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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a college within the City University of New York, CUNY in Manhattan. The college was founded in 1964. The majors offered at this college fall mostly within the realm of criminal justice, although the school also offers coursework in public administration and fire science. John Jay is a public, co-educational institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate courses. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice was ranked 125th in the 2012 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” listing. The college was classified in the Regional Universities North category.


This criminal justice college was named after John Jay 1745 -1829 the second governor of New York and the first chief justice of the United States. The college was founded in 1964 to educate police officers, but has broadened its focus over the years to include political, economic and social justice as well as criminal justice. Until recently the criminal justice college retained its original buildings. However, in late 2011, the college opened a new 625,000-square-foot, 13-story building that will house an atrium, lounges, science facilities, classrooms and lecture halls. The new building contains no dormitories, however; John Jay is a commuter campus and offers no on-campus housing for students.

Courses and Degrees

As with most colleges with criminal justice majors, John Jay is an accredited college and offers a variety of criminal justice degrees, such as: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Baccalaureate/ Master’s in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and a Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice. Popular majors at this criminal justice college include legal studies, criminal justice and forensic psychology. John Jay is one of the criminal justice colleges that offer specialized options such as distance learning, dual degrees, internships and credit placement options such as credit for military experience, credit for an international baccalaureate, and credit for relevant life experience.

Choosing Criminal Justice Colleges

There are several important factors to consider when evaluating colleges for criminal justice degrees. The most relevant will be the educational requirements for a student’s career goals. Some careers in criminal justice require advanced degrees that necessitate full-time study, while students may qualify for others by taking part-time courses. Colleges that offer criminal justice degrees often offer online courses for the convenience of students who work. A concentration in one specialized area, such as homeland security, forensics or administration, may set an applicant apart from their competition when looking for a job. Some criminal justice colleges allow students to combine an area of specialization with a general degree.

Cost and Financial Aid

Colleges with criminal justice majors can be expensive to attend. Students must consider the cost of admission and available financial aid when evaluating colleges for criminal justice programs. Attending a school in another state can dramatically raise the cost of education. For example, the cost of undergraduate tuition at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice is $4,930 for in-state students and $12,780 for out-of-state students. However, the school offers many different types of student loans, as well as need- and non-need based scholarships and grants. Colleges that offer criminal justice majors usually provide financial aid counseling for students who wish to apply.


There are many potential career paths offered by colleges that offer criminal justice degrees. Students may choose to pursue careers as law enforcement officers at the local, state or federal level, become security officers for private industry, pursue employment as crime scene investigators, probation or correctional officers, or criminologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal justice is a field that is expected to grow in the next decade, and should provide many job opportunities for graduates from colleges with criminal justice majors.


Colleges for criminal justice majors rank among the best in the nation and offer potential students a wide variety of choices when it comes to coursework, career paths, study options and financial aid. Each student must make their own decision as to which school is best for them, based on their own circumstances, but the options have never been better for criminal justice majors. Convenient online course alternatives have made degrees available to working students, scholarships and grants have opened the doors of education to lower-income students, and generous credit options allow students to use their previous experience toward a degree. The future looks bright for the field of criminal justice!