Top 20 Free Udacity Courses

Catherine Cooke

22 January, 2021

Udacity free courses review

When I started looking for free online courses I knew that I still wanted them to be from a reputable online learning platform. And that’s when Udacity showed up in my search results. As I started to do a bit more research into Udacity I discovered not only are they a technology and business-focused elearning platform, but its courses are partnered with top companies like Google and Microsoft.

But I still had some questions like: What does its free courses actually give me access to? How different is the quality of a free course compared to a paid one? If I like the free course can I upgrade?

To answer these questions and more, I’ve created this in-depth Udacity Free Courses article. I will talk in detail on registering, free courses available, paid courses option and free courses alternatives.

So let’s get stuck in!

How to Register with Udacity?

To register with Udacity is completely free. The interface of the platform is intuitive and easy to follow. You just need to follow these easy steps;

  1. Visit Udacity.com and click on the top-left button ‘Get Started’ (see image above)
  2. You can decide to register with Udacity using your email account, your Facebook or Google account.
  3. Add the date of your birthday
  4. Confirm your email account if needed

Udacity Sign Up

Once you are all signed up you can click on Programs and then FULL CATALOG and start to view all the courses available.

Udacity’s Free courses

Udacity’s filter system gives you an easy way to access its free courses (see image below). The 188 available are all free to try and give you a real taste of the Udacity learning platform. Normally, these courses are part of the paid Udacity Nanodegrees

These free courses are part of the paid Nanodegree courses, so if you do decide you want to complete the full Nanodegree you can upgrade to this paid version.

Keep in mind that the free courses have some limitations, you won’t be able to receive a completion certificate.

Top 20 Udacity Free courses

Now I think it’s the time to highlight the top free Udacity courses which are all self-paced, include video content, interactive quizzes and are taught by industry pros. It all sounds pretty impressive and the best part is its all for free.

So Let’s dive in.

1. Microsoft Power Platform by Microsoft

The first course on my list is the Microsoft Power Platform which is created in partnership with Microsoft. The course is broken up into 6 lessons: Welcome to Microsoft Power Platform, Introduction to Power Platform, Creating Your First App With Power Apps, App Development, Using Power Automate and Using AI Builder.

This course should take you 1 month to complete and is designed for beginner level. The course is taught by industry pros from Microsoft. The course is full of interactive quizzes, and it is self-paced, so you can freely learn at your rhythm.

Why should I choose this course?

  • No prior knowledge is needed
  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Taught by industry professionals

> Checkout the course Microsoft Power Platform for free here

> Detailed Udacity Review

2. Web Tooling & Automation by Google

The Web Tooling & Automation course that is created in partnership with Google. In this course you’ll learn how to set up your development, get super productive during daily work and iteration and save yourself and your site from disasters. This course is broken into 6 lessons which are full of instructor led videos and exercises.

This course should take you 3 weeks to complete and designed for intermediate level. The course is taught by industry professionals

Why should I choose this course?

  • Instructor videos
  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Taught by industry professionals

> Checkout Web Tooling & Automation for free here

3. Front End Frameworks by Google

The Front End Frameworks course that is created in partnership with Google. In this course you’ll learn how to create both an Angular application and an Ember app from scratch. This course is broken up into 4 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 8 weeks to complete and is designed for advanced level. The course is taught by industry professional Richard Kalehoff.

Why should I choose this course?

  • If you have experience building sites with HTML and CSS
  • If you have 2 years of programming experience in Javascript
  • Taught by an industry professional

> Checkout Front End Frameworks for free here

4. Responsive Web Design Fundamentals by Google

The Responsive Web Design Fundamentals course that is created in partnership with Google. In this course you’ll learn the fundamentals of responsive web design. You will create your own responsive web page that works well on any device. This course is broken up into 5 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 2 weeks to complete and is designed for intermediate level. The course is taught by industry professionals Cameron Pittman and Pete LePage.

Why should I choose this course?

