You might be wondering “how much does Coursera Cost and what is its subscription pricing?”
Coursera’s pricing is kind of convoluted. At the lower end, Coursera’s certificate courses have a fixed fee and start from $39 whereas Specializations have a subscription pricing that starts from $39 per month. On the higher end, MasterTrack certificates and Degree programs cost a huge amount of money. You will have to pay upwards of $2000 and $15000 respectively to enroll into these programs. Coursera also gives you a choice to take its courses free of charge.
Let me tell you about Coursera’s pricing in complete detail. Before going further, I would suggest you to create a free Coursera login as the course prices are visible only to logged in members.
Coursera Cost And Pricing
Coursera provides a huge range of courses. I will not go into detail on the type of courses offered by Coursera in this article. You can refer to my article that review of Coursera to understand its offerings. The price of a course depends upon the type of course you are buying.
Based on the price, Coursera courses can be categorized into the following groups.
I. Free Courses
At the time of writing this article, Coursera was offering 1200+ free courses. As with any other course on Coursera, these too are provided by the leading universities and top global companies.
These courses are free of any charge for learning purposes. You can enroll into these courses by using “Full Course, No Certificate” option. Coursera will allow you to access full study material and submit required assessments. You will also get a final grade but you will not get the course certificate.
Coursera provides an option to buy the certificate separately. The cost of the certificate varies with the course. It can cost anywhere between $39 to $79. You can find out the cost of certificate by logging in and going to the course page.
II. Free Audit
Most courses on Coursera are free to learn even if they are not categorized as “free”.
Apart from the courses listed above, Coursera provides an option to audit most of its courses. You can audit these courses without paying any money. When you audit a course, you will be able to watch the videos and study the reading material but you will not be able to submit any assignments or get grades.
Coursera does not provide course completion certificates for audited courses. But you can upgrade pay for the course while you are auditing it or after completing it to get the certificate. After paying for the course, you may have to finish extra coursework that is not part of the audited version.
Some courses don’t have a audit option. In order to determine if a particular course can be audited or not, you will need to login to Coursera and then click on Enroll button on the course page. It will show you is a course can be audited. You can enroll into un-auditable courses only by paying money.
Note: Individual courses within a Specialization can be audited but whole specialization cannot be audited.
III. Free Trials
Many courses on Coursera are free while many others are free to audit but there are a minuscule number of courses which are fully paid. But with these courses also, Coursera provides an option of a free trial.
A free trial allows you to try a course or a Specialization before investing in it. You can enroll into any singular course or Specialization course for 7 days without paying any money. During the trial period, you will get unhindered access to all the course features including assignments but you will not be able to see Capstone projects.
Some Specializations include Capstone projects. These are hands-on projects that pose a practical question or problem related to the Specialization topic. You will have to complete these projects to earn the Specialization certificate.
A Capstone project cannot be done within a free trial.
To start a free trial, you will have to enter your credit card details. You might see a small authorization charge of less than $1 on your card, which will be refunded to you. But, you won’t be charged for the course if you cancel the trial before the end of 7-day period.
Your free trial will automatically become a paid a subscription on the 8th day after you begin your trial. Your card will be charged monthly subscription fee if you don’t cancel the trial within 7 days.
Coursera free trials come with a big advantage. You can earn the course certificate if you finish the course during your free trial.
III. Per Course Fee
You don’t need to pay for a course if you don’t want a certificate then You can opt for a free course or course audit if either of them is available. But if you want a certificate, you can buy a single course by paying a fixed fee.
The fee of a course varies between $39-79. You can find out the fee by logging in and going to the course page.
After you buy a course, you will see all course options – you will be able to submit assignments and get grades. You will get 180 days to complete your studies, submit assignments, and earn the certificate.
If a course is a part of a specialization, you can also pursue it by paying a monthly subscription fee. You can read about subscriptions in the next section.
IV. Subscription Cost
Coursera provides an option to take monthly subscription for a single courses, Professional certificate courses, and Specializations. The subscriptions are generally useful if you want to do a Professional certificate course or Specialization.
The cost of subscription varies with the Professional certificate and Specialization. It ranges between $39-79 per month. You can find out the cost of a Specialization by logging into Coursera and going to the Specialization page.
