The courses themselves are free, but students seeking credit will need to pay between $100 and $190 to verify their identities, take exams monitored by webcam and receive transcripts with the council's credit recommendations.
Ultimately, the institution where the student wants credit will decide whether the units will count toward a degree.
“There are many working adults today that do not have a college degree. I hope the convenience of an online class can be a first step for many of these adults to go back to school to earn their degrees,” Andrew Ng, a Stanford University researcher who co-founded Coursera, told The Associated Press.
Coursera, which now offers more than 200 open courses from 33 institutions, plans to seek the council's credit recommendations for more classes in the future, Ng said. Many of the courses are automated and require little oversight from instructors.
The announcement comes less than a week after Coursera suspended an online course offered by Georgia Institute of Technology because of technical troubles. The course, which was about how to run an online course, will be offered again at later date, Ng said.