The MA in criminology, law and society is designed for students who seek to make a difference in the development and evaluation of policy in related fields. Students gain enhanced skills in analysis and policy evaluation for career development or to help prepare for competitive, sought-after positions. The program takes advantage of the university's proximity to many justice organizations at the federal, state, and local levels in the capital region. The curriculum is structured to give students the skills to do policy-relevant research and to work with justice and security agencies in the region.

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Admission section of this catalog. For information specific to the MA in criminology, law and society, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP .6 Graduate Policies.

Transfer Credits

Students may request to transfer a maximum of 12 credits for prior graduate course work (not applied to a previous degree) subject to approval by the graduate director and dean and in accordance with the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Reduction of Credits

Students entering the master's program with a previously conferred graduate degree in a related discipline may request that the required credits for the MA degree be reduced by a maximum of 12 credits with approval of the graduate director and dean and in accordance with the Graduate Policies section of this catalog.

Satisfactory Progress

Each new student is assigned a faculty advisor who helps develop a program of study. The advisor and faculty assess the progress of all students annually. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress may be terminated from the program. Satisfactory progress in the MA in criminology, law and society is defined as maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.00 with the minimum grade of B- in all courses. Students who receive a grade below B- will receive an academic warning the first time and a letter of termination the second time.

Banner Code: LA-MA-CLS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

MA without Concentration

Students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree and academic or research career should complete the requirements for the MA in criminology, law and society with thesis shown below.

Four Core Courses in Three Fields

Justice and Law
CRIM 700Theories of Justice3
CRIM 720Behavior of Law3
Justice Organizations, Administration, and Leadership
CRIM 740Justice Organization and Administration3
Crime and Crime Policy
CRIM 760Crime and Crime Policy3
Total Credits12

Analytic Methods

CRIM 780Research Methods3
CRIM 782Statistics I3
CRIM 783Statistics II3
Total Credits9

Electives

Select one to two electives (3 to 6 credits) 13-6
Total Credits3-6
1

Students choose electives from courses in one or more of the substantive fields of study listed below.

Thesis

Students can apply a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 credits of thesis to the degree. A thesis proposal must be submitted to the graduate director prior to registering for thesis credits. The master's thesis must be defended orally before a committee of three faculty appointed by the graduate director. Students who do a 3-credit thesis will have 6 credits of electives.

Students must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in CRIM 799 Master's Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment as specified in Academic Policies.

CRIM 799Master's Thesis1-6
Total Credits3-6

MA with Concentration in Policy and Practice (PAP)

This concentration in policy and practice is intended for students planning careers in justice and security organizations following completion of the MA degree, and does not include a thesis requirement.

Four Core Courses in Three Fields

Justice and Law
CRIM 720Behavior of Law3
Justice Organizations, Administration, and Leadership
CRIM 740Justice Organization and Administration3
CRIM 742Leadership in Justice and Security Organizations3
Crime and Crime Policy
CRIM 760Crime and Crime Policy3
Total Credits12

Analytic Methods

CRIM 780Research Methods3
CRIM 781Justice Program Evaluation3
Total Credits6

Capstone Practicum

CRIM 790Capstone in Policy and Practice3
Total Credits3

Electives

Select three electives (9 credits) 19
Total Credits9
1

Students choose electives from courses in one or more of the substantive fields of study listed below.

Substantive Fields of Study

Master's students are required to take one to three electives chosen from among the substantive fields of study below. One non-CRIM elective course may be taken. Students may use other courses as elective credit with prior written approval of the director of the graduate program.

Justice and Law

Justice-Related Electives
CRIM 795Special Topics3
CRIM 796Directed Reading1-3
GOVT 520Political Theory3
GOVT 725Democratic Theory3
GOVT 631Seminar in Comparative Politics and Institutions3
SOCI 619Conflict and Conflict Management: Perspectives from Sociology3
SOCI 711Classical Sociological Theory3
SOCI 712Contemporary Sociological Theory3
CONF 501Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution3
CONF 720Ethnic and Cultural Factors in Conflict Resolution1-3
CONF 721Conflict and Race3
CONF 723Conflict and Gender3
CONF 726Moral and Philosophical Foundations of Conflict3
CONF 747Reconciliation3
CONF 802Theories of the Person3
CONF 803Structural Theories3
ECON 611Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 852Public Choice I3
ECON 854Public Choice II3
Law-Related Electives
Any selected LAW courses 1
CRIM 721The Constitution, Criminal Procedure, and Security3
CRIM 723Law and Social Control3
CRIM 730Courts and Constitutional Law3
CRIM 795Special Topics3
CRIM 796Directed Reading1-3
CONF 733Law and Justice from a Conflict Perspective1-3
ECON 895Special Topics in Economics3
1

Prerequisite for enrollment in LAW courses: successful completion of CRIM 720 Behavior of Law and CRIM 721 The Constitution, Criminal Procedure, and Security. Enrollment requires preapproval from the graduate director, law school instructor, and associate dean for student academic affairs of the Law School.

Justice Organizations, Administration, and Leadership 

CRIM 509Justice Organizations and Processes3
CRIM 510Policing in a Democratic Society3
CRIM 741Conduct of Justice Organizations at the Street Level3
CRIM 742Leadership in Justice and Security Organizations3
CRIM 743Changing Justice and Security Organizations3
CRIM 744Corrections3
CRIM 795Special Topics3
CRIM 796Directed Reading1-3
PUAD 502Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations3
PUAD 520Organization Theory and Management Behavior3
PUAD 540Public Policy Process3
PUAD 621Principles and Practices in Government Organization and Management3
PUAD 622Program Planning and Implementation3
PUAD 661Public Budgeting Systems3
PUAD 671Public Employee Labor Relations3
PUAD 680Managing Information Resources3
PUAD 700Ethics and Public Administration3
PUAD 727Seminar in Risk Assessment and Decision Making3
PUAD 781Information Management: Technology and Policy3
CONF 731Conflict in Organizations3
CONF 741Negotiations3
CONF 743Dynamics of Conflict Termination3
PSYC 631Industrial and Personnel Testing and Evaluation3
PSYC 639Survey of Organizational Processes3
SOCI 605Gender and Social Structure3
SOCI 623Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives3

 Crime and Crime Policy

CRIM 761Politics of Crime Policy3
CRIM 762Crime and Place3
CRIM 764Sentencing3
CRIM 795Special Topics3
CRIM 796Directed Reading1-3
SOCI 607Criminology3
GOVT 745International Security3
PUAD 540Public Policy Process3
PUAD 644Public Policy Models3
PUAD 645Policy Analysis3
PSYC 617Child Psychopathology3