How much does Coursera cost? Clearly Explained (2024)

Coursera offers 9,000+ courses to 92+ million learners across 190 countries. The wide range of learning paths it offers can make Coursera’s costs tricky to work out.

In this article, I take an in depth look at Coursera's fees to help you understand them. 

This is probably the most comprehensive breakdown of Coursera’s prices out there

So if you’ve been asking yourself questions like: How much are Coursera Courses? Can I get Coursera for free? Is Coursera worth it and do they do refunds?, you’re in the right place.

Quick Summary – How much is Coursera?

Coursera Courses can be taken for free (unless you want a certificate), Guided Projects start at $9.99, and Specializations and Professional Certificates from $39.99 a month. A Coursera Plus subscription is $399 per year and Full degrees start at $9,000.

Here’s an overview of Coursera’s pricing:

Coursera optionGoalNo.Length PriceBillingFree trialRefund
CoursesGain new knowledge2,800+4-12 hours*Free or $49+Per course Yes14 day
Guided ProjectsLearn a new skill760+1-2 hours$9.99+Per courseNo14 day
SpecializationsMaster a marketable Skill1,500+1-3 months$39.99+ some *free contentMonthly
or per unit
YesCancel subs or
14 day
Professional CertificatesGet job ready for new career600+4-7 months$39.99+MonthlyYesCancel subs
Coursera PlusAccess 90%+of Coursera content9,000+various$59 
Or $399
or annually
YesCancel subs or
14 day
MasterTrack CertificatesTake part of a Master's degree20+4-7 monthsFrom $2000Per course or MonthlyNoSet by partner university
DegreesEarn a Degree33+2-4 yearsFrom $9000Pay as you goNoSet by partner university.
Coursera for businessContinuing professional development5,000 plusvariousFrom $399 per userMonthly or annuallyYesCancel subs

* Free content does not include certificates

Can I get Coursera for free? 

Yes! Although Coursera is a paid for service, it does have a lot of content you can access for freeas long as you don't want a certificate. 

There are three main ways to do this – you can take a:

  1. Free Coursera course – some courses are completely free with no certificate available.
  2. Free Coursera Course with option to buy – you can take these courses for free with the option to pay for a certificate.
  3. Specialization– these allow you to try out individual units for free in audit mode. Again without certification
Coursera free content

This is how you do it:

Free Coursera Courses with option to buy

The Coursera Courses Option provides 2,800+ free courses. 

Courses help you gain new knowledge and give you completely free access to all the class materials. 

Coursera free courses

However, if you want to earn a certificate, you’ll need to purchase the course. You can do this after enrolling (which is free and easy):

Coursera free content

Full Course, No Certificate allows you to access all course materials but not gain a certificate. 

Purchase Course allows you to earn a Certificate. Prices start at $49

If you decide to go for full course no certificate, you can change your mind and purchase the course later using the upgrade/purchase a certificate option on your Coursera dashboard. 

Specialization Option – paid for with option to audit course units for free

Coursera's 1,500+ Specializations consist of several individual course units. You can audit individual courses units for free but this isn’t easy to find!

Here’s how you do it. 

Find a Specialization that interests you and click on the courses tab:

Coursera Specializations free content

You'll then see a screen listing the individual course units in the Specialization:

Audit Coursera Specialization

Click on the course unit that interests you and then enroll. You’ll see the following screen with the option to audit the course for free at the bottom: 

How to audit Coursera Specializations

Auditing gives you free access to the content but not assessments or certification.

Coursera 7 Day Free Trial

A final way to get free content is to use the 7 day free trial with:

  • Specializations (when you subscribe to the full series of courses)
  • Most Coursera Professional Certificates
  • Coursera Plus subscription 

Which are all described in more detail below.

You may well be asking ….

Why pay for a Coursera course if I can take it for free?

