Entrance to John Jay
John Jay College of Criminal Justice was born in the mid-1950s in response to the increased complexity of administering and operating the New York City Police Department and relations between police and the community.

A Police Science Program that emphasized a strong liberal arts curriculum was established in 1954 at the Baruch School of Business and Public Administration of City College. Over the next decade, the program grew substantially, attracting large numbers of students. 

In 1964, a committee convened by the Board of Higher Education recommended establishing an independent, degree-granting school of police science. The College of Police Science (COPS) of the City University of New York was subsequently founded and admitted its first class in September 1965. Within a year, the school was renamed John Jay College of Criminal Justice to reflect broader education objectives in criminal justice, leadership development and emphasis on professional achievement in public service

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 served as governor of New York State.

Today, John Jay is one of the nation’s premier criminal justice institutions, bringing together award-winning faculty and students in diverse community to engage with issues of justice.