Coursera Costs: What Are Your Options?

Catherine Cooke

1 September, 2022

Coursera cost Review

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If you’ve checked Coursera out, you may be confused about its costs as Coursera doesn’t have a clear pricing policy. On top of that, a bunch of free courses can be found on its platform. So, you may be left asking yourself “When or why should I pay for a course?”

In this Coursera pricing guide, I’ll try to explain to you how much Coursera is, and what would be the most affordable way to pay for its courses.

What Is Coursera: An Overview

Coursera is one of the most popular online learning platforms out there. It has collaborated with 200+ top Universities like Stanford and Duke and Organizations like Google and IBM to create its courses and learning programs. It offers 2,500+ courses for free, and a wide variety of learning programs from courses to professional certificates and degree programs. When you successfully complete a paid course or learning program with Coursera you will receive a verified certificate. As well as courses for individuals Coursera offers plans for teams and businesses to upskill its employees and support the company’s needs. If you want to read in more detail about Coursera you can check out our Coursera review here.

Overview Of Coursera Costs

Coursera offers a wide variety of Learning Programs. It offers courses which can either accessed for free or you can upgrade and purchase the course to receive the certificate that start at $29. Its hands-on Guided Projects take no more than 2-hours to complete, start at $9.99. Next, we have its Specializations and Professional Certificates that start at $39 a month and can take up to 6 months to complete. The MasterTrack Certificates start around $2,000 and take less than a year to complete. Then there are the online degrees (Bachelor and Masters) that can take up to 4 years to complete and start at $9K and go up to $50+K. Finally, there is Coursera Plus, a subscription plan which you can pay for in monthly installments of $59 or an annual fee of $399.

Is Coursera Free?

Coursera offers thousands of its courses for free (with some limitations). Its other learning programs like Guided Projects, Specializations, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack Certificates and Online Degrees don’t offer a free version, but some do come with a 7-day free trial for you to try. Let’s look in more detail about the pricing of each of Coursera’s learning programs.

Coursera Free Courses

Coursera Free Courses

Free Courses (Option to Purchase Course)

Coursera offers more than 2,500+ of its courses for free, but it’s important to point out here that they do come with some limitations that include:

  • No certificate: With the free version of the course you won’t have a completion certificate, something important if you are after an official recognition.
  • No access to assignments: Another typical limitation of Coursera freebies is that you won’t have access to all the assignments of the course.
  • No instructor feedback: Free students can’t submit assignments and get back grades and feedback, ‘you are on your own’.

Coursera Purchase Course

Coursera Purchase Course

There is however the option to purchase the course starting at $29. The paid version of the course comes with the following:

  • A completion certificate issued by Coursera and the partnered organization behind creating the course (e.g. Duke, Penn or Johns Hopkins). Obviously, assuming you passed the assignments and tests.
  • Ability to access and submit assignments in the course.
  • You will be able to get the instructor’s feedback and grades for the submitted assignments.

Guided Projects

Guided Projects were launched in 2020 as a way for learners to work on a hands-on project and demonstrate to employers their ability to know and use that skill e.g. Google Sheets. Guided Projects are no more than 2 hours long, and are currently focus on topics like data science, business or computer science. Coursera currently offers close to 700 hands-on Guided Projects and 94 of them are for free. Saying that they are one of the cheapest ways to learn on Coursera with prices starting at $9.99.

Coursera Guided Projects

Specializations

Coursera offers close to 1500 Specializations, which are a series of courses (normally around 3 to 10 courses) to master a skill. For example, the ‘Applied Data Science with Python’ bundle organized by the University of Michigan breaks down into 4 courses:

  1. Introduction to Data Science in Python
  2. Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python
  3. Applied Machine Learning in Python
  4. Applied Text Mining in Python

Coursera Specialization Pricing

Coursera Specialization Pricing

The subscription for the specialization will continue on a monthly basis until you’ve completed all the bundled courses. A 7-day free trial is included with all Specializations, and you will have the option to cancel at anytime or even before the trial ends.

You will get a Verified Certificate when you successfully pass all the courses in the Specialization.

Tip: Not all the courses that are part of a Coursera Specialization are offered as individual course, where you can just pay per course, if you prefer that option.