The choice is yours, but things to consider are:

  • The financial investment increases your chances of finishing the course. Harvard and MIT‘s research showed that completion rate for paid for courses is ten times higher compared to when not paying for the certificate
  • If the knowledge or skill you’re learning is marketable, having the certificate could increase your career prospects
  • Being able to access and complete assignments will enable you to showcase your work

As well as free content, Coursera offers a range of paid-for options, each designed to fulfill a different need.

We’ll look at these next.

Coursera Pricing Explained

Coursera’s different offerings are curated to meet different learning needs. 

We’ve summarized each option below to help you find the Coursera plan that best suits you:

  • Courses
  • Guided Projects
  • Specializations
  • Professional Certificates
  • MasterTrack
  • Degrees
  • Coursera for Business
  • Coursera subscription (Coursera Plus) is covered in the next section

For more detail about each of Coursera's different learning paths, see our Coursera review.

Coursera Courses – Overview and what they cost

What are Coursera Courses? Coursera Courses are designed to give you new knowledge in a wide variety of topics. They can be up to 3 months long.

How much do Coursera Courses Cost? Some are completely free without the opportunity to earn a certificate. You can take others free with the option of paying around $49 if you wish to receive the certificate.

What’s included in a Coursera Course?  A series of video lectures and additional resources. Unless a course is taken for free, a certificate is also included.

How many Coursera Courses are there and in what subjects? There are over 2,800 courses in 9 subjects.

Top Coursera Courses include:

  • Crash Course on Python – Google
  • Introduction to Psychology – Yale
  • Graphic Design – California Institute of the Arts

Coursera Guided Projects – Overview and what they cost

What are Coursera Guided Projects? Guided Projects are designed to teach job-relevant skills quickly and efficiently. They’re up to 2 hours long.

How much do Coursera Guided Projects Cost? The cost of taking a guided project starts at $9.99.

What’s included in a Coursera Guided Project?  A hands on interactive learning experience in which you get expert video guidance to take you step by step through the completion of a project on a shared screen. A Certificate to showcase what you’ve learned.

How many Coursera Guided Projects are there and in what subjects? There are over 760 guided projects in 9 subjects but the main focus is data science, technology and business.

Top Guided Projects include:

  • Chat GPT Playground for Beginners – Coursera Project Network
  • How to Optimize Your Instagram Account – Coursera Project Network
  • Wireshark for Beginners: Capture Packets – Coursera Project Network

Coursera Specializations – Overview and what they cost

What are Coursera Specializations? Specializations teach career relevant skills, are in depth and designed to build mastery. They take up to three months (sometimes more) to complete.

How much do Coursera Specializations Cost? The cost of taking a Specialization starts at $39 per month. You can also opt to Audit some parts of a specialization for free which gives you access to all the content but not the opportunity to earn a certificate.

What’s included in a Coursera Specialization? Specializations consist of a series of course units taught by instructors from the world’s top universities and companies, hands-on projects, gradable assignments and a Specialization Certificate.

How many Coursera Specialization courses are there and in what subjects? There are over 1,500 Specialization courses in 11 subjects including data science, technology and business, health, engineering and personal development.

Top Specializations include:

  • Supply Chain Analytics – Rutgers the State University of New Jersey
  • Leading People and Teams – University of Michigan
  • The Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning – University of Colorado Boulder

Professional certificates – Overview and what they cost

What are Coursera Professional certificates? Coursera Professional Certificates are career relevant. They are more rigorous than Specializations and designed to teach in-demand skills to get you job ready for a career in under a year. 

How much do Coursera Professional Certificates Cost? Most Professional Certificate programs start with a seven day free trial that becomes a monthly subscription if you choose to continue. The monthly subscription starts at $39.

By clicking on the course that interests you then selecting to enroll you'll see a screen telling you all you need to know about the costs for that particular Professional Certificate. If it’s not for you, you can simply navigate away:

Coursera Professional Certificate

What’s included in a Coursera Professional Certificate? A series of related course units taught by experts from industry leading companies, hands on projects and assignments, a professional certificate that’s recognised by a range of hiring consortiums and access to job search resources. Some offer rewards for reaching certain goals such as free subscriptions to industry tools.