  • To design a responsive site
  • Interactive exercises and videos
  • Taught by an industry professional

> Checkout Responsive Web Design Fundamentals for free here

5. Linux Command Line Basics

The Linux Command Line Basics course that is created for beginners. In this course you’ll learn the basics of the command line interface of a Linux server. This course is broken up into 3 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 1 week to complete and designed for beginner level who have beginner-level experience in programming languages such as Python or Javascript. The course is taught by industry professionals Philip Mallory and Karl Krueger.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Only 1 week commitment
  • No prior experience needed
  • Taught by an industry professionals

> Checkout Linux Command Line Basics for free here

6. How to Install Android Studio

The How to Install Android Studio is a short tutorial that walks you through installing Android studio on a Windows or Mac computer. You will also learn how to set up a new project using the Android Studio Project Wizard. This course is broken up into 3 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 1 day to complete and is designed for a beginner who has access to a Windows or Mac computer. The course is taught by industry professional Lyla Fujiwara.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Only a 1-day commitment
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout How to Install Android Studio for free here

7. Android Basics: Multiscreen Apps

The Android Basics: Multiscreen Apps is created in partnership with Google. Android apps are everywhere and learning to build them can be a fantastic career move. This course is for learners who have completed the Android for Beginners course, and you won’t need any other programming experience besides that course. This course is broken up into 5 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 2 months to complete and is designed for a beginner. The course is taught by industry professionals Katherine Kuan and Jessica Lin.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Android Basics: Multiscreen Apps for free here

8. Website Performance Optimization

The Website Performance Optimization is created in partnership with Google. You will learn how to optimize any website for speed by diving into the details of how mobile and desktop browsers render pages. This course is broken up into 3 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 1 week to complete and is designed for an intermediate skill level. The course is taught by industry professionals Cameron Pittman and IIya Grigorik.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Only a 1-day commitment
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Website Performance Optimization for free here

9. iOS Networking with Swift

The iOS Networking with Swift course will teach you how to incorporate networking into your apps. At the end of the course, you’ll build the “On the Map’ app which allows you to share interesting links, projects and other information with fellow Udacity Students. This course is made up of 6 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 3 months to complete and is designed for an advanced skill level. The course is taught by industry professional Jarrod Parkes.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Taught by industry professional
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout iOS Networking with Swift for free here

10. JavaScript Design Patterns

The JavaScript Design Patterns course covers methods for organizing your code, both conceptually and literally. You will learn the importance of separating concerns when writing JavaScript, gaining hands-on experience. This course is made up of 4 lessons full of interactive exercises and videos.

This course should take you 6 weeks to complete and is designed for an advanced skill level user. The course is taught by industry professional Ben Jaffe.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Learn to write clean, organized and structured code
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout JavaScript Design Patterns for free here

11. Android Basics: User Input

The Android Basics: User Input course that is partnered by Google. You will learn the basics of Android and Java programming that will take you on your first steps to becoming an Android developer. This course is made up of 2 lessons of self-paced interactive learning content.

This course should take you 4 weeks to complete and is beginner friendly. The course is taught by industry professionals Katherine Kuan, Kunai Chawla and Lyla Fujiwara.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Course is part of various Android Basics Nanodegrees
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Android Basics: User Input for free here

12. Android Performance

The Android Performance course created in partnership with Google. This course will teach you how to identity and diagnose your performance problems. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to perform exploratory tests, run profiling tools, use outputs to navigate to problematic code. This course is made up of 4 self-paced lessons full of interactive learning content.

This course should take you 4 weeks to complete and is for an advanced skill level user. The course is taught by industry professionals Colt McAnlis and Chris Lei.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Android Performance for free here

12. Responsive Images

The Responsive Images course created in partnership with Google. You will learn how to work with images on the modern web, so that your images look great and load quickly on any device. This course is made up of 4 self-paced lessons full of interactive learning content.

This course should take 2 weeks to complete and is for an intermediate skill level user. The course is taught by industry professionals Cameron Pittman and Sam Dutton.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn a range of skills and techniques
  • Created by Google
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Responsive Images for free here

13. Xcode Debugging

The Xcode Debugging course will teach you a variety of techniques to help make debugging your code easier. This course is made up of 4 self-paced lessons full of interactive learning content.

