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Course Report

[2021] 1600+ Coursera Courses That Are Still Completely Free

Did you know Coursera has many courses that are still completely free? Class Central has the complete list.

Free courses on Coursera

Are Coursera courses still free? At Class Central, we get that question so often that I wrote a guide to answer it. Generally speaking, Coursera courses are free to audit but if you want to access graded assignments or earn a Course Certificate, you will need to pay. This change was first announced in October 2015, and went live in January 2016.

But I always knew that there were a few courses that were still completely free. When you signed up for these courses, you would see an option of “Full Course, No Certificate.” For courses that are part of the new model, you need to select the “audit” option.

It can be tricky to figure out which courses have this option. This is particularly because Coursera is a single page app, and the information is only available once you are logged in. So instead of going through each course one by one and then clicking on enroll, I decided to use Selenium to help me figure it out. Bob set me up with an AWS instance along with a Cloud 9 IDE where I could do this automation. Below is a screenshot of the setup. (Yes, I prefer PHP.)

I expected to find around 50 or so free courses out of an active catalog of ~6,000 Coursera courses. Imagine my surprise (rather shock) to find more than 1,600 Coursera MOOCs that are still completely free (including the graded assignments, minus the certificate). Even Coursera’s own help pages claim that for “all courses” you can only access the non-graded materials and lectures for free. (Side note: In my research, I also found a few dozen completely paid online courses) .

This list of completely free online Coursera courses contains a number of highly rated MOOCs, including a few from Class Central’s Best Online Courses of All Time. In fact, Coursera’s two most popular MOOCs by far — Barbara Oakley’s Learning How To Learn and Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning MOOC — are also part of this list. Courses from 178 universities, including Stanford, Georgia Tech, Yale, Duke, and Michigan, are part of the list. Around 37% of the courses are not in English.

I have organized the courses into the following categories below. Click on the category name to jump directly to the list of free courses from that particular category.

Below is a list of completely free online courses on Coursera that I was able to find.

(You may also want to have a look at our Massive List of Thousands of Free Certificates and Badges offered by MOOC platforms, universities, companies, and nonprofits worldwide.)

Personal Development (73)

Health & Medicine (194)

Science (216)

Humanities (197)

Computer Science (97)

Mathematics (53)

Programming (48)

Engineering (91)

Social Sciences (266)

Business (213)

Art & Design (75)

Data Science (24)

Education & Teaching (85)

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.

Comments 38

  1. JP Miller

    Dhawal, this is awesome. Thank you so much for putting this list together!

    Reply
  2. garuba ojo Fredericks

    beautiful….i love it

    Reply
  3. Festus OTUONYE.

    This is a good development. There’s no end to learning and improvement in knowledge. Thanks for your work.

    Reply
  4. Jude Lumala

    Dhawal, you are most appreciated for this.

    Reply
  5. SUMIT

    This is amazing Dhawal. Pretty cool. thanks for helping all of us out here.

    kudos

    Reply
  6. thehealthylifestyleexpo

    Courses from 166 universities, including Stanford, Georgia Tech, Yale, Duke, and Michigan, are part of the list. Around 35% of the courses are not in English.

    Reply
  7. ck cheung

    Amazing!!! Thanks for putting this together.

    I’ve forwarded this to all my close friends.

    Reply
  8. AMehta

    Fantastic list, Dhawal. I’m sure this changes over time, and I do hope you update your list. Thanks so much for your efforts!

    Reply
  9. Edidiong

    This has been VERY helpful! Thanks a million!

    Reply
  10. Maksim Toropygin

    Your work is amazing, thank you very much.

    Reply
  11. Jay

    Extremely helpful. Thanks for the ground work. You’re a true gentleman and scholar

    Reply
  12. moa

    Thank you so much, very helpful. Last time I checked out Coursera it was still for free (except for the certificates). 🙂

    Reply
  13. Pambili

    Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown. It’s not always easy to see what is on the platform because we always go looking for something specific.