How many Coursera Professional certificates are there and in what subjects? There are over 600 Professional Certificates in these categories:

  • Launch your career
  • Advance your career
  • Prepare for Certification
  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Computer Science and IT

They include:

  • Google Cybersecurity – Google
  • IBM Data Science – IBM
  • Google Data Analytics – Google

Master Track – Overview and what it costs

What is Coursera MasterTrack? A comprehensive online module taken from a full Master’s program. They take between 4-7 months to complete. 

How much does Coursera Master Track Cost? The cost of a Coursera MasterTrack starts at $2,000 with a 14 day money back guarantee. Once you are signed in (free) you can click on any MasterTrack course followed by the enroll button to reveal the cost of that MasterTrack. If it’s not for you, just navigate away. MasterTrack courses cannot be taken for free. Refund policies for Degrees are those of the content provider offering the program.

Coursera MasterTrack

What’s included in Coursera MasterTrack? The program features live teaching and office hours, video content, feedback, interactive team-based learning and real world projects. If you achieve a Master Track certificate it counts towards the full degree should you choose to take things further. 

How many MasterTrack courses are there and in what subjects? There are 20+ MasterTrack courses in four subject areas: Business and design, Computer science, Data science and Social sciences. 

Degrees – Overview and what they cost

What are Coursera Degrees? They are full online bachelor’s degree and master's programs from leading universities that take between 2-4 years to complete.

How much does a Coursera Degree Cost? The tuition fees for a Coursera degree start at $9000 for the full program. They can be as much as $40,000, but are always a fraction of what it would cost to complete that degree in-person. You pay as you go for the courses you are enrolled in each term. Once you are signed in (free) you can click on any Degree course and the opening screen will tell you the cost for that program:

Coursera Degree costs

Refund policies for Degrees are those of the content provider offering the program.

What’s included in a Coursera Degree? Teaching from the same professors and lecturers that teach on campus in the world’s top universities. Participation in online lectures, direct live interaction with peers and tutors, access to a dedicated online student support team and full certification. 

How many Coursera Degrees are there and in what subjects?  There are 33+ degrees in a wide range of subjects including marketing, business administration, data analytics and software management.

Coursera Business

What is Coursera Business? Coursera offers a membership account for businesses who want to offer their employees easy access to world class continuing professional development.

What does Coursera Business Cost? There are two types of Coursera Business Account available. Coursera for Teams is suitable for small/medium companies and teams at $399 per user per annum and Enterprise for larger companies which has custom pricing.

Coursera for Business

What’s included in Coursera Business? Access to 5,000+ courses, 100+ SkillSets, and 1,900+ Guided Projects from top universities and companies. With Enterprise you also receive access to other benefits including job-based learning programs, private authoring tools to create your own courses, an account manager, skill metrics and user analytics.

How much is a Coursera Subscription (Coursera Plus)

What is Coursera Plus? Coursera Plus is a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to more than 90% of the Coursera catalogue.

How much does Coursera Plus Cost? The price of Coursera Plus is either $59 monthly, or $399 up front for the year (an annual saving of $309 over Coursera Plus’ monthly cost). The monthly subscription comes with a seven day free trial. The annual up front subscription with a 14 day money back guarantee.

What’s included in Coursera Plus? 90% of the Coursera catalogue including most Coursera Courses, Specializations and Guided Projects and some Professional Certificates. The ability to move between multiple courses and earn certificates for every one you complete. It does not include access to Degrees or Master Track programs. 

Are Coursera’s prices good value?

For the price you pay, Coursera plans are good value.

