Since its launch in April 2012 by two Stanford University Computer Science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, Coursera has added over 400 courses from 83 educational institution partners. To date, over 4.2 million students have already signed up for their online courses and they are by far the biggest and best funded of the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) providers.

Coursera calls itself a social entrepreneurship company and it is funded by venture capital funds. While many of their courses were offered free when they first launched, they now charge for most of their courses but they have expanded Signature Track offering to provide accreditation for their courses and give better support to help students finish what they’ve started.

Incredibly, some of the most popular courses on the list below have hundreds of thousands of students enrolled. The Coursera learning platform itself was launched after Stanford University professor Andrew Ng had 100,000 students sign up for his MOOC on Machine Learning. Ng was amazed at the possibilities offered by online course delivery, “I normally teach 400 students. To reach that many students before I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

Today, a motivated student who speaks English anywhere in the world can learn from some of the world’s best professors at Elite Universities such as Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of Toronto, which is a revolution in itself.  But the MOOC education revolution is still in its early stages and the challenges of high in-completion rates, lack of official accreditation and a generally unimaginative use of innovative video and social technologies will have to be overcome.

Regardless, the writing is on the wall, the age of disruption is coming to institutions of higher education. With the cost of higher education spiralling out of the reach of many students, MOOCs offer a way to deliver education inexpensively to everyone, something that has the potential to dramatically transform lifelong learning and skill development.

Top 50 Most Popular Courses on Coursera

While Coursera does not published data on how many students are taking each course, I compiled this list of the most popular courses on Coursera by looking at each course’s search ranking on Google and the related activity on Twitter and Facebook.

While many online courses on Coursera used to be free, their focus is now on bundling courses together into full specializations that are recognizable credentials. Many of their course bundles aren’t inexpensive but they are taught by well-known professors and Coursera’s fees are about 10-15% of the cost of enrolling in these courses at their respective Universities.

Affiliate Disclosure: We get a small commission from some of these links if you choose to purchase the full courses. You still pay the same price and it helps us continue to make educational content like this.

1. Data Science

2. Gamification

3. Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools

4. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

5. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

6. Social Media Marketing

7, Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters

8. Responsive Website Basics: Code with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

9. Ruby On Rails: An Introduction

10. Full Stack Web Development

11. Game Design and Development

12. Graphic Design

13. Machine Learning

14. How To Start Your Own Business

15. Inspirational Leadership: Leading with Sense

16. Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR

17. Python For Everybody

18. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

19. Strategic Leadership and Management

20. Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding)

21. TESOL Certificate, Part 1: Teach English Now!

22. iOS App Development with Swift

23. iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs

24. Business Foundations

25. Foundations of Business Strategy

26. Algorithmic Thinking

27. Android App Development

28. Leading People and Teams

29. Business Analytics

30. Entrepreneurship

31. Social Media in Public Relations

32. Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals

33. Foundations of Graphic Design

34. Foundations of Business Strategy

35. The Technology of Music Production

36. Innovation Management

37. Cracking The Creativity Code: Discovering New Ideas

38. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT)

39. Content Strategy for Professionals

40. Digital Marketing

41. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business

42. Introduction to Marketing

43. Principles of Computing

44. Java For Android

45. Strategic Career Self-Management

46. Basic Statistics

47. Big History: Connecting Knowledge

48. Introduction to Sustainability

49. Server Side Development with NodeJS

50. Introduction to CSS3

That’s what the rankings of the most popular courses on Coursera looked like as June 2016. With new courses being added weekly, Coursera’s course offerings are set to expand beyond their traditional specialty in computer science-related disciplines.

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