How Much Does Coursera Cost?

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If you have been scouring the internet for the best online learning platform, the name Coursera must have come up several times. What you have come across is not a sponsored ad or marketing gimmick. Coursera is one of the best learning platforms. 

Coursera provides graduate-level courses taught by renowned instructors and partners with prestigious universities. And you can get it all online at your convenience. 

However, the downside to Coursera is its complicated pricing structure. In this article, I will simplify it as much as possible. 

How Much Does Coursera Cost?

But if you are short on time, here’s a quick overview of what you get and how much it costs.

How Much Does Coursera Cost?
Coursera OptionNo. of courses availableTime DurationCostFree trial availabilityRefund Policy
Individual Courses7000+4-12 hoursFree or Paid Version $49-$79Yes 14-day refund policy
Guided Projects750+1-2 hoursStarting at $9.99No 14-day refund policy
Specializations2000+1-3 monthsStarting at $49.99 monthly Yes 14-day refund policy or Cancel Subscription
Professional Certificates600+4-6 monthsStarting at $49.99 monthlyYes Cancel Subscription
MasterTrack Certificates 20+4-8 monthsStarting at $2000No Based on Partnered University
Degrees 400+2-4 yearsStarting at $9000No Based on Partnered University
Coursera PlusAccess to majority of the courses (7500+)Various (depending on the subscription and course)$59 monthly or $399 annuallyYes 14-day refund policy or Cancel Subscription

It is important to note that free courses on Coursera do not include certificates.

Free Courses from Coursera

Coursera offers a variety of paid courses and programs, but it is also possible to take free courses. By free, I mean completely free, without spending a single dime. Coursera has over 1500 courses that you can take for free. After finishing the course, you can decide if you want the certificate and then pay for it. 

You can also audit a course on Coursera for free. Specialization courses provide an option to audit it. You don’t have to pay for it and treat it as a free trial for that particular course. You do not get the certificate or credit when you audit any class. If you decide to purchase the course that you have audited, you can do so. Specialization courses start from $49. 

Lastly, you get a free trial for most courses on Coursera so you can get courses for free by just taking a trial for it. You can do so only if you don’t want to get the course certificate

You can get free courses on Coursera in three ways.

Why should you Purchase a Coursera Course?

So when you can get so much for free, it is normal to wonder, “Why buy any of the courses?”. As good as getting quality education for free sounds, there are a few downsides as well, like:

  • Certification: As I mentioned earlier, if you take free courses, you don’t get any certificates. If you are taking a course to learn, then that is fine, but if you are taking it to move forward professionally, potential employers might require verified certificates. 
  • Access to Supplemental Course Material: The assignments provided with each course are pretty valuable and, in my opinion, the best part of taking the course. If you take free courses, you don’t get access to any additional course material.
  • Feedback: Coursera has this unique feature of peer-based reviews and opportunities to interact with instructors with paid courses. If you get free courses, you don’t get to do that. So it will mostly be self-evaluation, and that can be a little biased. 

Guided Projects and Specializations of Coursera

Guided projects are courses focused on teaching skills that are career-driven and help you grow professionally. An instructor will guide you step-by-step while sharing screens so you can master one specific skill. These courses are generally around 2 hours long and start at just $9.99. There are over 700 guided projects available on Coursera on more than nine subjects. You also get an accredited certificate after you are done with the course.

 Coursera specializations are a series of courses focused on one skillThese courses help you improve your existing skills by giving you in-depth information and making you an expert on them. These courses mostly take up to 3 months to complete and start at $39 per month. You can audit some specialization courses, but you won’t get a certificate for that. These courses are taught by industry experts, contain gradable assignments, and have a more practical approach in general. Coursera currently offers 2000+ specialty courses. You get a certificate of completion after you have finished all the series of courses required for that specialization.

Professional Certificates from Coursera

Professional Certificates on Coursera are for people who want to learn career-relevant and sought-after skills. These courses are similar to specializations but are more challenging and focused on getting you ready for a job within a few months. These courses go on for approximately 6 months and come with a 7-day free trial; after that, they turn into a monthly subscription starting at $39. These series of related courses are taught by expert instructors and come with useful assignments and projects. After you are done with the course, you get a verified certificate that will be acknowledged by potential employers. There are over 600 professional certificate courses available on Coursera. 

