The Great Courses Review in 2024 Legit? Worth It?

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I consider myself an avid learner and explorer of all things educational. However, as much as I love learning, I also get bored quickly (ironic, I know). That is how I came across the idea of “edutainment,” and I was immediately sold. There are many online platforms available to choose from, but very few of them have entertaining courses that make learning fun. 

I represent people who don’t like the idea of reading boring textbooks or going through lengthy and dull lectures, and (thanks to) my sheer curiosity and desire to learn, I spent a lot of time searching for a new (and refreshing) platform that balances education and entertainment.

That is how I stumbled upon The Great Courses (now known as Wondrium). What initially drew me to the platform was its unique blend of education and entertainment. Gone were my days of sitting through dull lectures and doing tedious exercises; instead, I immersed myself in a new world where learning was transformed into an exciting adventure.

But what truly sets The Great Courses apart is its ability to cater to multiple learning styles and interests. Whether I was delving into the mysteries of history, unraveling the complexities of mathematics, or exploring the wonders of science, there was always something fresh and captivating to discover.

This is a new (and improved) world where the boundaries between education and entertainment are entirely blurred.

The Great Courses stands as a shining example of the future of learning.

But how do you know if it is the perfect platform for you?

Worry not because I will address that question in this review and give a peek behind the curtain so you can understand if The Great Courses is the ideal online learning for you.

The Great Courses Review in 2024 Legit? Worth It?

Quick Overview: 

The Great Courses is a unique online learning platform offering tons of high-quality educational content in various subjects. Top professors and experts present the courses (they also collaborate with Discovery and National Geographic). From history and science to literature and cooking, The Great Courses provides engaging (and entertaining) video lectures and accompanying materials, allowing you to explore topics at your own pace. The Great Courses is focused on making learning accessible and ageless. It has become the go-to resource for anyone seeking to broaden their horizons in skills and knowledge (among other disciplines).


  • A distinctive learning approach (almost documentary-like)
  • Specially curated courses
  • Expert teachers and professors
  • More affordable (than traditional learning)
  • Beginner-friendly with courses for advanced learners as well
  • Wide range of courses to choose from


  • Not like other online learning platforms 
  • Outdated technology 
  • Design can be improved


The Great Courses is a versatile learning platform that provides self-paced learning options at your own convenience.

The Great Courses has a distinctive feature of online and offline learning (you can download the courses). The platform is compatible with devices like Apple TV and Kindle Fire and even offers DVDs. It has a pay-per-course pricing module, so you get what you pay for, and comes with lifetime access. It also has free courses you can go through if you don’t want to invest in buying the courses. All in all, The Great Courses is worth your time and money.

What is The Great Courses?

The Great Courses is an extensive learning platform. It is world-renowned for its detailed videos. and audio courses presented by sought-after professors and experts from different fields. The platforms. It was founded by Thomas Rollins in 1990 to revolutionize online education by providing access to college-level content.

Rollins was the former chief counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. His experience working there inspired him to develop the idea of making education a lifelong process. His vision was ambitious yet simple: to make high-quality 

educational content accessible to everyone, regardless of geographical location, academic background, or time constraints.

Since the platform was founded in the 1990s, the original courses were distributed on VHS tapes (I am sure this is the first time anyone has heard of them in the current age). The courses span diverse topics like science, math, history, and philosophy. Each one was designed carefully and presented by esteemed professors from prestigious universities (like Harvard, Stanford, and Yale)

The factor that makes The Great Course stand out (in my opinion) is its commitment to excellence in education. The courses undergo a selection process, ensuring you get the best learning experience (for the money you pay). 

By 2015, The Great Courses had sold over 10 million courses, and to this date, the platform continues to grow and improve.

Is The Great Courses Legit?

To answer in just one word, yes, The Great Courses is 100% legitimate. It is a reputable and widely recognized learning platform known for its high-quality course content covering a multitude of subjects. It provides video and audio courses taught by esteemed professors and experts from prestigious universities worldwide. Thomas Rollins founded The Great Courses and is among the most respectable men in the US Senate office. The platform has also collaborated with History Channel, National Geographic, and MayoClinic (frontier of medicine) to provide courses to a diverse audience seeking to expand their knowledge and skills.

