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Do you want to learn from some of the most accomplished professors at Stanford University? Instead of relocating to California or spending a fortune to enroll in an online program, you can get the same learning experience without spending a dime. 

Coursera makes it easy. Coursera features a vast selection of Stanford University courses for all skill levels that you can access for free. 

If you’re ready to get started, Benzinga is here to help you find an option that piques your interest. 

Quick Look: Best Stanford Courses

Take a sneak peek at the best online Stanford courses from Coursera: 

What Makes a Stanford Course Great?

Stanford courses are an ideal investment of your time and effort for many reasons, including those outlined below. 

Instructed by Subject-Matter Expert

Facilitated by Stanford, courses feature subject-matter experts who have experience in the classroom and in the field. Read the instructor’s biography to learn more about his or her professional background. 


You can complete one of these courses when your busy schedule allows. This means you won’t have to rush through the material to meet pressing deadlines without fully understanding what’s being taught in the class. 


You can access Stanford courses on Coursera for free. Depending on the class, you may also have the option to pay a fee to upgrade your enrollment to get into a certificate or degree program. 

Our Top Picks

We’ve compiled a list of the top Stanford courses from Coursera. Below, you will also find descriptions for each class to help you make an informed decision. 

Best Stanford Courses

Here are the best Stanford courses from Coursera. 

1. Antibiotic Stewardship

Who it’s for: Aspiring and current infectious disease practitioners 

Price: Free

Antibiotic Stewardship introduces students to core principles of appropriate antibiotic use and how they should be applied to manage common infections. You will also learn how to oversee an antimicrobial stewardship program through several illustrative cases that demonstrate practitioners’ thought processes to aid in effective decision-making. 

This advanced course spans 6 hours and includes the following modules:

  • Course Welcome
  • Principles of Antimicrobial Use
  • Optimal Management of Common Infections
  • Essential Functions of ASP
  • Advanced ASP Activities 
  • Conclusion 

Instruction is provided through a series of video lectures from Elizabeth Robilotti, Clinical Assistant Professor Marisa Holubar, Infectious Disease Pharmacist Emily Mui, Clinical Professor Stan Deresinski, M.D., and Antimicrobial Stewardship/Infectious Diseases Pharmacist Lina Meng. 

Enroll now. 

2. Introduction to Mathematical Thinking 

Who it’s for: Students who want to approach math problems like professional mathematicians

Price: Free

Introduction to Mathematical Thinking is a 40-hour course that teaches you how to think like a professional mathematician. As you progress through the material, you will learn to think outside the box and apply real-world strategies to help you solve complex problems with ease. 

Here’s what you can expect from the course each week:

  • Week 1: Course Overview
  • Week 2: Formalized Parts of Language in Mathematics  
  • Week 3: Analysis of Language for Use in Mathematics 
  • Week 4: Analysis of Language for Use in Mathematics (continued)
  • Week 5: Mathematical Proofs 
  • Week 6: Mathematical Proofs (continued)
  • Week 7: Number Theory 
  • Week 8: Real Analysis 
  • Week 9: Test Flight 
  • Week 10: Test Flight (continued) 

Facilitator Keith Devlin is the co-founder and executive director of the H-Star Institute. 

Enroll now.

3. COVID-19 Training for Healthcare Workers 

Who it’s for: Physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals  

Price: Free

Check out COVID-19 Training for Healthcare Workers, a 5-hour course that offers an evidence-based approach to treating and saving COVID-19 patients’ lives. You will view a series of videos covering the symptoms of signs to look for, early stabilization of infected patients, minimizing the need for intubation, ventilator management and so much more. 

Take a look at the course syllabus: 

  • COVID-19 Key Features and PPE
  • Clinical Assessment of COVID-19 Patients 
  • Diagnostic Assessment of COVID-19 Patients 
  • Early Treatment of the Dyspneic COVID-19 Patient
  • Advanced Treatment of the Severely Dyspneic COVID-19 Patient 
  • Initial Ventilator Management and Troubleshooting in COVID-19 Patients 

The course is co-instructed by S.V. Mahadevan, emergency medicine professor and Matthew Strehlow, associate professor. 

Enroll now. 

4. Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis 

Who it’s for: Economics students and professionals 

Price: Free

Interested in learning how to model social and economic networks and demonstrate their impact on human behavior? Look no further than this 30-hour course that includes several hours of video lectures, readings and quizzes to test your knowledge. 

You will work with strategies and models from many fields, including computer science, economics, math, physics, sociology and statistics. 

Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis consists of 8 segments: 

  • Introduction, Empirical Background and Definition
  • Background, Definitions and Measures Continued
  • Random Networks
  • Strategic Network Formation
  • Diffusion on Networks
  • Learning on Networks
  • Games on Networks 
  • Final Exam 

It is facilitated by Matthew O. Jackson, economics professor. 

