What are the Natural Science/Math majors at John Jay, and why should I consider majoring in one of them?

John Jay has three majors that have a foundation in natural science and/or math:  Forensic Science, Fire Science, and Computer Information Systems

All of them build on this foundation in a variety of ways, with Forensic Science as the most heavily scientific of the three. If you have strong  science/math ability and you want to use  those skills  in the context of crime scenes and legal evidence, then you should seriously consider Forensic Science. You will learn how forensic scientists provide impartial evidence for use in court, and study the scrupulous methods by which they collect, identify, preserve and interpret physical evidence, understanding the vital importance of noticing the tiniest details. During your first two years, you will mostly build your science foundation, immersing yourself in intensive Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses, without any connection to crimes or evidence. Once that foundation  is complete, you will then begin the application of that knowledge to crime-related work and pursue an internship during your senior year.

The Fire Science major requires an understanding of how fire behaves under various conditions, and to gain this understanding you must study some chemistry and physics. The bulk of the courses in the major, however, focus on building knowledge and skills related to fire safety, whether that means actually fighting fires or contributing to the design of fire safety systems. If you enjoy science and have a particular interest in either fire service, fire protection or fire investigation, then this major may be just right for you. It differs from Fire and Emergency Service in that Fire and Emergency Service has no required science foundation, and its emphasis is on fire-related management and administrative skills, which include managing human resources and the complexities of budget planning. Fire and Emergency Service has three specialization tracks: fire service, emergency medical services, and emergency management.

Computer Information Systems  has no natural science requirement, and consists almost exclusively of math courses, building on a calculus foundation and giving you in-depth knowledge of data processing, programming, systems design development and analysis.  After extensive background in math as it relates to computer systems, you will choose a specialization in either public administration or criminal justice. This means that during your senior year, you will do both coursework and an internship in which you apply all that you have learned either to situations and problems arising in the criminal justice system specifically or to field problems and cases out in the general public sector. A Computer Information Systems major can help institutions store, share, process, and manage data as effectively and efficiently as possible. If you like the idea of exercising your strong math ability within the context of designing and implementing quantitative models for the better functioning of computer systems in the professional world, this is probably a great major for you.


Forensic Science
Fire Science
Computer Information Systems