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    May 29, 2023  
American University Catalog 2020-2021 
American University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Justice, Law and Criminology (MS)

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Offered by the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology , School of Public Affairs , the Justice, Law and Criminology (MS) is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the foundations and structure of institutions of justice and law. Students receive a thorough grounding in both empirical and theoretical approaches to public policy issues and take a concentration in either justice and public policy, law and society, or jurisprudence and social thought.

The concentration in justice and public policy provides a theoretical grounding in criminology and coursework in criminal justice, including corrections and policing. This concentration prepares students for a variety of practitioner and research positions in criminal justice, or for advanced graduate work in criminology or criminal justice.

The concentration in jurisprudence and social thought emphasizes philosophical and comparative perspectives on law, providing students with an appreciation of the nature and structural foundations of law and a firm grounding in analytical thought. This concentration serves students who have a background in either the liberal arts or law and are interested in combining the two.

The concentration in law and society provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the role of law in society, including the theoretical foundations of law, the relationship between law and the social sciences, and broad issues of social justice. This concentration prepares students for positions in policy research and analysis or for advanced graduate work in law and society.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, non-AU applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores. AU applicants with GPAs less than 3.20 must also submit GRE test scores.  Applicants are evaluated on the basis of scholastic achievement in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work, test scores (if needed), and two letters of recommendation.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Capstone (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours from the following with grade of B or better:

Concentration (24 credit hours)

Complete 24 credit hours from one of the following concentrations:

Jurisprudence and Social Thought

Justice and Public Policy

Law and Society

Research (6 credit hours)

Complete 6 credit hours from one of the following with grades of B or better:

Justice, Law and Criminology (MS) and Juris Doctor (JD)

For approved dual degree program, see Justice, Law and Criminology (MS) and Juris Doctor (JD) .

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