how to get coursera certificate for free

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

Are an international student? Does your attention revolve around getting all the relevant information you can about how to get coursera certificate for free? Have you been able to get it all you need? If you haven’t, then you need not fret. The article below has all the information you desire about how to get coursera certificate for free.

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Coursera is an online education provider that offers online courses, popularly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, from top universities and companies around the world. Currently, Coursera boasts an active catalog of more than 6000 online courses created by these partner institutions.

Coursera courses consist of pre-recorded video lectures that you can watch on a weekly schedule or when it’s convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

Generally speaking, Coursera courses are free to audit (i.e. watch videos) but if you want to earn a course Certificate, you will need to pay. An investigation by Class Central discovered 1600+ Coursera courses that include assessments for free although other courses have the assessments behind a paywall.

Many of the Coursera courses are part of Coursera Specializations, a microcredential offered by Coursera. Specializations consist of a sequence of courses and for some Specializations the last course is a Capstone project. If learners earn a certificate for each course in a Specialization, they will receive a Specialization certificate. Specializations are usually geared towards in-demand skills in business and technology. You can take single courses or the whole specialization. Also see How does a Coursera subscription work?

Other courses are grouped into MasterTracks and Professional Certificates. Coursera has launched over 400 microcredentials.

You can also apply for a MOOC-based degree through Coursera.

If you are not clear on how to sign up for Coursera courses for free, here is a guide from Class Central: A Guide on How to Sign up for Coursera Courses for Free.

If you want a certificate but cannot afford the cost, Coursera offers financial aid to needy applicants. Here is more information from Coursera:

For those looking for specialty courses (these consist of multiple courses in one place) and certificates, I also have you covered! Let’s get started!

How To Take Coursera Courses For Free In 2021

1. Go To & Create An Account

create a free account with coursera

First things first is to head over to and create a free account. This is an essential step as this will allow us to start enrolling in courses for free.

Surprisingly, the signup process is incredibly simple and only takes about 30 seconds. All you need to insert is your name, email address, and a password.

There are also options to create an account with Facebook, Google, or Apple.

2. Search For Your Desired Course

Search For Your Desired Course

Now that we have our free account and are signed in, we can now go and search 1,000’s of courses that are available on Coursera.

For this example, I am interested in learning PHP, so I will simply search for this query and see what courses are available.

From this search along, there are over 80 courses relating to PHP, which can all be taken for free!

From these search results, you will also be able to see the recommended skill level, amount of students, star rating, amount of reviews, the university/college, and the type of course.

Now, depending on the type of course you want to enroll in (see below), there are two different methods of enrolling for free.

  • “Course” (Keep following along)
  • “Specialization” (Skip to step 6)
  • “Professional Certificate” (Skip to step 6)

In short, a “Course” is just a single Course, while both “Specialization” and “Professional certificates” consist of multiple courses taught together.

If you want to enroll in a single course, pick your desired option. For those who want to take the other options, skip to step 6.

3. Click “Enroll For Free”

Click "Enroll For Free"

Once you have selected a course, you will then be directed to the landing page where you can learn more information about the selected course.

If you are happy to continue with your pick, simply click on “Enroll For Free”.

4. Click “Audit The Single Course”

Click "Audit The Single Course"

Once you have clicked on “Enroll For Free”, you will then be directed to a 7-day free trial which Coursera will want you to choose.

However…. Completely ignore this!

If you look just below that section, there will be a small blue link which will be labeled “Audit This Single Course”, which is another way of saying “Take This Course For Free”.

So to starting learning for free, simply click on this link!

Another thing to note is that Coursera does like to change the placement of these like frequently, so you may have to keep your eyes out for it as its position changes from month to month.

audit this course

Above are some other examples of where you may be able to find the “Audit This Single Course” link when on this page.

5. Welcome To Your Free Coursera Course!

Welcome To Your Free Coursera Course!

If all has gone well, you will now have full access to the Coursera course including all videos, syllabus, course resources, and discussion forums.

One thing to note is that when auditing a course, you unfortunately won’t receive a certificate of completion or have access to the tests.

But as this course is completely free, this is a small price (or in this case, no price 😉) to pay. As long as you learn the course content and can apply it, that is all that matters. You can also still insert this to a resume and CV once you have completed all the lessons.

6. How To Get Specialization/Professional Certificates Courses For Free

How To Get Specilization/ Proheshioanls Certificates Courses For Free

Ok, so if you are wanting to enroll in either the Speciliaztion or Professional Certificates courses, I also have you covered!

Once you have picked your desired option, you will be welcomed to the course information page. From here, you DON’T want to click on “Enroll For Free” as this will not allow you to audit/view the course for free.

Instead, hover your mouse over the section that says “Course Series” which is located above the button (this is better to do on desktop).

Once you have done this, you will see all the individual courses that are included in either the Speciliaztion or Professional Certificates courses.

Now, take note of these courses as you can actually enroll in each of those courses separately and for free.

Click "Audit The Single Course"

So all you have to do now is go and search for each of those classes and follow steps 3 and 4 to audit/enroll in each course separately.

The only downside to this is that there is no certificate of completion or access to the grading system. However, you still do get access to all individual courses, videos, resources, and community for free!

7. How To Get a Free Certificate With Coursera

How To Get a Free Certificate With Coursera

If you are adamant about receiving a free certificate of completion with your Coursera courses, there really is only one way to do this, and that is to apply for finical aid.

So if you can not afford to pay for the certificate or are unemployed, then this is a worthwhile option to try.

To start this process, you will have to click on the desired course you want a certificate in. From there, click on “Finical aid available” > “Continue to the application”.

From here, you will be prompted to accept the below terms and conditions and also write “I agree to the terms above”.

Once you are on to the application form, you will have to fill out various areas including your educational background, annual income, employment status, and how much you can afford to pay.

Below this, you will be asked various other questions on why you are applying, how this financial aid can help you, and your personal situation.

For more information on this, I would recommend watching this video as it has some great tips from someone who has been successfully accepted for financial aid from Coursera.


For more information, you can also see my guide on getting Udemy courses for free.


Below are some frequently asked questions that students ask when enrolling in or pursuing a Coursera course.

What Is Audit Course On Coursera?

Essentially, auditing a course on Coursera gives students the benefit of viewing all course materials including videos, resources, and access to the community for free. However, the audit option does not provide access to the grading system or a certificate of completion.

Can You Still Audit Courses On Coursera?

Yes. Coursera still does provide the option for students to audit their courses. This option can be found on the enrollment page > Enroll in this Course > Audit this course. Following these prompts will give complete access to the course minus the grading and certificate.

Can I Get Coursera For Free?

Yes. Coursera provides an “audit” which allows users to enroll in courses for free and get access to all course material, videos, and access to the student discussion board. Unfortunately, this option does not include a free certificate or access to grades.

Do I Have To Pay For Each Course On Consera?

If you want a certificate of completion and grading from the tests on Coursera, users will have to pay a monthly or one-time fee. However, users can also “audit” courses that unlock all class material which can be accessed for free which comes without a certificate.


To enroll in Coursera courses for free is surprisingly straight forward and unlocks 1,000s of courses. Simply create a account > search for your desired course > select “Enroll in course” > and select “Audit this course”. By following these steps, users can enroll in Coursera courses free of charge.

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