The John Jay Criminal Justice Master of Arts Program has a large, diverse, and celebrated faculty who provide students with an advanced understanding of research and practice in the US criminal justice system and related issues. Core classes provide a mastery of the major works and theories of criminology, policing, corrections, judicial studies, quantitative research methods and policy analysis. Students select electives in areas such as Criminology & Deviance, Criminal Law & Procedure, Policing, or Terrorism Studies. Among the many available electives are Crime Mapping, Crime Scene Investigation, Deviant Behavior, and Terrorism & Apocalyptic Violence. The program is designed for those who wish to obtain a terminal master’s degree as a credential for entry into the criminal justice professions, are employed in the criminal justice system and wish to acquire job-related knowledge or broaden their perspectives, those already employed in the criminal justice system and seek to teach at the community college level or to obtain a post in some other area of the criminal justice system, and those interested in an academic career in higher education, who wish to obtain a master’s degree before entering a doctoral program.
Key components of the online program are:
- 100% online courses - Flexible course schedule. No scheduled meeting times. You can study when and where you want.
- Small class size - Typically no more than 20 students per class. That means more one-on-one time with the instructor.
- Accelerated 8-week session format - Earn credits every 8 weeks. Finish within one year.
- Prominent faculty - Our faculty members are leading authorities in criminal justice studies.
- Affordable price - We offer one of the most affordable criminal justice studies programs in the U.S.
- A prestigious credential - Online or on campus, you’ll obtain a credential that is recognized worldwide.
A senior college of The City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a preeminent national and international leader in all aspects of education related to criminal justice and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
For more information about our program, please complete the Request Information form, or apply today for admission.
The aim of the online Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice program is to broaden the perspective of those already in the Criminal Justice profession or those seeking a mastery of the major works and theories of criminology, policing, corrections, judicial studies, quantitative research methods and policy analysis. The courses provide a general survey of the field, covering research methods, causes of crime and analyses of the police, courts and the correctional system.
Students complete four (4) required courses: CRJ 710, 711, 715, 716, and 730. Students must pass the CRJ Qualifying Exam in CRJ 715 and CRJ 716 before they are allowed to enroll in CRJ 730, Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice.
Students must pass the Qualifying Exams before enrolling in Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice to complete a specialization in Criminal Justice.
The specialization lists provided are not intended to be exhaustive. The program director has discretion to substitute other courses to satisfy the specialization requirement. Students should consult with the program director before taking a course for specialization credit when that course is not on the specialization list. Dual specializations are permissible if the student has fulfilled the requirements of both specializations, but the same elective may not be used for two specializations.
To be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or an international equivalent
- An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (or meet contingency requirements as determined by the program on a case-by-case basis)
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or IELTS, is required for international applicants who have not studied in English-speaking countries. John Jay College’s TOEFL code number is 2115-99. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, and 79-80 for the Internet-based test. The minimum score for IELTS is 7.
- Submission of a complete application (see Application Process below)
Master of Arts - State University of New York at Albany
Ph.D. - State University of New York at Albany
Dr. Frank S. Pezzella is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice with the Department of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His primary research focus is on the causes, correlates, and consequences of hate crimes victimizations. To this end, he has published several peer reviewed journal articles on the uniqueness of injuries to hate crime victims and also authored a monograph entitled Hate Crime Statutes: A public policy and law enforcement dilemma. He also conducts research on the issues that relate to race, crime and justice such as variations in sentencing and circumstances surrounding the authorized use of deadly force. He regularly teaches courses in Hate Crimes; Criminological Theory; Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice and Research Methods. Prior to coming to John Jay College, he worked for the New York State Office of Court Administration as a Deputy Chief Clerk and Principal Court Analyst assigned to budgeting, planning and implementing mental health, drug treatment and reentry courts.
MA Criminal Justice, University at Albany of the State University of New York
BA International Studies, American University
Jeff Mellow is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Director of the Criminal Justice MA Program, and member of the Doctoral Faculty in Criminal Justice at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research focuses on correctional policy and practice, program evaluation, reentry and critical incident analysis in corrections. Dr. Mellow has administered research and evaluations on a wide variety of correctional topics, including an evaluation of New York City Department of Probation's Neighborhood Opportunity Network; a study of a transitional correctional health care system in Washington D.C.; the evaluation of a New Jersey halfway back parolee program; the mapping of the innovation in correctional health care service delivery in New York City; and the site directorship for the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program in Manhattan. His is a project team member for the National Institute of Corrections funded Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) Initiative and co-author of The TJC Online Learning Toolkit. His work has been published in The Prison Journal, American Journal of Public Health, Criminal Justice Policy Review and other scholarly outlets.
