How To Audit A Course On Coursera?

Coursera possesses a massive inventory of online courses. While most courses are paid, very few of them are free. These costly courses need not limit your learning and growth.

To curb this, Coursera has options that allow a learner who may not afford a course to “Audit a course,” which helps to learn the course free of cost.

But not every course can be audited. To help you get through the process, I’ll share a set of gradual step-by-step instructions on how to audit a course on Coursera and what the conditions are attached to auditing a course.

Scroll through to learn more!!

How To Audit a Course On Coursera – Key Takeaways

  • The “Audit the Course” option gives full access to the selected course material but doesn’t provide the same access for assessments or certificates.
  • Auditing a course on Coursera does not require you to provide credit card details or any kind of payment information.
  • Learners need to look at each course individually, as not every course on Coursera is audited.
  • In case you do not find an auditing option for Specialization, search for individual courses offered in Specialization.

What Is A Coursera Course Audit?

While auditing a course, you will have access to all course materials but will likely not be able to complete homework/assessments or take any exams.

If you are wondering if it is the best thing to do, here are some reasons why students often go for course auditing.

Auditing a course can be a very wise decision for certain students. Learners who don’t have enough time to enroll in all the courses or who are struggling to decide on a major can explore a subject without worrying about their scores on assessments.

Do You Get a Certificate When Auditing A Course On Coursera?

If you are interested in auditing a course on Coursera, you’ll be able to see most of the course material, but you won’t get a Course Certificate. 

Yet, during your journey through the audited course, if you ever feel that you need a certificate, you can pay to get one at any time during or after the course.

But remember, If you pay for a certificate, you may be asked to complete more coursework that was not available/needed in the audited course.

How To Audit A Course On Coursera: Step-By-Step Manual

Below is the complete demonstration with a set of instructions on auditing a course on Coursera.

Step 1: You must create an account on Coursera. To do so, click here. You’ll be directed to their official page.

Coursera Official Page
Source: Coursera

Step 2: Click on the “Join for Free” in the top right corner or in the middle of your screen.

Coursera - Click On The Join For Free
Source: Coursera

Step 3: Next, you’ll see a “Sign up” window.

Coursera - Sign up
Source: Coursera

Step 4: You can either fill out the information, such as name, email, and password, and click on “Join for Free,” or you can link your Coursera account to your Apple ID, Facebook account, or Google account. 

Click On Join for Free
Source: Coursera

Step 5: After Signing up, the next step is to select the course you want to audit. To do that, type the course keyword in the “search option” and select the course.

Select The Course
Source: Coursera

Step 6. After selecting the course you want to audit, you’ll go to the individual course home page.

Individual Course Home Page
Source: Coursera

Step 7: Click on the “Enroll for Free” option present on the page of the course.

Click On The Enroll For Free
Source: Coursera

Step 8: After enrollment, search for the “Audit the course” link at the bottom of the window and click on it.

Audit The Course
Source: Coursera

Now that you’ve opted to audit the course, you can watch videos, take notes, and read the course material for free.

Note: Sometimes, the audit option is unavailable if you want to join a Specialization or Professional certificate course. In such cases, you’ll have to search for individual course pages and check availability.

Pros And Cons Of Auditing A Course On Coursera

As you have seen, auditing a course on Coursera is very easy. But here are some benefits and drawbacks of auditing courses on Coursera.


  • Complete access to the course material and content
  • Learn the subject you want for free
  • Does not require any sort of payment details to learn


  • Not all courses are available for auditing
  • You won’t get a certificate even after completing the course

The primary objective of auditing the course is to procure more knowledge and self-improvement, and you should audit a course with that in mind.

Can’t Find The Audit Link, Do This!

There are certain things that you can do if the audit link is not visible for the selected course.

Here is an example of a Specialization Course with no audit option.

Coursera - Specialization Course
Source: Coursera

This is because you can not sign up for an audit through Specialization pages. To audit courses for free, you need to find the individual course page

Step 1: To find individual courses from Specialization, scroll down to see a list of all the courses in Specialization. 

List Of All The Courses In Specialization
Source: Coursera

Step 2: You need to click on the individual course name to go to the single course page.

Individual Course Name
Source: Coursera

Sometimes, it might happen that even after taking the Specialization route, you won’t get directed to the individual course page. 

Step 3: In that case, copy the name of the course and paste it into the search bar. 

Search The Course Name Into The Search Bar
Source: Coursera

Step 4: When you are on the individual course page, click on the enroll and search for an Audit link.

Click On The Enroll And Search For An Audit Link
Source: Coursera

In this way, even if you can’t find an audit link for an entire Specialization course, you can find it for individual courses offered in that Specialization.

Audit Course vs. Paid Course – Major Differences

Coursera’s online learning platform is accessible to anyone looking for high-quality education and skill development.

Apart from fees, there are certain other differences between audited courses and paid courses. These are as follows:

  • Academic credits: This is Coursera’s best feature. It offers courses that help you earn university or college credits, which are considered valid in online or offline degree programs at traditional universities. Paid courses offer academic credits, but audited courses don’t.
  • Certificate: As mentioned earlier, paid courses offer verified certificates on completion, but audited courses don’t.
  • Types of courses: Students enrolled in Coursera Audit can only access a few popular courses. On the other hand, since Certificate programs and online courses are paid, you can access over 7000 courses through a monthly subscription.
  • Assessments: The audited version allows you to access the complete course and watch video lectures from industry experts for free, but you can not take assessments. On the contrary, paid courses offer everything audited courses have, plus you get to take assessments.

Bonus Tip: Coursera has three more options to get free courses.

  1. By accessing free courses available
  2. By utilizing a Coursera Plus 7-day free trial
  3. By using the Financial Aid option

Can You Get A Coursera Certificate For Free?

There was a time when Coursera used to provide free certificates when you enrolled in your favorite courses. Now, you do not get a certificate of completion on free courses.

Coursera Certificate For Free
Source: Coursera

There is an alternative available although, where learners can get a certificate at a minimal cost. On individual pages of many courses, you will see an option “Financial Aid Available.” 

However, there is a downside to this Financial Aid option, is that you need to fill out and submit an application form, which Coursera will thoroughly review. And only if your application is approved and you finish the course you’ll receive the certificate for free on that course.

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Conclusion: Audit A Coursera Course To Learn Without A Cost! 

Courses offered on Coursera are created and instructed by University professors and industry experts. Therefore, they are valuable and are priced at a premium.

Auditing a course is one of the most convenient options for learning and growing, but it is not possible without access to assess your development or a certificate to show.

Make sure to follow the steps correctly, take advantage of the auditing course, and not let a price tag come between you and your learning!


Can I audit all the courses on Coursera?

Coursera does not offer an audit option on all the courses, and users need to check the availability for each course individually. 

Is the audit option removed from Coursera?

The audit option for courses in Coursera has not been removed, and you can still audit courses on Coursera. But please note, that the audit option is available for selective courses only.

Where is the Audit button in Coursera?

The “Audit the course” option is present at the bottom of the page that opens upon clicking the course name. 

Can I audit the courses and get a certificate later?

If you are accruing the benefit of the course by auditing, you always have the option to unlock the complete course and pursue a professional certificate or specialization certificate at a cost.

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