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Course Report

The 100 Most Popular Free Online Courses of 2019

By combining course enrollments data and Class Central data we came up with a list of 100 most popular courses of 2019.

Most Popular Course of 2019 Illustration

It’s been eight years since a few Stanford professors decided to offer their courses online for free. These courses are now known popularly as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.

They are not as free as they used to be, but you can still audit them for free. Since then over 900 universities have launched 13,500 online courses. These courses have been taken by 120 million learners!

I’ve been keeping track of these courses the entire time over at Class Central, ever since they rose to prominence. We just completed our eighth year, and have helped over 20 million learners decide which online course to take.

In the first step, we went through Class Central’s database and made a list of all the courses that were offered for the first time ever in 2019. We found out that 450 universities around the world have launched more than 2,500 courses.

Then Suparn wrote scrapers to collect enrollment numbers for three different providers: Coursera, edX, and Swayam. Each of these providers show how many students are enrolled on their course pages. These providers alone registered around 5 million enrollments for courses launched in 2019!

Along with this we also had data from our users: how many times a course has been bookmarked on Class Central. Using the enrollment data and bookmarks data we came up with a list of 100 most popular courses of 2019 from 68 universities.

You can also find this list on Class Central which I built using Class Central’s Custom List feature. Not all the courses on this list might be available, but if you bookmark a course on Class Central, then we will let you know when it is offered next.

2019’s Most Popular Online Courses

Here are the most popular free online university courses of 2019 (not ordered by popularity).


Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

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