Professor Heffernan has taught John Jay for more than 30 years. During that time, he has served as program director of the master's degree program in criminal justice and as an editor of Criminal Justice Ethics, a publication of John Jay's Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics.
His books include Privacy and the American Constitution: New Rights through Interpretation of an Old Text (Palgrave 2016) and Dimensions of Justice: Ethical Issues in the Administration of the Criminal Law (Jones & Bartlett 2014). Among his edited books are From Social Justice to Criminal Justice: Poverty and the Criminal Law (Oxford 2000) and Police Ethics: Hard Choices in Law Enforcement (1985).
His articles on constitutional criminal procedure have appeared in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Georgetown Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review.
Prior to returning to the full-time faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2013, Dr. Grant was most recently the Director of Research of the Police Executive Research Forum, a leading Washington DC organization dedicated to advancing law enforcement and crime prevention internationally. Formerly, as CEO, of Success for Kids (SFK), he oversaw the planning, implementation, curriculum development, partnerships& strategic program alliances and evaluation of the organization’s international programs and services. A 15 year program executive, his experience and innovative style has positioned SFK’s unique approach to Social Emotional Learning as one of the most sought after program partnership opportunities throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. On behalf of the Asia Foundation, he also recently developed training curricula for the Bangladesh Police on community policing. He subsequently conducted an assessment there related to the status of community policing in the country. This year, he led a research effort for the State Department to assess youth violence issues in the Caribbean and make recommendations for systems wide change.
MA, Simon Fraser University
Sung-suk Violet Yu, assistant professor, earned her doctorate in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University—Newark. She comes to John Jay from the Vera Institute of Justice, where she was Senior Research Associate and Principal Investigator of research projects focused on issues of corrections. She earned her master’s degree at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and came to Rutgers University with an Excellence Fellowship. She utilizes ArcGIS, GeoDa, CrimeStat III, MS SQL, SPSS, and Stata in her research, focusing on crime prevention, corrections, and impacts of environments on spatial patterns of crime.
2006 MA, Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
200 BA, Political Science, Hartwick College
GOHAR PETROSSIAN is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her research interests include crimes against wildlife, with a particular interest in IUU fishing, spatial and temporal analysis of crime and GIS mapping, environmental criminology and opportunity theories, and crime prevention. She is currently working on a book titled Last Fish Swimming: The Global Crime of Illegal Fishing (Global Crime and Justice Series. ABC-CLIO, LLC, Praeger Imprint).
1991 MA, Social and Political Thought, York University
1988 BA, Political Science, York University
Professor Kontos is currently writing a book on the Politics of Deviance and Social Control. In addition, he is engaged in urban gang research.
Joseph A. Pollini
1992 BS, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, (Police Science)
Joseph A. Pollini has been associated with John Jay College of Criminal Justice since he began his studies for a degree in police science while a member of the New York City Police Department. While working as a detective and detective supervisor in a number of high-profile assignments, Professor Pollini continued his education at John Jay, receiving a master’s degree in criminal justice before retiring after 33 years in the police department. He was a part-time faculty member and an instructor in numerous special programs before becoming a full-time lecturer in fall 2008. Even prior to joining the full-time faculty, Professor Pollini established a reputation for working closely with students as a freshman advisor, participant in student course fairs, and as coordinator of the police studies program. He has been cited by Dean’s List students and by the Student Council for his outstanding support of and advice to students in both academic areas and career planning. He has recently taken on an active role in assisting students seeking internships in law enforcement and related government agencies throughout the City. He has assisted the College as a liaison with numerous domestic and international police agencies. He recently coordinated and taught courses offered by John Jay in the Dominican Republic to assist members of the national police force in obtaining advanced investigative training and worked with Spanish-language translators to assure that all lecture material and handouts were available to all officers in the program. In recognition of the large number of sensitive assignments he held during his police career, he is cited frequently by local and national media on issues facing the law enforcement community. In addition to the many citations he received for bravery and for successful resolution of complex investigations, Professor Pollini is most proud of the citation he received for never taking a sick day throughout his 33-year police career, evidencing a level of dedication that he has transferred to his responsibilities at John Jay.