one of the University’s Associate Professors. This is an intermediate level class that expects students to have already grasped the basic concepts of algebra.
The first two weeks of this class introduce you to the basic concepts behind precalculus, including elementary functions. In the third week, students learn the definition of tangents, limits, and derivatives. The fourth week focuses on differential calculus, and the fifth week focuses on integral calculus. By the end of the course, you will be able to solve most basic equations and should be prepared to move on to more advanced mathematics.
Coursera offers students the ability to start the class whenever they want and reset deadlines according to their schedule. The total time commitment is 35 hours; you can move through the defined “weeks” at your own pace, but the recommended schedule is 9 hours a week.
- This course covers the basic elements of calculus to the same level as an introductory college class.
- Lessons include videos, readings, and quizzes.
- Students can set personal deadlines according to their schedule.
- Coursera offers a calculus certificate to students who finish the class.
2. Become a Calculus Master (Udemy)
Krista King promises to teach you everything from a Calculus 1 class in this quick and easy Udemy course. The class includes almost 300 lectures to walk you through every step of the process. Krista has a time-saving teaching philosophy and provides students with cheat sheets and helpful tips to go along with her video lessons.
Krista covers four calculus fundamentals: precalculus, limits and continuity, derivatives, and the applications of derivatives. Students like her easy teaching style and thorough explanation of basic concepts. Lessons are accompanied by quizzes to test your knowledge and make sure you’re on track. The final exam at the end confirms that you’re ready to move on to the next class.
This class is a supplementary course. The listed concepts are covered in great detail, but many students find it most effective when taken alongside a college-level class. Krista recommends that you have already taken some Algebra and Trigonometry before attempting this class. Once you complete the course, you can take Calculus 2 to continue receiving her advice.
- This Udemy class includes video lessons, quizzes, notes, and workbooks for even more pratice.
- Concepts range from precalculus to applications of derivatives.
- These videos are recommended as a supplement to get through college-level calculus classes, but anyone can take the class.
3. Calculus 1 from Khan Academy
School: Khan Academy
No rating available
Khan Academy’s Calculus 1 class skips past precalculus and jumps straight into an explanation of limits and continuity. The entire class follows a simple, quiz-based format. Once you answer a certain number of questions correctly, you “level up” and are awarded mastery points. This motivational game-like format helps some students learn math concepts very quickly.
Each lesson is accompanied by a video with a written transcript. Concepts start at limits and continue through the applications of integrals. You are asked to complete a mastery quiz at the end of every section; there is also a Course Challenge at the end of the class to confirm that you have successfully learned the materials.
Khan Academy is a popular online learning program and is completely free to anyone with a computer. If you enjoy the concepts learned in Calculus 1, more lessons are available in Calculus 2; you can also take lessons specifically in Derivative or Integral calculus. There is no instructor specified, so this class lets you learn completely at your own pace.
- All Khan Academy classes are completely free and available online.
- This course lets you level up as you learn more concepts.
- Calculus 1 covers everything from limits to applications of integrals.
- Frequent quizzes and exams make sure you stay on track.
4. Precalculus from Arizona State University (edX)
School: Arizona State University
Length: 15 Weeks
No rating available
Arizona State University offers an online precalculus course that is eligible for college credit. This class is taught through EDX, an online learning method that provides transferable credits accepted by many schools.
This class is self-paced and has a 15-week time commitment. The class is completely free to audit; you can also pay for a Verified Certificate to receive transfer eligibility. The instructors, Adrian Sannier and Sue McClure, are both professors at ASU and teach the class through simple video lectures.
Precalculus covers all types of functions, including linear, logarithmic, and trigonometric. You will learn how to describe the properties of functions, solve problems, and apply the functions to real-world situations. These concepts prepare you to enter a Calculus 1 class; students are recommended to already understand College Algebra before they attempt the course.
- This course is elligible for a calculus certificate and college credit at ASU with a grade of C or better.
- Precaclulus covers all concepts related to functions and prepares you to enter Calculus 1.
- The class takes 15 weeks to complete with an estimated 9 hours of effort per week.
- Students may enroll and learn at their own pace.
5. Step by Step Calculus 1 (Udemy)
Bryant Avila has developed a simple Calculus 1 course that is geared towards visual learners. His simple video lessons teach students how to find limits, manipulate functions, and sketch curves using MATLAB as the chosen calculator software.
Compared to other calculus courses, this class takes an extremely direct, problem-based approach. Students jump straight into functions; you will find yourself exercising basic theory with simple practice problems in only a few short lectures. Bryant’s class covers limits, derivatives, and the applications of differentiation. A large section on curve sketching prepares you to handle the problems discussed in higher-level calculus courses.
Over 1,900 students have taken the Udemy class and the instructor has received excellent ratings. His explanations are concise and effective. You only need a general understanding of Algebra to begin this class; by the end, you will be able to follow along with most other calculus lessons.
- This simple Udemy class uses a hands-on method to get you solving problems right away.
- The course covers functions, derivatives, limits, and curve sketching.
- Students learn to use MATLAB to solve problems.
All calculus classes offer the same information in a different teaching style. Because this material is so difficult, make sure that you understand and feel comfortable with your online instructor.
Math is a subject that can only be understood through application; work through all of the provided practice problems to get the best results from your course. Take things at your own pace, and prioritize understanding over class completion. If you progress steadily, you’ll understand calculus well enough to apply it to the field of your choice.