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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