The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York in midtown, Manhattan, New York City and is the only liberal arts college with a criminal justice focus in the United States. It has about 14,000 FTE (full-time equivalent) students, including traditional, pre-career undergraduate students and those pursuing master’s degrees in several disciplines. John Jay College of Criminal Justice was founded in 1964 and was originally called the College of Police Science (COPS). Classes were held at the Police Academy on East 20th Street. Eventually, the school was expanded to incorporate many liberal arts disciplines and was renamed John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
It moved to its current location in the former Charles B. J. Snyder-designed De Witt Clinton High School in 1988. After Clinton moved to the Bronx the building became Haaren High School. The building is now Haaren Hall on the campus.
Internationally recognized as a leader in criminal justice education and research, it is also a major training facility for local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel. The college regularly invites distinguished speakers such as Janet Reno and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The school's namesake, John Jay, was the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court and one of the founding fathers of the United States. Jay was a native of New York City, and a New York State governor.
The school also boasts a Forensic Science program, one of the few schools in the nation which offers the undergraduate degree.
The College is unique from other Criminal Justice programs across the country merely as a result of its locale. The New York City area is host to all federal and many different local law enforcement agencies not found elswhere. The geographical location and specialization has afforded the University a pool of highly experienced instructors to hire from. The faculty are often former high level law enforcement officers who have years of experience in the field.