Professional Certificates

Coursera’s Professional Certificates are for you to get job-ready in an in-demand career. It is a similar commitment to its Specializations, where you will need to commit for up to 6 months. Its starting price is $39 a month, and you are entitled to a 7-day free trial. The quicker that you work during your Professional Certificate means that you will pay less, as you only pay for the time you are learning.

MasterTrack Certificates

The MasterTrack Certificates are designed, so you can earn a University issued certificate, which is credit that goes towards your degree. The average time commitment is between 4 and 7 months and its starting price is $2,000 and many give you the option to do a 1 time payment or the payment is broken up into monthly payments. You will need to enroll for your chosen MasterTrack Certificate, as spaces are limited.

Coursera Degrees

Coursera’s Online Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs can take anywhere from 2-7 years. All Bachelor and Master Degree programs, partner with leading Universities from around the world. The 200+ list of leading Universities include University of London, Arizona State University, University of Michigan and HEC Paris to name a few.

Available Coursera degrees

Available Coursera degrees

However, be advised that these aren’t cheap, as they are fully verified certificates by reputable Universities. A full program can cost you from $15,000 and go up to $40,000+. Even though this is a financial commitment, it’s a fraction of the cost of an on-campus degree.

Tip: There are several courses and specializations that are part of a degree, so you could try a couple of courses before you commit thousands of dollars to see if you like the topic. The completed courses will count towards your degree.

Coursera Plus

When you purchase Coursera Plus, you are granted access to 7,000+ courses. It gives you unlimited access to hands-on Guided Projects, Specializations and Professional Certificates. To complete them all would be near to impossible, but it’s not a bad thing to have a decent selection to pick from.

Coursera Plus Subscription

Coursera Plus Membership

You can choose to either pay $59 a month or opt for the $399 annual fee. If we think that the average individual course at Coursera is $49 (my educated guess), we can say that if you are going to enroll in 5 courses or more in one year, a Coursera Plus account makes sense for you.

And by the way, yes you will be given a verified certificate for each course that you successfully complete. You can potentially earn dozens of certificates if you chain yourself to your desk. The only learning programs that aren’t included in the Coursera Plus subscription are the degrees and MasterTrack Certificates.

The monthly Coursera Plus subscription can be cancelled at anytime and the annual plan comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Tip: Please, be aware that if you have a current Coursera Specialization and subscribe to Coursera Plus the former won’t be cancelled, so make sure you cancel the Specialization to avoid paying for Coursera twice.

Business Plans

Similarly to other online learning platforms, Coursera offers plans for teams and businesses. Business owners can buy a Coursera membership account for its employees, so they can master new skills and feel empowered. There are two plans available, the Team and the Enterprise plan.Coursera Business Plans

Coursera Business Plans

Team Plan

At $399 per user (for each year), Coursera Team plan is designed for teams and smaller organizations between 5-125 users. It gives you access to a catalog of 4,800+ courses, verified certificates upon course completion and the catalog of 2,500+ hands-on Guided Projects and much more. You can pay for Coursera Business Team plan using PayPal or a credit card (e.g. Visa, MasterCard or AMEX).

Enterprise plan

The Enterprise plan is designed for larger organizations of 125+ users or more. The prices aren’t published on Coursera’s website, and you’ll need to Contact Sales to get a custom quote.

The Enterprise plan includes everything in Teams plus:

  • Solutions Consulting Services Features
  • Customer Success Features
  • Integration Features

Be aware that you’ll be able to pay for this service via ACH or invoice – no PayPal or credit card payments.

Accepted Payment Methods & Currencies

You can purchase your Coursera courses or subscriptions using a credit card or PayPal. The available credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB and AMEX (only for courses priced in $USD). Companies that opt-in for the Enterprise plan will have to pay for it via invoice or ACH.

Coursera credit card payment

Coursera credit card payment

Please be aware that PayPal payments aren’t available for all the regions, only students located in Europe, Canada, Hong Kong and the US will be allowed to pay using this popular online payment method.

And for payments in India, you can make payments on Coursera through Razorpay using, local credit/debit cards. As well as Netbanking, eWallet or PayTM, but these do exclude subscriptions, Specializations and MasterTrack products.

