Skip to main content

Guide: How to Sign up for Coursera Courses for Free


Can you get a Coursera Certificate for Free?

Certificates were free in Coursera’s early days. Unfortunately, you can’t get a free certificate for completing Coursera courses now. You can, however, apply for financial aid for most courses if you can’t afford to pay for a certificate.

Some providers have stopped offering free certificates for completing their online courses although many free certificates are still available from a range of providers.

Free Certificates From Other Providers

Here are some popular collections of free certificates and badges from various providers:

For more free certificate courses, visit Class Central’s free certificates collection or articles.

Is Coursera Still Free?

Yes and no. A few courses on Coursera are paid only. These are indicated on Class Central by a small green $ symbol, as you can see below:

At the time of writing this article, a big majority of the courses have some element of “free” — mostly the videos are free to watch but you need to pay if you want access to graded assignments and certificates. However, Coursera still has many courses for which even the graded assignments are completely free.

You must sign up (Join for Free) with Coursera before you can see the price. Your Class Central account is not the same as an account with Coursera.

How to Audit Coursera Courses

Coursera calls having access to the free portions of a course “auditing the course.” I first came across this concept of auditing when I (Dhawal) went to Georgia Tech, where I got my Masters in Computer Science. I got my undergrad degree in India and we didn’t have the concept of auditing there.

Here is a quick definition from a university’s FAQ: Auditing a course allows a student to take a class without the benefit of a grade or credit for a course.

So when you are trying to enroll in Coursera courses for free, look for the word Audit after you select the Enroll For Free button. Audit does not include assessment items or a certificate, but lecture videos, course readings, and discussion forums are usually available for free. Coursera keeps tweaking their UI or testing different iterations so what’s on your screen on Coursera’s website may be different from our screenshots.

To avoid providing your payment details to Coursera, you need to select the Audit link.

Coursera Screenshot - Audit

What if the Audit link is not visible?

First, you need to find the course page. You cannot sign up for free via Specialization pages.

Most newly launched courses are part of a Specialization or Professional Certificate. Some older courses that were around twelve weeks long have been converted into Specialization format, with the original course split into multiple courses.

Professional Certificate and Specialization pages do not allow you to sign up for a single course. If you click on the “Enroll for Free” button, you will only be given an option to subscribe to the whole Professional Certificate or Specialization.

To audit for free, you need to find the individual course pages. If you scroll down a bit you will see a list of courses that are part of the Specialization. Click on a course name to go to the single course page.

Unfortunately, even though it lists the courses in the Specialization, the Specialization page may not necessarily link to the individual courses via the course name links. In this case, to visit the course’s page, copy the course name and paste it in the search bar on Coursera. Better yet, you could search for the course on Class Central — We will also show you results of similar courses that are not on Coursera.

When you are on the course page, select the Enroll button and look for an Audit link as shown above.

Because some courses are part of more than one Specialization or Professional Certificate, you may see a pop-up like this one. Click Next, or first select the drop-down arrow to change the program.

The next screen shows the Audit link.

If you are on an individual course page and there is no Audit link, it may be one of the few paid only courses. You can check this by going back to the Class Central information page and looking for a green $ symbol for the COST.

Full Course, No Certificate

This pop-up appears for courses with free access to graded assignments. Simply select the Full Course, No Certificate option.

Coursera Screenshot - No Certificate


Popular posts from this blog

Mastering Deep Work: A Guide to Unlocking Your Productivity Potential

In today's fast-paced world, distractions are everywhere. Whether it's the constant buzz of notifications on your phone, the lure of social media, or the never-ending stream of emails flooding your inbox, maintaining focus and accomplishing meaningful work can be a real challenge. That's where the concept of "deep work" comes in. Coined by productivity expert Cal Newport in his book of the same name, deep work is a powerful approach to working that can help you accomplish more in less time and achieve your professional and personal goals. In this blog, we'll explore what deep work is and provide practical tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine. What is Deep Work? Deep work is a state of flow where you concentrate without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks. It's a period of focused, uninterrupted work during which you produce high-quality, meaningful output. Deep work is in sharp contrast to shallow work, which includes activities lik

The Power of Mindfulness: A Path to Inner Peace and Well-Being

In today's fast-paced world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions, finding moments of calm and clarity can seem like an elusive goal. However, the practice of mindfulness offers a powerful antidote to the chaos of modern life. It is more than just a buzzword; it's a way of living that can transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. In this article, we will explore the profound power of mindfulness and how it can enhance your well-being. What Is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in the moment, without judgment or distraction. It is about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations with a sense of curiosity and acceptance. Rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, mindfulness encourages you to experience life as it unfolds in the here and now. The Science Behind Mindfulness The practice of mindfulness has been studied extensively, and research consistently s