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Best Stanford Online Courses: Where to Find Them?

Stanford University was founded back in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford. While their journey wasn’t easy and the university had to overcome some financial issues, it’s currently one of the most desired universities in the world. 

There are 83 Nobel laureates, 28 Turning Award laureates and 8 Fields Medalists among the university’s students, alumni, faculty and staff. You probably imagine why so many people want to join their ranks. 

Stanford has seven schools, including the Graduate School of Business, School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Humanities & Sciences, Law School, and School of Medicine. As of September 2019, there were 47,498 applicants, however, only 2,062 of them were admitted. 

While only a small percentage of students manage to get in Stanford University, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an opportunity to learn from the very best experts that teach at this university. 

There are hundreds of Stanford online courses, both free and paid, that you can learn anywhere and anytime without spending a fortune or spending nothing at all... So, why not take advantage of this opportunity and improve your knowledge? You’ll find some of the best Stanford University courses on Coursera, edX, Udacity, and many other reliable online learning platforms

Now, to provide you with the best Stanford online courses, I performed thorough research and analysis, and filtered  TOP 7 options to pick from. Here’s the full list (Stanford free online courses included):

Without further ado, let me introduce you to each of the courses on this list and help you to make a choice.

Best Stanford Online Courses: TOP 7 Options

Machine Learning Course

Stanford online courses: Machine Learning.

  • Ability to learn for free: YES. 
  • Certificate: $79 USD.
  • Time to complete: ~60 hours. 

If you’re into machine learning, I bet that you’re aware of Coursera’s Machine Learning course - 97% of students evaluated this course positively. The instructor of this course, Andrew Ng is an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. 

Interesting fact: this machine learning course created by Andrew Ng led to the founding of Coursera! 

Coursera’s Machine Learning course will teach you how to get computers to act without the need for programming knowledge. Many of you are probably unaware, however, you might be using machine learning more than dozens of times per day.   

Effective web search, practical speech recognition, self-driving cars - they’re all part of machine learning. This Stanford Machine Learning course will teach you the most effective machine learning techniques as well as practice implementing them. Needless to say, you’ll get not only theoretical knowledge but will also gain practical know-how

Moreover, you’ll be introduced to machine learning, statistical pattern recognition, and datamining. The topics include supervised learning, unsupervised learning and the best practices that are used in machine learning. The skills that you’ll gain include

  • Logistic regression
  • Artificial neural network
  • Machine learning (ML) algorithms
  • Machine learning

Needless to say, if you’re looking for the best Stanford University online courses, you should definitely consider the Machine Learning course. After all, you can enroll completely free

Algorithms Specialization

Stanford online courses: Algorithms Specialization.

  • Ability to learn for free: 7 days. 
  • Time to complete: ~4 months. 

Coursera’s Algorithms specialization is completely different from the previously-discussed course. This course (or specialization) is much more comprehensive, it will take you about 4 months to complete when learning 7 hours per week. 

This specialization is presented by Tim Roughgarden, the Professor of Computer Science and Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Based on Stanford online courses reviews, students are really happy with the quality of the courses and the lecturer

The Algorithms specialization consists of multiple courses that will help you to master the skill. This specialization is created for those who have at least minimal programming knowledge

This course is intense, however, it will reveal the big picture and abstract understanding over low-level implementation and mathematical details. After this course, you’ll have enough knowledge to speak about algorithms with other specialists

The Algorithm Specialization is for you if you have at least minimal programming knowledge and want hands-on experience. You will learn the fundamentals of algorithms through different types of assessments, including quizzes, assignments and a multiple-choice final exam

After completing this course, you will gain such skills

  • Algorithms
  • Dynamic programming
  • Greedy algorithm
  • Divide and conquer algorithms
  • Randomized algorithm
  • Sorting algorithm
  • Graphs
  • etc.

Do not hesitate and try it out. The first 7 days are completely free

Statistical Learning Course

Stanford online courses: Statistical Learning.

  • Ability to learn for free: YES. 
  • Certificate: $50 USD.
  • Time to complete: ~9 weeks. 

This course is introductory-level, meaning that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge. Statistical Learning course on edX will introduce you to the main tools that are normally used in statistical modeling and data science. The reason why so many students evaluate it as one of the best Stanford online courses is because it takes advantage of new methods, and shows how you can apply them in R

When learning, you’ll have two instructors: Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani. Trevor Hastie is a professor of Statistics and Biomedical Data Sciences at Stanford University. Robert Tibshirani is a professor of Biomedical Data Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Needless to say that both of them are professionals and will teach you valuable skills.  

The course on Statistical Learning aims to explain to students every topic without focusing on complex mathematics. All computing is done in R, however, as I mentioned previously, you do not need to have any prior knowledge, there will be special lessons that will help you to understand R as much as needed. 

After completing this course, you’ll understand

  • Classification
  • Linear regression
  • Resampling methods
  • Linear model selection and regularization
  • Moving beyond linearity
  • etc.

Since you can enroll in this course completely free, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check it out. After all, it’s one of the best Stanford free online courses. 

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Introduction to Food and Health Course

Stanford online courses: Introduction to Food and Health.

  • Ability to learn for free: YES. 
  • Certificate: $39 USD.
  • Time to complete: ~7 hours. 

If you’re looking for the best Stanford online courses that won’t take you weeks or even months to complete, this is the option for you. The Introduction to Food and Health course requires no previous knowledge and is created for everyone who wants to find out more about health and nutrition as well as improve their well-being.

The instructor of this course is Maya Adam who has been teaching at Stanford University since 2009. She received a BA in Human Biology at Stanford and later completed a medical degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. 

At the moment, Maya Adam is creating online content for physicians, medical students and anyone else who’s interested in acquiring knowledge in this field. 

