Where to Find Free Criminal Justice Courses Online

If you’re interested in a career in criminal justice or if you are already employed in the field, you may be happy to know that there are several colleges and universities that offer free criminal justice courses online. All of these courses are self-paced and require nothing more than an Internet connection. Although these courses cannot be taken for credit and do not result in any sort of degree, they are a good way to broaden your knowledge of criminal justice topics. Here are 10 free criminal justice courses to try today:

  1. Introduction to Security – This free criminal justice course from Weber State University introduces students to security topics. Covered topics include physical security, crime prevention, and loss control.
  2. Forensic Biology and Impression Evidence – Kaplan University offers this free online criminal justice course to students who want to learn more about forensic biology and the ways in which it is used to solve crimes. The course includes 10 self-guided units.
  3. Law and Society – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers this free undergraduate level law course to self-learners who are interested in exploring the history and nature of law in society. The course includes lectures notes, assignments, and other study materials.
  4. Justice – This free online criminal justice course, also from MIT, teaches students about three contemporary theories of justice: Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, and Egalitarian Liberalism. Course materials include readings, lecture notes, and assignments.
  5. Introduction to Psychology – This free online course from Yale University offers a comprehensive introduction to psychology. Course materials include audio and video lectures as well as other study aids.
  6. Social Ethics – Dixie State College offers several free online courses including this ethics course. The course explores ethical theories and issues in current society.
  7. Substance Abuse and the Family – The University of Massachusetts – Boston offers this free criminal justice course to students who want to gain a better understanding of substance abuse and the impact it can have on families.
  8. Making and Using Rules – This free online criminal justice course from Open University explores how rules are made and interpreted. The course focus is on the English legal system but would be useful to anyone who wants to explore this topic.
  9. American National Security Policy – This free course from MIT asks students to analyze different aspects of America’s national security policy and policymakers. The course includes lecture notes, assignments, and readings.
  10. Issues in Foreign Policy After 911 – The University of California – Berkeley offers this free criminal justice course with an emphasis on foreign policy. The course consists of 13 separate webcasts.

Guest post from Karen Schweitzer who writes about colleges online for OnlineCollege.org.

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

12 comments… add one
  • Bill

    Wow- That’s some solid stuff! MIT offering free courses?! I would never had expected that. It just goes to show that with a little resourcefulness, ‘elbow grease’ and a willingness to pursue your passion, anyone can make it happen. (The internet is a wonderful place) I am interested to see what, if any free MBA courses are offered online, or offline for that matter. Nice informative site.


  • jennifer

    I am looking for some free criminal justice classes that i can take online… I am a cancer patient and at this time I am not able to work, but I know that God is going to heal me of this cancer and I would love to be able to enter the work force with some knowledge of something that I am interested in… So if someone out there knows of some classes that I can take that will not cost me any money, please email me at: [email protected] so I can get things together… I would really appreciate it so much….

    God bless you all….


    • Radek M. Gadek


      I am glad to see you on my blog. I hope that some of the resources here are going to be helpful in finding the free courses. If I find anymore I’ll be sure to post them. I wish you all the best.


  • Jonathan

    At the Washington Online Learning Institute, we’ve been considering offering a free introductory course for credit in some of our programs, possibly including the criminal justice program. We wouldn’t mind hearing some feedback from prospective students. For example, how much stronger would you consider enrolling into a program if a school gave you a free class?

    • Jessica Frey

      I would enroll if I was gonna get a free criminology/criminal justice class and the school was affordable.

  • elizabeth beltran

    i would like to take free online class for criminal justice forensic i have been looking for my dram job in criminal justice and i just want to know if you guys have that i have 12 college credits so far

  • Stephanie

    I have a stupid question. I enrolled in a free 10-week psychology course on About. com and all they do is send an e-mail every week with the links you’ll need and you can simply read the information and learn more about psychology.

    I was just wondering, if these courses you have listed are pretty much set up the same way? I’m considering looking into a criminal profiling career, but I’m not sure, so I would like to learn more about criminal justice and psychology. Even if I do not pursue a career, I am very interested in this subject.

    So I am not looking for something that has obligation, just information on the subject to see whether I would like to pursue a career or not.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      In my opinion most courses listed are more comprehensive than the About.com one you’re taking via email. They are setup differently and similarly in many respects as each school/organization controls the presentation of their course offerings.

      Most courses are non-credit courses, unless you sign up for a degree program.

  • La'Neyshia Walls

    I might be only at the age of 15 but i think criminal justice school is the place for me. I have been doing little investigations around my neighborhood that has really helped people. If you can help me in any kind of way in getting me into a school I would surely appreciate it.

    Thank You
    La’Neyshia Walls

  • Lindsey

    I am looking for some free online classes in the Criminal Justice field. I graduated from high school in 2009, and am ready to get back into school to better myself. Where can I find some information for this?

  • kimberly

    I am disabled and want to take criminal justice courses but can not afford the tuition it takes can anyone out there help me with some info thanks Kimberly

  • Desmond Magezi

    Hello!!! i am currently pursuing a course in criminal justice studies and i wanted to know if there is any area within the criminal justice i could concentrate in and probably specialize on it

    Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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