Enroll now. 

5. Machine Learning 

Who it’s for: Individuals who want to learn machine learning from scratch 

Price: Free

Andrew Ng, adjunct professor at Stanford, brings you this in-depth course that teaches the fundamentals of machine learning from the ground up. As you work through the material, you will discover the most effective machine learning techniques and the theoretical underpinnings of machine learning. Plus, multiple demonstrations show you how to apply machine learning in the field to solve everyday issues. 

Machine Learning includes the following modules: 

  • Introduction
  • Linear Regression with One Variable 
  • Linear Algebra Review
  • Linear Regression with Multiple Variables 
  • Octave/Matlab Tutorial
  • Logistic Regression
  • Regularization
  • Neural Networks: Representation 
  • Neural Networks: Learning
  • Advice for Applying Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning System Design 
  • Support Vector Machines
  • Unsupervised Learning 
  • Dimensionality Reduction
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Recommender Systems 
  • Large Scale Machine Learning
  • Application Example: Photo OCR 

Each module features video lectures and supplementary readings. You will also be tasked with taking quizzes to gauge if you fully grasp the information presented in the lessons or need to spend more time reviewing the concepts before moving on. 

It takes approximately 60 hours to finish the course.

Enroll now. 

6. Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

Who it’s for: Einstein enthusiasts and science students 

Price: Free

Are you intrigued by Albert Einstein and want to learn more about the theory of relativity he created? This course is the perfect fit as it pulls back the curtain on this famous concept and dives deeper into Einstein as a person, how he developed ideas, what makes the theory of relativity unique and so much more. 

Led by Academic Director Larry Randles Lagerstrom, Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity divides into the following components: 

  • Introduction to the Course and Einstein in Context
  • Events, Clocks and Reference Frames
  • Ethereal Problems and Solutions
  • The Weirdness Begins
  • Spacetime Switches
  • Breaking the Spacetime Speed Limit
  • Paradoxes to Ponder 
  • To the Center of the Galaxy and Back 

Prepare to spend 81 hours working through the course. 

Enroll now. 

7. Organizational Analysis 

Who it’s for: Organizational leaders, managers and business students 

Price: Free

Organizational Analysis delves into the many theories of organizational behavior. You will learn how to master these theories and effectively apply them to cases of organizational change. 

Here’s a breakdown of the course syllabus: 

  • Introduction 
  • Decisions by Rational and Rule-Based Procedures
  • Decisions by Dominant Coalitions
  • Organized Anarchy 
  • Organizational Learning
  • Organizational Culture
  • Resource Dependency Theory 
  • Networks
  • Institutional Theory
  • Population Ecology and Course Summary 
  • Final Exam 

You will walk away from the class with extensive knowledge of real-world organizational phenomena, various theoretical perspectives that clarify these phenomena and the ability to apply your newfound expertise to specific cases within organizations. 

Instructor Daniel A. McFarland is a professor in the department of education, sociology and organizational behavior. 

Enroll now. 

8. Stories of Infection 

Who it’s for: Aspiring infectious disease practitioners 

Price: Free

Lecturer Maya Adam, M.D., shares a series of patient-centered videos to introduce students to various infectious diseases. In each short video, you will learn about the patient’s illness and how it’s treated, along with ways you can integrate immunology, microbiology and pathophysiology. 

Stories of Infection includes these sections: 

  • Introductory Module
  • Bacterial Infections, Part 1
  • Bacterial Infections, Part 2
  • Viral Infections, Part 1
  • Viral Infections, Part 2
  • Other Infectious Pathogens 

The course can be completed in 12 hours. 

Enroll now. 

9. International Women’s Health and Human Rights 

Who it’s for: Individuals who want to learn more about the evolution of women’s health human rights 

Price: Free

Anne Firth Murray teaches International Women’s Health and Human Rights. It focuses on the evolution of women’s health and human rights. You will also learn about the impact of positive interventions related to these issues. 

This 70-hour course covers the following topics: 

  • Women’s Right = Human Rights 
  • Education 
  • Childhood Adolescence: Female Genital Mutilation
  • Childhood and Adolescence: HIV/AIDS 
  • Reproductive Health
  • Engage Your Community: Assignment #1
  • Violence Against Women in the Home and Community
  • Women in War and Refugee Settings
  • Women’s Quest to Escape Poverty: Work and Economic Empowerment 
  • Women’s Quest to Escape Poverty: Sex Work and Sex Trafficking
  • Women, Aging and End of Life
  • Engage Your Community: Assignment #2
  • Choosing Priorities, Making a Difference

The material is delivered through video lectures, readings and quizzes. 

Enroll now. 

Get Started with a Course from Stanford 

When you’re ready to receive a world-class learning experience from Stanford, consider our top selections. Facilitated by subject-matter experts, they can be completed around your busy schedule. Best of all, you can get started for free with no strings attached.