[Update: 28 Jan. 2020] Today, Stanford removed most of their free-certificate courses from Lagunita. This is likely a result of the university becoming an institutional member of edX. Some of Stanford’s courses that just yesterday were offered on Lagunita have now been transferred to edX. Unfortunately, on edX, they don’t include a free certificate of completion. You can find more details here.
Stanford University offers 69 free online courses through Lagunita, Stanford’s own MOOC platform, which is based on Open edX. Of those 69 courses, 44 offer a free certificate of completion, including courses in computer science, engineering, and medicine.
The courses are self-paced and involve auto-graded assessments. In some courses, learners may earn a special mention if their final course score is high enough. For instance, in Statistical Learning, a 50% gets you a regular certificate, but a 90% gets you one “with distinction.”
Stanford’s free-certificate courses notably include Algorithms: Design and Analysis, which is often regarded as one of the best introductions to algorithms and data structures available online — notably by Class Central founder, Dhawal Shah, who recently wrote about it.
The course is also offered as a Specialization on Coursera. But there, the equivalent certificates cost $200. On Lagunita, they’re free (albeit not ID-verified). Here’s how they look: