Where Can I Find Free Online Criminal Justice Courses?

You can find free online criminal justice courses through UC-Irvine and MIT, among other accredited postsecondary schools. Classes cover such topics as white collar and hate crimes. Keep reading to learn about three courses offered through these universities. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Continuing education is important for a wide range of professions related to criminal justice, including law enforcement, probation, law, crime scene investigation and social work. You can strengthen your knowledge of criminal justice with free courses that you can find online. These self-paced, noncredit courses typically include lecture notes and reading assignments. One class includes an oral presentation assignment, but you won't be able to participate in this since access to the professor is not provided.


University of California (UC) - Irvine

UC Irvine offers two criminology OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes that were originally taught to students on campus. You won't receive credit for these free courses or be able to communicate with instructors, but you can learn more about criminal justice and study at your own pace.

Criminology, Law and Society C238: White Collar and Corporate Crimes

This class provides and introduction to white collar crime and helps students examine what it is. Students study social science perspectives and ideas from Sutherland, the author of a textbook on white-collar crime.

What Will I Learn?

Topics covered include crimes that occur in corporations, organizations and professions. Course materials will help you understand the causes of white collar crime and strategies for controlling the offenses.

How is the Course Structured?

This course consists of 17 lessons on topics related to white collar crime, such as consumer, corporate and securities fraud. There are seven additional categories of topics, ranging from criminal ethics to organizational factors that impact white collar crime. Reading assignments and a course summary are also included.

Criminology, Law and Society C219: Hate Crimes

This class lists several required readings taken from textbooks. Readings cover areas such as consequences for victims, violence of hatred and research on hate crimes.

What Does the Course Cover?

This course covers the relationship between hate crimes, politics and society. You will explore the causes and impact of crimes that result from racial hatred and assess laws that exist to address the problem.

How is the Course Structured?

There are ten lessons on topics ranging from the constitutionality of hate crimes to the epidemiology of the offenses. Some lessons include questions for you to consider about hate crimes and related topics. The course also provides six separate classifications of topics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Online learners at MIT can take a Reading Seminar in Social Science: Race, Crime and Citizenship in American Law through the school's OpenCourseWare website. The class was originally taught in spring 2007 to undergraduates.

How Will These Course Materials Help Me?

Completing this course helps you understand the connection between crime and race in America. Course materials introduce you to controversial topics involving discrimination in laws related to the death penalty, illegal drugs and illegal immigration.

What Types of Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignment options include writing a 15- to 20-page paper that examines a topic of your choice and comparing two case studies listed on the readings page. You could also prepare a short, spoken presentation that analyzes a reading assignment, if you think it would benefit your studies.

What Materials Are Available?

This course provides three examples of student papers in PDF format along with guidelines for both the paper and oral presentation. There are also PDF readings from sources like law reviews and magazines as well as links to textbooks you can purchase.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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