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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.

Michael Torralba

“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.

Sigrid Vendrell-Polanco 420

“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

Required Courses

Core courses

Fundamentals of the American Legal System
Legal Research and Writing

Choose two from the following:

Criminal Law
Constitutional Law
Property Law


Concentration Emphasis Courses

Course Name Course Numbers
Constitutional Criminal
Procedure *
LW 5710, 7375
Texas Criminal Procedure
LW 8350
Advanced Criminal Procedure LW 7245
Civil Rights LW 6600
Comparative Criminal Procedure LW 7317
Evidence LW 6434
Digital Evidence and Records LW5612
Police Liability LW 5611
Wrongful Convictions LW XXXX
Immigration Law LW 8688
Mental Health and the Law LW 5610,6600
Cyber Law LW 5313, 6200
Criminal Justice & Due Process LW 5613
Death Penalty/Capital Punishment LW 7229

Courses marked with an * are required electives. Two additional courses from the list must be chosen.

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: