Dear PoPville – Suggestions about where to take affordable classes?

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“Dear PoPville,

Do your readers have any suggestions about where to take affordable classes in DC? What’s the best option- UDC, community centers, private organizations? I’m looking for something new, so the topic is less important at this point. Could be language, graphic design, art, etc. Just looking for some new hobbies. Thanks!”

We spoke about where to take some foreign language courses here.

Today I got an email from a group called Knowledge Commons DC – you can find info on their free classes here.

Does anyone else have suggestions for other spots and other general education classes?

30 Comment

  • MIT and maybe Stanford have free online courses.

  • Open Culture has lots of free online classes from various universities:

  •, formerly the Department of Agriculture

    They’re hosted at L’Enfant. I took an Intro Russian course there and quite liked it. I think it was approximately $400.

    • +100 The Graduate School is the place to go.

    • +1, I took language classes there for about $370 a pop and really enjoyed them. They also have a wide selection of business/tech classes.

    • I’ve taken several different language classes there, but I felt that in general, the instructors were too slack. For most of the classes I took, there was no homework. One had no syllabus or final exam.

      I’m thinking about checking out the GLN classes mentioned in the December 2010 PoP post linked in the intro to this one…

      • +101

        i used to work in their international division, managing a fulbright grant from the department of state. there are no big bells and whistles but their courses are solid, and the professors are actually awesome. they’re devoted to “adult education”, so.. there are no goofy things like pop quizes. they assume you’re already motivated. if you are, then you can’t beat ’em for the greater washington area.

  • arlington adult education has a pretty wide array of classes that are pretty reasonably priced.

  • The Graduate School (used to be aligned with USDA) and since they assumed the assets of Southeastern University they have a widening range of classes. Usually around $350-$400 a class, for 2 credits.

  • andy

    i heard about some guys offering a “free stress test” and something about “auditing.”

  • Without knowing what topic you’re interested in it’s hard to say – just an FYI that I’m taking a class at UDC this semester and it’s ending up costing alot more than I expected (they charged me an orientation fee as a new student even though I did not attend an orientation, and they’re charging me a “part-time” fee even though I had applied for non-degree-seeking status). Apparently their staff responds best if you show up in person, so don’t be surprised if you contact them and emails and voicemails are not returned.

  • Does anyone have any experience with classes/programs through DPR, educational or otherwise?

    • I took an advanced Spanish course. It’s very informal, but the teacher is lovely and the class is small. I believe it was $80 for 10 weeks.

  • binpetworth

    If you have any interest in creative writing, the Bethesda Writers’ Center has great classes.

  • I know that George Washington University offers really cheap classes to alumni. I was able to take a full semester university class in intro to website design a year ago for about $100.

  • em

    The Graduate School is good if you are just starting out in a subject. I took Hindi and it was fine for the first few semesters, but language one night a week for three hours isn’t great if you want to move toward fluency. A co-worker had signed up for a Graduate School writing class this semester, but ended up dropping it because it was too simplistic.

  • If you’re looking for language, I definitely recommend GLN.

  • for art:
    DC Glassworks
    Washington Glass School
    Montgomery College
    Montpelier Arts Center
    Torpedo Factory

  • check us out at the fridge dc [dot] com. we offer classes at $20 in our ongoing partnership with albus cavus artist collective! this sunday 2-4pm is a drawing workshop with our current feature artist, ben tolman. full schedule of monthly, and weekly classes online soon!

    fun with amazing artists for $20 suggested donation, in the gallery on on mural walls around dc. all ages and novices welcomed. supplies included. fun!

  • This has been a good resource. I’ve been wondering the same thing. Though, I’m kinda bummed I missed the Finnish class. GLN hasn’t offered it the last few semesters. I’d love to find a few people interested in taking that.

  • You can try DC Public Library for free classes:
    Most will be one session classes, but it may be good for someone interested in taking up a new hobby – they have classes for things like crocheting, knitting, chess, and lots of other random stuff.

  • That’s it for art classes? All of those options turned up next to nothing. DC’s wonky square-ness rears its ugly head again. :-/

    • you looked in to all these places
      DC Glassworks
      Washington Glass School
      Montgomery College
      Montpelier Arts Center
      Torpedo Factory
      hinckley pottery
      DC Public Library
      fridge dc
      and found nothing?

      that’s really hard to believe.
      what exactly are you looking for?

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