MS in Criminal Justice

Lauren Thompson, 2020

Lauren Thompson

Describe your practicum project.

For my practicum project, I worked with the George Mason Police Department to study the effects of social media on public perception of the police. I conducted a survey to see how the GMU Police Department’s presence on social media influenced the attitudes and feelings of undergraduate students at Mason. With my research, I was able to provide recommendations for how the department could better utilize its social media platforms to improve rapport with the students.

What was your favorite course in the program and why? 

My favorite class in the program was the Research Practicum (CRIM 517) because it encompassed a variety of elements from the other courses in the program. I enjoyed seeing my final research project come together after utilizing the knowledge and skills that I acquired throughout my time in the program. 

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

The most rewarding experience for me during my time in the program was being able to gain real-world insights from professors and criminal justice experts. I feel that these opportunities prepared me to face various aspects of the evolving criminal justice field. 

Why would you recommend this program to prospective students?

I thought that the MS in Criminal Justice program would be a great addition to my acquired skills and knowledge with my undergraduate degree. Also, the Bachelor's-Accelerated-Master's program was a great opportunity as it allowed me to take two graduate courses while in undergrad.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

Currently, I am applying for federal law enforcement positions. However, in the future, I may move towards more research-based work, aimed at improving criminal justice policies and practices.