The Report by Class Central

Disclosure: Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Class Central’s Best Online Courses of All Time (2020 Edition)

The rankings contain 200 courses from ~100 universities based on 125,000+ learner reviews.

Each year Class Central publishes the ranking of the Best Online Courses of All Time, based on thousands of reviews written by learners. We first published the ranking in 2016, and have updated it since (see also 2017, 2018, 2019 editions).

In the 2020 edition of the Best Online Courses of All Time, we increased the number of courses in the list from 100 to 200, drawing on more than 125,000 learner reviews.

And here are the results:

Class Central's Best Online Courses of All Time Ranking Screenshot
Class Central’s Best Online Courses of All Time

This is not the only ranking Class Central publishes. Here are a few more:

The Highlights

Here are some quick stats about the 2020 edition of Class Central’s Best Online Courses of All Time ranking.

  • The ranking features courses from ~100 universities in 23 countries.
  • The country with the most courses is the United States with 78 courses, followed by the UK with 25 courses.
  • Coursera is the top course platform with 75 courses, followed by edX (57) and FutureLearn (39).
  • The most reviewed course has 22k reviews.
  • Here are the universities with the most courses
    • University of Sheffield – 9 courses
    • MIT – 8 courses
    • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – 6 courses
    • Stanford University – 6 courses


The methodology we used for this ranking is simple. Using thousands of reviews written by our learners, Class Central was able to sort courses by the Bayesian average of their ratings. Then we removed all the courses with fewer than 20 reviews (the low threshold helps smaller providers to compete on quality) and courses that are unlikely to be offered again. If a course has multiple parts, we only included the first part.

Universities and Course platforms are welcome to upload The Best of All Time Ribbon or Banner to their course page. Here are the digital assets:

The full ranking can be found here: The Best Online Courses of All Time

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 1

  1. Kingsley Omose

    Is there any such ranking on programming courses?


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. All comments go through moderation, so your comment won't display immediately.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Browse our catalog

Discover thousands of free online courses from top universities around the world like MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.

Browse all subjects