Who is The Great Courses for?

The Great Courses is ideal for many different types of learners, like

  • Curious Learners (regardless of their age): Anyone passionate about learning and constantly on the lookout to expand their knowledge (but not traditional learning) will feel right at home using The Great Courses.
  • Professionals: People working full-time but want to upskill their knowledge and stay updated with the technology but don’t have the time for in-person classes will find The Great Courses very useful.
  • Commuters: Students and professionals who have long commutes or need to travel frequently can go through courses on The Great Courses to use their time productively (by making commuting less tedious).
  • Homeschoolers and College Students: Parents who homeschool their kids and college students looking for supplemental material for their existing classes can explore courses on The Great Courses to enrich their curriculum.
  • Retirees: People who have long retired but want to keep mentally active and continue their learning process can find The Great courses particularly suitable to fill their leisure time (with interactive learning).

Overall, The Great Courses caters to anyone with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to engage in lifelong learning, regardless of background, age, or educational level.

How much does The Great Courses cost?

Individual Courses

People who don’t wish to subscribe to the platform or buy a course can try free (over 10) courses offered by The Great Courses. This allows you to understand how the platform works and what to expect from the courses that you want to purchase (in the future). 

If you end up liking the free courses and want to try one of the paid courses, you can buy a course for around $20 (rough estimate). The price of the course depends on the subject, duration, and the instructor of the course. You will also receive course material and practical exercises with each course. 

This price is not inexpensive, but the courses are high quality and surely worth the cost. They provide in-depth information on the matter at hand and are well-structured. The courses are extensive and divided into lectures (around 30 minutes), each with 20+ lectures.

The Great Courses Plus Subscription

If you want to take multiple courses, then the subscription plan is a better value for your money. The Great Courses only offers individual classes, but you can find the subscription option on The Great Courses Plus (Wondrium)

The Great Courses Plus has three subscription plans:

Monthly: $20 per month

Quarterly: $45 billed every 3 months (works out to $15 monthly)

Annual: $150 billed every year (works out to $12.50 monthly)

All the subscriptions plans come with a 14-day free trial that includes unlimited streaming (no downloads), supplemental guidebooks, and Wondrium Magazine. You can cancel the subscription plans anytime you want.

The Great Courses refund

Individual CoursesSubscription Plan
Refundable (fully) within one year of buying or can be exchanged for another course of the same/lower value.It is non-refundable. You can cancel it anytime you want.

The fantastic thing about The Great Courses is that it guarantees lifetime satisfaction, and if you ever feel like the course you purchased is not worth the money, you can exchange it for a course of the same or lower value.

With a paid course, you can also request a full refund within one year of the purchase. The Great Courses also replaces physical copies of their courses for free in case they get damaged.

However, the subscription service (The Great Courses Plus) is non-refundable. The subscription plans come with a 14-day free trial that you can cancel before the payment gets debited from your account. You can also cancel the plan anytime you want.

The Great Courses As A Gifting Option:

You can email individual courses to your friends and family members. You cannot gift the subscription to anyone. 

To send a course as a gift, you have to select “Instant Video” and then choose “Send as e-gift.” You fill out the rest of the details, pay for the course, and confirm. 

For lifelong learners, a course in their subject of interest would be the perfect gift.

My Personal Experience with The Great Courses 

As I already mentioned I love the “edutainment” type of learning process I was very excited about taking a course on The Great Courses. I started exploring the platform and was impressed by the massive course catalog that covered a wide range of categories, from history and science to music and cooking.

I browsed through the course library and finally found a course that piqued my interest, Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon by Stephen Ressler, Ph.D. As someone who finds Greek and Roman architecture fascinating, I was keen to start this course and learn more about the history of the catapult (a weapon), the Pantheon (the Roman amphitheater), and everything in between.

