School of Law
One of the most diverse law schools in the nation, St. Mary's prepares its graduates for the competent and ethical practice of law in a community that supports educational excellence.
About our Master of Jurisprudence Degree
This 30-credit-hour program is designed for those who do not wish to practice law, but are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the American legal system.
The M.Jur. degree is designed primarily for professionals practicing in areas that intersect with the law such as human relations, criminal and juvenile justice, the court system (including magistrates and probation officers), journalism, social work, regulatory agencies, county and municipal government, health care, intellectual property, technology and business.
All of our Master of Jurisprudence degrees are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College and have obtained acquiescence from the American Bar Association (ABA).
St. Mary’s School of Law is the only law school in Texas that is accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB)®. J.D., M.Jur. and LL.M. students who complete the requirements are eligible to sit for any of the CCB’s certification exams for up to a year after graduation, without any additional continuing education or professional work experience requirements.
Master of Jurisprudence Concentrations
- Business and Entrepreneurship Law - available online
- Commercial Law - available online
- Compliance, Business Law and Risk - available online
- Criminal Justice
- Education Law - available online
- Environmental Law
- Health Care Compliance Law - available online
- International and Comparative Law
- Military and National Security Law
- Natural Resource Law - available online
- Tax Law
More about the M.Jur.
The M.Jur. provides practical knowledge about the law in less time than a J.D. program and more comprehensively than on-the-job training.
Credits earned through the M.Jur. program will not count toward the completion of a J.D. degree, and the M.Jur. degree does not satisfy the requirements to sit for any state bar exam. Instead, a Master of Jurisprudence degree provides graduates with tools to help them better understand legal issues in their field.
International programs - study abroad
Students may be interested in taking additional courses at the Institute on Chinese Law and Business summer study abroad program. All classes are taught in English, and students in the Institute earn six credit hours from classes like:
- International Business Transactions and China
- International Intellectual Property Law
- Introduction to Chinese Law
- International Human Rights: Business-related Issues
Another option is the Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria. Classes are taught in English, and students earn six credit hours in classes like:
- Class Actions in a Global Context
- International Insolvency
- International Business Transactions
- Lawyering Abroad: Basic Concepts of European Legal Systems
- European and International Conflict of Laws
Certificate of Public Service
M.Jur. students may earn a Certificate of Public Service upon completion of their degree requirements and 50 hours of service to the community. Eligible service may include documented non-profit board service, community volunteering, church service or participation in advocacy and outreach opportunities sponsored by St. Mary’s School of Law and/or St. Mary’s University.
For more details about the volunteer opportunities available through the university:
All M.Jur. students take four required courses:
- Fundamentals of the American Legal System (a 2-hour course designed specifically for the M.Jur. program, always taken in the first semester)
- Legal Research and Writing
- Two first-year law courses chosen by the student (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, or Torts)
These courses provide a broader legal context and help you to understand how lawyers and judges think about and use law.
The M.Jur degree requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours. Depending upon concentration choice, curricular requirements may vary.
Course selection is completed in consultation with the program director, who will assist you in tailoring a program to your professional goals. Students can choose to take a variety of courses, or develop a specific track with an emphasis in a particular area. Students may also choose to pursue an approved concentration such as Environmental Law, Compliance, Business Law and Risk or Military and National Security Law.
- See details about admission requirements and how to apply: Applying to the M.Jur. Program.
- Visit campus
- Request information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form at the bottom of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are M.Jur. courses regular law school courses?
M.Jur. students participate in residential courses with J.D. and LL.M. students. The online courses we have developed for the M.Jur. program are curated and scaled to fit the graduate academic experience. Each course creator is certified through Quality Matters, has the benefit of a dedicated instructional designer and was recruited as an expert in their field. Only M.Jur. students participate in these online courses.
Will the M.Jur. train me to be a lawyer?
No. If you want to become a lawyer, you should apply to our J.D. program instead. The M.Jur. provides new skills and knowledge to enhance your existing repertoire rather than to prepare you for a new career. It will not permit you to take the bar.
Do M.Jur. courses count toward a J.D. degree?
No. American Bar Association regulations do not permit credits acquired in the M.Jur. degree to be credited toward the J.D. degree. However, certain credits may be transferable from the J.D. degree to the M.Jur. degree.
Will the M.Jur. help me get into a J.D. program?
The M.Jur. program is an independent degree program. It is not designed to be a gateway to the Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) program. Students who attend or complete the M.Jur. program may apply to the J.D. program. However, these students will be treated as a traditional J.D. applicant and will receive no specialized treatment or advantages. None of the credits earned in the M.Jur. program can be applied towards the J.D. In addition, M.Jur. students who attended or completed the M.Jur. program must retake the LSAT and submit their score before their application will be processed. Applicants who received a score of 153 or above within the last five years are exempt from this requirement. Applicants may also be asked to provide supplemental information regarding their professional and academic performance in the M.Jur. program.
