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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed to ensure not only successful educational experiences, but also achievement in specific criminal justice careers. The college is a part of The City University of New York, and offers a liberal arts and criminal justice curriculum balancing the fields of science, arts and humanities. 

Criminal Justice studies are offered in forensics, law enforcement, public service, human rights, and law. Programs are offered on campus or online in specific courses, certificate programs, and degree programs.

Multiple disciplines are the key to the college’s criminal justice programs, with the Bachelor’s degree offering analytical tools and skills applicable to law enforcement and forensics as they pertain to the nature and causes of crime, criminal justice institutions and organizations, and the legal system. The Bachelor’s degree program was completely revised in 2012 and now offers an innovative approach to the study of criminal justice beyond the more traditional approach of factual knowledge of the status quo. 

The new program emphasizes developing students’ abilities to analyze, critique and improve the criminal justice system in an effective and ethical manner. The curriculum includes coursework in the dimensions of criminal justice, criminology, criminal behavior, race/gender/ethnicity in crime, statistics and research methods, supervised research and writing, and internship experiences. 

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program is designed for those already a part of the criminal justice professions, but who desire to proceed in research methods into one of the college’s eight offered specializations, which include such topic fields as the causes of crime, analysis of police action, courts and correctional systems, crime mapping, cybercrime, information security/technology, and terrorism.

The unique “BA/MA” program allows students who are academically advanced to work, simultaneously, toward the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The curriculum is specifically for those in criminal justice, forensic psychology, or public administration. In essence, students can begin graduate level courses once they fulfill the general education requirements, and some of the requirements of their particular major.

More specialized and advanced coursework is possible through the Doctoral degree program in Criminal Justice, which is designed to prepare students for research, teaching and specialization in forensic science, oversight and administration, criminology, or criminal justice. Students must pass four qualifying and comprehensive examinations in theory, research methods, criminal justice process and policy, and statistics. A dissertation in the student’s particular interest area caps the program. 

The college’s Center for Crime Prevention and Control uses a curriculum for innovative crime reduction methods, research, and operational partnerships with law enforcement, communities, social services and others. 

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and the Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies interdisciplinary program collaborate with the college’s unique Center on Terrorism, founded shortly after 9/11 and dedicated to providing special seminars (usually five per semester) pertinent to the curriculum in the Certificate in Terrorism Studies. These studies include the causes, dynamics and prevention of terrorist activity, the history, politics, sociology and psychology of terrorism, and, of course, counter-terrorism measures for the protection of persons and property. 

The Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies is primarily for those interested in research and practice in homeland security whether local, national or international. The Certificate can be pursued independent of the Master’s degree program; see

.A Master of Science in Security Management is also available through the college. For more information, log on to


In addition to the degree programs offered by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, there are various one-day courses in such topics as terrorism; civil and criminal evidence standards of proof, chain of custody, and weight of evidence in trials; museum security; and security technology. Most of these one-day sessions cost about $50 and a Certificate of Completion is given to attendees. 

A special course in anti-terrorism is offered for law enforcement and security professionals who have assignments involving the protection of facilities against terrorist attack. The three-day course teaches methods of recognizing risks, identifying security requirements, implementing operations security principles, screening and searching, identifying hazardous devices and their components and risks, and recognizing indications of impeding events including device delivery and/or indications of chemical or biological attack.

Degree program tuition at press time is about $3,000 per semester for full-time matriculated undergraduate students who are New York residents, and $260 per credit hour for part-time matriculated students who are New York residents. Out-of-State residents pay $535 per credit hour if matriculated students, and $800 per credit hour for non-degree students. Graduate level tuition is $4,825 per semester for full-time students who are New York residents, and $745 per credit hour for Out-of-State residents. 


Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., J.D., writes in the fields of law enforcement and security.


Published in Law and Order, Oct 2014

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