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Manoel Cortes Mendez
Manoel Cortes Mendez

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Harvard's Computer Science Intro (CS50): Here's How to Earn a Free Certificate

With over 1.5M enrollments on edX, CS50, Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science, is one of the world’s most popular MOOCs and an all-time, top-100 online course on Class Central.

Having taken the course myself a few years ago, I can’t say I’m surprised: the course is excellent. It has dedicated instructors, excellent production values, and its content is refreshed annually. Most notably, the course will continue to offer a free certificate of completion in 2020.

New Curriculum

Taught by David J. Malan and filmed in Harvard’s Sanders Theater, CS50’s 2020 video lessons bring new content and more demos. Problem sets have been updated to include:

In addition, CS50 now offers specialization tracks, allowing students to dedicate the last few weeks of course to one of three subjects:

These tracks borrow from some of CS50’s follow-up courses introduced in 2018.

Like in previous years, CS50 culminates in an open-ended software project that asks students to put into practice what they learned in the course.

Free Certificate

Since its launch, CS50 has maintained a firm stance toward openness. In 2020, the course will remain entirely free, including its certificate of completion. This is how the free certificate looks:

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CS50 Free Course Certificate

Note, however, that the free certificate does not include identity verification. Students may instead choose to pay $90 for a verified certificate on edX. Or they may pay $1840 to $2840 to take the course through Harvard Extension School, in which case they’ll have access to a formal transcript and earn academic credit upon completion of the course.

Top comments (3)

poleselfg profile image

Hi! you recomend to pay the 90 bucks on EDX? its good for a resume or no one cares? here in argentina its expensive but i can make the effort

manocormen profile image
Manoel Cortes Mendez • Edited

Hi! I don't see much point in paying for the certificate considering that the only difference is the ID verification.

mnepita profile image
Martin Nepita

Hi there! Thank you so much for recommending this course. I think this is a great start for everyone trying to become a successful programmer.

I've taken the first 2 classes and it really makes you think! I will consider getting the certificate.

Best wishes from Tijuana Mexico!