If you’re like a lot of people, you probably use YouTube for listening to music, watching videos of cute animals, or just for procrastinating on homework.
While it is a platform for all of those things, there’s a whole other side to YouTube you may have never considered. YouTube has hundreds of channels that can teach you any subject you could ever think of (as well as dozens you didn’t even know existed).
With hundreds of hours of video uploaded every minute, however, it can be difficult to sort out the helpful, quality channels from the useless ones.
That’s why we’ve created this guide, which covers the 100+ best educational YouTube channels currently in existence. You’ll find videos on everything from music theory to weird geography facts to how to succeed in business (the hard, effective way).
To be quite honest, the right mix of these YouTube channels might be able to teach you more than you could ever learn in college. At the least, many of these channels can serve as useful supplements to the classes you are taking. If you’re not a student, you can still get a lot of value out of watching these, as they can help you to never stop learning.
This is a college blog, after all, so it makes sense to start with some channels that will help you improve your study skills. Some of these channels focus on specific study techniques, while others will guide you through specific subjects.
If you’re looking for advice on school supplies, organization, or just what the academic side of college is like, then check out this channel from current college student Sareena.
Most language courses are boring, formulaic, and unrealistic. Easy Languages is the opposite — each video teaches you vocabulary, grammar, or concepts in a language using real conversations with people on the streets.
They have videos for just about every language you can think of, and they add new content regularly. If you’re trying to learn a language, this is an essential resource.
Thomas Frank makes videos that help you be more productive – whether you’re in high school, college, university, or the real world.
This includes study tips to help you learn faster and ace your exams, advice on destroying procrastination, reading and note-taking strategies, and more.
Want to get a philosophy degree for free? Then watch Philosophy Tube, which shows you how to use philosophy to make sense of current events and life’s big questions.
Ali Abadaal is a junior doctor in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). He vlogs about life as a doctor, as well as about how to study more effectively.
Jess graduated top of her class with a psychology degree, and now she’s created this channel to help you get motivated and stay organized. While there are lots of videos for college students, there’s also plenty aimed at high school students or even people who are out of college.
Mariana is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Law, and in her spare time, she works on this channel, which focuses helping you stay organized and study smarter (while also giving some sweet writing material recommendations).
Ever wonder what life in med school is like? Are you a pre-med or current medical student looking for advice on how to set yourself up for success? This is the channel that will answer all questions you have about how to pursue a career in medicine.
Struggling with a particular academic subject? Want to learn a new subject on your own? Crash Course can help. They have courses on physics, philosophy, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, biology, sociology, computer science, film history, mythology, literature, ecology, chemistry, psychology, and U.S. history.
You’ll never have an excuse to say “I’m bored” again.
In the future, being able to code will be as crucial as knowing how to read. Okay, so that’s probably an exaggeration, but if you’ve been wanting to learn how to code, The Coding Train is a great place to start.
The videos are detailed, easy to understand, and even funny. Whether you want to learn the very basics or are exploring a more advanced topic such as machine learning, The Coding Train has a video series for you.
Each week, Mike Boyd takes a new skill and tries to learn it as quickly as possible. Whether it’s knife throwing, making a fire, or picking locks, you’ll be amazed how quickly you can learn when you focus and apply the right techniques.
Toby, a physics Ph.D. student living in Australia, makes videos about physics, math, astronomy, and beauty in the world around us.
You can use YouTube to (sometimes illegally) watch movies or listen to music. But you can also learn a lot about the techniques that artists use to create them, which is what each of the channels below looks at in one way or another.
Wisecrack produces a variety of shows that explore big ideas in unusual (and hopefully super entertaining) ways. They use movies, TV shows, video games, and books to explore concepts in philosophy and critical thinking.
Patrick Willems is a filmmaker who produces short films, critiques popular films, and explores the techniques behind the movies you love (or love to hate).
Do you love indie and alternative music? Then you’ll love this channel, which explores the best of these genres that’s currently out there.
This channel analyzes screenplays to help you understand what it takes to tell a great story (and how you can do the same).
Lindsay’s video essays explore media through a critical eye, focusing especially on high-profile superhero and action movies.
This channel presents unconventional explorations of what defines different musical genres, styles, and artists.
Each video from Polyphonic is a video essay about music and other aspects of pop culture. The videos about classic rock are especially interesting if (like me and most people reading this blog) you’re too young to remember when the music came out.
