Compare Courses

Traditional course Outlier

Cost per course

$2,400 on average

Cost per course

$400

Credits

3-5 credits from your school

Credits

3 transferable credits from University of Pittsburgh

Risk

Pay full price after the drop deadline

Risk

Full refund if you do the work but don't pass

Format

In-person, Zoom, or pre-recorded lectures

Format

Immersive, interactive digital experience

Instructors

1 per class

Instructors

Multiple per class

Lectures

Specific time and place

Lectures

On-demand, anywhere

Exams

Specific hour

Exams

Flexible window

Explore courses

Dr. Tim Chartier Ph.D.

Davidson College

Immersive Courses

Cinema-quality video, interactive learning exercises, and the most engaging instructors from schools like Yale, NYU, Cornell, and MIT.

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Dr. Hannah Fry Ph.D.

University College London

Purposefully Affordable

Our mission is to increase access to quality education and reduce student debt.

Each course costs just $400 ($2,000 less than the US average).

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Now enrolling for May 26th

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The Frontline Workers Scholarship

Brought to you by

We are proud to offer 1000 frontline workers free tuition (worth $400) for an Outlier course of their choice. The simple application takes minutes, so apply today!

Learn more

Hear from our alumni

  • Rachel B.

    Rachel B.

    Intro to Psychology

    “I love that I can do the work when it is most convenient for me.”

  • Daniel M.

    Daniel M.

    Intro to Psychology

    “Overall very slick. Good learning flow, from lectures, to active learning to quizzes. Makes for a good learning experience.”

  • Lexi T.

    Lexi T.

    Calculus I

    “Everyone is responsive, accommodating, and friendly.”

Transferable credits from a top 60 school

Earn credits from acclaimed University of Pittsburgh for maximum transferability

Full refund if you do the work and don't pass

If you’ve put in the time and effort to do all the work for a course but do not receive a passing grade, that’s on us and you will receive a full refund. You may also exit the course before the drop deadline to receive a full refund (12 days from start for 14-week courses, and 3 days from start for 7-week intensive courses).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • They’re $400 per course, for now. We’re committed to keeping costs low for students, but can’t guarantee this introductory price forever, so if you want to enjoy the world’s best online courses for 80% less than the average IRL college course, enroll ASAP!

    We’ve also recently partnered with Klarna to make Outlier even more affordable: now you can split your payment over 18 months, with 0% interest (that’s on us), meaning you can take an Outlier course for as low as $89 per month. 

    We’re proud to cover any student’s interest as part of our commitment to make education more accessible and fight student debt.


  • Yes, you can be anywhere in the universe with wifi, a laptop or desktop computer (tablets, Chromebook and cell phones do not meet our requirements) and you'll be able to complete the course.

  • If you've put in the time and effort to do all the work for the course but do not receive a passing grade, that's on us and you will receive a full refund! You may also exit the course before the drop deadline to receive a full refund (12 days from start for 14-week courses, and 3 days from start for 7-week intensive courses). For more information on refunds please refer to our Refund Policy.

  • Tutoring sessions will be scheduled to maximize compatibility with students’ schedules and availability. Exams are each open to take for a set window of time (usually several days); however, all other course materials are available to you from the time the course opens through the end of the final exam window.

  • We are excited to be partnering with the University of Pittsburgh for our courses. Upon successful completion, you will receive 3 college semester credits from the University of Pittsburgh, transferrable to other colleges and universities subject to review and approval by the receiving institution.

    When you transfer your credits, it will come as an official transcript from the University of Pittsburgh. The course syllabus will include the specific course numbers.

    Not sure how to approve your credits or where to start? We’ve created a Transfer Credit Tool Kit for each step you would need to complete when approving and transferring your credits (checklist included).

    Once you've completed the course, you may request a transcript from the University of Pittsburgh and they will send an official E-Transcript to your school of choice.

  • In order to avoid putting students solely at the mercy of cold, unfeeling robots, Outlier uses a hybrid approach to proctor exams, with both AI proctoring software and human review to ensure the academic integrity of our students while also avoiding false negatives. Our AI software only flags *possible* breaches of academic integrity. Then, the Outlier team reviews by hand each and every possible problem flagged by the software to make a determination. To learn more, read our Academic Integrity Policy. If you have further questions, the team at hello@outlier.org is always standing by to help. 

