If you’re considering attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, you probably want to know – is it a good school? John Jay is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system and is known for its criminal justice and forensic science programs.

But how does it rate overall as a college choice?

In this approximately 3,000 word article, we’ll take an in-depth look at John Jay College – from its academics and student life to its value and post-graduation outcomes. We’ll examine factors like graduation rates, career support, notable alumni, and more to help you decide if John Jay is the right fit for your educational goals.

Overview of John Jay College

John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a renowned institution located in New York City. It offers a unique and specialized education in criminal justice, forensic science, and related fields. With a rich history and a commitment to academic excellence, John Jay College has established itself as a top choice for students interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement, criminal justice administration, and social justice advocacy.

History and Founding

Founded in 1964, John Jay College was named after John Jay, one of the founding fathers of the United States and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The college was established with the goal of providing education and professional training to individuals interested in the criminal justice field.

Over the years, it has evolved and expanded its programs to meet the changing needs of the criminal justice system.


John Jay College is located in the heart of New York City, which provides students with unique opportunities for internships, networking, and hands-on experience. Situated in Manhattan’s vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, students have easy access to renowned criminal justice agencies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations.

The college’s urban setting offers students a chance to engage with the real-world challenges and complexities of the criminal justice system.

Academics and Degree Programs

John Jay College offers a wide range of academic programs and degree options. Students can choose from undergraduate majors such as Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology, and Emergency Management. The college also offers graduate programs in fields like Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Public Administration.

With a faculty composed of experts and professionals in their respective fields, students receive a high-quality education that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills.

John Jay College’s curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system and its impact on society. Courses cover topics such as criminology, law enforcement, criminal procedure, and forensic science.

The college also emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, encouraging students to explore connections between criminal justice and other disciplines like psychology, sociology, and political science.

Student Body Demographics

John Jay College prides itself on its diverse student body. The college attracts students from all walks of life who are passionate about criminal justice and social justice. Students come from various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, creating a dynamic and inclusive learning environment.

The college’s commitment to diversity ensures that students are exposed to a range of perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system.

According to the official John Jay College website, the student body comprises a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, with a total enrollment of over 15,000 students. The college actively promotes inclusivity and provides support services to ensure the success and well-being of its diverse student population.

Academic Reputation and Quality

Acceptance rate

John Jay College of Criminal Justice is quite competitive, with an acceptance rate around 30%. This selective admission rate indicates that the college attracts many qualified applicants. Students interested in attending need to present strong high school academic records, test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities to stand out in the applicant pool.

The college has been getting increasingly selective over the past decade as its reputation grows.

Graduation and retention rates

The graduation rate at John Jay is above average, with around 54% of students finishing their bachelor’s degree within six years. The freshman retention rate is also solid at about 82%, meaning the college does a good job keeping students enrolled from year to year.

These rates demonstrate that John Jay provides the resources and support to help students persist to graduation.


John Jay employs over 550 faculty members, almost all of whom hold PhDs or other terminal degrees in their field. Small class sizes, usually capped at around 30 students, allow for close interaction with professors.

Students consistently rate their instructors as knowledgeable, approachable, and engaging. Many faculty members are engaged in innovative research and bring their expertise into the classroom.

Notable alumni

As a leader in criminal justice education for over 50 years, John Jay has produced many influential alumni in law enforcement, government, law, and beyond. Notable graduates include NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat, and author and filmmaker Gabriela Lena Frank.

These successful alumni exemplify the quality education and opportunities for advancement available at John Jay.

Campus Life at John Jay

When it comes to campus life, John Jay College offers a vibrant and diverse community for students to thrive in. With a range of clubs, activities, athletics, and on-campus housing options, students have plenty of opportunities to get involved, make friends, and create lasting memories.

Clubs and activities

John Jay College boasts a wide variety of clubs and activities catering to the diverse interests of its student body. Whether you’re passionate about social justice, art, music, or community service, there’s a club for you.

From the Debate Society to the Photography Club, students can engage in extracurricular activities that align with their passions and enhance their college experience. These clubs also provide excellent networking opportunities and a chance to develop valuable leadership skills.


Sports play a significant role in the campus life at John Jay College. The college offers a range of athletic programs, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to stay active, participating in sports can help you stay fit, relieve stress, and foster a sense of camaraderie among fellow students.

The college’s athletic facilities are well-maintained, providing students with a conducive environment to pursue their athletic endeavors.

On-campus housing

Living on campus can be a transformative experience for students. John Jay College offers on-campus housing options that provide convenience, community, and a true sense of belonging. The college’s residence halls are equipped with modern amenities and provide a safe and supportive environment for students to live and study.

Living on campus also allows students to fully immerse themselves in the college experience, as they are just steps away from classes, campus events, and student organizations.

Costs and Financial Aid

When considering whether John Jay College is a good school for you, it is important to take into account the costs and financial aid options available. College can be expensive, but there are various ways to make it more affordable.

Tuition and fees

John Jay College offers competitive tuition rates compared to other colleges and universities in New York City. The exact cost of tuition and fees can vary depending on whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, as well as your program of study.

It is recommended to visit the official John Jay College website for the most up-to-date information on tuition fees.

Scholarships and grants

One of the ways to offset the cost of tuition is through scholarships and grants. John Jay College offers a range of merit-based and need-based scholarships that can help make your education more affordable.

These scholarships can be awarded based on academic achievements, leadership qualities, community involvement, and other criteria. Additionally, the college also provides various grants to eligible students.

It is advisable to check the John Jay College financial aid and scholarships page for detailed information on the available options.

Loan options

If scholarships and grants are not enough to cover the cost of your education, John Jay College also provides loan options to help students finance their studies. These loans can come from federal or private sources and typically have varying interest rates and repayment terms.

It is important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of any loan before accepting it, as it will impact your financial future.

Career Support and Outcomes

When considering whether John Jay College is a good school, one important aspect to examine is its career support and outcomes. This includes the availability of internships and career services, as well as the employment and earnings of graduates after they leave the college.

Internships and Career Services

John Jay College understands the importance of hands-on experience and offers a range of internship opportunities for its students. The college has established partnerships with various organizations in New York City, providing students with access to internships in fields such as criminal justice, forensic science, and public administration.

These internships not only allow students to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world settings but also help them build valuable connections and enhance their resumes.

Additionally, John Jay College provides comprehensive career services to assist students in their job search and career development. The Career Development Center offers workshops, resume reviews, mock interviews, and networking events to help students prepare for the job market.

They also provide resources for exploring different career paths and connecting with alumni who can offer valuable insights and advice.

Employment and Earnings after Graduation

One of the key indicators of a good school is the employment and earnings of its graduates. According to the latest data available, John Jay College boasts a strong track record in this area. A significant percentage of graduates secure employment within six months of graduation, with many finding jobs in their desired fields.

The average starting salary for John Jay College graduates is also competitive, reflecting the college’s commitment to preparing students for successful careers.

It is important to note that individual outcomes may vary based on factors such as a student’s chosen major, work experience, and networking efforts. However, the overall career support and outcomes at John Jay College demonstrate the college’s dedication to helping students succeed in their chosen fields.

For more information on John Jay College’s career support and outcomes, you can visit their official website at https://www.jjay.cuny.edu/career-services.


In summary, John Jay College offers strong programs in criminal justice and forensic science, along with a diverse student body and location in New York City. However, some downsides exist like low graduation rates.

Overall, John Jay can be a good choice for students focused on criminal justice careers. But those with other interests may prefer a more well-rounded liberal arts college.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if John Jay College aligns with your goals. Reach out to current students and utilize all the resources here to make an informed decision about this CUNY school.

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