Most of Courseras courses are displayed in $USD, while some course prices are shown in the local currency (of where the partnered University is located). If you operate with another currency, you can still pay for it with your credit card – most likely you’ll be charged a little commission by your bank. An alternative could be to use Wise or Revolut to save banking fees when paying in other currencies – I do it all the time.

Strangely, Coursera doesn’t offer gift cards as similar competitors do (e.g. Udemy). So, you won’t be able to buy a course or a subscription for a friend or loved one.

Mobile Payments

Please be aware that if you are using Coursera with your iPhone or iPad and make a payment, this will be processed by Apple. Do keep in mind, though that any refunds that you need when paying via the Apple ecosystem, need to also be handled by Apple.

Financial Resources

Coursera offers different financial resources for you to choose that will help support your learning journey with Coursera. These tools and information will help you take ownership of your finances.

Coursera Financial Resources

Coursera Financial Resources

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

If you are looking to study for an advanced degree but the costs maybe out of your budget you can inquire with an employer if they would be able to help with the education expenses. It is definitely worth speaking to the HR department in your company to know whether they would be willing to fund for a professional certificate and make sure you do some research about courses or degrees you think would be beneficial in developing your skills.

Financial Aid

Most Coursera courses can be tried for free, but if you need a certificate, and you can’t afford the course, you may be eligible for Financial Aid or a Scholarship. Keep in mind that not all Coursera courses will offer Scholarships or Financial Aid.

Coursera Financial Aid

Coursera financial aid

The process is fairly simple and looks something like this:

  1. Apply by clicking the link on the course homepage (see image above)
  2. Fill out an application that includes information about your educational background, career goals and financial circumstances (needs to be over 150 words)
  3. Wait for application to be reviewed. The review process can take up to 15 days.
  4. You will get an email letting you know whether it’s been it’s been approved or denied.

If your application is denied, you’ll get an email to let you know and explained why. You will then have another opportunity to fix the problem and apply again.

Scholarships & Grants

Applying for a Scholarship and grant is another way to finance your education. There is a wide range of scholarships and grants available based on different factors like: academic achievement, demographic background or financial need. You can check out the Federal Student Aid website to help with the range of Scholarships or Grant available.

Coursera Refunds

Refunds at Coursera are possible within 2 weeks of your payment, if this time has already passed, your refund will be denied. Note that if you have earned a certificate for a course, you won’t be able to refund it either.

The same principle applies to the Specializations, you’ll be able to refund them if you request it 2 weeks after the last payment. However, if you’ve pre-paid for a whole Specialization, you won’t be able to get a refund, paying course by course may be wiser if you are unsure.

Since all Coursera Specializations and Subscriptions (e.g. Coursera Plus) have a 2-week trial period, you won’t be able to refund them after you’ve paid. You can cancel your subscriptions at any time, though.

Coursera Costs: Last Thoughts

Hopefully, you have a clear idea of what to expect from Coursera’s pricing and plans. You should consider your needs and budget before choosing the right course from Coursera. Let me quickly summarize them:

If you are only interested in 1 course, just pay for it (cost is between $29 and $99 a Course), most of them offer a free version where you’ll be able to access the course’s main content – no certificates, assignments or feedback from the instructor, though.

If you’d like to dive deep into an area, consider a Coursera Specialization or Professional Certificate (between $39 to $89 monthly). You’ll pay monthly for the subscription until you’ve completed all the courses of the Specialization or you decide to cancel.

Coursera Plus is for those looking to get unlimited access to a large portion of Coursera’s huge library. This will cost you $399 per year.

Finally, those looking to save some money from on-campus learning, then either the MasterTrack or Degree programs at Coursera. Even if it’s cheaper than regular university fees, it’ll cost you a big chunk of money (starting at $15,000 per degree).

