Best Anatomy & Physiology Courses Online [2021]

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Have you watched a show like Grey’s Anatomy or ER and wished that you were one of the doctors saving lives in such an enriching environment? Or have you always found the human body fascinating and wanted to learn more about its functions and why its systems work the way they do? 

If you answered yes, you’ve come to the right place because a course in Anatomy and Physiology is precisely the right place to start. With a course in these two subjects under your belt, you’ve been provided with a good amount of knowledge to give you a sense of what the medical and healthcare industries are like. 

We’ve put together a list of the best Anatomy and Physiology courses available online. The courses on this list include introductory-level content and some intermediate material for more advanced learners in search of a refresher course. 

All of the courses included in our list are certified courses. The certifications are provided by the same online platform that carries the course. 

We have ranked the following courses based on the highest number of 5-star ratings, student reviews, and instructor quality.

The Best Anatomy Courses Online 

Anatomy Specialization (Coursera, conducted by University of Michigan)

Anatomy Specialization

We have ranked this Coursera Specialization at #1 because of the detailed and extensive amount of content covered, its self-paced nature, certification, and several positive student reviews. 

This certified beginner-level Specialization consists of the best anatomy courses available online. It is perfect for high school students looking to pursue a career in medicine and medical students looking for a refresher course in anatomy. It also provides learners with no prior knowledge of anatomy with a solid introduction to the human body’s various systems. 

Conducted by the University of Michigan, this Specialization has seen over 38,000 students. Students have praised the technical professionalism of instruction, the organization of the content, clear presentations, and helpful accompanying quizzes and visual aids. It is self-paced, requires about 4-11 hours of study a week, and is five months long. This Specialization also has a 4.8-star rating on Coursera.

The Specialization consists of four courses:

  • Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems
  • Anatomy: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Urinary Systems
  • Anatomy: Human Neuroanatomy 
  • Anatomy: Gastrointestinal, Reproductive, and Endocrine Systems. 

Please note that while you can audit any of the courses in the Specialization for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable certificate of completion once you have finished all of the courses. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Kathleen Alsup, Glenn M. Fox, and Kelli Sullivan teach this course. They are lecturers and curators in the Division of Anatomical Sciences from the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School. 

Review by Samantha S

“Incredibly informative. I’m a high school graduate with no further education on record beyond that, human body’s various systems, and I found the layout of this course perfect for comprehension, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and be at least a little dedicated. Definitely take this course if interested – having interest helps with comprehension and retention of the information. I also highly recommend the use of note-taking. Thoroughly enjoyed this, thank you.”

Check Course Details

The Best Physiology Course Online 

1. Introductory Human Physiology (Coursera, conducted by Duke University)

Introductory Human Physiology

We’ve ranked this certified physiology course at #1 because, just like the #1 anatomy course mentioned above, this course is the best physiology course online. It is ideal for high school students hoping to pursue a medical career as well as medical students looking for a refresher course in the basics of physiology. We would also recommend taking this course with a good amount of knowledge in biology and chemistry, as this course is not for beginners. 

Our list includes this certified course because of the detailed and extensive amount of material covered, several positive student reviews, and the self-paced nature of the course. 

Over 350,000 students have taken this course conducted by Duke University. Students have praised the detailed and thorough explanations of the human body, the passionate delivery of the instructors, and the helpful accompanying assignments. 

Please note that while you can sign up for this course for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable Certificate of Completion. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Jennifer Carbrey and Emma Jakoi teach this Specialization. They are Assistant Research Professors in the Department of Cell Biology at Duke University. 

Review by Sylvia Q

“Great class – very dense, like drinking from a fire hose, but wow, I learned a lot! I took this just because I wanted to learn more about how the body magically does what it does every day without me thinking about it. I had no prior experience in physiology or anatomy, so this required me to do a LOT of note-taking and a little bit of Googling on the side for further understanding. If a week’s videos totaled 2 hours, I spent about 4-5 getting through them and taking notes. I should add that I did not use the forums regularly, but I saw that many students had and that their questions were answered fairly promptly, often by Emma Jakoi herself. The end-of-unit quizzes always included questions that forced you to apply your new learning to cases, and these could be challenging! Thanks to Duke for making this great class available online for free.”

Check Course Details

2. Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us (Coursera)

We would recommend this certified physiology and anatomy course to those of you working in the healthcare field, lay caregivers, those with an interest in personal healthcare and fitness, and those interested in a career in the healthcare field. While we recommend this course to those mentioned above, this course is for beginners with no prior knowledge of physiology, anatomy, or healthcare. 

Dr. Connie B. Scanga teaches this course. She is a Practice Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Scanga has over 20 years of experience teaching Anatomy and Physiology and has won multiple teaching awards, including the School of Nursing’s Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Teaching in 2006 and the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty in 2009.