This course should take 3 weeks to complete and is for an advanced skill level user. The course is taught by industry professional Jarrod Parkes.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Learn standard methodologies for debussing software
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Xcode Debugging for free

14. Gradle for Android and Java

The Gradle for Android and Java course created in partnership with Google. The course explores how the Gradle build tool compiles and packages apps, and you will learn to customize the build process. This course is made up of 5 interactive lessons that are all self paced.

This course should take 6 weeks to complete and is for an advanced skill level user. The course is taught by industry professional Jeremy Silver and Mark Vieira.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Experience with Android or Java apps
  • Taught by industry pros
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Gradle for Android and Java for free here

15. Build Native Mobile Apps with Flutter

The Build Native Mobile Apps with Flutter course brought by the experts at Google where you will learn how to craft high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android devices. This course is made up of 2 self-paced lessons.

This course should take 2 weeks to complete and is for an intermediate skill level. The course is taught by industry professionals Mary Xia, Matt Sullivan and James Williams.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Rich Learning Content
  • Taught by industry pros
  • Student Support Community

> Checkout Build Native Mobile Apps with Flutter for free here

16. JavaScript Promises

The JavaScript Promises course created in partnership with Google. In this course you’ll learn how to use Native JavaScript Promises to write asynchronous code that is easy to read, write and debug. The course consists of 2 self-paced lessons.

This course should take 3 weeks to complete and is for an advanced skill level. The course is taught by industry professional Cameron Pittman.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Taught by industry pros
  • Make a Webapp

> Checkout JavaScript Promises for free here

17. UIKit Fundamentals

The UIKit Fundamentals course you will learn to build a series of simple apps to become more comfortable with the UIKit framework. The course is made up of 7 lessons that are full of interactive quizzes.

This course should take approximately 2 months to complete and is for an intermediate skill level. The course is taught by industry professional Gabrielle Miller-Messner.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Taught by industry pros
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout UIKit Fundamentals for free here

18. Android Basics: User Interface

The Android Basics: User Interface course is the first course in the Android Basics Nanodegree program. The course is made of interactive quizzes and is self-paced learning.

This course should take approximately 2 weeks to complete and is beginner-friendly. The course is taught by industry professional Katherine Kuan and Kunal Chawla.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Design first layout in Android
  • Taught by industry pros
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Android Basics: User Interface for free here

19. Client-Server Communication

The Client-Server Communication course that is partnered with Google. This course will guide you through how a client communicates with a server. In this course you’ll learn both security best practices, and best ways to improve the performance of your web apps.

This course should take approximately 5 weeks to complete and is for an advanced skill level user. The course is taught by industry professionals Surma and Richard Kalehoff.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Familiar with ready and writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Learn by doing exercises
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout Client-Server Communication for free here

20. What is Programming?

The What is Programming course will help demystify the cryptic terms that developers use every day. You’ll learn about the web functions and what a programmer does every day. This course is made up of 5 interactive lessons.

This course will take 1 day to complete and is beginner-friendly. The course is taught by industry professional Richard Kalehoff.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Only a 1-day commitment
  • Learn the basics of programming
  • Self-Paced Learning

> Checkout What is Programming? for free here

Why decide on a Paid Udacity Course?

Even though most of us do enjoy a freebie, I think it is still worth pointing out the reasons to consider a paid Udacity course, as even the top Udacity free courses don’t compare to the paid ones. Also, to add here that Udacity’s paid courses and Nanodegree programs are designed to upskill learners for a new career and to make them job ready. I will highlight below the main advantages of a paid Udacity program.

Bigger choice of courses

The most obvious difference is the range of courses offered. If you are looking at only free courses, you will have access to just under 200. Whilst if you are wanting to invest in a course you will have access to a much wider range of topics as new courses are regularly added to the platform.

Technical Support

Something you definitely won’t be getting with a free Udacity course is any support. A feature that you will have with Udacity’s paid programs are knowledgeable mentors guiding your learning and who can answer any questions you have, plus they can help to keep you motivated and stay on track.

Career Services

Udacity’s paid courses and programs will give you access to resume support, Github portfolio review and LinkedIn profile optimization to help you advance your career and get you in the best possible place to land your ideal role.

