Learn with Hillsdale, and deepen your understanding of the great ideas of Western Civilization.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.”
That’s why Hillsdale has become a national leader in free online courses. In fact, we average more than 1,000 enrollments per day across all our courses. And our most popular course—“Constitution 101”—now has more than 800,000 students around the world.
You’ll study with the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on our campus. It’s a great way to experience aspects of Hillsdale’s Core Curriculum, as well as learn from some of today’s best teacher-scholars in the fields of politics, history, economics, and English.
American Heritage–From Colonial Settlement to the Current Day
On July 4, 1776, America—acting under the authority of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—declared its independence from Great Britain. The new nation, founded on the principle that “all Men are created equal,” eventually grew to become the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world. This course will consider the history of America from the colonial era to the present, including major challenges to the Founders’ principles.
Introduction to the Constitution
This is a five-part introductory lecture series by Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn focusing on the Constitution of the United States.
The Meaning & History of the Constitution
This course will introduce you to the meaning and history of the United States Constitution. The course will examine a number of original source documents from the Founding period, including especially the Declaration of Independence and The Federalist Papers. The course will also consider two significant challenges to the Founders’ Constitution: the institution of slavery and the rise of Progressivism.
The Progressive Rejection of the Founding and the Rise of Bureaucratic Despotism
These nine lectures are a continuation of Constitution 101: The Meaning & History of the Constitution. These lectures will focus on the importance of the principles of the American Founding and the current assault on them by the Progressives.
The Presidency and the Constitution
This course will help you understand the structure and function of executive power in the American constitutional order. The course begins with the place of the president in the constitutionalism of the Founding Fathers and examines how that role has changed with the rise of the modern Progressive administrative state.
The Federalist Papers
Written between October 1787 and August 1788, The Federalist Papers is a collection of newspaper essays written in defense of the Constitution. This course will explore major themes of The Federalist Papers, such as the problem of majority faction, separation of powers, and the three branches of government.
Winston Churchill and Statesmanship
Winston Churchill was the greatest statesman of the twentieth century, and one of the greatest in all of history. A close study of Churchill’s words and deeds offers timeless lessons about the virtues, especially prudence, required for great statesmanship.
Public Policy from a Constitutional Viewpoint
The American Founders wrote a Constitution that established a government limited in size and scope. By contrast, early Progressives rejected the notion of fixed limits on government, and their political descendants continue today to seek an ever-larger role for the federal bureaucracy. In light of this ongoing disagreement over the purpose of government, this course will consider contemporary public policy issues from a constitutional viewpoint.
The U.S. Supreme Court
Article III of the U.S. Constitution vests the judicial power “in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” According to Federalist 78, the judicial branch “will always be the least dangerous” to the liberty of the American people. Yet, judicial decisions have done much to advance a Progressive agenda that poses a fundamental threat to liberty. This course will consider several landmark Supreme Court cases in relation to the Founders’ Constitution.
Great Books 101
Ancient to Medieval
This course will introduce you to great books from antiquity to the medieval period. You will explore the writings of Homer, St. Augustine, Dante, and more. This course will challenge you to seek timeless lessons regarding human nature, virtue, self-government, and liberty in the pages of the great books.
Great Books 102
Renaissance to Modern
This course will introduce you to great books from the Renaissance through the modern era. You will explore the writings of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Austen, Twain, and more. This course will challenge you to seek timeless lessons regarding human nature, virtue, self-government, and liberty in the pages of the great books.
Shakespeare: Hamlet and The Tempest
One of the world’s greatest poets, William Shakespeare is the author of plays that have been read and performed for more than 400 years. A close study of his works reveals timeless lessons about human nature, which offer a mirror for examining one’s own character.
From the Book of Genesis to John Locke
This course will focus on key aspects of the beginning of Western Civilization and its Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian heritage.
From Colonial Settlement to the Current Day
This course will consider the history of America from the colonial era to the present, including major challenges to the Founders’ principles.
Athens and Sparta
This course will consider life and government in Athens and Sparta, examine their respective roles in the Persian and Peloponnesian War, and offer some conclusions regarding their continuing relevance.
An Introduction to C.S. Lewis
Writings and Significance
C.S. Lewis was the greatest Christian apologist of the twentieth century. He was also the author of works of fiction, including the Chronicles of Narnia, and of philosophy, including The Abolition of Man. This course will consider Lewis’s apologetics and his fiction, as well as his philosophical and literary writings, and their continuing significance today.
The Western Theological Tradition
The Western theological tradition stretches back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Hebrews. This tradition has had a profound impact on the development of Western Civilization as a whole. This course will consider the origins and development of Western religious theology from the Old Testament through the twentieth century.
A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education
Theory and Practice
The American Founders recognized the central importance of education for the inculcation of the kind of knowledge and character that is essential to the maintenance of free government. This course will consider the older understanding of the purpose of education, the more recent Progressive approach that has become dominant today, and some essential elements of K-12 education.
The Principles of Free Market Economics
This course will focus on the foundational principles of the free market. Topics include the relationship of supply and demand, the “information problem” behind the failure of central planning, the rise of macroeconomics under the influence of John Maynard Keynes, and the 2008 financial crisis.