Coursera Strikes Partnerships with 12 Universities, Raises More $$$, Announces a Long List of Courses

There’s an inter­est­ing com­pe­ti­tion shap­ing up between Udac­i­ty and Cours­era. Spe­cial­iz­ing in offer­ing Mas­sive­ly Open Online Cours­es (MOOCs), both ven­tures spun out of Stan­ford ear­li­er this year. But they did so in very dif­fer­ent ways. When Sebas­t­ian Thrun, Udac­i­ty’s founder, left his tenured posi­tion at Stan­ford, he kicked a lit­tle sand in the Uni­ver­si­ty’s face. And true to its name, Udac­i­ty (oh the audac­i­ty!) has posi­tioned itself as an out­sider. It isn’t part­ner­ing with estab­lished uni­ver­si­ties (so far as we know). Rather, it’s cre­at­ing cours­es under its own brand (à la Khan Acad­e­my and The Teach­ing Com­pa­ny) and exert­ing top-down con­trol over the prod­uct (à la Apple). It’s an approach that has obvi­ous upsides and down­sides.

Mean­while, Cours­era is head­ing down a very dif­fer­ent path. The founders (both Stan­ford pro­fes­sors) did­n’t snub their employ­er, and they’ve instead built a plat­form on which tra­di­tion­al uni­ver­si­ties can launch their own open cours­es. The down­side: the com­pa­ny does­n’t exer­cise great con­trol over the cours­es being built. The upside: they can lever­age the brands of great uni­ver­si­ties, and the many cours­es they’ll build. Case in point.…

Today, Cours­era is announc­ing that they’ve signed part­ner­ship agree­ments with 12 new uni­ver­si­ties: Geor­gia TechDuke Uni­ver­si­tyUni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­tonCal­techRice Uni­ver­si­ty,  Uni­ver­si­ty of Edin­burghUni­ver­si­ty of Toron­toEPFL — Lau­sanneJohns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty (School of Pub­lic Health)UCSF, Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois. That’s in addi­tion to their four exist­ing part­ners: Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, Prince­ton, Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and Stan­ford.

There’s a lot of great insti­tu­tions enter­ing Cours­er­a’s sta­ble. And they’ll bring with them over 60 cours­es in the com­ing months. (Find a com­plete list of cours­es below the jump.) We’ll keep you post­ed on how Cours­era and Udac­i­ty evolve, and, in the com­ing weeks, we’ll care­ful­ly test dri­ve their cours­es and let you know the pros and cons of each. Stay tuned for more from the bat­tle of the MOOCs.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Cours­era Adds Human­i­ties Cours­es, Rais­es $16 Mil­lion, Strikes Deal with 3 Uni­ver­si­ties

Har­vard and MIT Cre­ate EDX to Offer Free Online Cours­es World­wide

Udac­i­ty to Launch 5 New Cours­es, from Sta­tis­tics to Physics. Shoot­ing for Largest Online Class Ever.

Free Online Cer­tifi­cate Cours­es from Great Uni­ver­si­ties: A Com­plete List


Drugs and the Brain

Prin­ci­ples of Eco­nom­ics for Sci­en­tists

Galax­ies and Cos­mol­o­gy



Bio­elec­tric­i­ty, a quan­ti­ta­tive approach

Health­care inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship

Intro­duc­to­ry Human Phys­i­ol­o­gy

Intro­duc­tion to Genet­ics and Evo­lu­tion

Intro­duc­tion to Astron­o­my

Think Again: How to Rea­son and Argue

Med­ical Neu­ro­science

A Begin­ner’s Guide to Irra­tional Behav­ior



AI Plan­ning


Intro­duc­tion to Phi­los­o­phy

Equine Nutri­tion

Crit­i­cal Think­ing in Glob­al Chal­lenges

E‑learning and Dig­i­tal Cul­tures


Geor­gia Tech

Ener­gy 101

Com­pu­ta­tion­al Pho­tog­ra­phy

Con­trol of Mobile Robots

Com­pu­ta­tion­al Invest­ing




Clin­i­cal Prob­lem Solv­ing

Nutri­tion for Health Pro­mo­tion and Dis­ease Pre­ven­tion

Con­tra­cep­tion: Choic­es, Cul­ture and Con­se­quences



Pro­gram­ming Prin­ci­ples: Func­tions and Objects

Dig­i­tal Sig­nal Pro­cess­ing

Intro­ducion a la pro­gram­ming?



Learn to Pro­gram: The Fun­da­men­tals

Learn to Pro­gram: Craft­ing Qual­i­ty Code

Neur­al Net­works for Machine Learn­ing

The Social Con­text of Men­tal Health and Ill­ness

Abo­rig­i­nal World Views in Edu­ca­tion


Johns Hop­kins

Data Analy­sis

Prin­ci­ples of Obe­si­ty Eco­nom­ics

Com­put­ing for Data Analy­sis

Math­e­mat­i­cal Bio­sta­tis­tics Boot­camp

Health for All through Pri­ma­ry Health Care

Intro­duc­tion to the U.S. Food Sys­tem: Per­spec­tives from Pub­lic Health

Com­mu­ni­ty Change in Pub­lic Health

Vac­cine Tri­als: Meth­ods and Best Prac­tices



Inter­ac­tive Python

Fun­da­men­tals of Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing

Ana­lyt­i­cal Chem­istry

Chem­istry: Con­cept Devel­op­ment and Appli­ca­tion



Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton

Project Per­for­mance

Sci­en­tif­ic Com­put­ing

Tech­ni­cal Lead­er­ship

The Hard­ware-Soft­ware Inter­face

Build­ing an Infor­ma­tion Risk Man­age­ment Toolk­it

Com­pu­ta­tion­al Meth­ods

Com­pu­ta­tion­al Neu­ro­science

Deci­sion Analy­sis in Engi­neer­ing

Design­ing and Exe­cut­ing Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty Strate­gies

Finan­cial Data Mod­el­ing and Analy­sis in R

High-Per­for­mance Sci­en­tif­ic Com­put­ing

Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty and Risk MAn­age­ment in Con­text

Intro to Com­put­er Pro­gram­ming using Python

Intro­duc­tion to Com­put­er Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Net­works

Intro­duc­tion to Data Sci­ence

Invest­ment Sci­ence

Nav­i­gat­ing the Busi­ness Envi­ron­ment

Port­fo­lio Con­struc­tion and Risk Man­age­ment

Pro­gram­ming Lan­guages

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  • Guadalupe Shields says:

    Sor­ry to be such a stick­ler, but

    Please note: “There’s a lot of great insti­tu­tions” should read “There are a lot of…” because insti­tu­tions is plur­al.

    I know lan­guage changes con­stant­ly, but we see too much of “there is…” when “there are…” would be the cor­rect.

    Thank you for your indul­gence.

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