MasterTrack Certificates Coursera

Coursera offers MasterTrack certificate courses that are designed after full master’s degree courses. These courses provide credit that goes towards your degree (in case you decide to get one). MasterTrack courses are taught live, with group exercises focused on solving real-world problems. These courses take around 4–7 months to complete and are quite intensive. The courses start at $2000 you can pay with a one-time full payment or 4 easy installments and come with a 14-day refund policy, depending on the course provider. These courses are directly conducted by universities and not Coursera, so getting a refund is tricky. Currently, Coursera offers 20+ MasterTrack Certificates in four main subjects: business and designcomputer sciencedata science, and social sciences

Coursera Degrees

Coursera has partnered with various esteemed universities, like the University of Michigan, Duke University, the University of London, and many more, to provide bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. These programs take around 2–4 years to complete. The degree programs are on the expensive side, starting from $9000 up to $40,000, depending on the university and type of degree. You can pay off the tuition with a one-time full payment or in installments, depending on your preference. You can get a refund, but that depends on the partnered university and its policies. These courses are taught live by university professors. You get the benefit of interacting with other students and your instructors, and you get a university degree after you finish the course. There are over 400 degree courses available on Coursera. 

Coursera Plus

The Coursera subscription plan is known as Coursera Plus. It provides you with access to over 7,000 certified Coursera courses. If you want to learn multiple skills, then it makes more sense to buy a subscription. You get to choose from a variety of guided projects, specializations, and professional certification courses. You can get a monthly subscription for $59 or an annual subscription for $399. You can go through multiple courses and get verified certificates for each one. You also get access to all the study material and features that come with that course. It is important to note that Coursera Plus does not include MasterTrack certificates or degree courses. You can cancel the monthly subscription anytime you want, and you get a 14-day refund guarantee for the annual subscription. 

Coursera Business

Coursera Business is for organizations and businesses who are looking to train their employees. These plans are designed for employers to teach relevant industry skills to their employees to increase their productivity. The plans are divided into two options: Coursera Team and Coursera Enterprise

Team Plan 

Coursera Team Plan is for organizations with 5 to 125 employees. This plan gives you access to more than 5000 courses with accredited certificates provided after completion. You also get access to over 2500 guided projects. It is $399 per user annually charged. You can pay via PayPal or use a credit card. 

Enterprise Plan

Coursera Enterprise Plan is for organizations with more than 125 employees. Prices for this plan are not available on the website and you need to contact the Coursera sales department for customized pricing that suits your requirements. This plan offers additional features like customer satisfaction, integration, and solution consulting services.

Coursera Financial Aid

Coursera has taken a wonderful initiative to make quality education accessible to all people. Under this initiative, you can apply for financial aid (through either a computer or laptop).

This is like a scholarship or grant for students who are unable to purchase courses on Coursera due to financial constraints.

However, only some of the courses available on Coursera are eligible for financial aid. If you want to check if the course you’ve selected offers financial aid or not, you can look out for financial aid next to the enrollment option.

To avail of the financial aid, you need to fill out an application stating your reasons for requesting financial aid.

You need to answer the questions on the application form as truthfully and precisely as possible. After you’ve applied, it takes around 20 days for the Coursera Team to get back to you with their decision. If your application is rejected, you can challenge the decision with your reasons and reapply. 

Coursera Refund Policy

Coursera offers refunds for most of their courses if the request is raised within two weeks of the payment. After this time period, your refund will not be approved. Also if you have already finished the course and received a certificate for it, you’re no longer eligible for a refund.

For Specializations, you can raise the request for a refund 2 weeks after your last payment. But to do so, you need to make sure your course is not fully prepaid because in that case, you won’t get any refund. If you are unsure about any courses on Coursera it is wise to pay in installments or course by course.

Coursera subscription plan (Coursera Plus) comes with a 14-day trial period. After that time has passed, you need to purchase the subscription and you won’t get a refund for it. You can cancel the subscription anytime you want.

There’s no refund available for Guided Projects. Refunds for degree courses and MasterTrack certificates are handled by the university and if you want a refund, you’ll need to take it up to them. The Coursera Team won’t be able to help you with that. 

Also check: Coursera review


Coursera pricing is a little hard to understand. I hope you now have clarity as to how it works. When selecting courses from any online learning platform, it is always important to evaluate your needs and financial resources. 

In my opinion, Coursera is ideal for people who want affordable and quality education. If you just want to take one course, it would be around $29-$99. You can also get these courses for free but you don’t get additional material or the certificate of completion.

The most unique thing about Coursera is that you can get a full bachelor’s, master’s, or postgraduate degree. Compared to in-person University tuition, it is much more reasonable. These programs start from only $9000 and it is no small sum by any means but it is on the affordable side. You also get an opportunity to learn from prestigious universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Duke. So if you want to get your degree, Coursera is the place for you.

With that said, it also offers a 14-day free trial, so you can check out the courses you like and decide if they’re worth buying. Some courses and specializations also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. 

Overall, Coursera provides a rare and valuable opportunity to anyone who wants to learn, and I highly recommend it. 

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