Law and Society Concentration

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-BA-CLS-LAWS

The BA in Criminology, Law and Society provides a focused study of the justice system and social, human, and moral problems raised in the justice field. This course of study prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, the courts, investigations, juvenile justice, private and homeland security, and related social and human services. The BA in Criminology, Law and Society is well-suited for students who wish to study the field while branching out into related areas of study.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Students admitted to the honors program in the major take a two-course sequence: CRIM 491 Honors Seminar I and CRIM 492 RS: Honors Seminar II. To graduate with honors in criminology, law and society, students must complete both courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the two courses.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

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

Core Courses in the Major

CRIM 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (Mason Core) 3
CRIM 306 Criminal Justice Ethics 3
CRIM 315 Research Methods and Analysis in Criminology 3
CRIM 424 Constitutional Law: Criminal Process and Rights 3
CRIM 495 Capstone in Criminology, Law and Society (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 15

Electives in the Major

Select nine electives from the following: 1 27
Introduction to Criminology
Introduction to Law and Society
Introduction to Homeland Security
Public Law and the Judicial Process
or GOVT 301
Public Law and the Judicial Process
Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
Computer Crime, Forensics, and Auditing
Crime and Crime Policy
Social Inequality, Crime, and Justice
Human Rights and Justice
Introduction to the Intelligence Community
Intelligence Analysis Techniques
Crime and Place
Hate Crime
Counterintelligence
Applied Criminal Psychology
Policing in America
Punishment and Corrections
Community Corrections
Crime Victims and Victimization
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
Family Law and the Justice System
Advanced Topics in Law and Society
Criminal Courts
Community Policing
Criminal Investigations
Innovations in Policing
Guns and Crime in America
International Crimes and Accountability
Controversial Legal Issues
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
or GOVT 423
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Criminal Justice Management
Criminal Law
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
or GOVT 460
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
Law Enforcement and Homeland Security
Prevention and Deterrence of Crime
Theory and Politics of Terrorism
Criminology: College to Career
Study Abroad
Special Topics 2
Honors Seminar I
RS: Honors Seminar II
Research Practicum
Independent Study
Family Law and Public Policy
Human Trafficking and Smuggling 2
Sociology of Delinquency
The following graduate courses are available to students in the Accelerated Master's Pathway
Justice Organizations and Processes
Policing
Evidence-based Crime and Justice Policy
Implementing Crime and Justice Policy
Leadership in Justice Organizations
Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice Research Methods and Data Analysis
Evaluation of Crime and Justice Policies and Practices
The Constitution, Criminal Procedure, and Security
Law and Social Control
Conduct of Justice Organizations at the Street Level
Corrections
Crime Analysis
Politics of Crime Policy
Crime and Place
Special Topics
Total Credits 27
1

Students may select an optional concentration to fulfill a portion of this required elective credit.

2

A maximum of 6 credits of INTS 417 Human Trafficking and Smuggling and/or CRIM 490 Special Topics when topic is Human Trafficking can be applied to the major.

Optional Concentration in the Major

Criminology and society majors have the option of obtaining a concentration by completing 15 of their 27 elective credits within one of the following areas. Students can pursue only one concentration.

Available Concentrations

  • Concentration in Criminal Justice (CJUS)
  • Concentration in Homeland Security and Justice (HSJ)
  • Concentration in Law and Society (LAWS)

Concentration in Criminal Justice (CJUS)

Select 15 credits from the following:
Introduction to Criminology
Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
Computer Crime, Forensics, and Auditing
Crime and Crime Policy
Social Inequality, Crime, and Justice
Crime and Place
Hate Crime
Applied Criminal Psychology
Policing in America
Punishment and Corrections
Community Corrections
Crime Victims and Victimization
Criminal Courts
Community Policing
Criminal Investigations
Innovations in Policing
Guns and Crime in America
International Crimes and Accountability
Criminal Justice Management
Law Enforcement and Homeland Security
Prevention and Deterrence of Crime
Study Abroad (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Special Topics (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director) 1
Honors Seminar I (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
RS: Honors Seminar II (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Research Practicum (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Independent Study (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Human Trafficking and Smuggling 1
Sociology of Delinquency
The following graduate courses are available to students in the Accelerated Master's Pathway
Justice Organizations and Processes
Policing
Evidence-based Crime and Justice Policy
Implementing Crime and Justice Policy
Leadership in Justice Organizations
Evaluation of Crime and Justice Policies and Practices
Conduct of Justice Organizations at the Street Level
Corrections
Crime Analysis
Politics of Crime Policy
Crime and Place
1

A maximum of 6 credits of INTS 417 Human Trafficking and Smuggling and/or CRIM 490 Special Topics when topic is Human Trafficking can be applied to the major.

