Professional Investigation Program—Online

Professional Investigation ProgramA career as a professional private investigator can be personally and professionally rewarding. No two days—or jobs—are the same, and you have a chance to assist people who are going through major life events—missing family members, criminal defense, identity theft, personal injury. There are many opportunities for critical thinking, planning, and decisive action—and its ideal if you enjoy working for yourself, selecting the cases that bring you the most satisfaction, and keeping your own schedule.

Whether you have a background in law enforcement, the military, or another similar field, or you're just getting started in the investigation business, Boston University's Professional Investigation Program offers a unique and diverse course of study, covering all aspects of the profession. Taught by professionals who work in a variety of investigative capacities—many of whom are also experienced licensed private investigators—and designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working individuals, this comprehensive curriculum delivers more than one hundred hours of instruction in six modules. Upon successful completion of the program, you'll receive a certificate in Professional Investigation from Boston University.

The online Professional Investigation Program covers the following topics:

  • Foundations of Professional Investigation
  • The Law and the Professional Investigator
  • Investigative Interviewing
  • Internet Research
  • Investigative Surveillance
  • Investigative Research

Program Details

View the online curriculum.

Program Dates

The online program is offered two times a year: March and September.


Prospective students need to submit an application, including a letter of reference, prior to acceptance into the program. Students should have a strong command of the English language, a high school diploma or GED, and competency with a computer, including word processing programs and the Internet. You should be familiar with an SLR camera and know how to record an interview.

To Learn More or To Register

To register—or for more information—please contact our educational partner MindMax, Inc., or call 1-877-290-9005.

Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council Certification

As recognized by the Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council, the Certificate in Professional Investigation at Boston University meets the educational requirements leading to a designation of Board Certified Criminal Defense investigator, or C.C.D.I. To earn the C.C.D.I. designation, investigators must complete select experience requirements in addition to the educational requirements, demonstrating that they can effectively perform as experts in criminal defense investigations. More information on the designation can be found at