Stephen Ressler is a professor at the United States Military Academy, West Point with over 20 years of experience as an instructor and a history expert (so my hopes were high). The course started with an introduction to Greek and Roman technology and from the very first lecture, I could see Ressler’s passion and expertise on the subject matter. 

The course covered everything from concrete to catapults and triremes (a Greek weapon) to slave trading. The high-quality video lectures provided a dynamic and immersive learning experience, bringing complex concepts to life through engaging visuals and real-world examples.

The course is divided into 24 lectures and each lecture is around 30 minutes long. This makes this course quite lengthy and something that can’t be done in a single sitting. That is why I like the flexibility of schedule that The Great Courses provides. I could learn at my own convenience and at a pace that felt good to me.

I also enjoyed the supplemental material provided with the course. It helped reinforce my understanding of the material and helped me track my progress. I had the opportunity to interact with the other learners to discuss some topics and ask a few questions, adding another dimension to my learning experience.

As I progressed through my course, I experienced intellectual growth and discovery moments and gained new perspectives, insights, and skills. Overall, I was delighted by everything The Great Courses had to offer.

What Did I Like About The Great Courses?

To stay true to my review, I thoroughly examined The Great Courses and The Great Course Plus and found a few standard things I like about both platforms. Those things are:

  • Quality of the content: I enjoyed the high-quality educational content taught by top professors (from esteemed universities)  and experts in their fields with years of experience. The courses cover many subjects, ensuring there’s something for everyone. The availability of supplementary materials like course guides, lecture notes, and quizzes enhances the learning experience and aids in information retention.
  • Engaging instructors: You can’t review any platform without checking the instructors who teach on it, and the teachers on The Great Courses are renowned for their expertise and engaging teaching styles, making the learning experience enjoyable and informative.
  • Flexibility: The Great Courses offers flexibility in scheduling and pacing, allowing you to learn at your own pace and fit your learning into your busy lifestyle. It also has an offline mode that allows you to download the paid courses to view online, making it perfect for anyone who wants to learn on the go.
  • Customized learning: The Great Courses provides customized course suggestions on the homepage based on your interests (like Coursera or Udemy). This feature makes it easier to search for courses you would like. You will not have to go through the entire course library for one course, saving time and money.
  • Community interaction: The Great Courses has a vibrant community of learners who engage in discussions, share insights, and collaborate with you on your projects. Within the platform, learners can participate in forums, join study groups, and connect with fellow enthusiasts who share their interests. This sense of community provides a valuable opportunity for interaction and networking.
  • Affordability: The Great Courses is an accessible and affordable learning platform. The platform offers various pricing options, including individual courses, subscription plans, and frequent promotions and discounts. This flexibility allows you to choose the best pricing plan for your budget and needs. The platform also offers a range of free classes (5-10) in the form of sample lectures and course previews, giving you a chance to explore the content before making a financial commitment. 

Overall, I find The Great Courses a valuable resource for lifelong learning, offering a rewarding and enriching educational experience that empowers you to pursue your learning dreams and goals.


The Great Courses offers a unique lifelong online learning platform. It provides high-quality educational content taught by top professors and experts in a wide range of subjects. With its engaging lectures, flexible learning options, and supportive community, the platform empowers learners to expand their knowledge, work on their skills, and pursue their intellectual interests at their own pace.

Despite its many advantages, the question still remains: “Is The Great Course worth it?” Ultimately the answer to this question depends on your preferred medium of learning and your learning requirements per se. If you are looking for an easily accessible way to get your hands on a university-level education, then The Great Courses is tremendously valuable for you (perosnally and professionally).

The platform is also very affordable making it the ideal platform for students who don’t have the budget for private tutoring. 

However, it is important to consider things like your learning preference and subjects you are interested in before making a financial commitment. While The Great Courses has a variety of courses it might not align with your needs and priorities.

I would recommend The Great Courses to everyone (if you don’t wish to buy a course, you can always sample a few for free), as learning on it is a singular experience and you should try it (at least once). And, if you decide to buy a course (or subscription), I assure you that it will be a valuable investment for your personal and professional growth.

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