  • Yes, we welcome international students from most countries, subject to certain limited restrictions under U.S. trade law.

  • The talented faculty at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

  • Outlier is currently offering 1,000 scholarships for frontline workers who are staying on the job during the  COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients get a free Outlier course of their choice, redeemable until November 19, 2022 (two years from the scholarship’s launch). 

    This scholarship is available for the first 1,000 eligible applicants who complete a simple questionnaire and short video submission.

    Learn more here.

  • If you have a request for reasonable disability accommodations, contact support@outlier.org. Please include specifics regarding the accommodation you are seeking. Additionally, if you have a disability accommodations letter from a school you are currently attending, you may send that to us as well.

    Outlier is committed to ensuring that learners with accessibility needs have equal opportunity to succeed in our courses.

  • While Outlier’s sole founding vision is to drive massive social impact by tackling education accessibility and student debt, we are indeed a for-profit, venture-backed company. This is by design: while founding Outlier, after a ton of research and discussions with foundations, it became clear to our team that developing a market-based solution (rather than relying on charity) to increase educational access is actually a faster and more durable solution for an urgent and tenacious social problem. 

    For organizations focused on improving education, self-sufficiency matters, and here’s one big reason why: non-profit donations have a tendency to dry up during economic downturns, which is precisely when society needs to increase access to education to invest in a more prosperous future. 

    That said, it’s important that we acknowledge that in the world of higher-ed, the term “for-profit” carries with it additional baggage: many “For-profit Colleges” of yesteryear took advantage of their students with little regard for their actual education and success. This was a dark chapter in the history of higher-ed, and very much contributed to the problem we’re working so hard to solve. 

    Outlier’s goal is student-centric and aimed at access, not profit, and solving such a massive societal problem will certainly generate plenty of value. You can see this ethos in action in initiatives like Outlier’s purposefully low pricing, and unprecedented-in-higher-education refund policy: our courses are free if a student does all the work and still doesn’t pass—that’s our failure, and students shouldn’t pay for that. We’re putting our money where our mouth is. 

    TLDR: Yes, we’re for-profit, because we believe it is the faster and most sustainable way to make the biggest social impact. 

    When you are curious about an organization’s intentions, whether for-profit or non-profit, the easiest way to see their intentions is by their actions. We invite you to judge us by our actions.

  • Universal Basic Education: creating a world where anyone who wants to be educated and prove it with a diploma, can. For now, that looks like creating introductory courses from the first two years of college, so students can save money, get an excellent education, and then transfer their credits into another institution to finish their degree there, whether it’s a 4 year degree or an associate’s. 

    Not everyone needs to take Outlier courses, but everyone should have the option to. 

    For the record, we think the residential college experience can offer profound benefits for many of those who choose to (and are fortunate enough to be able to afford to) undertake it, but it’s not realistic to think everyone can or wants to make that hefty investment of time and money.

    By lowering the barriers to entry and dramatically reducing the cost while increasing the overall quality, especially for those first two years of college, we will have the impact of making the higher ed space more accessible and equitable and, most importantly, pass that equity and accessibility on to our students.

  • Early on in the process of designing Outlier, we found that many students use their laptops late at night, and don’t feel like staring into a lightbulb. Too much white in the background of videos and active learning would be fatiguing and unpleasant. We also think it’s pretty neat that we decided to do this before Apple shifted everything to dark mode.

  • We recommend students have earned at least a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. You must be 13 or older and willing to commit yourself academically to enroll in our courses. Students attempting Outlier courses should be ready for the academic rigor of college-level coursework. Be sure to pick the right Outlier courses for both your ability and your long-term goals.

  • Unlike most things that sound too good to be true, this is for real — $400 for 3 college credits that you can transfer to your school of choice. Our team has been working tirelessly to build a product that will make world-class education more equitable and more accessible, and change the way people define excellent education.

  • “Beta” is how we designate the first few real-world cohorts of any new course we launch. The course and materials have been created to our exacting quality standards, but like any good course are improved and modified with each class that goes through it to adjust to the student base. A “beta” period gives us the chance to tinker with pacing, improve the clarity, and fine-tune our Student Support for the course. It also lets you know that we welcome any and all feedback from you and you may find your requests swiftly applied. Your Outlier Beta course will still get you the same outcomes & credits as any other Outlier course, plus maybe a little extra attention from our Student Success team as they learn about how the course is working and if there’s anything we can do to make it better.