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 But by 2015, these had largely been replaced by paid ones.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 platforms like FutureLearn and LinkedIn Learning. Finally, companies like Google and Microsoft also started offering free certificates to promote their products.
Free certificates can be hard to find. So we compiled them all here, testing each platform, and earning a few certificates ourselves along the way. We’ve spent 60+ hours on this article, and we’ll continue to update it as new offers appear.
If you know a free certificate not listed here, please share it 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:
|700+ free certificates and badges on Android Development, Google Analytics, Google Cloud…|
|LinkedIn Learning||1000+ hours of online courses with free certificates on business, design, technology…|
|Microsoft||3700+ modules and 800+ learning paths with free badges on AI, data science, business apps…|
|Harvard||9 online courses with free certificate on computer science, programming, AI…|
|Stanford||300+ medical courses with free certificates and CME credit.|
|Open University||1000+ free certificate courses on business, law, science..|
|freeCodeCamp||1000+ hours of free certifications on web development, programming, data science…|
|Digital Marketing||1000+ free certificates and badges on digital marketing: SEO, social media marketing…|
|FutureLearn||100+ free certificate courses primarily made by universities on a wide variety of topics.|
But there’s more! The following universities and companies also offer courses with free certificates. Click on one to jump to the corresponding courses:
Without further ado, here are thousands of courses with free certificates and badges.
Google Free Certificates
From Gmail to Maps, Google offers a ton of useful apps. What many people don’t know is that Google also offers numerous online courses — and some of them include free certificates and badges!
So we decided to sift through Google’s entire online learning ecosystem to compile all their free certificate courses.
Here are some examples of the certificate courses offered by Google, starting with courses on Google Analytics 4:
- Google Analytics Certification from Google via Skillshop ★★★★☆(71)
- Google Ads Search Certification from Google via Skillshop ★★★★★(6)
- Google Ads Display Certification from Google via Skillshop ★★★★★(5)
- Certified Trainer Course from Google via Skillshop ★★★★★(6)
You can find the full list here.
Harvard Free Certificates
Class Central’s @manoel wrote a comprehensive guide explaining how to earn a free certificate in CS50, Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science, and in the other courses in the CS50 lineup, which you can see below.
To get the certificate for free, you’ll want to take the courses through Harvard OCW. For more details, head to Class Central’s CS50 in-depth guide. We also have course-specific guides: Harvard CS50 certificate and Harvard CS50 Python certificate.
- CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University★★★★★(179)
- CS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals from Harvard University★★★★★(19)
- CS50’s Understanding Technology from Harvard University ★★★★★(15)
- CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python from Harvard University★★★★★(17)
- CS50’s Computer Science for Lawyers from Harvard University ★★★★★(6)
- CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Python from Harvard University ★★★★★(9)
- CS50’s Introduction to Game Development from Harvard University ★★★★★(7)
- CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Scratch from Harvard University ★★★★★(3)
Stanford Medicine Free Certificates & CME Credit
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:
- Podcasts: The Stanford Medcast, a biweekly 30-minute medical podcast. Each episode focuses on a new topic, often related to recent medical developments. For instance, a recent episode discussed gut health.
- Webinars: 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.
- Online Courses: Introduction to Food and Health, Unconscious Bias in Medicine, or Health Across the Gender Spectrum, to name a few.
For more details on how to earn a free certificate from Stanford, head to our article: Stanford Medicine Offers Courses with Free Certificate & CME Credit.
LinkedIn Learning Free Certificates
Class Central’s @suparn searched LinkedIn Learning’s catalog of 12,000 courses and 740 learning paths and identified the ones that offer a free certificate.
Here’s what he found: 137 courses and 5 learning paths offering free certificates, as well as 378 free courses, for a total of about 1000 hours of free online learning.
Below, you can find a selection of free learning paths. Visit our dedicated article for the full free certificate list: 1000 Hours of Free LinkedIn Learning Certifications.
- Prepare for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) Certification
- Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills
- Finding a Job during Challenging Economic Times
- Prepare for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) Exam
- Professional Soft Skills Learning Pathway
A LinkedIn Learning certificate is available once you complete videos, quizzes, or exams. To earn a certificate for a learning path, you need to complete all individual courses in the path.
Microsoft Free Badges
Microsoft offers over 3700 free modules and 800 learning paths to learn about its products, such as Office 365, Visual Studio, Windows, SQL Server, and Azure. Once you finish a courses’ tutorials and quizzes, you’ll earn a badge on your learner profile.
Here are some of the free courses offered:
- AZ-104: Configure and manage virtual networks for Azure administrators
- Create serverless applications
- Troubleshoot Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals
- AZ-204: Develop solutions that use Azure Cosmos DB
- Create and use analytics reports with Power BI
- Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals: Explore visual tools for machine learning
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore modern data warehouse analytics in Azure
- Azure SQL fundamentals
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore non-relational data in Azure
- Migrate data and go live with Finance and Operations apps
- SC-400: Implement Information Protection in Microsoft 365
- Deploy a website with Azure virtual machines
- Implement a Windows Server hybrid cloud infrastructure
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (CRM): Explore Dynamics 365 Marketing
IBM Free Certificates
IBM Cognitive Class offers over 100 courses and 15 learning paths in data science, AI, big data, cloud computing and blockchain. You can earn a badge or certificate of completion by scoring 70% or above in a course.
- Data Analysis with Python from IBM via Cognitive Class ★★★★★(1)
- SQL and Relational Databases 101 from IBM via Cognitive Class ★★★★★(1)
- Docker Essentials: A Developer Introduction from IBM via Cognitive Class ★★★★☆(1)
- Deep Learning with TensorFlow from IBM via Cognitive Class
- Accelerating Deep Learning with GPUs from IBM via Cognitive Class
- Apply end to end security to a cloud application via Cognitive Class
- Data Visualization with R from IBM via Cognitive Class
- Introduction to Open Source from IBM via Cognitive Class
- Scalable web applications on Kubernetes via Cognitive Class
- Machine Learning – Dimensionality Reduction from IBM via Cognitive Class