The Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) program is a 45-quarter credit program that can be completed in one, nine-month academic year or stretched out on a part-time schedule. Foundation courses include both tailored MJ courses and courses in which students are combined with JD and other graduate students.

MJ students can choose to focus their studies on one of eight concentration tracks that reflect particular strengths of UW Law or they may work with faculty to customize a curriculum that meets their particular goals.

Foundation courses

Introduction to American Law

This course examines the structure of the American legal system and how laws are made. It surveys key doctrinal areas of the law and fundamental legal concepts and explores how the law functions and evolves over time, including legal issues and decision-making related to statutory and/or common law. Versions of this course are taught by our law faculty to Honors undergraduate students and to business students. An MJ specific section is offered each Fall.

Legal Research Methods

This course provides legal tools that answer more complex legal research problems, including federal legislative histories, sources of administrative law, specialized subject research. It has a federal emphasis. There will be extensive work with online resources. This course is currently taught to both JD and master's students from the Information School; MJ students will take this course in Winter quarter. View course catalog information for Legal Research Methods.

American Legal System and Method B550

This course provides an integrated introduction to the U.S. legal system, legal analysis, and legal research and writing. It is designed for students who have attained standing in other legal systems or professions but need an overview of the history and principal characteristics of the American public and private law systems, as well as experience using American law sources and developing the fundamental research, analysis, and drafting skills expected of U.S. trained lawyers. It focuses on the essential principles of the case-law method and the legal reasoning based on the interpretation of cases and statutes. The course also teaches the sources and techniques for basic legal research and hones students' ability to research and write about complex legal issues in a variety of settings through a series of written assignments. View course catalog information for American Legal System and Method.

These courses are designed to provide a strong foundation of knowledge to support further study in more focused subject matter areas. Most students choose a specialty focus area, corresponding to our existing subject matter concentration tracks in of our JD program, the overall strengths of the law school and the university. Students will work with faculty mentors and MJ program staff to individually design their course of study to best meet their career objectives.

Paper Requirement

The program requires an independent major research paper, typically 30-35 pages in length, on an area of law that is of interest to the student. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that each student has significant experience working on a project that develops skills in research, analysis and writing. A UW Law faculty member, who shares your area of interest, will provide the necessary supervision, either in conjunction with a graded seminar course or independent study.  

Areas of Focus or Concentration for MJ Students


Upon admission, each student will be counseled by the MJ program director and assigned a faculty mentor who aligns with their academic interests. The graduate program administrator, MJ program manager and staff will provide administrative and support services for the MJ program and assist the students in accessing additional career counseling opportunities. The Center for Career Development at UW Law provides guidance, coaching and support for students embarking on their careers. For additional information, please visit the Center for Career Development.