MOOC Spotlight

UC Davis on Coursera Reaches 500K Learners Globally

In the last three years, UC Davis has taught more than half a million students from around the world on Coursera's global platform. Since the fall of 2015, CPE has partnered with Coursera to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), bringing high-quality distance education that is accessible to a worldwide audience of 35 million adult learners.

"Today's careers require continual updating of skills as advances in technology and science drive the need for lifelong learning," said Linda Behrens, associate dean of Online Education at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. "At the same time, much of the world has not been able to connect with educational resources due to cost or access limitations. MOOCs offer a path to new skill development for people in the most remote areas of the world, at low cost, while they continue to work and raise families."

An Expanding UC Davis Footprint

Since launching on the Coursera platform, UC Davis has grown its offerings to include 41 courses and seven specializations, which are sequences of related courses designed to help students master specific topics.

Our current portfolio includes specializations in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Data Visualization with Tableau and Market Research, along with courses in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Evaluation of Wine. Four additional UC Davis specializations are currently under development and will launch in the coming months.

Students in the specialization tracks pay only $49 per month to access programs, and pricing is adjusted in countries and regions with less ability to pay. In addition, nearly all single courses can be audited at no cost. Each course is self-paced and designed to be completed in about a month.

"We choose topics that meet the demands of the global professional workforce and that showcase the unique contributions that UC Davis brings to the world," Behrens said. "Many of these programs involve campus faculty as advisors and/or instructors. It is a wonderful way to create awareness of the university and to help raise the worldwide level of education." Other programs are designed to fill gaps on Coursera's platform to address specific workforce needs, and draw from talented experts and professionals in our community.

Who are Coursera Students?

Fully 50 percent of UC Davis MOOC learners already hold a master's degree, so UC Davis Coursera courses are strategically designed to offer skills that allow people to maintain their professional relevance in a changing marketplace. This includes a heavy focus on data and technology skills, specifically to train new and incumbent workers.

The majority of UC Davis Coursera students are located in the U.S. and Canada, with growing audiences in Europe, Australia, South America, India and the Middle East.

As Coursera looks to expand into credit-bearing programs that provide pathways to degrees, we look forward to being in conversation with our campus partners about the best opportunities for UC Davis.

For more information about UC Davis' partnership with Coursera, contact Linda Behrens at or (530) 754-5101 (direct line).

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