The Best Paid and Free Stanford Online Courses in 2022

Stanford University, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a world-renowned private research university. Its main strengths are computer science and engineering, and it has a reputation for sending its graduate students straight to Silicon Valley to pursue flourishing careers. 

Stanford University believes in a revolutionary curriculum, welcoming improvements to online learning methods as a source of inspiration for students worldwide. Stanford University offers both in-person and online courses for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 

Health and medicine, cyber security, education, artificial intelligence, environmental studies, leadership, and management are among the topics covered in Stanford’s online courses. For the professional growth of its students, it provides a mix of basic and advanced programs.

About Stanford Online Courses

Stanford online courses offer a professional education curriculum for organizations. They provide professional degree and certificate courses with open access to classes, lectures, and learning materials created by world-class Stanford faculty members.

Stanford online courses offer you flexible and affordable ways to learn more skills. Non-degree learning and credit courses can be credited when you apply and pass the postgraduate degree programs. Stanford also offers free short courses for those who want to expand their knowledge with the option to purchase a certificate of completion.

Does Stanford Offer Online Courses?

Stanford offers free courses, non-degree courses, credit courses, bootcamps, and professional programs online. You can visit Stanford Online to find your preferred programs in education, engineering, health and medicine, and the arts and humanities.

What Can You Learn in a Stanford Online Course?

Stanford is known for producing some of the world’s best graduates in the fields of computer science and engineering. The university also has competitive health and medicine courses offered through the Stanford School of Medicine. Recently, the school has also highlighted its Stanford Graduate School of Business courses.

Does Stanford Offer Online Bootcamps?

Stanford offers online bootcamps through the Stanford d.school. The Design Thinking Bootcamp Online is a four-day, hands-on interactive learning course on how to apply design thinking skills to your work. Instructors are Stanford professors and lecturers taking time off teaching their regular university students to share their industry knowledge with professionals who want to enhance their skills.

81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.

The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.

Best Stanford Online Courses

A boy wearing headphones taking notes while looking at a laptop.A boy wearing headphones taking notes while looking at a laptop.Stanford offers affordable, quality education through free and flexible-payment online courses.

Stanford offers paid online courses for postgraduate subjects, credit-bearing programs, short certificate courses, and professional programs. Paid courses award certificates of completion which can be used as a job credential. Stanford offers one-on-one coaching from faculty members. You can expand your professional connections through its alumni network.

You can pay for individual programs that give you 60-day access to course videos and materials even after the course has ended. You can also use the All-Access Plan to make your learning materials available to you for an entire year. Below, you will find a list of available paid courses that align with your learning goals.

Course TitleDurationPriceAdvanced Cybersecurity Certificate10-12 hours$495AI in Healthcare CapstoneSelf-paced$79Artificial Intelligence Professional Program8-12 hours a week for 10 weeks$1,595 per course$4,785 to complete the three-course certificateBuilding Business ModelsSelf-paced$995Digital Transformation Program6-9 hours per course$695 per course$5,560 to complete all coursesEffective Classroom Conversations20 hours$149Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program4-9 hours per course$295 per courseIdea-to-Market Program10-12 hours per week$4,000Innovation and Entrepreneurship10-12 hours$995Product Costing: Understanding the Financials of Your ProductSelf-paced$675

The Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate is a professional education program where you learn to create source codes and secure existing systems. You will learn to identify threats and prepare countermeasures using cryptography and cross-domain security measures. This program is self-paced and you can take it as a single course or finish all six courses to get a full certificate.

The AI in Healthcare Capstone is a certificate program under the Stanford School of Medicine. It provides you with hands-on experience of how to mine medical data based on the medical history of a patient who developed respiratory symptoms possibly related to COVID-19. 

This course is ideally taken as a continuing education program for medical physicians because of the technicality of the material covered. AI in Healthcare is a self-paced course that earns you a certificate upon completion.

The Artificial Intelligence Professional Program is part of Stanford’s professional education program. It is adapted from the on-campus graduate school lectures and it is designed for professionals who want to delve deeper into topics such as machine learning and acquire theoretical and project-based knowledge. 

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Each course requires eight to 12 hours of studying per week for 10 weeks, earning you Continuing Education Units (CEU) that can apply to certain Stanford continuing studies, depending on the receiving institution’s policies. Taking all three courses entitles you to a professional certificate.

Building Business Models is an online credit course from the Stanford School of Engineering. You will learn how to analyze competitors’ business models, build and present these models, and understand the economics behind the success of a business. Toward the end of the course, you will be required to take a final examination and complete a course evaluation.

The Digital Transformation Program is a professional education program that teaches how to implement digital transformations throughout an organization. Digital Transformation is a program ideally taken by an organization’s team that wishes to implement changes together. This is a self-paced program and requires completing eight courses to receive a certificate of completion.

Effective Classroom Conversations is an online course offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Education. This course will provide you with the necessary teaching strategies to help students create relationships via dialogue and cultivate a productive learning culture. This is an ideal course for teachers, coaches, administrators, and parents. This course earns you two Continuing Education Units.

The Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program is a short course and certificate program that will help you better understand the energy landscape and learn how to invest wisely in energy companies. 

This course is ideal for professionals working in the energy field, engineers, investors, product developers, and marketing managers. You can earn a certificate after completing four courses within the program.

