John Jay College

Each semester John Jay College of Criminal Justice keeps a promise made more than four decades ago to provide the highest quality education to thousands of students who enroll here, passionate about the issues of social justice, fairness and equality under the rule of law.

A global leader in educating for justice, John Jay offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum in a vibrant urban setting. During the years they spend at the College, John Jay students investigate both practical and theoretical aspects of the humanities, physical sciences and social sciences. It is an interdisciplinary approach that broadens their intellectual horizons and creates a body of knowledge that they may draw upon for the rest of their lives.

The College has an ethnically diverse student body of more than 15,000 students. Most are residents of the Tri-State area who commute directly from their homes or workplaces. But many have originally come from much farther away than that. John Jay has among the most international and diverse study bodies in the country. Enrolled here are individuals from as many as 130 nations. Additionally, John Jay College, named a “Military Friendly College" by G.I. Jobs and Military Times magazines, is  home to some 500 student-veterans and reservists, more than any other CUNY campus and most colleges in the Northeast.  The majority of  students plan careers in public service. An impressive number of John Jay’s alumni have leadership roles in public and private organizations around the world.

John Jay’s new state-of-the-art building on 59th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues is a 625,000 square foot facility, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The building serves as a concrete manifestation of John Jay's efforts to solidify its place as the preeminent leader in "educating for justice."

The 14-story building creates a cohesive instructional environment and integrates all college functions into a unified city block, creating an academic city within a city, a true urban campus. The building  offers a balance among faculty, student and community needs, which will also serve as an institutional anchor for the expanding Westside neighborhood.

The strength, reputation and vitality of the College are embodied in the commitment to academic excellence maintained by its faculty, many of whom are recognized experts in their fields.  They conduct critical research in areas such as violent behavior, DNA analysis, drug abuse trends, child aggression, sexual abuse, eyewitness reliability, criminal law, police methods and crime reduction strategy.

Undergraduate degrees are offered in 24 majors including computer information systems in criminal justice and public administration, criminal justice, criminal justice administration and planning, criminology, humanities and justice, deviant behavior and social control, philosophy, economics, English, fire science, fire and emergency service, forensic psychology, forensic science, gender studies, global history,  international criminal justice, judicial studies, justice studies, police studies,  political science, public administration and security management.

The graduate program offers Master’s degrees in 9 areas of specialization: criminal justice, forensic computing, forensic mental health counseling, forensic psychology, forensic science, forensic psychology and law, international crime and justice, protection management and public administration. The Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice and in Forensic Psychology offered by CUNY are also centered at the College.

John Jay’s Lloyd Sealy Library houses one of the world’s premier criminal justice libraries. With unique holdings of 440,000 books, periodicals, microforms and digital collections, the Library supports the general education and curricula aims of the College and provides opportunities for extensive research in the social sciences, criminal justice, forensic psychology, forensic science and related fields.

In recognition of the complexity and universal impact of crime on public safety, the College has fostered the exchange of ideas and cooperation with practitioners, educators, researchers and policy makers from around the world. The John Jay College Biennial International Conference, held in St. Petersburg, Dublin, London, Budapest, Bologna, Bucharest, San Juan, Marrakesh and New York, successfully brought together scholars, policymakers, activists and representatives of international organizations to promote an in-depth interdisciplinary dialogue on and understanding of justice issues. In the Dominican Republic, the College has entered into a partnership that will help to professionalize their 30,000 member national police force. John Jay also offers a Police Studies Certificate Program for New York City police officers, which is funded by the New York City Council. The Program is designed to give participants an understanding of the multicultural population they serve and an enhanced capability for leadership in supervisory ranks.

To further facilitate academic research and provide professional development and training at the College, 16 vibrant centers and institutes produce intelligence that is used by corporations, academic researchers, policy makers and the media. One of our best-known research centers is the Center on Crime Prevention and Control, directed by David Kennedy, the preeminent scholar in the field of crime and gang violence.  Other renowned research centers at John Jay include: Criminal Justice Center on Research and Evaluation, Center for Race, Crime and Justice, Center on Terrorism,  the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies, , Center on Media, Crime and Justice.