Now You See It takes a look at the themes and tropes in film. As the channel descriptions puts it, “It’s like a college film analysis class minus the lecture halls, essay assignments, and student loan debts.”
Do you love to nerd out about Game of Thrones and Westworld? Then this is the channel for you, where you’ll find explanations and detailed analyses of these shows.
You can often learn just as much from studying bad work as you can from great work. This channel teaches you to be a better writer by (very sarcastically) telling you how not to write.
Volksgeist makes videos “examining important works of music.” The channel primarily focuses on hip hop artists and albums, though there are also videos about rock and even other music YouTubers.
This channel is hard to explain (and frankly a bit over my head), but it generally uses music and media to explore post-irony.
A channel that examines movies, literature, and writing to answer the question, “How does someone become a great artist?”
These videos take a critical look at superhero movies and other pop culture, with lots of speculation and commentary about what these movies do right (and how they could improve).
For the serious video game nerds only, LowSpecGamer shows how to run modern games on low-end computers…by doing whatever it takes.
Thomas, Martin, and I all play music and are interested in learning more about it. These are some of our favorite channels for learning about everything from music theory to the reason pop songs are so catchy.
If you’re learning guitar, then Paul Davids’ channel is a must-watch. He teaches everything from basic scales to advanced chord progressions and riffs. He also has a variety of videos that will help you shop for guitars and gear.
Adam Neely is a bassist and composer who makes videos about music theory and “new horizons in music.” It’s definitely more of an advanced channel, but any music nerds reading will love it.
Music theory might seem like an obscure, boring topic that only music majors or composers need to care about. If you watch this channel, however, you’ll learn that that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, music theory can help you appreciate the music you love at an even deeper level.
Andrew Huang is a producer, composer, and all-around creator of unusual, inventive music. His channel explores weird instruments, how he makes songs, and his travels around the world. Whether you’re looking for some Ableton Live tips or just want some inspiration, this channel will provide.
Rob Scallon is a guitarist and all-around multi-instrumentalist. His videos explore how he makes music, including song challenges and genre-bending compositions.
He also does interviews with people who play interesting instruments, such as the organist at Wrigley Field and the professional carillon player at the University of Chicago.
Have a science question? Struggling in your physics class or wondering how engineering shapes the world around us? You can find the answers in the channels below, which show just how mind-blowing science and tech can be.
Simon Clark makes videos about climate physics and the crazy world of online video.
Unless you’re an engineer, you probably think of engineering as a boring, complex topic that only the gifted few can understand. Practical Engineering, however, will show you just how interesting and important engineering is.
And unlike lots of channels that just show video footage or animations to explain a topic, Practical Engineering uses real scale models and at-home examples to demonstrate engineering concepts. At the very least, this channel will give you a deeper appreciation for all the thought that goes into engineering everyday things.
Ph.D. student Inés Dawson makes videos about interesting science and language facts, all with the aim of stimulating your curiosity about the world around you.
TierZoo uses gaming to explain zoology, showing some of the bizarre things that have resulted from evolution.
Every Think explores science and, more generally, “everything interesting that is.” Whether you’re curious how atomic clocks work or what happens when you get struck by lightning, Every Think has the answer.
The animated videos on this channel explore the science of the world, with a special focus on animals and food science.
After completing a Bachelor’s in Applied Physics, Jade began making videos about physics, math, and computer science (featuring really fun illustrations).
Our Changing Climate explores humanity’s relationship with the natural world, examining the environmental impact of just about everything. Whether you’re curious which form of transportation is the greenest or which type of non-dairy milk has the lowest environmental impact, Our Changing Climate will help you out.
Cool Worlds is the project of David Kipping, a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University. The videos explore astronomy, exoplanets, astroengineering, the search for extraterrestrial life & intelligence, futurism, and interstellar travel. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s all based in very real science.
There are lots of YouTube channels that make animated science videos, but Kurzgesagt creates some of the most beautiful ones out there. We really can’t express how gorgeous these animations are. You have to see it for yourself.
Deep Look explores science topics by “going very, very small.” Each video uses macro photography and microscopy to take a very close look at the natural world. Each video will teach you something new…and possibly creep you out a bit.