Certificate on Completion

Sadly, a free Udacity course won’t provide you with any formal recognition of completing the course. The only way you are going to receive a certificate from Udacity is when you successfully complete one of its Nanodegrees like Front-End Web Developer or a Cloud Developer. Many of its programs are partnered with top companies like Google and Microsoft and therefore recognized by future employees.

How much are Udacity Paid Courses & Programs?

Udacity’s pricing system works a little differently to many other elearning platforms, so I will explain in detail. You have the option of paying for a single course or a Nanodegree program (which are a series of single courses put together).  Typically, 3 or 4 courses will cost $399 (€359 or £329) a month and each program will be between 2 and 6 months assuming you work an average of 5-10 hours every week.

I put together this table below, so you can see how the pricing would look over a 6-month period.

Program duration Monthly Payment Full Course Prepaid
2-month Nanodegree $718

($399 a month)

$678 for the program

($339 a month)

3-month Nanodegree $1,077

($399 a month)

$1,017 for the program

($339 a month)

4-month Nanodegree $1,436

($399 a month)

$1,356 for the program

($339 a month)

5-month Nanodegree $1,795

($399 a month)

$1695 for the program

($339 a month)

6-month Nanodegree $2,154

($399 a month)

$2034 for the program

($339 a month)


Note:
 If you take longer than the estimated time to complete, the final course price will be higher as you’ll need to extend the program.

Udacity offers a couple of ways you for you to purchase one of its programs;

Pay As You Go (monthly) payment: You will be charged the monthly $399 (€359 or £329) for as long as you take to complete the Nanodegree, or until you decide to cancel your subscription.

Bundled Subscription Payments: If you are choosing an online course in the form of a bundled offering, you will purchase a fixed, multi-month subscription at a discounted rate (15% off) and will pay a one-off fee upfront. However, you’ll have to make sure you put in the work to finish the program within Udacity’s estimated time frame, or you will most likely have to pay extra.

In short the main advantages of learning with a paid Udacity course or program are the following;

  • Certificate of completion
  • Recognized by future employees
  • Udacity is a legit and recognized elearning platform
  • 7-day refund policy

Alternative Free courses

Udacity is not the only elearning platform that offers free courses. So if you can’t find what you are looking for there. Then check some of my other elearning platform suggestions for free courses.

Coursera

Coursera works with top universities and businesses to create its courses. It will allow you to learn for free on the majority of its courses when you choose the audit the course option. The only difference is you won’t receive an accredited certificate on completion.

Coursera is a good alternative to Udacity and Udemy

Coursera offers free courses

After you have chosen the free audit course, you will have the option to upgrade to a paid Certificate at any time during the audit period. Beware there are some degrees and specializations that don’t offer the free audit option.

Read Coursera Review

Visit Coursera.com

edX

Like Coursera, edX offers a free course Audit option. Its courses are partnered with prestigious universities and companies like Harvard and Berkeley. With the free audit option, you will be granted access to all course materials except graded assignments, and you won’t be awarded a certificate.

edX offers free courses

Once you have completed the edX free course material you will no longer have access to the course. If you do decide to upgrade to a verified certificate you will have the option to upgrade.

Read edX Review

Visit edx.com

Skillshare

Skillshare offers more than 2,000 courses for free with its free account. Its courses are focused on creatives like designers, artists and entrepreneurs.

Skillshare a cheaper alternative to Udemy and Udacity

Skillshare offers free courses

As well as its free courses Skillshare has the option of the paid monthly or yearly subscription. Its monthly subscription is $15 a month and the yearly subscription is $99 annually.

Read Skillshare Review

Visit Skillshare.com

Final thoughts: Free Udacity Courses

If your goal is to learn a technology or business related skill then Udacity is the right platform for you. You have close to 200 courses to choose from which are all high quality and many partnered with top companies like Google and Microsoft.

And let’s face it if you do decide that learning on one of its free courses isn’t for you, you can choose to upgrade to a paid course, or you can choose another free course or one of the alternatives platforms that I have mentioned.

> Try Udacity for free

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

Catherine Cooke

Hey. I am Catherine and have been working as a freelancer for many years now and I believe that you are in charge of your own destiny. If learning a new skill or having a career change is something you want to do, then there is no better time than the present. If you have a question please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
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