Coursera Free Courses: Top Online Courses of 2023

Coursera Free Courses
Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Find our list of Coursera free courses in our YouTube video too!

If you want to learn something new and expand your knowledge but don’t want to spend too much money, Coursera free courses might be what you were looking for.

Let’s say you have decades of experience in your field and suddenly realize you haven’t added anything new to your resume. Or maybe you are the opposite; you lack professional experience and want to learn a concrete skill that can get you an entry-level job within your career path.

And since enrolling in an online degree will take more time and money than what you are willing to spend, you should consider an online learning platform: Coursera, one of the most popular websites which has the recognition of well-renowned institutions like Stanford University, Google, and Yale University.

But which free courses does Coursera have? Do they give you a professional certificate when you finish it? Are they really “free”?

If these are only a few of the questions you have in your head, you’ve come to the right place.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional student’s most trusted resource. We know that college is not the only place where you can learn job-relevant skills, and we want to help you find the best online courses for you.

That’s why we are listing the best free courses on Coursera.

Coursera Free Courses

How Free Online Courses In Coursera Work

As we mentioned, Coursera is one of the most well-known educational websites, and we even included it in our list of the best online learning platforms. You can watch our video if you want to learn other alternatives where you can find more certification courses.

Coursera is partnered with over 200 top universities and companies and has delivered tons of professional certificates to its millions of students.

If you want to learn more about Coursera and the experience of taking one of their courses, check out our in-depth review.

Their certificate programs go from specializations and guided projects to online degree courses for Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. But since we are talking about their free options here, it’s important we answer a critical question:

Are Coursera's Free Courses Truly Free?

Yes… and no.

Yes, because their free courses let you access their entire curriculum, and you can watch their hands-on tutorials and read the attached documents.

However, you won’t be able to complete the graded assignments or participate in the discussion forums, nor will you receive a professional certificate.

To take these courses for free, you’ll have to choose the “audit” or Full Course, No Certificate” options. The good news is that you can first start the program, and if you later like it and wish to pay for the certificate, you can do it.

These certificate courses vary in price, but on average, you’ll have to pay between $39 and $49.

Or you could also pay for Coursera Plus, their subscription plan. This way, you have unlimited access to more than 7,000 courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs. If you want to try it first, you can use their 1-week free trial to access one of their courses and see if Coursera is for you before you pay.

Coursera Plus costs:

Now that you know how Coursera’s free courses actually work, you are ready to find out which are their best programs.

Coursera Free Online Courses

Their Machine Learning course is one of Coursera’s most popular programs. It’s taught by one of its co-founders, Andrew Ng, and here you’ll learn the most important concepts of machine learning and how to build real-world AI apps.

It’s a great option if you want to start building a career in machine learning and don’t know where to start. You’ll see supervised and unsupervised learning techniques and see some of the most common practices used in Silicon Valley for AI.

However, we must say that this is just the first course in the three-level Machine Learning Specialization. You only gain access to this program’s three weeks of content, but if you later want to continue learning about it, you’ll have to pay for the additional two courses.


This course is for anyone wanting to improve their pace of learning.

It teaches learning techniques used by experts in a wide range of fields, such as arts, music, literature, and math, so you can change how you think and incorporate new skills and concepts into your life.

Here you’ll learn which are the best memory techniques, how to deal with procrastination, and what the best practices are to master tough subjects.

While this is a beginner-level course, it’s useful for both novice and experienced people.

If you are an expert in your field, here you’ll see how to continue expanding your career development skills with counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights. And if you still have problems in your career trajectory, you’ll find many practical techniques to help you get on the right track.

What’s great about this certificate course is that it’s 100% free, with its professional certificate included! It’s available until December 30, 2022, and it’s valid for one enrollment per user.


This course teaches you how to use your creativity to solve real-life problems.

Here you’ll see why creativity and innovation are so critical in any discipline and how you can incorporate them into your own work. You’ll have to move out of your comfort zone to discover the enormous value of exploration.

It’s divided into four weeks of content and presents a series of creativity-building exercises where you are challenged to recognize and change your cultural and normal behavior patterns.

The idea of this course is to make you see what your limits are and how you can overcome them.


Coursera Free Courses

If you are interested in programming and want to learn the basics without spending too much, this featured program will teach you the essential tools every web page coder needs to know.

First of all, you’ll see how to implement modern websites with HTML and how to change their visual design with CSS. Then, how to code your page, so its components fit automatically to the size of the user’s screen (computer, tablet, and mobile phones).

Plus, you’ll have an introduction to Javascript to build a fully functional website that uses Ajax to expose server-side functionality and data to the end user.

We recommend this course if you want to take your first steps into the programming world or if you work in a related field and want to expand your career opportunities.


Now, if, besides learning the programming basics, you are also interested in the nature of computer science and in having a more scientific approach to it, then this course is for you.

Here, you are introduced to programming elements like variables, loops, arrays, functions, and conditionals. Then, they also teach object-oriented programming.

Not only do they focus on Javascript and its language, but they also teach basic analytical skills for computational problem-solving. This course is more about covering the fundamental concepts in programming than the actual Javascript use per se.

The main difference with the HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers course is that this one also teaches theoretical computer science. So, if this is what you are looking for, we highly recommend you go for this option.

The only problem is that they don’t offer professional certificates, even if you are subscribed to Coursera Plus.


Coursera Free Courses

Even though we can easily relate negotiating as something more incorporated into business foundations, we can find it in every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s within your company or with friends and family, knowing how to negotiate effectively can be one of your best assets.

That’s why joining this free course may be a good idea if you are looking to expand your communication skills.

Here you’ll find how to practice the four steps to a successful negotiation: Prepare, Negotiate, Close, and Perform and Evaluate.

Coursera includes this course as one of their “Business Essential” programs, so it’s safe to say it’s a great recommendation for anyone who wants to boost their business performance.


If you are feeling a bit let down or simply want to add a few layers of depth to your life, this course is the one for you.

Here you’ll face different assignments designed to make you reflect and increase your happiness so that you can build more productive habits. You’ll see that it’s not only about thinking positively and discover that there are some misconceptions about happiness that make us think the way we do.

And if you are an empirical person, they also share academic research that shows how you can change your habits and what its benefits are.

By the end of this course, you’ll be more than ready to incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life and improve how you feel.


Finally, if you like financial analysis and want to understand its basic concepts better and learn more about it, we highly recommend this robust free course.

You’ll find the most important ideas, techniques, and institutions that shape our financial world and allow our society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Also, this course has an introduction to risk management, behavioral finance principles, and how banking industries work.

And, of course, it describes today’s practices and teaches you how to perform a financial analysis of prospects for the future. Here, you’ll understand how the financial market works and how knowing these concepts will benefit your life.


Coursera Free Courses

Learn Something New For Free With Coursera

Now you are ready to pick any of these free courses and learn something new. In only a few days, you’ll incorporate a skill that helps you grow your knowledge a bit more or expand your career opportunities.

And yes, we know it’s a bummer that taking these certificate programs for free won’t give you any certificate, but there is no reason why you can’t use that free knowledge to your advantage. Plus, you can always purchase the certificate once you’ve finished the course.

It will always be less than paying for an online degree.

Now, if you didn’t find any of the eight options we listed interesting, don’t stop there! These are only a few of the free courses Coursera has to offer. There are plenty of more options out there waiting for you.

We hope this list helped you find some courses where you’ll learn something you want for free. If you are looking for more options to improve your life, check our related blog posts:

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.