About Academic Earth

Academic Earth believes that everyone has the right to a world-class education. Recognizing the existing barriers in academia, we continue our efforts to curate an unparalleled collection of free online courses from the world's top universities. Moving forward, we honor the egalitarian spirit of Academic Earth's founders as we develop a platform to facilitate the global sharing of ideas, both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to our comprehensive collection of free online college courses, Academic Earth features an ongoing series of original videos. These videos tap into our belief that a great deal of learning happens outside the classroom in those unstructured moments when provocative questions are raised, debated, and sometimes answered. We embrace intellectual curiosity and encourage the Academic Earth community to share our videos to launch their own discussions. After all, only through questioning the world around us, can we come to better understand it.


In 2008, Richard Ludlow, Chris Bruner, and Liam Pisano, founded Academic Earth with the mission of giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education. Backed by an angel investor group, including four Yale professors, Honest Tea founder Barry Nalebuff, and Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin, Academic Earth stood instrumental in the online learning revolution.

Recognizing the critical role of the Internet in supporting their mission, the founders set out to develop an interactive web-based platform for users to actively engage with free online education resources from the world's top universities. The site continues to evolve in response to rapidly changing educational technology.

In 2012, Academic Earth was acquired by CMN.com, a leader in consumer driven-content strategy with a strong online presence in higher education. Under the new ownership, Academic Earth gains the expertise and resources invaluable to refining its learning platform while better connecting users with premier, web-based educational content.

Academic Earth holds true to its original mission of giving everyone access to a world-class education.

Academic Earth is headquartered in Houston, TX.



Members of the media may direct inquiries to Academic Earth's site manager, Stephanie Snider, email us at contact@academicearth.org, or call us at (281) 846-3073.


In the News

Academic Earth has cornered the market on free online education by making a smorgasbord of online course content – from prestigious universities such as Stanford and Princeton – accessible and free to anyone in the world.

These are not cut-up dumbed-down introductions made zippy for today's short attention spans, they are the full-length lectures that you would see if you were an undergraduate at Yale, Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton or Stanford.

It's been years since I was in school, and I've got few fond memories of going to class. But Academic Earth is unexpectedly irresistible. It's like Hulu, but for nerds.

On the new site Academic Earth you can watch lectures on physics from M.I.T., or catch a Yale history course on the origins of World War I, or see a U.C. Berkeley professor cradle a brain while she talks about human anatomy.

From the Blogs

Even if you can't nail down an admission into one of the Ivy League institutions you can still take advantage of the intellectual and professional (and free!) resources that many of these have to offer on their respective websites…

Even if you can't nail down an admission into one of the Ivy League institutions you can still take advantage of the intellectual and professional (and free!) resources that many of these have to offer on their respective websites…

What you'll see here is an impressive early implementation of where Academic Earth plans to go. Take content-rich videos from universities, organize the videos well, make the visual experience attractive, add personal customization functionality and the ability to engage with the content, and you have a very useful service to bring to the world.

I'm optimistic that we will continue to realize the amazing potential of the Internet for doing good. What Academic Earth is trying to accomplish is one reason why I feel that way.

At Academic Earth, we try to be as transparent as possible about how we make money. While we strive to provide information on a range of programs that match students' academic and professional goals, we do receive compensation from certain partner schools. These schools are clearly labeled throughout our site as "Sponsored," "Featured," or something similar.

Information regarding sponsored schools, including tuition cost, financial aid offerings, and program availability, is provided by the school itself and has not been independently verified by our company.