Interested in futurism and space exploration? This channel uses science fiction as a way to examine what could be possible as technology continues to advance and we reach further towards the stars.
Medlife Crisis aims to give you accurate, research-backed information about science and medicine. The host is cardiologist, internal medicine doctor, and university researcher, so you can bet the information will be high-quality.
But even more than giving you accurate information, Medlife Crisis does so with humor and hilariously bad jokes, making even the most obscure topics interesting.
Katie is a biochemist who makes videos about the basics of chemistry, biology, and the science of health.
A channel that explains complicated physics concepts in short, simple videos (with lots of fun whiteboard drawings).
SciShow discusses strange and fascinating science topics, with regular episodes based on questions from viewers.
Using the same style as SciShow, this channel focuses on the wonders of the human brain and how humans interact with the world.
From the beginning of time itself to the current groundbreaking research and space exploration, you’ll find it on SciShow Space.
Dianna Cowern covers everything from sound to quantum mechanics to ultraviolet waves. AND she made a video with Rodney Mullen, our founder’s favorite skateboarder.
Philip doesn’t post very often, but when he does, he posts some of the most well-explained content on quantum computing, physics, and computer science that you’ll ever see.
Fascinating whiteboard videos answering almost any science question you can think of.
The theory and practice of construction isn’t something most of us think about, but it affects how we live and work each day. The B1M creates videos that document both the history and current practice of construction, showing you how the most impressive buildings and infrastructure are created.
Plus, the narrator has a soothing British accent that makes the channel great for relaxing after a day of work or studying.
Host Rene Ritchie is obsessed with technology, and he shares his obsession on this YouTube channel, where he discusses trends in personal technology and apps.
Everybody’s talking about the “maker movement,” but few channels on the topic are as exciting and funny as Simone Giertz. Whether it’s turning a Tesla into a pickup truck or building a robot that gives (somewhat questionable) manicures, this channel will both educate and entertain you.
Ever wonder what it’s like to care for over 80 exotic animals? This is what Animal Wonders explores, as well as fascinating facts about animals you didn’t even know existed.
The beauty products we use every day have a fascinating science behind them, and this channel will teach you all about it.
Engineering is a fascinating subject that manifests itself in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Real Engineering explains the math and physics behind how all of this works, along with a good bit of interesting history in the process.
These videos tell stories of unusual (and at times disturbing) medical cases that the channel’s creator has witnessed or heard about from colleagues.
Amazingly well-explained videos about complex math concepts.
TechAltar creates videos about the past, present, and future of consumer technology.
I’m a sucker for weird geography and history facts, so I love most of the channels below. They all cover different topics, but taken together they provide a unique view of history and the world we live in today.
Wendover Productions creates videos that investigate travel, economics, geography, marketing, and more, all with the goal of giving you a better understanding of the world.
Freedom in Thought seeks to make ideas from the humanities and social sciences more accessible to people who didn’t major in them in school but still want to learn more.
Austin McConnell makes videos about an eclectic range of topics, from video essays on media to random questions such as what to do if your parachute fails.
Knowing Better attempts to present a balanced viewpoint on controversial, misunderstood topics. Much of the channel focuses on historical events, but it also covers religion, politics, and even scientific topics.
The law affects every aspect of your life, so it’s worth understanding how it works. LegalEagle gives you an “insider’s view” of the legal system, so that you can learn to think like a lawyer. I especially recommend his “Real Lawyer Reacts to…” videos.
The founder of City Beautiful is a city planner, and he creates videos to educate people about topics such as transportation, land use planning, and urban design.
Second Thought explores questions worth thinking about using stick figures and poorly drawn animals.
It’s difficult to categorize Tom Scott’s channel, and that’s precisely what makes it so interesting to watch. In his “Things You Might Not Know” series, he explores unusual topics in science, geography, and pretty much anything else that interest him.
Meanwhile, his “Amazing Places” series will take you across the world to some of the most fascinating and bizarre spots on Earth. Expect to leave each video informed and awed.
From the creator of Wendover Productions, Half as Interesting examines random facts about geography and history in a short, bingeable format.
Suibhne makes animated history videos, with a particular focus on the macro-history of specific nations and cultures.
CGP Grey is a cryptic, intriguing channel of animated videos about technology, history, philosophy, politics, and a lot more.
