5 Places to Get a Free Criminal Justice Education Online

Free online courses in criminal justice are offered by real schools. Learn which criminal justice courses are available, what topics they cover and if they lead to real college credit.

Information on Free Online Criminal Justice Courses

The free online criminal justice courses described below may offer a majority of the same resources as credit-bearing classes, but none grant college credit. Students don't need to register or enroll in order to access the course materials. Some courses require the purchase of textbooks.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Justice explores the concepts of liberty and equality in society. Students can download PDFs of selected lecture notes and complete assignments from the three required textbooks. In Drugs, Politics and Culture, students look at the use of illegal drugs in our culture and examine America's drug laws and their impact on the country. Course offerings include notes from selected lectures and readings from a list of books the student must obtain. Quizzes and paper topics are also given for students to test their learning. Learners in the Philosophy of Law class study issues like punishment and legal ethics. Reading assignments from several texts are recommended, and students can access examples of short papers written for the class. The course also contains a variety of PDF notes that can help explain important class readings and concepts.

The Open University

These introductory courses consist of typed lessons, along with activities and quizzes designed to further explore the topics discussed. Judges and the Law examines the history of common law in England, a system similar to that used in the United States. Civil law systems in the U.K. are also discussed. Making and Using Rules looks at how legal rules are formed, interpreted and applied. Starting with Law is a course for beginners on how laws are made and how they affect society.

University of California - Irvine

'Law As:' Theory and Method in Legal History is a two-day conference featuring video lectures from law professors from several U.S. colleges, exploring the theory that law is not a separate entity, but is embedded in society. Panel discussions and commentary are also available. Criminology, Law and Society: Hate Crimes, a graduate-level course, offers lecture notes that touch on the history of hate crimes and hate crimes legislation. Available materials include links to related newspaper articles and YouTube videos. A list of required reading materials is also made available.

University of Notre Dame

Through a series of discussion questions, essay activities and reading assignments, the Crime, Heredity and Insanity in American History class allows students to explore various theories to explain criminal behavior through the years. Some of these materials can be accessed via links to newspaper and journal articles. Several textbooks are required, but many readings are available online.

Weber State University

Students taking Introduction to Security can download transcripts of 12 lectures that cover topics including retail security, workplace violence and internal theft. Students can also discuss the differences between private security officers and public law enforcement officials. Reading assignments and questions from the required textbook are listed with each lecture.

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