Carnegie Mellon University

Online Language Programs for Learners

Flexible and affordable online courses in French and Spanish for independent learners. Designed by experts in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages

Are you an independent learner wanting to learn French, or Spanish? Are you finding it hard to get motivated or maintain consistency with learning through apps or other materials? Carnegie Mellon University's independent language courses from the Open Learning Initiative are a great tool to help you take your language skills to the next level.

There are two options for independent language learning through the Open Learning Initiative at CMU: self-paced courses and instructor-led courses.

Please note: If you're a current Carnegie Mellon student, please explore our current course offerings to find out about language courses you can take for CMU course credit.

Option 1: Self-Paced Language Study ($10 per course)

Access our independent learner online language courses for only $10. This auto-graded course is a great opportunity if you:

  • Already have some knowledge of the language you would like to study
  • Are a self-starter and are looking to improve your listening and reading skills
  • Have a plan to pace yourself through the materials 
  • Have already learned other languages and feel comfortable figuring out grammatical patterns on your own.

Option 2: Instructor guided language study ($50 per course)

Spring 2023 registration is now open!

With Fall (August-December) and Spring (January-May) options and a limited number of users per course, you will be part of a language learning cohort community led by an instructor. In addition to what you get for the self-paced language study (option 1 above), you will also receive: 

  • A 14-week course with auto-graded materials
  • A weekly live class (60 minutes) on Zoom with an expert language instructor
  • Weekly cohort emails with suggested pacing and links to external resources
  • Access to an instructor to email for any questions you may have about grammar, vocabulary, and/or culture
  • A certificate or certificate with distinction (based on your progress through the course)

Student Feedback

“The professor was supportive, understanding, always prepared. Excellent communication and felt like she really wanted her students to succeed and learn."

“It has been a very positive and motivating experience. It has given me new knowledge of French and I would without any doubt recommend it to anyone who asks me.” 

“The audio and video is authentic and challenges the learner to work on comprehension of listening to native speakers at their usual tempo.” 

“I have fun speaking French now and can actually laugh! Thanks!!”
Screenshot of Spanish vocabulary exercise
Spanish vocabulary exercise
Screenshot of Spanish cooking lesson with text, audio, and images
Cooking lesson in Spanish
Screenshot of French intonation activity
French intonation activity
Screenshot of French Listen & Type activity
French "Listen & Type" activity