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Q&A - Criminology Courses and Classes

Is there any open courseware available for online criminology courses?

There is, and some criminology online courses are available as free courseware from reputable universities. For example, you can learn about the genetic principles used in criminal trials in a course called DNA Fingerprinting, Genetics and Crime from University of Michigan. This course examines issues involved with the forensic use of DNA to determine guilt or innocence in legal trials.

Forensic Biology and Impression Evidence from Kaplan University, which is known for having some of the best criminology courses online, is an introductory course about the science and techniques used when criminal trials involve blood or bodily fluids. You will also learn about how to avoid contaminating a crime scene.

Criminology, Law and Society: White-Collar and Corporate Crime is a criminology course offered by University of California, Irvine as open courseware. The program takes a look at criminal activity in the business world, delving into the motives, methods and punishment of financial law breakers.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a free series of courseware lectures simply titled Law and Society. The program takes a look at the institutional role played by law in society and examines various types of law, legal reasoning, legal actors and much more.

What blogs or other online resources might be useful in my criminology courses?

To excel in accredited criminology online classes, reading blogs by students, instructors or journalists in the field can stimulate your interest in criminology by helping you engage with other enthusiasts in the field.

The Forensic News Blog is a popular criminology blog that reports news from the forensics scene and comments on the media’s influence. One article, for instance, discusses the case of a fan of the TV series Dexter who admitted to killing his little brother and claimed he was inspired by the show. Blog entries are written by forensic scientists, educators and students from University of Alabama in Birmingham.

The Digital Pathology Blog is a weblog about the use of cutting-edge computer technology in the field of criminology. Because the technology used in careers in criminology is constantly evolving, it is important to keep up with developments like virtual microscopy, which involves converting glass slides into digital slides for both archiving and analyzing data from criminal trial.

If you are interested in the digital side of criminology, 1 of the best blogs is the Department of Homeland Security blog, which keeps followers up to date on topics like the cybersecurity collaboration between the U.S. and Australia or current plans for a shared cybersecurity border between the U.S. and Canada.

What magazines or journals can I read while I study in my offline or online criminology classes?

Top online criminology courses encourage students to keep up with current literature in the field.

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin is published monthly by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. This journal reports major events, introduces new technologies and solicits information leading to the apprehension of wanted criminals. Additionally, students are encouraged to contribute statements and opinions, making this a forum for you to practice and exhibit your own critical thinking on current events in criminology.

Criminal Justice Magazine is published quarterly by the American Bar Association and focuses on legal practices and policy issues. An archive of past issues can be found online with full articles to share with your criminology class or to reference when writing research papers.

Perspectives: Voice of the Victim, the journal of the American Probation & Parole Association, is of particular interest to criminology students for its discussions of the techniques used by probation officers to monitor the activities of individuals under their supervision.

The Internet Journal of Criminology publishes peer-reviewed articles on studies related to crime reduction, delinquency and deviant social behavior. It offers less experienced researchers a chance to get their work published. Students can also submit book reviews.