Astrophysics Free Online Course by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

EPFL is offering free online course on Introduction to Astrophysics. The material in this course is essential to follow more advanced astrophysics courses.

In this course, applicants will learn about the physical phenomena at play in astronomical objects and link theoretical predictions to observations. The course will start on April 1, 2017.

Course At A Glance

Length: 7 weeks
Effort: 2-4 hours pw
Subject: Science
Institution: EPFL and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $50
Session: Course Starts on April 1, 2017

Providers’ Details

EPFL is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The past decade has seen EPFL ascend to the very top of European institutions of science and technology: it is ranked #1 in Europe in the field of engineering by the Times Higher Education (based on publications and citations), Leiden Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

About This Course

How can we study the Universe we live in using the only available information it provides us with: light? This course provides an overview of the physical phenomena at play in the astronomical objects surrounding us, from planets and stars to the cosmic filaments, from galaxies such as our own Milky Way to large galaxy clusters. The course emphasizes the links between theoretical predictions and observations.

Why Take This Course?

In this course, you will learn the basics of astrophysics using simplified mathematical developments. In particular, you will learn the role played by gravity in astrophysics, including gravitational lensing, and how matter and radiation interact. The material in this course is essential to follow more advanced astrophysics courses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Influence of gravity on celestial bodies
  • Matter-radiation interactions
  • Star formation and evolution
  • Basics of cosmology


Frédéric Courbin, Senior Scientist

Vivien Bonvin, Doctoral Assistant

Thibault Kuntzer, Doctoral Assistant

Pierre North, Senior Scientist

Yves Revaz, Scientist


Physics and Maths (1st year of bachelor):

  • Trigonometry
  • Derivatives and Taylor expansions
  • Integral calculus
  • 1st order differential equations

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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