Everything you need to know about Coursera, an online learning platform that offers over 3,000 classes from some of the world's best universities

Everything you need to know about Coursera, an online learning platform that offers over 3,000 classes from some of the world's best universities
Coursera; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

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What is Coursera?

Coursera is an online learning platform founded by two Stanford University computer science professors. The e-learning platform offers about 3,000 online courses in partnership with the world's leading universities and companies.
The site offers individual courses as well as bachelor's and master's degree programs that reduce barriers to higher education. There are also professional certificate programs designed to aid workers in securing new roles or promotions.

What kinds of classes does Coursera offer?

Coursera's education offerings run the gamut, from personal development courses like its extremely popular Yale Science of Well-Being course to workforce upskilling programs from companies like Google and IBM. Coursera also offers online degrees in industries such as public health and computer science. While each course or degree program leans more academic than infotainment (which is more MasterClass' domain), you can learn about virtually anything on the platform.

Is Coursera free?

Most Coursera courses are free to audit, but students don't get access to things like graded homework assignments or certificates of completion when they're auditing a course.

How much do Coursera courses cost?

Courses can range from $50 to hundreds of dollars depending on the type and topic. The site also offers Coursera Plus, which is a $399 annual subscription that gives its members unlimited access to over 90% of the e-learning platform's online courses (over 3,000 classes).

Does Coursera offer degrees?

Yes, there are options for online Master's and Bachelor's degrees.

Does Coursera offer certificates?

Yes, Coursera offers certificates of completion for its courses if you pay for the course and complete the assignments.

Does Coursera offer financial aid?

Yes. However, programs like Coursera MasterTracks (partial Master's programs) are not eligible for financial aid.

Here are all the articles we've written about Coursera:

Everything you need to know about Coursera, an online learning platform that offers over 3,000 classes from some of the world's best universities

Coursera is offering 90% of its online classes to college students for free until September 30, 2020 — here's how to enroll

College and university students can take thousands of courses online for free through September 30, 2020. The free courses range from computer science and data to public health and humanities and give students access to 150 Guided Projects, 400 Specializations, and 11 Professional Certificates at no cost.

These 100 online courses from Coursera are $0 now through December 31

Coursera is offering 100 online courses free, many of them taught by Ivy League schools or offered by companies like Google and Amazon, now through December 31. You'll find classes on everything from mental health and well-being to cloud technology. Learners will get access to all the stuff that's typically kept behind a paywall: graded homework, projects, and reading material, as well as a certificate of completion they can add to LinkedIn.

13 popular online courses that people enroll in and actually finish, according to Coursera

Coursera shared a list of courses that the company says have both high enrollment numbers and high completion rates — and the list ranges from Machine Learning to the universally useful Learning How to Learn course.

This free online course from Johns Hopkins teaches people how to become a contract tracer in just 6 hours

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health has created an online course that teaches students how to become a contact tracer, a public health role that helps slow the spread of COVID-19. "COVID-19 Contact Tracing" takes six hours to complete, and it's free to enroll in until December 31, 2020, courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Coursera has a free CME-eligible course that gives students an overview of COVID-19 in just 3 hours

Osmosis, a medical education site, and the IPMA created a free and CME-eligible Coursera course that gives students an overview of COVID-19. "COVID-19: What You Need to Know" combines current information issued by the CDC, WHO, and other leading agencies, while also exploring topics like personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and more.

12 free public health courses that award a certificate upon completion

Here are a dozen of the best public health courses that have no paywall for a limited time and offer a certificate of completion. Topics range from topic concerns like disaster preparedness to infection prevention in nursing homes, and disease screening in epidemics.

Coursera offers a free online class called 'Learning How to Learn' that gives you the tools to master any topic

The Coursera class "Learning How to Learn" teaches students about the science of learning so they can master any topic they want, and it's one of the company's most popular courses ever. The idea is that you can approach learning efficiently by understanding how your brain processes information and builds memory.

Yale's most popular class ever is available free online — and the topic is how to be happier in your daily life

Professor Laurie Santos taught a Yale class called Psychology and the Good Life in 2018 that went on to become the university's most popular class in history. This is the course that's been adapted for online learning, and it combines positive psychology with the concrete habit-building of behavioral science.

11 of the best Yale classes you can take online for free — including the most popular course in the university's history

Coursera carries more than a dozen Yale courses that range in topics from the financial markets to the moral foundation of politics. Yale also offers versions of previous courses through Open Yale Courses, but Coursera is your best bet if you're interested in a more "traditional" online experience — like having peers and a bit more structure. While most courses are available in English, you'll also find a couple of popular Yale courses taught in Arabic and Chinese.

The 9 most popular online courses people are taking on Coursera from Stanford, Yale, and Princeton

The classes with the most students enrolled in them on Coursera include Stanford's Machine Learning, Yale's The Science of Well-Being, and the University of Michigan's Programming for Everybody. If you're looking for Coursera's "greatest hits" list, this isn't a bad place to start.

UPenn is offering an online master's degree in computer science that prepares students for a successful career in tech — for one-third of the on-campus cost

UPenn's online Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) program helps students who don't have a computer science background to enter the field. It's the online version of its on-campus graduate-level course, and it takes 16 to 40 months to complete. You can find more details on the cost and curriculum here.

Coursera's MasterTrack programs offer a portion of master's degrees online from universities like Duke and the University of Chicago for a fraction of the cost — here's how they work

Coursera offers a portion of master's degree programs online for a far more affordable rate than you'll find on campus. Each MasterTrack is a stackable, for-credit program comprised of several courses completed over a few months. In some cases, they allow students to earn credit toward the full master's degree program from which the MasterTrack Certificate program is based, though this varies by institution.

Coursera's new annual subscription, Coursera Plus, grants members unlimited access to over 90% of its online classes for $399 a year

Coursera Plus is a $399 annual subscription that grants members unlimited access to over 90% of the e-learning platform's online courses (over 3,000 classes) for a year. You can skim the list of classes included with the membership here.

Coursera's new Workforce Recovery Initiative gives unemployed workers free access to 90% of its online course catalog — here's how it works

Coursera is offering unemployed workers free access to thousands of job-relevant courses, specializations, and professional certificates. Leah Belsky, the Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera, mentioned the Contact Tracing Course and Google IT Support Professional Certificate as two great examples of how the program is helping unemployed workers re-skill and re-enter the workforce.

15 cloud tech courses you can take from Coursera, edX, and Udemy that are cheap or available for free for a limited time

According to data from LinkedIn, cloud computing and related skills are in-demand in 2020. Here, we've rounded up 15 cloud tech courses that build a valued skillset and offer certificates of completion that you can use to demonstrate persistence and proficiency.

I use Coursera to take all the fun classes I never got to take in college, like the history of modern art — here's what it's like to use the platform

Online-learning sites are great tools for both personal and career-based development, and I used Coursera to take a Museum of Modern Art course — the kind of learning experience that I couldn't fit into my schedule in college.

5 free online courses from UPenn that teach you how to lead a happier and more fulfilled life

The University of Pennsylvania offers a series of five courses about positive psychology on Coursera that are designed to build both theoretical and practical tools for happiness. Students will learn about the history of positive psychology as a study, its practical applications, and more, and complete a final project where they identify opportunities in their daily life to increase their own well-being. Altogether, the Specialization will probably take students about four months to complete.