The edX free online college class initiative has announced that they are adding another leading learning institution to their lineup; University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Offering classes in artificial intelligence and software as service, UC Berkeley joins the already prestigious lineup of Harvard and MIT in providing free online college courses that are open to all who want to take them.

UC Berkeley offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to its enrolled students. Located in Berkeley, California, UC Berkeley was founded in 1868 and is considered the flagship university of the entire University of California system. UC Berkeley’s alumni, researchers and faculty are as prestigious as the university, with recipients in all three categories winning a combined 11 Pulitzer Prizes, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 70 Nobel Prizes, 20 Academy Awards, 9 Wolf Prizes, 15 Turning Awards and 7 Field Medals. Additionally, UC Berkeley researchers and the Berkeley Lab are responsible for the discovery of 16 chemical elements (more than any other university in the world), including 6 chemical elements of the periodic table: Einsteinium, Berkelium, Californium, Seaborgium, Fermium and Lawrencium.

The edX website is a joint initiative by MIT and Harvard and is available to anyone who wants to advantage of the program. It is completely free, all students need is a good Internet connection and an hour or two each week to take their online classes. The goal of this initiative, from the beginning, has been that other universities would join the initiative, so the addition of UC Berkeley is a welcome one. While there are no actual college credits offered for these free classes, edX has begun rolling out a Certificate of Mastery option, to show that the student completed the course successfully. The certificate will be from edX, not the institution from which the course originated.

UC Berkeley’s introduction to the edX program will begin with two courses: Artificial Intelligence, and Software as a Service. The free online college class on Artificial Intelligence introduces the fundamental ideas and techniques behind the design of intelligent computer systems. The course will emphasize the statistical and decision-theoretic modeling paradigm. The Software as Service course will cover the fundamentals for creating software that is long-lived, utilizing techniques to develop Software as a Service using Ruby on Rails.

To learn more about the edX free online college course program, visit their website.