I say this because:

  • Only the best and most globally renowned institutions have content on Coursera These include Princeton, Yale, Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, Meta, Google and Microsoft
  • Tutors are recognized experts in their fields – in most cases they are the same tutors who deliver in person university or industry courses
  • Coursera’s average course rating is 4.7/5 and 81% of learners rate their course as 5-star. 93% of learners would recommend Coursera to a friend
  • It is one of the few online learning platforms to offer meaningful certification which can open new doors for you, and make a difference to your career – and pay packet. The stats bear this out:
    • 87% of learners report career benefits
    • 88% of learners without degrees report career benefits
    • 91% of learners in emerging markets report career benefits
    • 84% of unemployed learners report career benefits
  • It gives you access to prestigious, career relevant degrees and master’s courses for a fraction of the cost
  • It provides a comprehensive opportunity for you to invest in the best possible thing you can invest in. Yourself..

And this is a great segue into the next section. Because you are a key factor in getting the best value from Coursera.

How to get the most value out of Coursera

Ultimately, the Coursera plan with the best value is the one that's used. And used effectively.. 

To get the most value out of Coursera you need to:

Take time to find the right fit:

  1. Sign in to Coursera from the home screen so you can explore and get full details of costs and what’s free. All you need is an email address and password. Or you can use your existing Facebook or Google details
  2. After signing in, explore! You can hover over Explore, scroll down looking at various options or go to the very bottom of the page and click on What We Offer or any of the options beneath it. In fact, there are lots of ways to navigate around 
Explore Coursera Courses
  1. You can also use the search function and filter your searches. Don’t forget to read what students who’ve taken courses or programs you're interested in say, and take note of the course rating.
Search for Coursera Courses
  1. When you something you like, click Enroll to find out the cost. If it’s not for you, just navigate away with the back button.

Be disciplined

  1. Make learning a habit. Spread out your learning sessions for better outcomes.
  2. Start the way you mean to go on. Keeping up to date with deadlines and routines at the start of a course, makes it twice as likely you’ll stay engaged and get finished.
  3. If you’re paying for a course on a monthly basis, the more you stick to a learning routine, the quicker you'll get through it and save money.
  4. If you go for Coursera Plus, plan to take as many courses as possible to get maximum value.
  5. Participate with other learners through discussion forums to keep you engaged and on task.

Coursera financial aid

Financial Aid or Scholarships are available for learners who wish to participate fully in a course and earn a certificate, but can’t afford the fees.

To apply for Financial Aid you must do so on a PC or laptop, not a mobile device.

Coursera Financial Aid
  1. On the homepage for the course you’re interested in click on Financial aid available
  2. Complete and submit your application carefully. Coursera doesn't list its eligibility criteria but here's some tips on how to answer the key questions:
  • Why are you applying for Financial Aid?
  • Describe your background and income (or your parents’ income) compared with the national average, your current circumstances and what plans you have for the future
  • How will taking this course help you achieve your career goals?
  • Explain how the course you're interested in will help you achieve your goals. Emphasize how motivated you are to complete the course and to engage with the learning community
  • Make sure your response meets the minimum word requirement (which at the time of writing was 150 words)
  1. It may take up to 15 days for Coursera to reply.
  2. You'll get an email letting you know whether your application has been approved, and if not why. You can resubmit your application if there was a problem with it that you can put right.

Financial Aid is available for most, but no all, Coursera courses and options.

How do I purchase Coursera?

Making a purchase on Coursera is straightforward but I’ll go through the process step-by-step in case you need any help. 

In overview you:

  1. Join Coursera by signing in 
  2. Explore, and decide which course or subscription you wish to purchase
  3. Enroll and pay

Signing in to Coursera

You sign in from Coursera’s homescreen. You just provide an email address and password, or create an account using your existing Facebook or Google details. 

