Are There Open Courses Available for Those Majoring in Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice open courses let you learn more about the world of crime without leaving the comfort of your own home. Designed for those with an interest in a specific topic, open courses are available from some of the top universities in the country and from open source materials. You can take courses from distinguished professors, learn more about how the criminal justice world operates and what workers do in the field.

What are Open Courses?

Criminal justice open courses are courses designed for those who care more about learning more than they do about gaining course credit. MIT, Harvard and Yale all offer open courses for students, those living in the community and people around the world. When you enroll in the program, you can select the criminal justice courses that you want to take. Many of these classes are introductory courses that just cover the fundamentals, but some classes go into a little more depth. You’ll still need to read the textbook, take tests and complete papers and other assignments, but you can gain a little more knowledge about criminal justice before enrolling in a full-time program.

Can You Receive Course Credit?

Taking open courses is a good option for those who want to know more about different topics, but the programs aren’t always a good choice for those currently enrolled in a criminal justice program. Most schools and programs will not give you course credit for the work that you do. Yale University does offer a summer program that lets students earn credits. Known as Yale Summer Online, students can take classes that they can use towards their degrees, and students studying at other colleges can transfer those credits to their school.

Types of Courses Offered

Open courses fall into two different types. The first type is a program designed for those interested in introductory courses. Colleges and universities film professors giving lectures in the classroom and post those videos online. You can watch the videos and learn in the same way that students do. The second type of program requires more intensive study. You’ll watch lectures and read information online, but you’ll also take the same tests and write the same papers that students enrolled in the program do. This is a good option for those who want to know how well they would do if they enrolled in the class.

Course Requirements

Most criminal justice open courses require little of its students. To enroll in the program at Harvard University, you simply choose a public username, list your email address, create a password and answer a few questions, including why you have an interest in the program. After creating an account, you can enroll in any of the available classes. Other programs are only open to those living in the same city or within a certain number of miles from the school. As these programs are open to all students, you typically don’t need to meet any eligibility requirements before enrolling.

Criminal justice degree holders work as correctional officers, probation officers, teachers and in the security field. Taking a few criminal justice open courses can prepare you for the classes you would take in college.