At the end of this course, you’ll be aware of the foods that are good for your health as well as those that can do more harm. What is more, you will get some practical tips on simple home cooking that will make your daily life easier. 

You can enroll in this course for free, however, if you want to receive a certificate, it will cost you $39. The sum is pretty fair, to say the least. 

The skills that you will gain after completing this course include: 

  • Health informatics
  • Nutrition
  • Food safety
  • Food science

Do not hesitate and try it out

AI in Healthcare Specialization Courses

Stanford online courses: AI in Healthcare.

  • Ability to learn for free: 7 days. 
  • Time to complete: ~8 months. 

AI can potentially change the field of healthcare. If there would be an ability to analyze all the data of patients’ visits to the clinic, prescribed medications, lab test results, procedures that were appointed to a specific patient as well as all the other information unrelated to visits to the clinic - social media, purchased that were made, internet search activity, etc., AI could make a more accurate diagnosis and improve patients’ care

Just like the specialization on algorithms that I introduced to you previously in this article on the best Stanford online courses, AI in Healthcare is not a regular course that you can complete in a few hours. 

It should take you about 8 months to finish it and receive a certificate that you can later share with your current or future employer and get a promotion or better job offer

This specialization includes current and future applications of AI in the healthcare system. It’s created for both computer science professionals and healthcare providers, however, since it doesn’t require any previous knowledge, anyone can take this course. Many people evaluate it as one of the best Stanford online courses. 

This course will provide you not only with theoretical but also practical knowledge, meaning that you’ll get hands-on experience on following a patient's journey using a unique dataset that was created specifically for this. 

After completing AI in Healthcare Specialization, you’ll be able to

  • Identify the issues that health providers are facing every day and machine learning could assist in solving 
  • Analyze how AI affects patient care, including safety, quality and research. 
  • Apply AI to practice and business of medicine
  • Apply AI building blocks in order to innovate and understand emerging technologies

Do not hesitate and enroll in one of the best Stanford University courses right now!

Computer Science 101 Course

Stanford online courses: Computer Science.

  • Ability to learn for free: YES. 
  • Certificate: $149 USD.
  • Time to complete: ~6 weeks. 

When looking for the best Stanford University online courses, you’ll definitely come across Computer Science 101 course. This course will introduce everyone to computer science, doesn’t matter if you have any previous knowledge or not. 

If you’re a busy person you should be aware that this is a self-paced course, so you don’t have to worry about finishing it on time. Whether it will take you 2 or 4 months, there’s no difference

What’s also great about this course is that you won’t need to download any programs, everything will work perfectly within the browser. That being said if you want to gain more knowledge in computer science, this is an option for you. 

The reason why people consider it one of the best Stanford online courses is because of all the skills and knowledge you gain

  • Understanding the nature of computers and coding
  • Be aware of computer hardware and understand how it works 
  • Understand all the necessary terms: bits, bytes, etc.
  • Understand how the software works
  • etc.

This course is an introductory level, so you don’t need any previous knowledge to enroll

Artificial Intelligence for Robotics Course

Stanford online courses: AI for Robotics.

  • Ability to learn for free: YES. 
  • Certificate: NO.
  • Time to complete: ~2 months. 

If you’re looking for Stanford free online courses, this is your chance! The Artificial Intelligence for Robotics course that you can learn at Udacity should take about 2 months to complete

This course will teach you the programming of all the main systems of a robotic car. You’ll be learning from the leader of Google and Stanford autonomous driving teams. The only aspect to take into consideration is that it’s not suitable for complete beginners and is created for advanced users. However, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the most recommended Stanford online courses for those in the field. 

After completing this course, you’ll understand

  • Basic methods used in artificial intelligence
  • How to apply AI methods in building self-driving cars

While there are slightly better-evaluated Stanford online courses, this one is definitely worthy of your attention. 

See & compare TOP online learning platforms side by side

Did you know?

Have you ever wondered which online learning platforms are the best for your career?


Therefore, as promised, I introduced you to the top 7 Stanford online courses What’s interesting is that not all of them are based on IT, machine learning or AI, there are courses that teach you soft skills as well as help to understand more about healthy living. 

That being said, if you’re looking for the very best Stanford University online courses, do not hesitate and pick at least one from the list

Scientific References

About Article's Experts & Analysts

By Aaron S.


Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era. W...
Aaron S. , Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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Where can I find the best Stanford online courses?

You can find the best Stanford online courses on the most recommended online learning platforms, including Coursera, edX and Udacity. You can enroll in the majority of them completely free, so do not hesitate to learn new skills! 

What are the best Stanford online courses?

Here are the TOP 3 Stanford online courses

Visit Coursera and edX for more recommended courses. 

How do you choose which online course sites to review?

We pick online learning platforms according to their market size, popularity, and, most importantly, our users' request or general interest to read genuine MOOC reviews about certain online learning platforms.

How much research do you do before writing your e-learning reviews?

Our dedicated MOOC experts carry out research for weeks – only then can they say their evaluations for different aspects are final and complete. Even though it takes a lot of time, this is the only way we can guarantee that all the essential features of online learning platforms are tried and tested, and the verdict is based on real data.

Which aspect is the most important when choosing the best online learning platforms?

It wouldn't be right to pick just one aspect out of the selection: priorities depend on each individual person, their values, wishes, and goals. A feature that's important to one person can be utterly irrelevant to the other. Anyhow, all users would agree that good quality of the learning material is a must for online learning platforms.

How is this e-learning review platform different from others?

Every MOOC-reviewing platform is unique and has its own goals and values. Our e-learning reviews are 100% genuine and written after performing a careful analysis. That is the goal that a lot of e-learning review sites lack, so we consider it to be our superpower!



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