Exploring and Enrolling

Once you have decided on the purchase you wish to make, what happens next, depends on what you are purchasing:

Coursera optionPayment
Courses & Guided ProjectsSupply payment details and pay for the course in full.
Specializations & Professional CertificatesSupply payment details and start a 7 day trial. Payment will be taken after the end of the trial if you choose to continue
Coursera PlusChoose monthly payments: Supply payment details and start a 7 day trial. Payment will be taken after the end of the trial if you choose to continue. Pay for a year up front: Supply payment details and pay for a full year
MasterTrack CertificatesMake either one up front payment, or choose to pay monthly. Supply payment details
DegreesSupply payment details, and pay as you go for the courses you take

Coursera pricing in different countries and currencies

Courses – per course from:4937456936001000
Guided Projects – per project from:9.997914750205
Specializations & Professional Certificates – per month from:39.993736562980820
Coursera Plus monthly
Coursera Plus annually
MasterTrack Certificates per program from:2,0001,5001,7652,800148,00041,000
Degrees per program from:9,00012,00010,60017,000890,000245,000

Prices in italics are estimated based on exchange rates

Coursera purchasing options

Coursera accepts the following payment options:

  • PayPal
  • Credit cards:
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • Discover
    • JCB 
    • American Express (only for courses priced in $USD)
  • Prepaid cards from the above brands (for one time purchases only, not subscriptions)
  • For US based companies Coursera for Business can be purchased by ACH Credit Transfer

Coursera refund

Refund and money back policies differ between one-time payments and subscriptions.

Month to Month subscriptionsCancel before the 7 day free trial ends and you won't be charged. If you complete a course within the 7 day free trial, Coursera may charge a one month fee to issue a certificate. Cancellation of an active subscription takes effect just before the next renewal date
Coursera PlusFor a refund of the full annual payment of Coursera Plus you must apply within 14 days of purchase. Refunds are not available after this period
One time courseYou can claim a refund for up to 14 days after payment, if you pre-enroll you can claim a refund up to 14 days after the course launches or until you have earned your course certificate. Whichever is earlier
Guided ProjectsNo refund available
Degree, MasterTrack and University certified programsRefunds are set up and run by the content provider offering the program and communicated to students by them.

If you make a purchase through a third party, their own refund policies apply.

For more detail on this you can read our Coursera Refund guide.

Requesting a refund

You need a laptop or PC (not a mobile device) to request a refund.

Coursera Refund
  1. Go to your MyPurchases page.
  2. Find the course or subscription you want a refund for.
  3. Under the Refund Deadline column, click Get Refund. If you don't see this option, the refund deadline has passed.
  4. You will receive a confirmation email and be removed from the course.

Conclusion: Are Coursera costs worth it?

If you’re serious about investing in yourself and your future, Coursera is definitely worth it.

It offers over 9,000 courses in in-demand subjects. Instructors hail from the most prestigious universities and companies in the world and its average course rating is 4.7/5 with 93% of learners stating they would recommend Coursera to a friend.

You do have to be willing to put in the effort to explore the site to find the course, program or subscription that best suits you because Coursera’s offering is so wide and varied.

And there’s so much content you can access for free. As well as 7 day free trials or 14 day money back guarantees for nearly everything apart from the short, Guided Projects. This removes the risk of losing out if you don’t enjoy Coursera. 

So, what have you got to lose?

Related Articles: Coursera Statistics, Coursera review, Coursera Refund, Coursera Certificate, Udemy vs Coursera, Coursera Alternatives, edX Costs – Is edX Free?, How Much Does Skillshare Cost?

Coursera Pricing – FAQs:

Is Coursera free?

Generally Coursera is a paid for service – but there’s lots of content you can access for free (without certification)

How much does Coursera cost?

You can gain new knowledge for free with Courses, learn a skill for under $10 with a Guided Project, take a Specialization or Professional Certificate from $39.99 a month, or do all of these things with Coursera Plus for $399 a year.

How does Coursera’s pricing work?

Depending on what you choose you pay per course, per month or per year.

Does Coursera offer refunds?

Most options on Coursera come with either a free 7 day trial or 14 day money back guarantee

How much does Coursera cost per month?

Subscription to Specializations or Professional Certificates starts at $39. For Coursera Plus it’s $59 per month or $399 up front for the year

Does Coursera offer Financial Aid or Scholarships?

Yes, if you can’t afford to pay for a course or program you can apply for financial aid for most of its content

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