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Master of Jurisprudence

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.

Interested in practicing law? Learn about J.D.

Already a lawyer? Learn about LL.M.

Robert Ruiz

“Conventional thinking would have us believe that imposing punishment alone on justice-involved offenders changes criminal behavior. Therapeutic jurisprudence, however, is smart justice in that it addresses the core issues that lead to symptomatic criminal behavior, and in turn, provides a healing transformative and restorative effect for both the offender and the offended, their families, and our communities.”

-Roberto Ruiz (M.Jur. ’17)

Proven results and professional advancement

Ruiz’s journey is a testament to the diverse backgrounds and experiences that our program embraces. A native of El Paso, he brings a unique perspective to his work. He holds multiple degrees, including a Master of Jurisprudence from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the same institution. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, using his research to develop tools that enhance the effectiveness of the judiciary and create pathways for non-U.S. lawyers with foreign law degrees.

Join us on a transformative journey towards a graduate law degree that leverages your professional expertise to reshape the justice system and increase access to law for all. Like Ruiz, you can become a driving force for change in the legal landscape, fostering a more holistic and compassionate approach to justice. Your future in law begins here.

“I am privileged to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of legal education. I am a first-generation college graduate, so I understand the challenges students face while navigating the college application process and academic journey. At the heart of our mission is the belief that the law should be accessible to all.

Programs like the Master of Jurisprudence (M.Jur.) are a testament to this commitment, as they break down barriers and create pathways for individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter the field of law.”

-Armando Prado, Jr., M.P.A.
Director of Graduate Law Admissions
St. Mary’s University School of Law 

Learn more about the M.Jur.

Please submit your request for additional information here.


M.Jur. Courses

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 (a 2-hour methods course designed specifically for the M.Jur. program, always taken in the first semester)
  • Two first-year law courses (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.

Master of Jurisprudence Concentrations


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 Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association.

The Master of Jurisprudence concentrations in Compliance, Business Law and Risk, and Health Care Compliance are the only two programs accredited in Texas by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB)®. This prestigious designation is held by programs hosted at 14 law schools nationwide and 17 schools globally. 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.

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.

Study Abroad

Students may be interested in taking additional courses at 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.



Request Information

Curious which M.Jur. concentration is right for you? Questions about the admission process or the program? Our team will answer any questions and help you through the process when you’re ready.

Applying to the M.Jur.

See details about admission requirements and how to apply: