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From technical difficulties to figuring out course costs, these questions provide answers for learners enrolled in non-credit online offerings.

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.

The University of Pennsylvania offers a range of online options, both credit and non-credit. Review the options and decide which type is most interesting to you or best fits your goals. You can also search for a course or program by keyword or filter your search by field of study, credit or non-credit, and instructor.

No. While Penn MOOCs offered through our partner platforms may draw on material from courses taught on-campus, they are not equivalent to a for-credit course and completion of a MOOC does not constitute enrollment or credit at Penn. Coursera/edX verifies a learner’s completion of a course based on the requirements set by Penn MOOC course teams, but Penn is not able to verify learners’ completion due to privacy protections. 

Certificates from Coursera or edX hold no academic credit but they can help you demonstrate competency in a specific skill or topic to employers and others. Many people add their Coursera or edX certificates to LinkedIn.

Penn faculty determine the length of the course. Most courses consist of 4-6 modules that could be completed in 4-6 weeks. Self-paced courses allow you to progress as quickly or as slowly as you would like.  

Coursera Specializations is a group of non-credit online learning experiences to help you master a specific skill or topic. Most Specializations are short, consisting of three to five self-paced courses completed over a few months. Completing a University of Pennsylvania Specialization does not result in University of Pennsylvania academic credit and does not give you Penn student status.

The cost varies, though a certificate is available for purchase in most courses. Some courses have a free or audit option that allows for full access to the course while others require enrollment in a certificate track for full access. The home page for the course or program you’re interested in has that information detailed on it.

It’s free to enroll in a course but Coursera and edX handle payment for certificates differently. If enrolling in a course through the Platform, check the course home page for information on whether the learning experience offers payment plans.

Anyone over the age of 13 can enroll in Penn’s non-credit Coursera and edX courses. For additional options, explore Penn’s College of Liberal & Professional Studies site.

Penn alumni, current students, or staff do not have free access to these courses. Penn alumni may wish to participate in the Alumni Exclusive Online Course, available for a special alumni price. Penn staff may wish to check with their department to explore the possibility of using professional development funds to cover the course cost.

These options are non-credit and therefore are not interchangeable with for-credit courses even if the subject matter is similar. 

Check out Wharton Online’s offerings to explore the options and for addition information. Contact the Wharton Online team with questions you might have about the Wharton School’s courses or programs.

Use the course search function on the Online Learning Platform to find information on online degree programs. 

Please reach out to the teaching staff within your course through the discussion forum, or, see each learning platform’s help centers: Coursera’s Learner Help Center and edX’s Student FAQs both have a host of helpful answers.