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Analysis

500 Free Computer Science Online Courses from the World’s Top CS Universities

Combining leading university rankings to find the best computer science courses offered online.

Computer Science Courses from the Top 50 Universities

Every year, Class Central publishes rankings of the world’s highest rated and most popular online courses. The rankings are based on the courses’ user ratings and total enrollments. To see our annual course rankings, visit Class Central Rankings.

In this article, however, let’s adopt a different approach. Instead of focusing on top courses, let’s focus on top universities. More specifically, let’s find online courses offered by the 2020 world best universities for studying computer science.

Approach

I started with the three leading global university rankings and looked at the latest editions of their computer science rankings:

My approach was simple. First, I combined the three rankings into one by averaging each university’s position across the three rankings. Second, I limited the list to the top-fifty institutions that offer computer science courses online. Third, I leveraged Class Central’s database to build a list of those courses.

Script for combining university rankings
Combining rankings in Jupyter Notebook

As you can see above, the three institutions that topped the combined ranking were #1 MIT, #2 Stanford, and #3 Carnegie Mellon. If you’d like to see the data and the process I followed to get to that result, check out my GitHub repo.

After compiling each university’s offering, the end result is a list of 500 online courses offered by the 2020 world 50 best universities for studying computer science.

Notable Courses

Unsurprisingly, some of the courses in the list are also part of Class Central’s best online courses of all time. You can find these below. They’re all great options, especially for novice e-learners, since they exemplify the best that online education has to offer.

Full Course List

The full list is split into subjects. Click on one to jump to the relevant courses. Courses that are also in Class Central’s all-time top-100 ranking are denoted with a star (⭐).

With 500 courses to choose from, I hope you find something you like. But if those aren’t enough, check out Class Central’s catalog of over 15K online courses.

AI & Machine Learning (65 Courses)

Algorithms & Data Structures (60 Courses)

Bioinformatics & Healthcare (30 Courses)

Computer Science (90 Courses)

Cybersecurity (22 Courses)

Data Science (109 Courses)

Programming Languages (60 Courses)

Software Development (57 Courses)

Quantum Computing (7 Courses)

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

Comments 2

  1. Avatar

    Ambreen Asif Qureshi

    I am an educationist since 1994 and am presently working as Director Quality Enhancement Cell at one of the private universities in Pakistan.

    I am pretty good at almost all MS Office applications, and an avid user of computers for daily professional work.

    However, I think post Covid-19, there will be lots of lay offs through the the world, and, God forbid, I may not be an exception considering my salary package and age.

    Therefore, I want to gain knowledge and brush up my qualifications which may help me in working online from Home. Can you please advise me what would match my experience (mainly University Administration and Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and qualifications (M.A. English).

    I want to remain gainfully employed. Please help me understand new technologies and equip myself for future.

    Reply
  2. Avatar

    XYG

    Very helpful list. Thanks very much!

    Reply

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