This is a 10-week online course that will teach you to apply decision-making frameworks to assess an idea’s market viability. It will give you the tools and techniques to execute a new business idea and present it to stakeholders and potential investors. This program consists of weekly assignments, 80 hours of video lectures, live virtual sessions, and weekly feedback from coaches.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship course is part of Stanford’s professional education program. It teaches essential skills and strategies in starting and managing organizations. You will acquire the essential tools to make an organization successful and gain significant insights into innovation and entrepreneurship. 

This course is ideal for startup owners, management teams, project leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs. This self-paced course will give you a professional certificate upon completion.

Product Costing and Understanding Product Financials is a Stanford School of Engineering course. You will learn how to establish product pricing methods, evaluate pricing data, understand accounting concepts, and build product profitability projections. All students must take a final exam at the end of the course.

5 Best Free Stanford Online Courses

Course TitleDurationAutomata Theory7 weeksIntroduction to Mathematical Thinking8 weeksLove as a Force for Social Justice6 weeksSocial and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis8 weeksTo Prescribe or Not to Prescribe? Antibiotics and Outpatient Infections (CME)1 week

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Stanford’s free online courses are offered through Stanford online portals or partner online course providers like Coursera and edX. There is a wide range of free courses for postgraduate students to continue their professional studies. Below is a list of courses that can be taken for free, with the option to purchase an official certificate of completion.

The Automata Theory is a seven-week self-paced course that covers the theory of automata and languages. In this course, you’ll learn the theory of intractability and study Turing machines and decidability. 

It is advisable to take the course only if you are comfortable with advanced mathematics and have knowledge of graphs, trees, logic, algorithms, and basic data structures. This course is taken via the edX online learning platform.

The Introduction to Mathematical Thinking course is a free introductory program that comprises 10 lectures and will require you to accomplish a weekly problem-based assignment, a problem set, and tutorials with your assigned instructor. This course is best for those interested in developing analytical thinking skills and learning to think outside the box.

Love As a Force for Social Justice is a six-week course that can be taken for free on Coursera but will cost you a fee if you wish to earn a certificate of completion. The course focuses on the concepts of love, nonviolent communication, and the biology of the brain. The course is purely online and will require you to pass an assignment before completing it.

The Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis is a free eight-week course, with the last week dedicated to the final exam. The course will start with lectures on empirical background regarding social and economic networks and end with games on networks. 

Those who want to take this course should have a basic knowledge of linear algebra, probability theory, statistics, and light calculus. This course is taken via Coursera, where you can earn a certificate after completion.

To Prescribe or Not to Prescribe? Antibiotics and Outpatient Infections (CME) is a one-week self-paced course that teaches a practical approach to managing common outpatient infections. This is an advanced-level free course taken through the edX online learning platform. The course is ideal for physicians, primary caregivers, pharmacists, and allied health professionals.

How to Choose an Online Course from Stanford

Stanford online courses are very straightforward and usually require the weekly submission of assignments. Before deciding on a course, you need to check every course detail, from the mode of delivery, duration, source of reading materials, and schedules. Don’t be afraid to send Stanford an inquiry if you need any clarifications before enrolling. Below are some tips on how to choose a Stanford online course.

  • Read the “What you’ll learn” section. Before taking a course, be sure that the topics covered by the lectures contain the information that you genuinely want to know about. Send Stanford a message and inquire further if needed. It would be very frustrating to pay for a lecture and learn halfway through that the topic is not what you expected.
  • Consider schedule and pacing. If you are a working professional, the schedule and pacing of the class will be crucial to finishing the course. Some Stanford programs have weekly assignments, final examinations, live lectures, and individual coaching. If you need a more flexible schedule, you may want to choose a self-paced course. 
  • Check if certificates are offered. If you take an online course to boost your resume for career growth, career change, or finding a job, choosing a certificate course is the best option. Fortunately, all Stanford courses offer certificates.
  • Think about course fees. Stanford online courses can be expensive, but the quality of learning is on par with what you get on-campus. If you need to take a specific program and course fees are a challenge, you can inquire about financial aid, which the school offers on a case-to-case basis.
  • Engagement and interaction. Just because it’s an online course doesn’t mean you won’t have any contact with others. Some programs require group projects, hands-on experience, interaction with peers, and one-on-one coaching. If this is what you’re looking for, inquire about the class dynamics because this is often not discussed in the course overview.

Are Online Courses at Stanford Worth It?

The value of Stanford online courses lies in the quality of education you will receive. Stanford is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world and many job recruiters take notice of applicants who have graduated or finished courses at Stanford. Being taught by Stanford’s professors and faculty members will be worth every penny.

Stanford Online Courses FAQ

Does Stanford offer free online certificates?

Stanford offers free certificates in some but not all of their free online courses. Many courses are offered for free, but there is an option to pay a minimum amount for certificate fees. You can find free certificate courses on their learning portal edX.

Does Stanford have online degrees?

Yes, Stanford University offers complete degree programs online but most are at the postgraduate level. Undergraduate courses are generally taken on-site but with a few adjustments due to changing public health requirements.

How much do Stanford online courses cost?

The cost depends on whether it’s a short, full certificate, or a for-credit course. For instance, the Computer Science 101 short course costs $199 and will last for six weeks. The Accounting for Manager and Entrepreneurs for-credit postgraduate course costs around $4,056-$5,408.

Is Stanford an Ivy League School?

Stanford University is not an Ivy League school simply because it is not a member of the consortium of private universities in the Northeast region of the United States. It is a common misconception that only Ivy League schools are prestigious. Stanford University is a prestigious and highly ranked, highly selective university known worldwide.

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