Master of Jurisprudence –
Criminal Justice Concentration
The Criminal Justice Concentration is just one of your options. See the main Master of Jurisprudence page for details about the overall program and other available options.
M.Jur. Criminal Justice Concentration
There is increasing demand for criminal justice professionals who can shape policies that promote fairness, equality and justice within the criminal justice system. It’s important to note that criminal justice reform is an evolving and complex field, and new approaches and ideas continue to emerge. The cutting edge of reform is often driven by ongoing research, advocacy, community engagement and the collaboration of various stakeholders, including policymakers, legal experts, grassroots organizations and affected communities. You can be a part of this change. The St. Mary’s University School of Law M.Jur. Program provides advanced education and specialized knowledge in various aspects of the criminal justice system. Pursuing the M.Jur. graduate degree in criminal justice, law and policy can enhance your knowledge and skills by providing you with the tools to tackle complex issues and make a meaningful impact on public safety, law enforcement and policy development.
“I graduated in 1996 as a Law Enforcement Graduate from the Del Rio Police Academy. Since then I’ve worked for 7 years with the Maverick County Sheriff Department Investigator and 18 years with the Eagle Pass Independent School District as a K-9 Officer, DARE Officer. I went back to school to earn my M.Jur. from St. Mary’s School of Law once I started working with the District Attorney’s office as an investigator and have found that the courses help me immensely in my line of work. I have a busy schedule between trials and investigations but am able to keep up with my online coursework and make progress towards my degree.”
– Michael Torralba (M.Jur. Candidate May 2024)
Trusted data proving professional advancement
Texas has a significant demand for a diverse population of criminal justice professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of professionals in the field of criminal justice is projected to grow nationally 5% from 2019 to 2029. Specifically, within the fields of detectives and forensic scientists the growth will be 3% and 11% respectively. This growth is driven by an increasing focus on public safety and the need for professionals who can address issues related to crime prevention, law enforcement, corrections and community support. In the San Antonio metroplex and the I-35 corridor, there are opportunities for individuals interested in criminal justice, law and policy.
Networking, gaining practical experience through internships or relevant work, and staying updated with industry trends and policies can further enhance career opportunities for M.Jur. graduates in the field of criminal justice, law and policy.
“In our Criminal Justice concentration, we firmly believe that advocating for change in the criminal justice system is not just a choice, but a responsibility. As the legal architects of tomorrow, our students delve into the complexities of law and society, learning not only the intricacies of the criminal legal system but also cultivating the passion and insight necessary to champion reform. Just as education and business are the cornerstones of a thriving society, a just and equitable criminal justice system forms the bedrock upon which true democracy stands, urging our students to advocate for transformation, fostering a safer, fairer tomorrow for all.”
– Sigrid Vendrell-Polanco, J.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
|Fundamentals of the American Legal System
|Legal Research and Writing
Choose two from the following:
Concentration Emphasis Courses
|LW 5710, 7375
|Texas Criminal Procedure
|Advanced Criminal Procedure
|Comparative Criminal Procedure
|Digital Evidence and Records
|Mental Health and the Law
|LW 5313, 6200
|Criminal Justice & Due Process
|Death Penalty/Capital Punishment
Courses marked with an * are required electives. Two additional courses from the list must be chosen.