We offer an MA degree in Criminology, Law and Society and an MS degree in Criminal Justice. Prospective students intending to pursue a doctoral degree or a research career should consider the MA degree. Prospective students interested in careers in justice and security organizations may wish to pursue the MS degree.
The Master of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society prepares students to conduct high quality scientific research in the criminal justice field. Students learn cutting-edge social science methods and data analysis skills for advancing knowledge in the social sciences and for making a difference in the development and evaluation of justice policies and practices. The MA prepares students for advanced graduate studies at the doctoral level or to pursue careers that require rigorous research skills. (Prospective students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree in criminology, law and society at Mason should apply directly to the PhD program; they will earn the MA degree as an integral part of the doctorate.)
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice prepares students to acquire jobs or advance their careers in the field of criminal justice policy and practice. Students receive the scientific foundations and practical insights required to evaluate, select, and implement criminal justice policies and practices that are effective, efficient, and fair. MS graduates are prepared to be leaders and change agents in the criminal justice field.