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 75 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.
We’ve broken these channels down into six categories to make this guide easier to navigate. Feel free to click on each of the links below to skip to the relevant section:
- Studying and Learning
- Music, Movies, and Arts
- Science and Technology
- Geography, History, and Society
- Self-Improvement and Life Skills
- Business, Money, and Entrepreneurship
To visit a specific channel, just click on its name.
Studying and 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.
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.
5. Crash Course
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.
Is plugging your own channel in poor taste? We don’t think so, especially because this channel really will help you to learn faster, ace your exams, destroy procrastination, and become a master reader and notetaker.
7. Learn Quick
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.
Music, Movies, and Arts
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).
11. Middle 8
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).
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.
This channel features “visual love letters” to TV, music, and movies, exploring just what makes them so excellent.
15. Lindsay Ellis
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.
17. Now You See It
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.”
18. Alt Shift X
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.
This channel is hard to explain (and frankly a bit over my head), but it generally explores music and media to explore post-irony.
21. Just Write
A channel that examines movies, literature, and writing to answer the question, “How does someone become a great artist?”
22. Captain Midnight
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.
Science and Technology
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.
24. Simon Clark
Simon Clark makes videos about climate physics and the crazy world of online video.
25. Draw Curiosity
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.
27. Minute Earth
The animated videos on this channel explore the science of the world, with a special focus on animals and food science.
28. Up and Atom
After completing a Bachelor’s in Applied Physics, Jade began making videos about physics, math, and computer science (featuring really fun illustrations).
29. In a Nutshell
There are lots of YouTube channels that make animated science videos, but In a Nutshell 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.
30. Isaac Arthur
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.
Katie is a biochemist who makes videos about the basics of chemistry, biology, and the science of health.
32. Minute Physics
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.
34. SciShow Psych
Using the same style as SciShow, this channel focuses on the wonders of the human brain and how humans interact with the world.
35. SciShow Space
From the beginning of time itself to the current groundbreaking research and space exploration, you’ll find it on SciShow Space.
On StarTalk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and various guests discuss physics, astronomy, and a variety of other topics related to space and life in the universe.
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.
38. Animal Wonders
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.
39. Ms Beautyphile
The beauty products we use every day have a fascinating science behind them, and this channel will teach you all about it.
40. Real Engineering
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.
TechAltar creates videos about the past, present, and future of consumer technology.
Geography, History, and Society
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.
45. Austin McConnell
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.
46. City Beautiful
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.
47. Second Thought
Second Thought explores questions worth thinking about using stick figures and poorly drawn animals.
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.
50. CGP Grey
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.
53. Knowing Better
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.
56. Real Life Lore
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.
58. Kento Bento
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.
60. Answers with Joe
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.
The Infographics Show uses animated motion graphics videos to present facts in a more interesting way.
62. Feature History
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 and Life Skills
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.
Practical psychology distills the most important ideas from psychology to help you improve your finances, romantic life, and productivity.
64. Improvement Pill
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.
Anthony Centeno teaches the science of men’s style in order to help you earn more money, become more confident, and project the image you want to the world.
66. alpha m.
Aaron Marino works to help men improve their image, style, and grooming. It’s like Real Men Real Style, but with a bit of a broader focus.
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.
69. Tim Ferriss
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.
71. How to ADHD
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.
Business, Money, and Entrepreneurship
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 in his YouTube channel. This is a great place to start if you want to launch your own business.
73. Business Casual
Business Casual examines the history of the companies and corporations that have shaped our world.
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.
75. Company Man
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.
Start Watching, Never Stop Learning
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
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