Free short courses!

By: Bethany Richardson


There are a variety of avenues to gain knowledge outside of the classroom, such as with webinars from IFT.  A few months ago I participated in the Office Politics Webcast from IFT, which was very helpful for someone who is looking for a job and will be learning how to navigate the corporate atmosphere.  However, I’d like to introduce you to another online learning experience: Coursera (  A friend recently recommended Coursera to me, which is a company that collaborates with universities worldwide to help offer free short courses in a variety of subjects, including many in food and nutrition. Upcoming courses in the food and nutrition category include public health & the US food system, principles of obesity economics, and the science of gastronomy.  In addition, there are a variety of other courses outside the food concentration that may be helpful, such as personal finance, developing innovative ideas for new companies, and introduction to data science.


Have you ever used Coursera? Or do you have other suggestion for out-of-the-classroom learning experiences?


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Science Meets Food

The IFT Student Association (IFTSA) is a forward-looking, student-governed community of IFT members. Through competitions, scholarships, networking, and leadership opportunities, you’ll set yourself apart from your classmates (unless they’re members too).


  1. What a great resource! I have never heard of it..I bet the science of gastronomy would be interesting!

  2. Wow this site is awesome! I’d probably take the “Economic Issues, Food, & You” course. One of my 2013 goals is to understand the farm bill and how it works.

  3. I am a Coursera user and they offer amazing courses. I would strongly encourage taking courses from Coursera especially food and nutrition related ones. Class starting in 2 week time- register now! See you during class.

  4. Udacity ( is another great resource for short courses. It is similar to Coursera with a more technology centered course catalog. Starting the end of January there is a basic statistics course being offered. I am looking forward to brushing up on those skills for sensory work!

  5. edX is a collaboration of Harvard, MIT and other universities that offer free online courses based on the courses taught on campus. They have some diverse subjects such as public health, circuitry and computer programming. I also use CDC Train which is done by CDC. It has many different public health and food hygiene courses which are interesting if you are into regulatory work.

  6. Thanks. I’m actually on causera already. I would that Science of gastronomy

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