Concentration in Homeland Security and Justice (HSJ)

Select 15 credits from the following:
Introduction to Homeland Security
Introduction to the Intelligence Community
Intelligence Analysis Techniques
Counterintelligence
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
or GOVT 460
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
Law Enforcement and Homeland Security
Theory and Politics of Terrorism
Study Abroad (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Special Topics (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director) 1
Honors Seminar I (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
RS: Honors Seminar II (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Research Practicum (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Independent Study (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Human Trafficking and Smuggling 1
1

A maximum of 6 credits of INTS 417 Human Trafficking and Smuggling and/or CRIM 490 Special Topics when topic is Human Trafficking can be applied to the major.

Concentration in Law and Society (LAWS)

Select 15 credits from the following:
Introduction to Law and Society
Public Law and the Judicial Process
or GOVT 301
Public Law and the Judicial Process
Human Rights and Justice
Hate Crime
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
Family Law and the Justice System
Advanced Topics in Law and Society
Criminal Courts
Guns and Crime in America
International Crimes and Accountability
Controversial Legal Issues
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
or GOVT 423
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Criminal Law
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
or GOVT 460
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
Study Abroad (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Special Topics (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director) 1
Honors Seminar I (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
RS: Honors Seminar II (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Research Practicum (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Independent Study (when topic is appropriate with permission of undergraduate director)
Law and Social Control (available to students in the Accelerated Master's Pathway)
Family Law and Public Policy
Human Trafficking and Smuggling 1
1

A maximum of 6 credits of INTS 417 Human Trafficking and Smuggling and/or CRIM 490 Special Topics when topic is Human Trafficking can be applied to the major.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in criminology, law and society fulfill this requirement by successfully completing CRIM 495 Capstone in Criminology, Law and Society (Mason Core). Students should complete ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core) before taking the writing-intensive course in the major or take the two courses simultaneously.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
PHIL 1
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253RELI 235RELI 333, and RELI 339 cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography (Mason Core)
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 305
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of Eastern Europe and Russia
Urban Planning
Geography of Virginia
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 and HIST 125 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 317 East Asian Cultures 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 365 Black and Minority Cultures in Arabic Literature (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 317 The Black Pharaohs: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Nubia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 Global Dance Perspectives I (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 317 Geography of China (Mason Core) 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 332 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Politics of East Asia 3
GOVT 338 Politics of Eurasia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 377 The Vietnam War (Mason Core) 3
HIST 384 Global History of Christianity (Mason Core) 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 380 Japan in Motion 3
KORE 300 Korean Culture and Society 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
KORE 385 Introduction to Korean Linguistics 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Introduction to Religions of the "West" (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Introduction to Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 312 Islam (Mason Core) 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 317 Daoism 3
RELI 318 Korean Philosophy and Religions 3
RELI 338 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 342 Comparative Study of Mysticism 3
RELI 344 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 358 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 367 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 368 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights (Mason Core) 3
RELI 384 Global History of Christianity (Mason Core) 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
WMST 407 Transnational Sexualities 3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Students who have completed the following credentials are eligible for a waiver of the Foundation and Exploration (lower level) requirement categories. The Integration category (upper level) is not waived under this policy. See Admissions for more information. 

  • VCCS Uniform Certificate of General Studies
  • VCCS or Richard Bland Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.&S.), or Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (lower-level) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Contexts 3
Global History 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Just Societies (optional) 1
Integration Requirements
Written Communication (upper-level) 3
Writing Intensive 2 3
Mason Apex 3 3
Total Credits 40
1

In addition to covering content related to the designated category, Exploration level courses marked with a Just Societies "flag" are specifically designed to help students learn how to interact effectively with others from all walks of life, including those with backgrounds and beliefs that differ from their own. Courses marked with the Just Societies flag are available for students starting in Fall 2024. Students admitted prior to the Fall of 2025 are not required to take courses with a Just Societies flag but may wish to do so to increase their knowledge and skills in this important area. Students interested in this approach to completing their Mason Core Exploration Requirements should work closely wiht their advisor to identify the appropriate Just Societies-flagged courses.

2

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.

3

Minimum 3 credits required.