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Harvard’s Computer Science Intro (CS50): Here’s How to Earn a Free Certificate

In 2020, CS50 offers new content, three specializations tracks, and a free certificate of completion.

CS50 in Harvard's Sanders Theater
CS50 in Harvard’s Sanders Theater

With over 1.5M enrollments on edX, CS50, Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science, is one of the world’s most popular MOOCs and an all-time, top-100 online course on Class Central.

Having taken the course myself a few years ago, I can’t say I’m surprised: the course is excellent. It has dedicated instructors, excellent production values, and its content is refreshed annually. Most notably, the course will continue to offer a free certificate of completion in 2020.

New Curriculum

Taught by David J. Malan and filmed in Harvard’s Sanders Theater, CS50’s 2020 video lessons bring new content and more demos. Problem sets have been updated to include:

In addition, CS50 now offers specialization tracks, allowing students to dedicate the last few weeks of course to one of three subjects:

These tracks borrow from some of CS50’s follow-up courses introduced in 2018.

Like in previous years, CS50 culminates in an open-ended software project that asks students to put into practice what they learned in the course.

Free Certificate

Since its launch, CS50 has maintained a firm stance toward openness. In 2020, the course will remain entirely free, including its certificate of completion. This is how the free certificate looks:

CS50 Free Course Certificate
CS50 Free Course Certificate

Note, however, that the free certificate does not include identity verification. Students may instead choose to pay $90 for a verified certificate on edX. Or they may pay $1840 to $2840 to take the course through Harvard Extension School, in which case they’ll have access to a formal transcript and earn academic credit upon completion of the course.

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 10

  1. Tommy

    I am currently studying Information Technology and I just wanted to know your schedule so that I can be able to catch up with your programs since I am a new comer.

    • Pat Bowden

      This course (like many others) is self-paced. You can join when you are ready. Lecture videos and other course materials can be accessed at any time of the day or night suitable for you.

  2. Thom

    This course is not free. You have to pay $ 90 / or when You completed the course you earn a certificate?

    • Isaac

      The course itself is free, but you can choose to pay $90 for a certificate at the end from edX if you would like to.

  3. Siddhi Deshpande

    Do we get a certificate after completing the course for FREE ? Like just a normal certificate which can be linked or is shareable ?

  4. Aisha

    The price p
    of verified certificate was 90 dollar but why its showing 299 dollar now?

  5. Nathalie Aigil

    Hi, I’m from Papua New Guinea and I just want to en-quire if I can take to course online as an International student.

    Thank you.

    • Arjun Murthy

      Yes, you can take the course from anywhere in the world.

  6. Dane

    Where to register and what is the enrollment procedure?

  7. endeavour shrestha

    The cost of certificate is 90$ but why is it showing 199$ in mine


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