If a more comprehensive review on Coursera is what you are looking for, then give it a read here. I hope you have a clearer understanding of what the different Coursera costs are and which plan you should choose.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Article Updates:

01/09/22 – Guided Projects

12/08/22 – Updated What is Coursera

28/07/22 – General Update

13/07/22 – Coursera Business Plans

13/05/22 – Scholarships & Grants

12/05/22 – Financial Resources

09/05/22 – Coursera Plus

23/08/21 General Update

22/08/21 Overview of Coursera Costs

Catherine Cooke

Hey. I am Catherine and I have been working as a freelancer for many years now. In 2005, I graduated from a BA honours in Art & Design from BCU and then went onto complete a Master’s Degree in Teaching from UEL. The skills I gained from learning and teaching have led me to create Upskillwise, a place for learners like myself to find the best possible resources and courses to train and upskill themselves, either personally or professionally. If you have a question, please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
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Usama
Usama
19 days ago

Excellent help. Thank you.

Jennie
Jennie
1 month ago

Very helpful. Thank you.

Yuki
Yuki
3 months ago

Hello!
after 7days free trial, would it automatically start charging on my credit card? or will I get confirmation before to proceed subscription?thanks!

Yuki
Yuki
3 months ago

thanks! you answered all I needed.

Kristi
Kristi
3 months ago

Hello! Does Coursera offer any financial assistance based on actual income, or is it only in the form of an essay-like application? Are there any “family” or spouse plans so that you can pay one amount for a household, or would you be required to pay up to $399 per person? Thank you!

Rasmeet
Rasmeet
4 months ago

Can you please tell how much will coursera cost for universities?

Rasmeet
Rasmeet
4 months ago

I’m sorry. What I meant by my question is that if a university wants to purchase coursera subscription for their students, then how much will it cost?

Ransom wandoh
Ransom wandoh
4 months ago

can i get a degree in electronics troboshoting

Griffin
Griffin
4 months ago

Do you know if the Team plan requires that the team administrator purchase a membership for themselves? If there’s 1 administrator and 1 learner, is the total cost $399 or $798?

Nigel Rees
Nigel Rees
5 months ago

This page was informative. Thank you. I don’t understand, though, why Coursera doesn’t have a tab labelled ‘Cost’ on its every page. One can then see immediately whether the course at which one is looking is financially viable.

Walter
Walter
5 months ago

When you buy the coursera plus let say for seven people in a company, will all the 7 be able to get certificates with their names or it will read the name of the company on the certs?

Matteo
Matteo
5 months ago

Excellent review. Thanks.

Gary Moore
Gary Moore
6 months ago

I find Coursera’s site and hidden pricing leaves me feeling that Coursera is a scam.

Julio
Julio
7 months ago

Regarding enterprise you can see some price reference here: https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/prodview-gyjnp7idccuns

I’m including attachment from that page.

Screenshot from 2022-05-04 21-28-09.png
Lynne Metzger
Lynne Metzger
7 months ago

Great info. Thanks. The final price info appears to say $15.000 per MasterTrack or Degree programs. Has a decimal after the fifteen not a comma, which could be interpreted at fifteen dollars. Thx

Bradron
Bradron
7 months ago

Thank you very much for this clear explanation Cath. This was helpful.

David Melchor
David Melchor
8 months ago

Hello,
I was just wondering about being able to access the material after finishing the course/certificate. Can someone go back and re-do the work for a refresher? or is it inaccesible after one is done. Thank you

Kersi Taraporewalla
Kersi Taraporewalla
8 months ago

I do not think this is very clear especially the one week trial. The course fee is not set out at registration. Further I have been charged for a course but have not received a receipt for it. There is NP help or contact us to clarify accounts.

Adam R.
Adam R.
9 months ago

Great write-up. So much clearer than anything I could find on the Coursera website.

Gebbie Redman Taniveke
Gebbie Redman Taniveke
9 months ago

Hi I am very interested to enrol for several of your courses. In fact I have already enrolled in your fundamentals of project management course. Unfortunately I have no visa card or credit card to use to make payment for my course. Is it possible that I can use other alternative such as Telegraphic money transfer (TT) through my local bank to send my send my course fee to your bank account?

Daniel Ade
Daniel Ade
10 months ago

For the data science course, would I embark on projects to give me deeper insights into the course and is there a way to preview the course brochure before I sign up for it

Neo Makhetha
Neo Makhetha
10 months ago

I would like to know if studying for free
On the science of the well-being,can I get my certificate?
Meaning there are no fees to be paid even after completing?

Talgat
Talgat
11 months ago

Hello, I’d like to know if I can enroll in BA degree programs with coursera plus?

