Image of the Coursera home page with the phrase 'Learn without limits" written and a smiling young woman.

Is Coursera Free?

Yes and No.

Yes, Coursera offers 2602 courses for free. You can audit the Coursera course and access all course material for free. Some courses even allow you to access graded assignments for free.

No, if you want to receive an accredited Coursera certificate to evidence you have achieved the course, then you need to pay for the course. In some courses, if you want access to graded assignments you will also have to pay.

Yes, by taking advantage of the 7-day free trial, you can get unlimited, free access (for 7 days) to 7,000+ courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs through Coursera Plus.

No, you cannot access Guided Projects, Specializations, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack Certificates, or Degrees for free. After the 7-day free trial, you also cannot access Coursera Plus for free. You can access some courses which are part of Specializations for free.

Below is an outline of Coursera’s price structure for the paid courses:

  • Guided Project – The cost starts at $9.99.
  • Specialization – The cost starts at $39 per month.
  • Professional Certificate – The cost starts at $39 per month.
  • MasterTrack Certificate – The cost starts at $2,000.
  • Degree – The cost starts at $9,000.
  • Coursera Plus – Get unlimited access to 7,000+ courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs, for $59 per month. You start with a 7-day free trial and cancel anytime.

However, even for paid Coursera courses, they offer discounts and coupons on a regular basis. For example, Coursera often runs sales where you can get Coursera courses for 50% off. Additionally, Coursera frequently offers coupons for courses on its website.

Further, Coursera also offers financial aid for any student who cannot afford to pay for a Coursera course, whether it be an individual course or a degree.

In which subjects is Coursera free?

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Health
  • Information Technology
  • Language Learning
  • Math and Logic
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Social Sciences

In which skill areas is Coursera free?

Coursera offers free online courses in more than 300 skill areas including:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning Algorithms
  • Machine Learning Software
  • Project Management
  • Statistical Machine Learning
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • and more . . .
An image of the Coursera page displaying the 2602 free courses on the online learning platform

Popular Coursera Free Courses

1. The Science of Well-Being

  • Yale University
  • Rated 4.9 out of five stars with 34841 reviews

2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

  • Deep Teaching Solutions
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 85009 reviews

3. Financial Markets

  • Yale University
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 23832 reviews

4. COVID-19 Contact Tracing

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Rated 4.9 out of five stars with 94660 reviews

5. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

  • University of Michigan
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 17546 reviews

6. English for Career Development

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 13389 reviews

7. Algorithms, Part I

  • Princeton University
  • Rated 4.9 out of five stars with 10035 reviews

8. Seeing Through Photographs

  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 4170 reviews

9. Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies

  • Università Bocconi
  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars with 5279 reviews

10. Private Equity and Venture Capital

  • Università Bocconi
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 7206 reviews

11. Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

  • University of Toronto
  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars with 5850 reviews

12. Internet History, Technology, and Security

  • University of Michigan
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 2547 reviews

13. Introduction to Philosophy

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars with 8634 reviews

14. Cryptography I

  • Stanford University
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 3986 reviews

15. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

  • Princeton University
  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars with 2857 reviews

16. Algorithms, Part II

  • Princeton University
  • Rated 4.9 out of five stars with 1770 reviews

17. Computer Science: Programming with a Purpose

  • Princeton University
  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars with 783 reviews

18. Computer Architecture

  • Princeton University
  • Rated 4.8 out of five stars with 2003 reviews

19. Writing in English at University

  • Lund University
  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars with 480 reviews

20. Chemistry

  • University of Kentucky
  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars with 1878 reviews

21. Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Rated 4.5 out of five stars with 416 reviews
A coursera page displaying some of the free courses

Summary / Conclusion

Coursera offers 2602 courses for free, but if you want to receive an accredited certificate or in some cases access graded assignments, you need to pay. You can access free courses in more than 10 subject areas and in more than 300 skill areas.

Also, by taking advantage of the 7-day free trial, you can get unlimited, free access (for 7 days) to 7,000+ courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs through Coursera Plus.

However, you cannot access Guided Projects, Specializations, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack Certificates, or Degrees for free. After the 7-day free trial, you also cannot access Coursera Plus for free. You can access some courses which are part of Specializations for free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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No, if you want a certificate on a free course offered by Coursera, then you need to pay for the course.

Yes, if you are looking for a high-quality online course that provides value for money and is often free, Coursera is one of the best online education platforms. Read my full Coursera review (and comparison with Udemy) to learn more.

More than 275 leading universities and companies offer online learning opportunities on Coursera including Yale University, Duke University, Stanford University, Imperial College London, Michigan State University, Wesleyan University, McMaster University, Amazon Web Service, Meta, Google, IBM and more!

The 9 best Coursera competitors and alternatives include:

1. edX

2. Udacity

3. Udemy

4. MasterClass

5. Pluralsight

6. Skillshare

7. LinkedIn Learning

8. FutureLearn

9. Khan Academy

I have written an in-depth guide on alternatives to Coursera.

Yes, Coursera offers a number of project centered courses, hands-on projects and guided projects on its online learning platform.

Coursera is based in Mountain View, California, in the United States. However, they have offices around the world and partner with universities and companies from around the world.

Coursera’s primary headquarters is located at 381 East Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, CA, 94041, US.

However, they also have offices located at:

  • 119 W 24th Street, New York, New York, 10011, US
  • SCO 57, Sector 29, Gurgaon, Haryana, 122001, IN
  • 256-260 Old Street, 5th floor, London, EC1V 9DD, UK

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