Program Details

Learn more about the Juris Master Criminal Justice Concentration

    The George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law Juris Masters Criminal Justice concentration can be completed 100% online or in a hybrid online/on-campus format. 

    Advance your career with a Juris Master Degree 

    • Remote course options to serve working professionals
    • Complete the degree in just 1-year of full-time study
    • Benefit from direct access to GMU law library, study-spaces, and advising
    • Ideal for professionals who interact with lawyers and legal issues regularly

    Required Courses (30 Credits)

    Introduction to U.S. Law for Juris Master Students 

    3 Credits

    This course is designed to provide JM students with an overview of United States law. The coursework will cover general areas of law, including regulatory and business law, as well as contracts, property and tort law, and their applicability in public institutions and business settings. This course will not provide an exhaustive survey of each topic, but rather provide exposure to a large amount of foundational information in a short period of time.

    Legal Research & Writing for Juris Master Students  

    2 Credits

    This course is designed to introduce JM students to legal research methods, knowledge of general legal concepts, and the art of reading and interpreting legal writing.  Students will learn the research, analysis and writing process through an assigned series of open and closed memoranda.  

    Economics for Lawyers

    2 Credits

    Economics for Lawyers (formerly Economic Foundations of Legal Studies) exposes students to a broad survey of economic, statistical, finance and accounting concepts as they play a crucial role in determining the outcome of legal disputes. Students will not become expert in these technical areas but will be exposed to both the mechanics and subtleties of these tools. The goal is to educate and train students so that they will be better prepared to understand a dispute, craft an argument, or prepare a witness.

    Contracts for Juris Master Students

    4 Credits

    This course will provide JM students with an introduction to the principles of contract law, including the consideration doctrine, offer and acceptance, promissory estoppel, and the regulation of the bargaining process; as well as the relationship of contract law in government and business organizations. The course will also provide an overview of contractual interpretation, and basic knowledge regarding excuse and remedies.  

    Capstone 1

    2 Credits

    This course is designed to provide JM students with an avenue to draw upon the legal knowledge they have received, and to further develop the problem-solving orientation and skills to interact with attorneys, recognize legal issues and flag applicable law.  As a “capstone,” students will select their own topic within their field of employment and pursue material directly related to their profession on which they will write a thesis under faculty supervision.

    Capstone 2

    2 Credits

    This course is an extension of Capstone I. Students will research and draft their theses under the guidance of a faculty member.

    Surveillance Law Seminar

    2 Credits

    This course will expose students to laws and policies relating to government surveillance, from traditional criminal wiretaps to high-tech surveillance conducted as part of the global war on terrorism. The coursework will involve a survey of the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure case law and the application of that body of law to government surveillance efforts. Issues discussed will include wiretaps in drug and organized crime cases, warrantless surveillance programs in the ’60-‘70s, legislative efforts to constrain surveillance; the expansion of government surveillance following the attacks of 9/11, and the implications of new surveillance technologies in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world.

    Criminal Law

    3 Credits

    This course covers the general principles of the substantive criminal law and its major processes as derived from study of its common law origins and the effects of such variables as societal values, legislation, and judicial activity. Inquires into uses of the coercive power of the state, the federal-state relationship, and the concepts of group criminality, liability for uncompleted crimes, and rationale for punishment.

    Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 

    2-3 Credits

    This course examines the criminal litigation process. Topics covered may include: the charging decision; bail and detention pending trial; right to a speedy trial, to a jury trial, other trial rights; discovery; guilty pleas; double jeopardy; sentencing; appeals; and collateral remedies. 

    Criminal Procedure: Investigation is recommended, but not a prerequisite.

    Criminal Procedure: Investigation

    3 Credits

    This course acquaints students with the criminal justice system, its procedures, and Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.


    3-4 Credits

    This course examines legal rules governing the proof of disputed issues of fact during adversary proceedings. The emphasis is on rules determining the admissibility of various types of evidence, including testimonial evidence (hearsay rules and impeachment of witnesses), documentary evidence, and scientific and expert evidence. The course also considers judicial notice as a substitute for evidence, burdens of proof, and the effect of jury trial on rules of evidence. 

    Civil Procedure is a prerequisite for this class.

    Family Law

    3 Credits

    The course is focused on the formation of families, marriage, marital dissolution and the division of marital assets, cohabitation, issues connected with children, and contemporary directions in the reform of family law.

    Immigration Law

    3 Credits

    Examines fundamental issues in immigration law of inadmissibility and deportability, relief from removal, asylum and refugee status, citizenship, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, including labor certification, and administrative and judicial review.

    Prosecuting Terrorism & Cases involving National Security Seminar

    2 Credits

    This course analyzes the tools used to investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism and violations of national security laws. A research paper is required. The class is designed to highlight in practical terms the tension between protecting the nation’s security versus protecting privacy and individual liberties. The course utilizes the “9-11 Commission Report” to give context for modern day investigations and prosecutions. It looks at constitutional issues associated with searches, seizures, confessions and freedom of the press. It looks at electronic surveillance techniques, the use of classified information at trial, and substantive statutes used to prosecute cases.

    Sample Schedule

    Semester 1 Introduction to US Law for JM Students
    Economics for Lawyers
    Legal Research & Writing for JM Students
    7 credits total
    Semester 2 Contracts for JM Students
    Elective Concentration Course
    Capstone I
    2 or 3
    8 to 9 credits total
    Semester 3 Elective Concentration Courses
    6 to 8
    6 to 8 credits total
    Semester 4 Elective Concentration Courses
    Capstone II
    5 to 7
    7 to 9 credits total

    Learn more about the Juris Master Degree with Criminal Justice concentration