In this article, the Class Central team has come together to compile the single largest collection on free certificate courses available online.
Certificates can motivate learners to complete online courses. When the modern online course movement began, platforms like Coursera and edX offered free certificates. But by 2015, these had largely been replaced by paid ones.
Fortunately, universities like Harvard and Stanford still offer some free certificates. And so do platform like Coursera and edX. Finally, companies like Google and Microsoft have also started offering free certificates to promote their products.
Free certificates can be hard to find. So we compile them all here, testing each platform, earning a few certificates ourselves along the way. We’ve already spent 50+ hours on this article, and we’ll continue to update it as new offers appear.
If you know more free certificate courses, please share them in the comments.
Table of Contents
This article is long. To make it easy to navigate, we’ve divided it into sections. Click on a section to jump to the corresponding free certificate courses:
If you look for “Google” on Class Central, you will find Google and Google Cloud courses offered via online learning providers such as Coursera or Udacity. But Google also offers online courses through their own platforms and other third-party platforms. These are aggregated in their “Grow with Google” platform, which includes many courses with a free certificate.
So I looked through Google’s different learning platforms and compiled all their offerings. Then, I filtered the list to keep only Google’s free certificate courses.
Stanford Medicine offers a flurry of online learning resources in the medical field, from podcasts to full-fledged courses, that include free certificates of completion.
Learners also have access to a formal transcript from Stanford, listing all the training they’ve completed. And if you work in healthcare, you can earn continuing medical education credit (CME credit) via the platform.
Here are some of Stanford free certificate offerings:
Webinar: The Pediatric Grand Rounds, a series of hour-long on-demand webinars, where experts discuss various topics related to children’s healthcare. Here’s a webinar that focuses on equity in pediatric care.
Podcast: The Stanford Medcast, a biweekly 30-minute medical podcast. Each episode focuses on a new topic, often related to recent medical developments. The most recent episode discusses stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis.
Class Central’s @suparn searched LinkedIn Learning’s catalog of 9,000+ courses and 425 learning paths (which consist of a set of bundled courses) and identified the ones which are available for free and offer a free certificate.
IBM Cognitive Class offers over 80 courses and 20 learning paths in data science, AI, big data, cloud computing and blockchain. It also provides a virtual lab environment allowing users to practice what they’ve learned in the courses. You can earn a badge or certificate of completion when passing 70% grade of each course.
The Open University offers 800 free online courses via their OpenLearn platform. And these include free certificates of completion, and sometimes, badges.
Having completed a bachelor’s degree with the Open University, I can attest to the quality of their courses, which cover a wide variety of subjects, ranging from arts and language to science and technology.
Here are some of the courses you can take on OpenLearn:
Class Central’s catalog of Digital Marketing courses has grown to 3500 courses, but most of them require you to pay for a credential. So I decided to dig deeper and research free certificates related to Digital Marketing.
freeCodeCamp is a nonprofit that can teach you how to code online for free. It includes thousands of hours of learning content exploring topics ranging from web development to machine learning. The content is structured into certifications. Each is dedicated to a particular topic and leads to a free certificate of completion.
Coursera offers 6 free courses about COVID-19 that include a free certificate (Expiring Dec 31st, 2022). Before trying to enroll, please wait for the promo banner to load at the top of the Coursera page, so you’ll be able to redeem the course for free.
Kaggle is an online community for data scientists and machine learning practitioners. You can build your own data science and machine learning projects with over 50,000 public datasets and 400,000 public notebooks through a no-setup Jupyter Notebooks environment. Kaggle has run over 500 open competitions for learners and experts to grow data science skills. It also provides 16 free step-by-step practical courses to help you learn basic data science like Intro to Machine Learning or Feature Engineering. You’ll earn a completion certificate when you finish a course.
30+ free courses with certificates in Python and R. Courses are designed into interactive document-based learning mode. A Statement of Accomplishment is available to download when you pass each chapter of the course.
Three of these courses have been ranked among Class Central’s Best Free Online Courses of All Time. After completing the final quizzes of each course module, participants are eligible to download certificates of completion.
Free Certificates from HackerRank
Redis University offers 7 free certificate courses to learn how to use Redis. You can earn a certificate by achieving a combined score of 65% or more on the weekly homework and the final exam before the course ends.
The MOOC platform of the Hasso Plattner Institute, openHPI, offers 70+ free certificate courses in computer science and digital technologies. Upon completion of a course, you may receive a Record of Achievement or a Confirmation of Participation.
Free Certificates from OpenSAP
OpenSAP offers 200+ free certificate courses in business and technology. You can earn a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least half a course, or a Record of Achievement by scoring at last half the points on all graded assignments.
Free Certificates from Canvas Network
60+ courses focussing on professional development (PD) for educators are free to enroll. Free badges and certificates are available though the instructor or the institution. Canvas Network does not issue a certificate.
Free Certificates from Marginal Revolution University (MRU)
Marginal Revolution University (MRU) now provides 18 economics courses and series to everyone for free. Learning videos are also available on Youtube Channel. You will earn a certificate on your MRUniversity profile if you pass the final exam of a course you will earn the certificate on your MRUniversity profile.
Great Learning offers 90+ free certificate courses in a wide variety of subjects like artificial intelligence, data science, programming, cloud computing, and digital marketing. A free certificate is available once you complete all videos and quizzes, and claim the final course certificate.
upGrad offers 30+ free tech programs. These include courses in data science, programming, web development, and management. An e-Certificate of Completion is provided in 30 days after you successfully finish all the modules within your program. Your phone number is required while registering a course and you may receive calls and messages from upGrad.
Free Certificates from Hubspot Academy
Hubspot Academy offers 20 free certificate courses in digital marketing. You can earn a certificate after completing all videos, quizzes, and exercises, and passing the certification exam.
Free Certificates from Y Combinator Startup School
Y Combinator’s Startup School offers a free online program that includes 16 courses where founders explain how they built their startups. To get certified, you need to complete the entire curriculum, participate in a group session, and submit company updates 8 weeks in a row.
Free Certificates from GitLab
GitLab offers free certification programs to grow your tech professional skills. To earn a certificate, you have to score 80% or higher on all the quizzes and assessments.
Open WHO offers 240+ self-paced courses with free certificates in epidemics, pandemics, and health emergencies. Courses are translated in three to five different languages. There are two types of certificates: learners can earn a Certificate of Participation simply for completing the course, and a Record of Achievement if they score at least 80% on all grade assignments.
The FAO elearning Academy offers 140+ free courses in food and nutrition security, social and economic development, and sustainable management of natural resources. A Digital Badge Certification is granted for some courses by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, after passing the final evaluation with a score of 75% or more.
The UN CC:e-Learn platform offers 39 free courses with certificates in climate change. Once you complete all learning materials and pass the final quiz with a score of at least 70%, a Certificate of Completion will be available for download on the course’s Certification page.
Free Certificates from International Training Centre
ITCILO offers 30 free certificate courses in sustainable enterprise development, labor laws, and gender equality in the workplace. Certificates or badges can be earned by meeting each course requirements.