Located in mid-Manhattan, John Jay’s campus is just a short walk from two of the world’s most renowned centers for music and dance – Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Its Westside neighborhood is dotted with dozens of cafes and coffee houses.

Special Programs

CUNY Justice Academy

This unique educational partnership connects John Jay College of Criminal Justice to CUNY’s six community colleges.  This program provides academic pathways leading from associate degree study to a bachelor’s degree and ultimately to exciting careers in the fields of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Forensic Financial Analysis.

BA/MA Program

The Baccalaureate/Master’s Degree Program (BA/MA) provides academically advanced students the opportunity to pursue simultaneously the baccalaureate and master’s degrees.  It is available to students studying criminal justice, forensic psychology and public administration.

The Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York

The Macaulay Honors College at John Jay College offers academically gifted students an exceptional undergraduate education that integrates the vast resources of the City University with New York's cultural, scientific, and business communities.  Students receive a New York City “cultural passport” and participate in internships and research experiences.  Macaulay provides outstanding seminars and faculty, advising and financial support, the tools our most talented students need to excel in New York City and the world, in college and in life.  Students are selected based on their high school record and leadership potential, and each Macaulay student is awarded a full-tuition merit scholarship, giving them the freedom to pursue their academic goals without financial burdens.

The John Jay Honors Program is an innovative, theme-based program that brings high potential and gifted students together to excel academically. Working closely with faculty and peers in an ongoing learning community, students explore the idea of the common good in a sequence of enriched, challenging interdisciplinary courses that use New York City as a laboratory for learning. The program emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, and ethical decision-making with attention to global concerns, community responsibility and civic engagement.  Selected entering freshmen receive a $1,000 scholarship each semester, a laptop, academic advisement, cultural experiences and other benefits.

Cutting-Edge Forensics: The Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors (PRISM)

John Jay’s nationally recognized Forensic Science Program offers students opportunities to engage in cutting-edge scientific research while completing their degrees.  By working with faculty mentors, students benefit from their insight and advisement in shaping and pursuing their research vision.  Uniquely qualified, PRISM mentors work in a variety of high impact research areas, including biochemistry, environmental science, forensic science, molecular biology, and toxicology.  PRISM students are eligible for monetary stipends for their research, travel grants for conferences, GRE preparatory help, and counseling on graduate school applications and career planning. 


The Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative is collaboration between the Pinkerton Foundation and John Jay to contribute to the development of the youth justice community in New York City.  The program supports the development of talented undergraduate and graduate students who are equipped to assume positions of responsibility in the youth justice field while supporting the operational and research capacity of participating nonprofit community-based organizations.  The Fellowships consist of intensive year –long placements.

The Vera Fellows Program is a collaborative between John Jay, the Vera Institute of Justice, and Vera’s spinoff agencies.  The program provides unique internship and academic experience for outstanding undergraduate students who have a demonstrated commitment to social justice and public service.  Students in the program work in agencies that seek to improve the administration of justice, influence public policy, conduct research, and deliver a range of social services at the same time they are taking specially-designed, theme-based seminars with John Jay’s outstanding Interdisciplinary Studies Program faculty. The Fellows receive academic credits and a stipend for their commitment and service in the program.

Imagining Your Future: Preparing for Law School

The Pre Law Institute at John Jay College offers an array of programs and services that help students become the candidates that law schools seek.  Advisement, pre law boot camps, LSAT preparation, law school visits and opportunities to learn about legal careers are among the many services that the Pre Law Institute provides John Jay students.

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The Ronald McNair Program is a federally funded program.  It is designed to increase the participation of first generation, low-income students from underrepresented groups in graduate education, particularly in doctoral programs.