    Reply
  14. Athina T.

    Amazing work.!

    Reply
  15. ChenWoon

    Wonderful!!

    Reply
  16. Kombe malombola

    Dhawal,
    Firstly I would like to thank you so much for your tireless efforts to teach us the masses, then secondly I would like free online course on contract law

    Reply
  17. Mrs. McDonell

    Thank you for compiling this information. Is there any way to determine courses are from a Secular vs Christian institution ?

    Reply
  18. Ryan

    Thank you! Is it possible to have a similar list for edX as well?

    Reply
  19. Lionel

    Best thing I have ever read

    Reply
  20. annissa maulina

    This is really helpful, based on this tip i’m preparing a resource list for my team in our museum. Due to the pandemic most of our budget are being slashed heavily. Thankyou so much 🙂

    Reply
  21. Mahlenk

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I found so many courses I didn’t know I was looking for. Excited to get started.

    Reply
  22. Roberta (Robin) Sullivan

    Hello, Another free Coursera MOOC without a certificate is SUNY’s Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success (#EmTechMOOC)
    http://suny.edu/emtech
    https://www.coursera.org/learn/emerging-technologies-lifelong-learning

    Coursera is also running a COVID inspired promotion that has 35 of their 3,500+ MOOCs being offered for FREE, including a certificate (through 5/31/2020.). EmTech is included in this offer.

    Coursera Together: enroll today and get this course for free.
    https://www.coursera.org/promo/career-development-free

    SUNY affiliated students, faculty, staff, and alumni always are eligible to take this MOOC and earn a free certificate.

    Reply
  23. Tiffany

    Hello, How long will you continue to have free courses? Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Amanda

    Is there a limit with how many courses you can enroll in with a free certificate? I signed up for two and want to enroll in another but the site isn’t displaying the promotion at the top of the screen as per your GIFs instructions. Thanks

    Reply
  25. Veron

    Hii! I have a question. Can you enroll different courses at the same time? I mean courses with free lessons and free certificate. And in some courses that I’d tried to enroll, when I click to purchase course, says that I have to write my bank account so its not free, that’s not checkout option… Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Thanks

    Reply
  26. Akshita Agarkar

    Wow, I’m just so impressed by your article. Thank you for putting everything in one place. It is helpful, amazing, and informative. Thank You again!

    Reply
  27. Paulin

    Hi, I’m finishing Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour MOOC that also mentioned above.
    Yet, I don’t know how to get free certification, can someone help me? 🙁
    Thanks.

    Reply
  28. Annabel Saldanha

    Very impressive and informative article Dhawal!
    Would you be able to provide an update for July 2020?

    Reply
  29. Viviana Emile

    This list was so effective and convenient . Thank you so much for your time. Smart people do exist

    Reply
  30. Mr. Scrooge

    Hello,
    Anynew courses added to this list?

    Reply
  31. stephanie

    Thank you so much, but will you add later on more free couses? and also could you add courses for architecture and interior design and their progams (3dsmax, Revit, Sketchup…)

    Reply
  32. ravi srinivasan

    Access is one thing, but a complete course experience is another. we need to distinguish between a course like CS50 on Edx, which offers a complete experience for free, vs many courses on Coursera (or lately Edx), that allow access to videos but not much else. The AI for Medicine, for e.g. offers an audit experience, but also hides some course exercises, quizzes etc.

    Reply
  33. Kj

    Everyone of these I’ve tried requires a payment for certificate

    Reply
    • Dhawal Shah

      As we note in the article, the certificates are paid but all the contents of the course including graded assignments are free. For other Coursera courses, the graded assignments are also behind the certificate paywall.

      Reply
  34. Fernando Lanas

    Thank you very much, this was incredibly helpful!!

    Reply
  35. Xander

    Are there still courses with free certificates in April 2021.. like till 30th April 2021. Please can you update the dates, none are with free certificates.

    Reply
  36. Jesus

    Are there free courses still available, can you update this list please. It was so helpful.

    Reply

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