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The 100 Most Popular Online Courses of All Time (2020)

The best way to choose a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is to choose one that other people have taken and enjoyed.

Class Central has been maintaining a catalog of these MOOCs ever since they rose to popularity back in 2012. According to Class Central’s 2019 annual report on MOOCs, 110M students have taken at least one course and over 900+ universities have launched 13,500 courses.

To help learners decide which course to take, Class Central publishes a number of different rankings based on the tens of thousands of reviews written by Class Central users.

In this ranking, we take a different approach. Instead of ranking courses by reviews, we rank by the number of students who enrolled in the course. In some cases, the top reviewed courses are also the courses with the most enrollments. In other cases, courses with large enrollments only have average reviews. This suggests there are popular courses that Class Central’s reviews have missed.

Interest in MOOCs and online education has never been greater. If you’re looking for a new online course, take a look at these free courses that millions of students have already taken.

  1. Machine Learning from Stanford University ★★★★★(360)
  2. The Science of Well-Being from Yale University ★★★★★(10)
  3. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects from University of California, San Diego ★★★★★(10464)
  4. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University ★★★★★(86)
  5. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python from Massachusetts Institute of Technology ★★★★☆(123)
  6. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) from University of Michigan ★★★★★(10843)
  7. IELTS Academic Test Preparation from University of Queensland ★★★★★(4)
  8. TOEFL® Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide from ETS ★★★★★(2)
  9. Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel from Microsoft ★★★★☆(13)
  10. Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments from Duke University ★★★★★(7)
  11. Algorithms, Part I from Princeton University ★★★★★(60)
  12. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship from University of Maryland ★★★★☆(34)
  13. Exploring English: Language and Culture from British Council ★★★★★(234)
  14. Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1 from University of Maryland ★★★★☆(38)
  15. Cryptography I from Stanford University ★★★★★(52)
  16. Social Psychology from Wesleyan University ★★★★★(65)
  17. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills from University of Michigan ★★★★★(14)
  18. Chinese for Beginners from Peking University ★★★★☆(23)
  19. Introduction to Public Speaking from University of Washington ★★★★★(8)
  20. Introduction to Linux from Linux Foundation ★★★★☆(37)
  21. English Grammar and Style from University of Queensland ★★★★☆(31)
  22. Model Thinking from University of Michigan ★★★★★(65)
  23. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python from Rice University ★★★★★(3190)
  24. English for Career Development from University of Pennsylvania ★★★★☆(17)
  25. Introduction to Philosophy from University of Edinburgh ★★★★☆(66)
  26. Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence from Case Western Reserve University ★★★★★(23)
  27. Introduction to Data Analysis using Excel from Microsoft ★★★★☆(6)
  28. Neural Networks and Deep Learning from deeplearning.ai ★★★★★(15)
  29. R Programming from Johns Hopkins University ★★★☆☆(241)
  30. [New] Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts from British Council
  31. The Science of Happiness from University of California, Berkeley ★★★★★(32)
  32. Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner from Microsoft ★★★☆☆(3)
  33. Grammar and Punctuation from University of California, Irvine ★★★★☆(29)
  34. Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI from Microsoft ★★★★★(3)
  35. English for the Workplace from British Council ★★★★★(395)
  36. The Data Scientist’s Toolbox from Johns Hopkins University ★★★☆☆(162)
  37. Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone from Georgia Institute of Technology ★★★★☆(4)
  38. Data Science: R Basics from Harvard University ★★★★★(10)
  39. Buddhism and Modern Psychology from Princeton University ★★★★★(27)
  40. Child Nutrition and Cooking from Stanford University ★★★★☆(29)
  41. Python Data Structures from University of Michigan ★★★★★(4760)
  42. Introduction to Data Science in Python from University of Michigan ★★☆☆☆(44)
  43. Introduction to Philosophy from University of Edinburgh ★★★★☆(66)
  44. Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance from Monash University ★★★★★(111)
  45. Introduction to Java Programming: Starting to code in Java from Universidad Carlos iii de Madrid ★★★★☆(5)
  46. The Science of Everyday Thinking from University of Queensland ★★★★★(47)
