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Government Courses

Learn about the foundations of government and its role in modern society with free online courses!

Hundreds of great courses at your fingertips

Learn on the go with the new edX mobile app. You can stream or download course videos and watch directly from your iPhone or Android device.

What is Government?

Government is a system for organizing people into functional communities or societies. It consists of laws and either an individual or group of people that rule over the governed, creating order so that a society can operate. Types of government vary, in part, on who holds the power. In a democracy, the people select those in charge through free and open elections and therefore have power over how they are governed. In an autocracy, a single person holds all power and the people governed have no say in the matter. In an aristocracy, the people are governed by a small ruling class. Additional types of government include oligarchy, monarchy and theocracy.

Online Government Courses and Programs

Get an introduction to government with online courses from major universities and institutions worldwide. Edx offers both individual courses and advanced programs designed to help you learn about government in an engaging and effective online learning environment complete with video tutorials, quizzes and more.

Additionally, edX offers the option to pursue verified certificates in courses. The certificate lists edX and the name of the university or institution offering the course and can be uploaded to your LinkedIn profile. It is proof for employers and others that you have successfully completed the course.

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. political system, enroll in American Government from Harvard University. This self-paced course will introduce you to the systems and institutions that make up American federal government. Learn about the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government and gain a better understanding of America’s economic, social and foreign policies. The 16-week online course is taught by Professor Thomas E. Patterson of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Explore additional free online courses in government, international law, human rights and more. Many courses are self-paced so you can enroll and start learning today.