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#2023APPAM Spotlight: John Jay College


The #2023APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on John Jay College.


What types of programs does your school offer?


MPA Public Policy and Administration (MPA-PPA) and MPA Inspection and Oversight (MPA-IO)

How has your school changed in the last ten years?


John Jay College of Criminal Justice, situated in the heart of New York City, is a public institution with a primary focus on criminal justice education. As an integral part of the City University of New York, the college encompasses multiple academic departments and programs.

One of its prominent offerings is the John Jay College MPA Program, which provides two distinct tracks: public policy and administration, as well as inspection and oversight. These tracks are available in both on-campus and online instruction formats.

Over the course of the last decade, the MPA Program has achieved remarkable growth and recognition. It has ascended to the top position as the leading public university MPA program in New York City, as indicated by the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Additionally, the program has made significant strides nationally, securing the #46 spot among the best public affairs programs in the country. Notably, it ranks #12 in homeland security and emergency management and #28 in public management and leadership, according to the same U.S. News & World Report rankings.


Why should students choose your school or program?


A significant number of our students are drawn to our program due to our commitment to advancing inclusivity in justice and governance, particularly among those who are traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles within public service. Consequently, we take great pride in our diverse student body, with a majority comprising individuals from diverse racial backgrounds and females. What's more, our faculty reflects the same diverse backgrounds as our students, reinforcing our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Furthermore, most of our graduates pursue careers in city, county, or other local government organizations, as well as state and federal government positions. They are motivated by the wealth of knowledge and expertise provided by our diverse faculty. Additionally, our students benefit from dedicated advisors and opportunities for research assistantships, which enhance their resumes and prepare them for successful careers in the field of public service.

Based on our most recent employment survey, approximately 90% of our graduates have secured employment, most of whom are earning individual annual salaries that are higher than when they started the program. To ensure continued success, we offer in-house career and professional development training and support. This ongoing commitment underscores our dedication to maintaining these positive outcomes for our students in the future.

If you are hiring, what makes your school a great place to work?

Teaching at John Jay provides a unique and deeply fulfilling experience due to the remarkable appreciation exhibited by our student body. A significant proportion of our students hails from underprivileged American neighborhoods or countries facing various socio-economic challenges, representing a rich tapestry of nationalities and backgrounds. 

This exceptional dynamic between educators and students infuses our teaching environment with a sense of purpose and fulfillment that transcends the ordinary. It underscores the fact that our efforts as instructors are met with a level of receptiveness and motivation from our students, making the journey of education at John Jay exceptionally rewarding.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Prospective students who hail from regions beyond the vibrant confines of New York City should brace themselves for the brisk and exhilarating pace that characterizes life in this metropolis. This bustling urban center is renowned for its opportunities, yet it may initially pose a formidable adjustment for those unaccustomed to its rapid tempo. It's important to note, however, that this initial encounter, though possibly disorienting, will inevitably evolve into a journey of adaptation and personal growth.

While the sheer velocity of life in New York City may be unsettling at first, it's essential to convey that these feelings are merely a natural part of the transition process. As time unfolds, students will gradually find themselves acclimating to the dynamic rhythm of the city and even discovering a sense of comfort within it. In essence, New York City becomes more than just a backdrop; it transforms into a vibrant tapestry of experiences that students can actively engage with and embrace.

On the other hand, students native to New York City may possess a certain familiarity with the urban environment and its rapid cadence. Growing up in this bustling melting pot often equips them with an innate understanding of the city's pulse, making their transition into the academic and social spheres of John Jay College potentially smoother.

In conclusion, whether you are from New York City or venturing from distant locales, the initial adjustment to the city's pace may present challenges, but rest assured, these hurdles are but stepping stones on a transformative journey towards personal and academic growth.

What is something unqiue about your institution or program?

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a constituent of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, has earned its reputation for its outstanding Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, which is uniquely dedicated to the study of public policy and administration and inspection and oversight of the public sector. 

What sets the John Jay College MPA program apart is its exclusive concentration on criminal justice and public safety matters. This distinct focus empowers students with specialized knowledge and skills crucial for pursuing careers in fields like law enforcement, corrections, and various criminal justice agencies, positioning it as the preferred choice for individuals passionate about these domains.

Furthermore, the program typically boasts a distinguished faculty renowned for their expertise in the realms of criminal justice, public policy, and related disciplines. This translates into an enriching educational experience, as students have the privilege of learning from faculty members who actively engage in cutting-edge research and practical applications within these fields.

While many MPA programs emphasize the importance of practical experience, John Jay College takes this commitment to the next level. By offering students opportunities for internships and field placements directly within the heart of New York City's criminal justice and public safety agencies, the program provides a hands-on learning experience that is priceless for those aspiring to build careers in these sectors.

John Jay College's ability to attract a diverse student body, encompassing individuals from various backgrounds and life experiences, adds another layer of richness to its academic environment. This diversity enhances classroom discussions, granting students access to a broader spectrum of perspectives and insights concerning public administration matters.

Situated in the global epicenter of New York City, a nexus for government, nonprofit organizations, and criminal justice entities, the college uniquely positions its students for extensive networking opportunities. These connections enable students to engage with seasoned professionals and influential leaders in their chosen fields, further advancing their career prospects.

Moreover, the program frequently incorporates an interdisciplinary approach, leveraging the collective expertise from multiple departments and academic domains within the college. This approach yields a comprehensive education that effectively prepares students to navigate the intricate intricacies of public administration.

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