Sam O’Nella’s channel takes a look at the darker, more disgusting sides of history, society, and agriculture.
Trains, planes, and boats…and the fascinating science and history behind them.
Knowing Better creates videos about history, government, and psychology, all with the aim of helping you be a more informed person.
The world is complicated, and PolyMatter aims to help you understand it just a little bit better.
Alex Nickel creates videos about science, humanities, and everything else in the world that fascinates him.
Real Life Lore answers questions you never thought to ask, primarily in the areas of history, geography, economics, and science.
Dr. Aaron Carroll explains healthcare policy, medical research, and answers a lot of other questions you may have about medicine, health, and healthcare.
Kento Bento creates videos on “intriguing & thought-provoking Asiany topics, including stereotypes, history, culture & geography.”
Geography and politics can get really complicated. WonderWhy aims to help you understand them.
Joe Scott starts with viewer questions and comments in order to explore the funny, unique, but universal truths that give you a new perspective on the world.
Feature History will teach you all about military history, despite the channel creator’s claim that they’re “wholly unqualified to teach it.”
Self-improvement is a topic we discuss a lot here on College Info Geek, so you know we have to feature some of our favorite channels in this area. The channels below won’t automatically improve your life—you still have to do the work yourself. But they will show you what steps you can take to make your life better.
Improvement Pill teaches ideas that help you change your life. Some videos focus on motivating or inspiring you, while others teach specific self-improvement concepts.
Want to live a more effective life? Then this is a channel you should definitely check out. Better Ideas explores a mix of productivity and self-improvement topics, presented in an engaging, entertaining way.
The Gentleman’s Gazette produces some of the most consistently high-quality videos on YouTube about how to dress better and upgrade your style.
Matt D’Avella makes videos about minimalism, filmmaking, and creativity. His film production background really shows through in the videos — the gorgeous filming and editing make them a treat to watch.
The School of Life works to foster emotional well-being by applying psychology, philosophy, and culture to everyday life.
This channel will teach you how to be more charismatic and confident so that you can form new relationships and improve the ones you already have.
Best known for his book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss also has a YouTube channel where he discusses self-improvement and health, as well as featuring frequent interviews with top performers in a variety of fields.
Primed helps you to improve yourself mentally, physically, and financially.
Whether you have ADHD or know someone with ADHD and want to learn more about it, this channel is the place to go. You’ll find tips and tricks for living (and thriving) with an ADHD brain.
One of the best cooking channels on YouTube. If you can learn to cook food you actually like, then you’ll save a ton of money and end up maintaining a healthier diet.
Think that cooking your own food is too difficult and time-consuming? Pro Home Cooks challenges that belief with each of their videos. Whether it’s mastering the art of brewing kombucha or showing you how to eat for just $3 a day, this channel will show teach you to love cooking for yourself and others.
If you’re of legal drinking age, then you’re probably tired of spending $10, $15, 0r even $20 for a drink at a cocktail bar or restaurant. That’s why I highly recommend Cocktail Chemistry, which will show you how to make outstanding drinks at home with just a few simple tools and ingredients.
Ever wonder what the foods from your favorite movies and TV shows would look like in real life? Binging with Babish aims to find out. Each week, Andrew Rea recreates a different dish from the wonderful world of media, all while teaching you cool cooking techniques.
I also recommend his series “Basics with Babish,” which goes over a variety of fundamental cooking skills and dishes.
You don’t have to major in business to get the benefits that come with studying it. These YouTube channels will teach you how to start (and grow) your own business, as well as how other businesses work (or fail).
Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and founder of the digital agency Vayner Media. He knows a thing or two about business, and he shares his insights on his YouTube channel. This is a great place to start if you want to launch your own business.
Business Casual examines the history of the companies and corporations that have shaped our world.
Pat Flynn teaches you how to grow your following and build a sustainable online business.
If personal finance makes you anxious, then this channel is your antidote. It will teach you everything you need to know about managing your money, even if you’re a total beginner.
Curious why some companies are so successful, or why companies that used to be huge have faded into obscurity? Company Man explores the answers to these questions.
I hope the list of channels in this article has shown you that YouTube can be a powerful tool for learning new things.
Of course, watching videos can only get you so far. To really learn new things, you also have to practice and apply them. For more information on how to do that, check out our guide to the Dreyfus Model of skill development.
Image Credits: featured