After you take subscription for a Specialization, you will be charged every month until you finish all the Specialization courses and earn respective certificates, or until you cancel the subscription.
During the subscription period, you will have complete access to the study materials of any course that is part of the Specialization. You have the option to either finish all the courses of the Specialization or finish some of the courses and discontinue the subscription. You can cancel your subscription anytime before completing the Specialization.
I would recommend you to complete all the courses of a Specialization after you start it. This way you will get Specialization certificate that can help you in your career. You should try to complete your specialization as soon as you can to save the monthly subscription cost.
V. MasterTrack Certificate Price
MasterTrack certificates are more costly than any of the other courses discussed above. These certificates include courses from University Degree programs and their credits are counted for the full Degree.
MasterTrack certificate is released only after all its courses are completed. MasterTrack courses can be done only as a unit and can’t be taken as individual courses. They usually run for the length of a semester.
A MasterTrack certificate can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. As with other courses on Coursera, you can find the course fee of a MAsterTrack course by going to its course page. Payments for a MasterTrack certificate can be either made fully or in installments. You can availa an option of paying four equal payments in four consecutive months. If you take an installment plan, you’ll be charged for the entire program even if you don’t complete it.
You cannot avail financial aid or do free audits for MasterTrack courses.
VI. Degree Programs Price
Coursera offers Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in association with world’s leading universities. These are usual length programs running anywhere from one to four years. The course curriculum of an online Degree is same as the curriculum of on-campus Degree.
Degree programs start on a specific dates during the year. You need to send in a formal application and take prior approval to join these programs. There are firm deadlines for applying to a program.
The cost of a Degree program from Coursera is comparatively much less than a similar program that is on-campus.
The all-in price of a Coursera’s online Degree start at $15,000. You also get an option to pay the program fee in installments. On the other hand, the yearly cost of an on-campus Degree program can be as high as $50,000 that excludes living expenses and other incidentals.
You can find about course curriculum, application deadlines, pricing of a Coursera Degree by directly going to its course page.
VII. Coursera Plus Subscription Pricing
Coursera has rolled out test subscription plan called Coursera Plus. It is a annual subscription pricing that allows you to access most of its courses. It is not available for everyone.
With Coursera Plus subscription, you can take as many courses as you would like. Coursera does not impose any limitation on number of courses you can enroll into or certificates that you can earn.
Coursera Plus includes most of the courses, Professional Certificates, and Specializations but MasterTrack Certificates and Degrees are not included. You will see a Coursera Plus badge on the course page if that course is part of Coursera Plus subscription. The badge is only visible to the Coursera Plus subscribers.
VIII. Financial Aid
Coursera offers financial aid to needy student for its courses by which you can get you a 100% fee waiver. You have file an application with Coursera to receive the financial aid. You can read all about the fee waivers in my other article on Coursera financial aid.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I transfer my course credit to another course?
Unfortunately, Coursera doesn’t allow transfer of credits from one course to another. You have to separately buy the other course if you want to.
2. I want to do only a single course from a Specialization. Can I do it and will I get a certificate?
Yes, you can do a single course from a Specialization. You will get the certificates for all the courses that you complete.
3. How long do I need to pay for the specialization?
You can enroll into a Specialization by taking monthly subscription. That means you only have to keep on paying monthly till the time you finish the Specialization. If you want, you can cancel the subscription in between but you will not get a refund on the fee that you have already paid.
You have the freedom of canceling the course even after 1st month’s charges.
Coursera Fee Refund
The refund policy for a single course is quite simple. If you don’t want to continue with your course for whatsoever reason than you can ask for a refund. You can get a full refund within 2 weeks of taking the course but you will not get any refund if you have already earned the course certificate.
The refund policy for a Specialization is little bit tricky. You can ask for refund within two weeks of a Specialization subscription only if you have pre-paid for it. You will not get any refund if you have already taken a course certificate. You will also not get any refund if you are on a monthly subscription plan.
You can also request for a refund if you have taken Coursera Plus subscription within two weeks of taking the subscription.
Coursera provides a great learning experience for everyone. It comes with plenty of options to choose from. You should take a course that is suitable for your career and good for your pocket.
I would suggest you to create a free login and explore its course.
Over To You
Which type of course are you thinking of taking? What subjects are you are interested in? Do you think Coursera is costly as compared to other options.
Do leave a comment before going.