  47. Stanford Introduction to Food and Health from Stanford University ★★★★☆(35)
  48. Basic Spanish 1: Getting Started from Universitat Politècnica de València ★★★★☆(123)
  49. Financial Engineering and Risk Management Part I from Columbia University ★★★★☆(12)
  50. Financial Markets from Yale University ★★★★☆(29)
  51. Start Writing Fiction from The Open University ★★★★☆(20)
  52. Introduction to C++ from Microsoft ★★★★☆(7)
  53. Academic and Business Writing from University of California, Berkeley ★★★★☆(14)
  54. Finanzas personales from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  55. A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment from Indian School of Business ★★★★★(441)
  56. A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study from University of Reading ★★★★☆(22)
  57. Mastering Data Analysis in Excel from Duke University ★★☆☆☆(25)
  58. Marketing in a Digital World from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ★★★★★(165)
  59. Introduction to Cyber Security from The Open University ★★★★☆(20)
  60. Using Python to Access Web Data from University of Michigan ★★★★★(2022)
  61. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity from University of California, Irvine ★★★★☆(40)
  62. How to Write an Essay from University of California, Berkeley ★★★★☆(26)
  63. AI For Everyone from deeplearning.ai ★★★★☆(4)
  64. Introduction to Mathematical Thinking from Stanford University ★★★★☆(47)
  65. Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Columbia University ★★★★☆(10)
  66. Python for Data Science from University of California, San Diego ★★★★☆(43)
  67. Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching from University of Southampton ★★★★☆(7)
  68. Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure from Google ★★★★☆(4)
  69. Improving Deep Neural Networks: Hyperparameter tuning, Regularization and Optimization from deeplearning.ai ★★★★★(3)
  70. Justice from Harvard University ★★★★★(38)
  71. Introductory Human Physiology from Duke University ★★★★★(26)
  72. Statistics and R from Harvard University ★★★★☆(20)
  73. Introduction to Python: Fundamentals from Microsoft
  74. Project Management: The Basics for Success from University of California, Irvine ★★★★☆(23)
  75. Primeros Auxilios Psicológicos (PAP) from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona) ★★★★★(1)
  76. CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript from Harvard University ★★★★★(6)
  77. Modern Art & Ideas from The Museum of Modern Art ★★★★★(5)
  78. Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract from Harvard University ★★★★☆(10)
  79. Fundamentals of Neuroscience, Part 1: The Electrical Properties of the Neuron from Harvard University ★★★★★(12)
  80. Querying Data with Transact-SQL from Microsoft ★★★★☆(4)
  81. Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS from Duke University ★★★★☆(10)
  82. How to Succeed at: Interviews from The University of Sheffield ★★★★★(171)
  83. Technical Support Fundamentals from Google ★★☆☆☆(4)
  84. Excel: Fundamentos y herramientas from Universitat Politècnica de València ★★★★★(194)
  85. Convolutional Neural Networks from deeplearning.ai ★★★★★(8)
  86. Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach from University of Washington ★★★★☆(38)
  87. Introduction to Programming with MATLAB from Vanderbilt University ★★★★★(195)
  88. Design Thinking for Innovation from University of Virginia ★★★★★(3)
  89. What is Data Science? from IBM ★★★☆☆(1)
  90. Introduction to Marketing from University of Pennsylvania ★★★★☆(65)
  91. Learn to Program in Java from Microsoft ★★★★★(3)
  92. Introduction to Dutch from University of Groningen ★★★★★(147)
  93. HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers from Johns Hopkins University ★★★★★(14)
  94. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Microsoft
  95. Using Databases with Python from University of Michigan ★★★★★(1656)
  96. Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition from Wageningen University ★★★★☆(51)
  97. English for Business and Entrepreneurship from University of Pennsylvania ★★★★★(2)
  98. Structuring Machine Learning Projects from deeplearning.ai ★★★★★(3)
  99. Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics from Columbia University ★★☆☆☆(19)
  100. Understanding Dementia from University of Tasmania ★★★★★(6348)


  1. Avatar


    Thank you so much for sharing all the resources, really helpful and much appreciated.

  2. Avatar


    Thank you for sharing information. It is worth for teachers and students both. Even any person who is interested apart from his acedemic specialization can do it.

  3. Avatar

    Dr.Suvarna Sukhadeo Gund

    Thanks for new information . मराठी माषेसाठी असे कोसऀ आहेत का? नसतील तर आपण यासाठी काय करू शकता? यासाठी मराठी भाषिक म्हणुन मी या कोसऀसाठी प्रयत्न करु शकते.?
    Thanks .


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