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Course Report

[2024] The 250 Most Popular Online Courses of All Time

The best way to pick an online course is to choose one that many people have taken and enjoyed.

Most Popular of All Time

The best way to choose an online course is to choose one that other many people have taken and enjoyed.

Class Central has been maintaining a catalog of online courses since the advent of the modern online education movement in 2012. More than a decade later, our catalog has now grown to over 200,000 online courses.

To help learners decide which course to take, Class Central publishes different course rankings, including the Best Online Courses of All Time, which is based on the tens of thousands of reviews written by Class Central users.

In this article, however, let’s take a different approach. Instead of ranking courses by reviews, let’s rank them by enrollment — that is, by their sheer popularity. 

In some cases, the highest-rated online courses are also the courses with largest enrollments. In other cases, courses with big enrollments may have few or average reviews. This suggests that there are popular courses that Class Central’s reviews alone may miss.

So in this article, we’ve compiled the 250 most popular online courses of all time.

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Most Popular Online Courses of All Time

Here are some stats about the course list:

  • Combined, these courses have received 117K reviews on Class Central.
  • Together, they account for over 152M enrollments (608K on average).
  • Enrollments range from 247K to 5.6M. 26 courses have over 1M enrollments.
  • All courses courses are free or free-to-audit.
  • 93% of the courses are in English, and most others are in Spanish.
  • This ranking focuses on Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and Swayam.

Without further ado, here are the 250 most popular online courses of all time.

In addition, every year, Class Central publishes the 100 most popular courses of the year. In these rankings, we only look at courses launched in a specific year. Here are the latest editions:

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 11

  1. Bani

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

  2. Suhas

    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. 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 .

  4. Muvaffak GÖZAYDIN

    What is the meaning of numbers next to name within paranthesis .

    • Suparn Patra

      It is the number of reviews that course has received at Class Central.

  5. Lesa Taylor

    Good morning,
    I see that you are specializing in ed-tech. I am a ed-tech 11 in Maine. I am looking for free courses while i am home this summer. My job at a Boy Scout camp was closed due to COVID 19. Is there any courses for ed-tech to be able to get CEU’S?

    Thank you


  6. David Pérez Diego

    Hello, is there an approximate number of enrollments (historically) for each course? Or some sort of average per year/starting period?

    Thanks for the hard work, amazing data.

  7. Sally Mac

    Wow-this is great! T/you-Sally

  8. Sandipan Debnath

    I really appreciate the efforts put in by the class central team.
    Just a request if it is possible to get the same list separated by subjects so that it becomes easy for us to find specific stream related most popular course.

  9. Alexandros

    I’m finding this article and list a bit disappinting. I’ll share here what I didn’t like in the hope someone will find it helpful and/or I’ll see improvements in the future.

    – The article starts saying that “The *best* way to choose a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is to choose one that other people have taken and enjoyed”, and I think it’s wrong/misleading. 1) even the best courses start with 1 enrollment; 2) the interest of a person in a course and the impact such education will have on her life is not necessarily linked with how many other people have taken and even enjoyed the course; 3) maybe I’m missing something here but, is it enough to consider only how many people have enrolled? Shouldn’t we consider also how many have finished it?

    – The list is too long, incomplete, and disorganised: it’s not possible to filter the list by language, nor by topic; it’s not possible to see how many have enrolled. It’s also strange that some courses that made it to the most-popular courses list have only a handful of reviews… I’d even dare to say that reviews / stars maybe doing more harm than good to the industry: they are not reliable, and they may create positive/negative prejudice in other students. I’d say, NO REVIEWS, present what the course offers and how it compares to other similar ones! Feedback should be gathered with in-depth interviews to satisfied and disappointed students.


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