Who will benefit from the Masters of Jurisprudence degree?
The M.Jur. degree is designed to enhance the knowledge and skill sets of professionals who interact with the law on a regular basis. Many corporate managers, compliance officers, auditors, health care providers, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), government employees and others regularly work with lawyers or work with the law. Other people may have little contact with lawyers, but a lot with the law. If you are in this group, then pursuing the M.Jur. degree will help you obtain a better understanding of the rules and regulations you work with and help to place them in a larger and more systematic context.
Furthermore, those who are pursuing graduate degrees in other fields may also find an M.Jur. degree useful. For instance, MBA students may find that an M.Jur. with a special emphasis on business law enriches their overall understanding of business administration. Ph.D. candidates in a number of fields, such as political science, philosophy or social sciences, can learn more about the policies that shape laws and how they are interpreted and enforced. Even those pursuing degrees in the hard sciences will find the M.Jur. useful for obtaining insights into fields such as health law, intellectual property law, environmental law and natural resource law. In short, the M.Jur. may appeal to any number of people in a variety of concentrations.
Can I combine graduate or professional studies with the Masters of Jurisprudence?
Yes. Graduate and professional students in many fields may enhance their primary program with the study of law in general, and the particular area of law that complements their field. St. Mary’s allows students to design their own specialized track with the assistance of the program director to ensure that each degree candidate is able to maximize his or her degree experience.
Students enrolled in any American or foreign university, if they are able to take a leave of absence from their studies, may enroll in the M.Jur. program, or they may pursue the degree upon the completion of their graduate or professional studies. However, St. Mary’s does not currently offer joint degrees for its M.Jur. degree with any other institutions.
What is the difference between a “track” and a “concentration”?
Each M.Jur. candidate is allowed to create his or her own track of study that reflects the student’s interests and goals. These are created in collaboration with the program director. These tracks are not reflected on the M.Jur. transcript, however. Instead of developing a track, students may choose to pursue a concentration. The concentrations are in specific fields and have been developed by experts in those fields. Concentrations require students to take specific courses that reflect appropriate study in the chosen field. Unlike the tracks, concentrations are reflected on the transcript. St. Mary’s is currently developing a number of concentrations and will continue to develop concentrations to react to the demands of our students. The concentrations currently being developed are listed below.
- Business and Entrepreneurship (online option)
- Commercial Law (online option)
- Compliance, Business Law and Risk (online option)
- Criminal Justice
- Education Law (online option)
- Environmental Law
- Health Care Compliance Law (online option)
- International and Comparative Law
- Military and National Security Law
- Natural Resource Law (online option)
- Tax Law
Do I have to go to school full time, or may I obtain the M.Jur. degree part time?
You may pursue the M.Jur. degree either on a full-time or part-time basis. The degree may be completed in one academic year (late August to mid-May) if pursued full-time. If you wish to take a part-time course of study, you will have up to three years to complete the degree.
When are courses offered?
Courses are offered in the fall and spring, and a limited number of courses in the summer. Fall courses begin in late August and end in early December. Spring courses begin in early January and end in early May. Summer courses typically run from mid-May to late June and early July to mid-August. Courses are offered during the day and evening.
In addition, you will take Fundamentals of the American Legal System and Legal Research and Writing (2 credits), and at least two regular first-semester J.D. courses. Courses meet 2, 3, or even 4 times a week for 50 to 110 minutes. Though courses are offered in the evening, part-time students may need to have flexibility in their work schedule to attend classes and to successfully complete the M.Jur. program.
What is the grading system for students in the M.Jur. program?
In order to complete the M.Jur. program, the candidate must complete 30 credits with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or better in courses approved by the director of the M.Jur. program. Though J.D. students are graded on a curve, M.Jur. students are not graded on the same curve as the J.D. students. Instead, M.Jur. students are graded according to the individual professor’s preferences; however, professors may use the J.D. performances as a point of reference.
What is the tuition for the M.Jur. Program?
As M.Jur. students are using the same resources and facilities as J.D. students, the tuition is the same and is currently calculated on a per hour basis (rather than by semester). See J.D. tuition rates
Is there financial aid for M.Jur. students?
Financial aid, such as through student loans, is available. However, as the program is new, scholarships have not yet been developed for M.Jur. students. Efforts to fund scholarships for the program are underway. Furthermore, some students may be eligible for re-imbursement through their employers, but this is not controlled by St. Mary’s.
Is the program accredited?
St. Mary’s School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools and, as part of the larger University, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The ABA does not approve non-J.D. programs but has acquiesced to St. Mary’s M. Jur. program and the degree has been acknowledged by the AALS and SACS. St. Mary’s Law is also the only law school in Texas with compliance concentrations accredited by the Compliance Certification Board.
How does the M.Jur. Program help me excel?
As an accredited program, St. Mary’s can give you an edge as you will be eligible to sit for any of the following credentialing exams offered by the CCB without having to meet the typical work experience requirements: Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)®, Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC®), Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)® and Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)®.