Elaine
Elaine
1 year ago

Hello,
I was wondering if any of these programs offer assistance getting equipment to attend? Unfortunately I am relying on my cell phone currently.

Jaleh Williams
Jaleh Williams
1 year ago

I do have two degrees, I haven’t been working for since 2014 I would like to take office courses four for six months. I do not need a certificate or if I want to get certificates what my fee is goona be.

Catherine Lopez
Catherine Lopez
1 year ago

Dear Miss Catherine,

Good Day!
Im from the Philippines and interested to take an online course in Coursera about English Proficiency.Do you know how much is the cost ? Waiting for your respond,thanks☺️

Barbara
Barbara
1 year ago

Great article. Thank you. Answered loads of questions

Philippe MERCIER
Philippe MERCIER
1 year ago

Hello, I am working on a course of specialization called Machine Learning for Production by DeepLearning.ai. It is made of 4 courses. I got already the 2 first certificates during the time I was in the company I just left. So still 2 in order to complete and they will be on my charge. If I finish 1 of them during the 7 free days, will I get the associated certificate. If I finish the 4th one after the 7 free days, what will it cost to me ? If I finish the 3rd and 4th ones after the 7… Read more »

Kirsten
Kirsten
1 year ago

It’s next to impossible to find information on what Coursera will charge you to receive your certificate after completing a program. So, for example, if I do the UI/UX Cert program for 6 months and pay the subscription fee for that period, will I get the certificate at no extra cost or is there a fee at the end to release the certificate, and how much is it? There are some orgs that suddenly charge an arm and a leg to get the cert once you’ve completed the course. Just trying to learn this before committing. Thanks!

Analí Castro
Analí Castro
1 year ago

Thank you Catherine! I have one question: what happens if I suscribe to a specialization and I finish all the courses in just one month? Is that possible, or it is necessary to pay for all the months the specialization is supposed to last? Thank you!

Raktim Drivastava
Raktim Drivastava
1 year ago

Thank you Catherine.
The article was concise and helpful.
I have a free account with Coursera, which I have linked with the account, my organization has provided on Coursera (though it has a capping of 5 number of courses in a year). I plan to go ahead and do a specialisation, which comprises of 8 courses; 5 of which I would be able to do using my organisations account. How can I complete the rest of the 3 courses, in order to get the specialisation certification?

Thank you
Raktim

Anthony Banks
Anthony Banks
1 year ago

Thank you for your article. It answered a lot of questions. This is probably a question for Coursera. I am interested in The GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis Specialization and it requires access to ArcGIS Pro, if one have access because one is taking one of their MOOC course, will this give you access to the software need to complete this class?

Karl
Karl
1 year ago

Hello Catherine,
Thank you for the detailed information. I made a mistake in my subscription to the Google IT support professional certificate. I subscribed only for a single course instead of the full specialization. How do I change this?
Also I’m not clear on the refund policy. Is it possible to cancel and get a refund within 2 weeks after the free trial?

Ricardo
Ricardo
1 year ago

Lovely, thank you for the info

Douglas Bowers
Douglas Bowers
1 year ago

Greetings Catherine,

Thank you for the review I am retired but seeking to update my dated skills for part time work looks like coursera may do the trick.

Doug Bowers

Claudia Brown
Claudia Brown
1 year ago

Dear Catherine, thank you so much for this valuable information. I was very confused but you have clarified my confusion. You wrote this in such organized way that no one should be confused.
Thanks again.

Mamoun
Mamoun
1 year ago

Can I finish and get my certificate if I finish two or three Months earlier out of 6 months courses plan?

Mamoun
Mamoun
1 year ago

I’m doing Google IT support specialist, I’ve been studying almost 3 months now and paying 50$ each month so I need 4 months to finish all courses… I was asking is it possible to finish more early. Thanks in advance ❤️

Mamoun
Mamoun
1 year ago

Thank you 😊

hamed
hamed
1 year ago

Dear Catherine

Thank you so much for sharing such a brief, clear and so beneficial article.
I was confused about Coursera plans and now I’m not. Your explanation is very helpful.
Having studied it, I’ve made up my mind and ready to choose appropriate plan.

Good luck

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