MIT to Offer Certificates to Students Taking Free Courses on the Web

It happens at least a few times a day. Students look through our list of 400 Free Online Courses, and ask us whether they can get a certificate for taking a class. And, unfortunately, our answer has been no — no, you can’t. But that may be about to change.

Earlier this fall, Stanford launched a highly-publicized series of free courses that offer students something novel: the ability to take tests and receive a “statement of accomplishment” from the instructor — though not the school itself — if they pass the class. (Stanford will launch 14 more courses starting in January and February. Click link for details.)

Now, MIT wants to up the ante on the certification of free courses. Starting next spring, the university, already famous for its OpenCourseWare project, will launch MITx, an e-learning initiative that will offer certificates to students demonstrating mastery of free MIT courses. According to a new set of FAQs, the certificates won’t bear MIT’s name. Rather, “MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body within [MITx] that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. That body will carry a distinct name to avoid confusion.” The courses will be free; the certificates will cost just a “modest” sum. It’s all a big step in the right direction.

UPDATE: You can find a list of free courses offering certificates from great universities here.

Related Content:

MIT Introduces Complete Courses to OpenCourseWare Project

Download The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential (Free eBook)


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  1. Richard Bloodworth says . . . | December 20, 2011 / 8:43 am

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Do you have a list of online MIT classes that offer certificates? Are any in architecture?

    Richard Bloodworth

  2. Dan Colman says . . . | December 20, 2011 / 8:46 am


    They haven’t named any courses yet. We will give an update in the future when we know more.



  3. Mike Mulrennan says . . . | December 20, 2011 / 11:28 am

    Now they’re thinking!! This is a great

  4. Natalya Verkutis says . . . | December 21, 2011 / 6:39 am

    That’s great! Will wait))

  5. Dipankar says . . . | December 31, 2011 / 10:25 pm

    i) the fees are really
    ii) the courses and the associated materials are still absolutely free for people who do not want the degree.

  6. bardia says . . . | March 23, 2012 / 12:21 pm

    dear sir,

    I am a mechanical en. who is working as a Commercial manager in IRAN.
    Would you pls.DO ME A FAVOR AND let me know how coulD I register AND FOLLOW UP the free virtual cours of MBA at MIT universty ?
    thanks in advance..
    Best Regards

  7. Elyaas says . . . | September 3, 2012 / 11:45 pm

    I Need Free Online Learning to Internet.

  8. Elyaas says . . . | September 3, 2012 / 11:46 pm

    درس های رایگان ژوزنالیسیم 

  9. Brian says . . . | March 19, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    I just want 2know about the courses thts u offered and I jst want 2know thts u do have free courses nd if yes thts must I do to apply

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