Difference Wiki

Edx vs. Coursera: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 17, 2023
edX and Coursera are online learning platforms; edX originated from MIT and Harvard, while Coursera is a Stanford University venture.

Key Differences

Both edX and Coursera are giants in the realm of online education. edX was birthed as a collaboration between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in 2012. Coursera, on the other hand, was founded in the same year by Stanford University professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.
edX offers a diverse range of courses, many of which are affiliated with renowned universities. Coursera, similarly, provides a wide spectrum of courses from partnering universities and institutions across the globe. While both platforms boast a vast array of topics, their association with prestigious educational institutions is a significant selling point.
Another distinction lies in their business models. While both edX and Coursera provide free courses, Coursera leans more towards a monetization model where certification often comes at a cost. edX, however, has a more flexible model with an option to audit many courses for free, with a fee charged for a verified certificate.
Both edX and Coursera have ventured into offering online degrees in partnership with universities. Coursera tends to have a broader range in this domain, from bachelor's to master's degrees. edX focuses primarily on professional and master's degrees. Despite their differences, both platforms have made significant impacts on democratizing education globally.

Comparison Chart


Collaboration between MIT and Harvard
Founded by Stanford University professors

Course Availability

Many free courses; paid certification
Many courses free to audit; paid for certs

Degree Offerings

Mostly professional and master's degrees
Ranges from bachelor's to master's degrees

Business Model

Flexible with more free audit options
More monetized, often charging for certs

Platform Type


Edx and Coursera Definitions


EdX is an online learning platform.
I took a computer science course on edX last summer.


Coursera offers courses from global institutions.
Coursera's vast catalog includes courses from universities worldwide.


EdX is a non-profit organization.
EdX's non-profit status distinguishes it from many other online learning platforms.


Coursera is an online learning platform.
I enrolled in a machine learning course on Coursera.


EdX offers professional and master's degrees online.
Through edX, I'm considering pursuing a master's degree from a top university.


Coursera was founded by Stanford professors.
Coursera's origins trace back to innovative educators at Stanford University.


EdX provides both free and paid courses.
I audited a free course on edX but paid for the certificate.


Coursera offers degrees ranging from bachelor's to master's.
I'm thinking about getting a bachelor's degree through Coursera.


EdX originated from MIT and Harvard.
EdX, the brainchild of MIT and Harvard, has expanded its reach globally.


Coursera operates on a for-profit model.
While Coursera provides valuable education, they operate as a for-profit entity.


Where did Coursera originate?

Coursera was founded by professors from Stanford University.

Can I get a certificate from edX?

Yes, edX offers verified certificates for a fee.

Is edX non-profit?

Yes, edX operates as a non-profit organization.

Are edX courses affiliated with universities?

Yes, many edX courses are affiliated with renowned global universities.

Which degrees can I pursue on edX?

edX primarily offers professional and master's degrees.

Are there any specializations on edX?

Yes, edX offers MicroMasters and Professional Certificate programs.

What is the business model of Coursera?

Coursera operates on a for-profit model.

How does Coursera handle course pacing?

Coursera offers both self-paced courses and courses with set schedules.

What distinguishes edX from other platforms?

edX's non-profit status and its origins from MIT and Harvard set it apart.

How is Coursera's monetization model structured?

Coursera often charges for certification and has a more monetized approach.

When was Coursera established?

Coursera was founded in 2012.

Does Coursera have specializations?

Yes, Coursera offers specializations, which are series of courses in specific topics.

How does Coursera compare to other e-learning platforms?

Coursera is known for its vast range of courses and its association with top global universities.

What is edX?

edX is an online learning platform established by MIT and Harvard.

Does Coursera offer free courses?

Yes, Coursera offers many courses that are free to audit.

Who partners with Coursera for course content?

Coursera partners with various global universities and institutions.

How was edX founded?

edX was founded as a collaborative effort between MIT and Harvard.

Can I audit courses for free on edX?

Yes, many courses on edX can be audited for free.

Are edX's courses self-paced?

Many edX courses are self-paced, but some have set start and end dates.

What kind of degrees does Coursera offer?

Coursera offers a range of degrees from bachelor's to master's.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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