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.
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:
- Analyzing a movie database (IMBb) using SQL.
- Applying “Instagram-like” filters to bitmap images.
- Simulating electoral systems — likely a nod to the upcoming US elections.
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.
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:
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.