Features of the Course: 

  • Six weeks long
  • Requires 2-3 hours of study per week 
  • 42 videos
  • 19 reading materials 
  • Six quizzes
  • Subtitles available in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Czech, Italian, Catalan, Vietnamese, Dutch, German, Russian, English, Spanish
  • Certificate of Completion

Please note that while you can sign up for this course for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable Certificate of Completion. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Pulse and heart rate 
  • Blood pressure 
  • Metabolism 
  • Temperature
  • Respiration rate 
  • Pain 

This course has seen over 246,000 students. It has a 4.8-star rating on Coursera. 26% of former students have also reported that they got a tangible career benefit from this course, while 16% said they earned a promotion or pay increase.

Review by Yusra H:

“The Vital Signs course has an excellent format, particularly the structure of the quizzes offered at the end of each lecture. I found Dr. Scanga very knowledgeable. This was the first time I have sat through a course that I could achieve and understand what I needed without having to go to such desperate lengths of scouring books, journal articles, and the internet to understand all basic and necessary concepts. Many university courses are not as well prepared or taught, and this was a refreshing experience – at long last! I highly recommend it to students who may be struggling in their anatomy and physiology courses. This provides a comprehensive overview/review of everything you generally need to know or for anyone looking to brush up on their basic understanding in the area. However, some general baseline understanding of human biology, anatomy, and physiology is required, so I would not recommend this for novice learners. If so, additional reading and study would be required. An excellent course.”

Check Course Details

3. Anatomy of the Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis (Coursera)

Anatomy of the Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis

Warning: The videos in this course contain images of human dissection and may be disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised. 

This intermediate-level course is perfect for learners starting in the subject of Anatomy who are interested in learning more about the body through practical demonstrations. It is also ideal for those working as medical professionals or considering a career in medicine. 

Three members from Yale School of Medicine teach this course: Charles Duncan, William B. Stewart, and Shanta Kapadia. Dr. Duncan is a Professor of Neurosurgery. He was the co-principal investigator for the Indomethacin Projects to prevent intraventricular hemorrhage in preterm infants, which has been adopted in over 75 countries. Dr. Stewart has taught Anatomy since 1978 and gross anatomy and neurobiology to paramedics, nursing students, physician associates, and medical students. Dr. Kapadia has taught gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical students at Yale for 43 years. She is also one of the most decorated teachers at Yale, having won every teaching and mentorship award presented at Commencement for both Medical and Physician Assistant Students. 

Features of the Course: 

  • Four weeks long 
  • Requires 2-3 hours of study per week 
  • 63 videos 
  • Subtitles available in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, Spanish
  • Certificate of Completion 

Please note that while you can sign up for this course for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable Certificate of Completion. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Relationship between the lungs and the body wall
  • Mediastinum and great vessels
  • Anatomy of the heart
  • Anatomy of the abdomen 
  • Pelvis and perineum 

This course has seen over 54,000 students. It has a 4.8-star rating on Coursera. 11% of former students have also reported that they got a tangible career benefit from this course, while 20% have started new careers after taking this course.

Review by W. P. A.

“I took this course as a review for my course in university called Human Anatomy and Physiology with Pathophysiology. I did not expect to see actual dissections in this course because we were mostly confined to theoretical learning using anatomical models at university. Thank you, Yale University, and I hope there are other courses for the other body systems too!”

Check Course Details

4. Easy Anatomy and Physiology (Platinum Edition) ( Udemy)

Easy Anatomy and physiology

Our next course is for beginners with a high school level knowledge of biology and chemistry. The introductory-level content is perfect for learners in allied health programs like physical therapy, nursing, pre-medicine, and pre-chiropractic studies. 

Dr. Bruce Forciea teaches this course. He has taught college anatomy and physiology full-time for the past 15 years. Dr. Forciea has an affinity towards taking complex scientific concepts and making them accessible and easy to understand through simple explanations and engaging e-learning media. He has also written several books on anatomy and physiology, health and healing, including Unlocking the Healing Code, An Easy Guide to Learning Anatomy and Physiology, and An e-Text of Anatomy and Physiology.

Features of the Course: 

  • Over 11 hours of video footage
  • 125 lectures 
  • One downloadable resource
  • Access on mobile devices and television
  • Certificate of completion 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Cell metabolism 
  • Human body tissues 
  • The nervous system 
  • The skeletal system 
  • Endochondral Ossification
  • The nervous system
  • The sensory system 

This course has seen over 5,000 students, and it has a 4.5-star rating on Udemy.

Review by John Carlo

“This course wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. So it was a pleasant surprise that I couldn’t stop this course!! It was fun, informative, very well structured, and I learned more than if I’d found a course just on the muscular system!”

Check Course Details

5. Human Anatomy for Stroke (edX)

Human Anotomy for Stroke

This next course is a bit different from the others included on our list. The introductory-level content is ideal for beginners interested in anatomy or science students searching for a refresher course in anatomy. You will understand the basic concepts of anatomy and learn how to logically dissect the human body through a stroke’s typical clinical case.

Conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, four members of the faculty teach this course. 

  • Dr. John Yuen is a biomedical scientist with training in pathology; he also teaches human anatomy and pathophysiology to healthcare programs. 
  • Allen Cheong is an Associate Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; she has been teaching ocular anatomy and clinical optometry for more than five years. 
  • Josephine Lau is a Lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her expertise includes Gross Anatomy, Histology, Physiology, and Pathophysiology. She has taught these subjects at different degree levels in various health profession programs such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, medical laboratory science, and physiotherapy. 
  • Richard Li is a neurologist and neurointerventionalist with 15 years of clinical experience treating patients with acute stroke, CNS demyelinating disease, and other neurological disorders. 

Features of the Course: 

  • Eight weeks long 
  • Required 2-4 hours of study per week 
  • Self-paced 
  • Material divided into three modules, namely
    – Stroke case presentation
    – Human anatomy lectures
    – Healthcare-discipline Specific Role Plays and Round-up Session
  • Verified certificate available 

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can also purchase a Verified Certificate for $139 for this particular course. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It verifies your achievement of completing the course. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Effects of stroke on the human body
  • Anatomy of relevant body systems at gross and histological levels
  • Services provided by healthcare professionals for stroke patients
  • Relevant knowledge of anatomy for application of clinical procedures

This course has a 4.5-star rating on classcentral.com, and over 131,000 students have taken it.

Review by Tesingsaa on classcentral.com:

Highly recommend this Human Anatomy MOOC to everybody! Very informative and helpful to everyday life. My grandma suffered a minor stroke last year. This course covers everything that I wish I could have known earlier – our body systems and how they are interconnected, early stroke signs, rehabilitation, etc. I appreciate the stroke case micro movie and healthcare roleplay videos in the course. As a humanities graduate, I find the course easy to pass too.

I had attended its first delivery and now am taking the re-run to refresh my anatomical knowledge! 

Try edX

6. Human Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Cases (edX)

Human Anatomy - Musculoskeletal Cases

Warning: this course contains Content including videos, photographs, anatomical images, and videos showing cadaver dissection that some people may find offensive, disturbing or inappropriate.

This intermediate-level course conducted by Harvard University will take you inside the anatomy laboratories where students study medicine, dental medicine, and other health professions study anatomy by performing anatomical dissections. There are no prerequisites for this course. 

Three members of the Harvard faculty teach this course.

  • Dr. Trudy Van Houten is an Assistant Professor in Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, and a Lecturer on Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Van Houten has taught anatomy and histology to Harvard medical students for over 20 years. 
  • Dr. Micheal Parker is the Associate Dean for Online Learning at Harvard Medical School, whose interests lie in Anatomical Visualizations, Respiratory Physiology, and Cardiovascular Physiology. Dr. Parker is also an expert on innovative uses of technology in education.
  • Alexander Bick, M.D., Ph.D., is a Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has also performed research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on personal digital assistants to enhance teaching and learning.

Features of the course: 

  • Seven weeks long 
  • Requires 3-6 hours of study per week 
  • Self-paced 
  • Verified certificate available 

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can also purchase a Verified Certificate for $99 for this particular course. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It verifies your achievement of completing the course. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Fundamentals of musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Basics concepts and procedures of radiology
  • Anatomical structures related to five common injuries

This course has a 5-star rating on classcentral.com, and over 129,000 students have taken it. 

An anonymous review on classcentral.com

“The course was great. It was interesting, engaging, educational, and visual (which is something I liked). The modules were explained in detail, and the cases are linked with what we have learned. I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in studying biology, anatomy, or a pre-health track in college if in high school at the moment or interested in going to medical school.”

Try edX

Here are some FAQs about Anatomy and Physiology Courses

Why is it essential to study Anatomy and Physiology? 

If you are considering a degree in Anatomy and Physiology or a career in medicine, these two subjects are crucial for success. Here are some reasons why it’s important to study anatomy and physiology:

  • To develop an impressive skill set. By developing your skillset, you will be able to work in a laboratory, interpret data, practice in a clinical setting, or even work in research. If you have a degree in anatomy and physiology but want to switch to medicine or nursing, your job skills are immediately transferable. 
  • To gain insight into the human body. This field is very intriguing, and it will give you insight into the various complexities of the human body and how they function. 
  • To treat patients. If you choose to go into the field of medicine, you need to have a thorough understanding of the human body, how it functions, and what could cause something to go wrong. By beginning with anatomy and physiology, you are one step closer to understanding the human body better. 

What jobs can I get as an Anatomy and Physiology student? 

Graduates in anatomy and physiology generally work in medicine and care as doctors, nurses, physical therapists, home aides, and more. However, you could also work as a pharmacist, dietician, or even a diagnostician. 

How much do Anatomy and Physiology graduates earn?

Anatomy and physiology graduates earn between $65,000 and $99,000 a year.

About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).