Criminal Justice (BA) Major Resources

The Criminal Justice BA is a research-focused introduction to crime control and prevention. The program requires all students to design and implement an original research study, and places an emphasis on preparing students for graduate study and helping them gain admission to graduate school.

Here you will find:

  • Key information about your major
  • How and when to meet with your major advisor
  • Planning tools that will help you track your progress in the major
  • Ways to explore career opportunities related to the CJBA major

Take a few moments to look at the information below. It will help you plan effectively and avoid surprises during your studies at John Jay. Please visit the Department of Criminal Justice's website for information, resources, and opportunities!

CJBA Requirements

You are responsible for the major requirements that were in effect when you declared the major. To confirm the requirements you should be following, go to the Undergraduate Bulletin for that academic year. For example, if you declared the CJBA major in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, you would click on the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin. If you declared the major and then left the College for more than one full semester, you’re responsible for the major requirements in effect when you return, if they have changed. Not sure when you declared the major? Find out here.

Below, find the Undergraduate Bulletin that was in effect when you declared the major.

No CJBA major courses can be used to fulfill your General Education Requirements. Refer to the General Education Requirements webpage for more information on meeting these requirements.

Major Advising

Academic advising is available year-round. Evan Mandery ( is the chair of the department. Joel Capellan ( is the coordinator of the major. Tige Anderson ( is the academic advisor and is available to meet with students in all semesters, including winter and summer sessions. The department is located at 631 Haaren Hall and can be reached by phone at 212-621-3759. Transfer students in particular should contact the office as soon as possible, since there are some special issues involved.

Please note that this department advises only for the CJBA major, and not the CJBS major.

Sophomores with 45-59 credits may have a major hold placed on their registration. The hold will be removed when they have an appointment with a major advisor. This discussion will encourage wise planning and allow students to ask any questions they may have about the major. How do you know if you have a major hold? Go to CUNYfirst and complete the following steps:

  1. Check the Holds box of your CUNYfirst Student Center. If "Advisement Required" appears, click on “details.”
  1. Click on “Advisement Required.”
  1. See which type of advisement you need. If you must see a major advisor, then make a major advising appointment following the steps preferred by this department.

Plan Ahead: Graduate on Time

The CJBA classes are carefully scaffolded. Try to complete all 100-level classes during your freshman year, all 200-level classes during your sophomore year, and all 300-level classes during your junior year. The major also has several courses that build on each other in a sequence, so it is important to be aware of this and plan accordingly. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • The major includes three year-long sequences: CJBA 110/111, CJBA 240/241, and CJBA 410/411. Because of course sequencing in the major, CJBA 110 tends to be offered only in Fall and Winter sessions and CJBA 111 is offered in Spring semester. CJBA 240/241 and 410/411 are offered only as a Fall-Spring sequence.
  • Fulfill your math requirement during your freshman year. MAT 108 or 141 is a prerequisite to CJBA 240, and CJBA 240 and 241 are themselves prerequisites to many 300-level courses.

  • STA 250 is not a substitute for CJBA 240.
  • CJBA 241 is a prerequisite to CJBA 340 (Research Methods), an essential course in the major.
  • You may take multiple sections of CJBA 380 (Special Topics) as long as they are on different topics. The second section will often be reflected on the transcript as CJBA 381. Note: Degree audits sometimes say that CJBA 381 is required, but there is no such class. Rather, the requirement is that students take two 300-level research courses. Contact the major advisor if your degree audit is in error.
  • The CJBA major requires that you write a thesis during your senior year. CJBA 410 (Senior Thesis I) helps you craft a research proposal, and in CJBA 411 (Senior Thesis II) you build on that foundation and write your thesis. The hope is that you will find an area of research that interests you through one of your 300-level research focus classes.
  • If you are a transfer student, consult with a major adviser after your transfer credits are posted on the John Jay transcript to see if the CJBA major makes sense for you. If a needed CJBA introductory course isn't available in your first semester, the program director may be able to give you permission to take another major course or two so you don't delay getting started in the major.
  • Remember that you will need at least a 2.0 in the major and at least a 2.0 overall GPA to graduate.
  • DegreeWorks degree audit - Use this online planning tool to track your overall progress toward graduation. You will see which of your general education and major requirements are completed, in progress, or still needed.  Refer to the DegreeWorks FAQs to better understand how to use this helpful tool. Note: be sure to confirm the accuracy of your degree audit with a general academic advisor.
  • CJBA Major Requirement Checklist - Fill out this printable worksheet to keep track of which major requirements you have completed and which ones you still need.
  • Sample Four Year Plan - See an example of how you could complete all your degree requirements (major, general education, electives) and graduate in four years! Remember that this sample plan shows just one possible way to combine your requirements. Transfer students in particular should work with advisors to determine a plan that works best for them.

A General Academic Advisor will confirm what general academic requirements you still need, make suggestions about smart course planning that will help you graduate without delays, discuss your interest in adding a minor or second major, inform you about opportunities such as study abroad, discuss general questions and concerns, and make helpful referrals. Visit the Academic Advisement Center's webpage for more information.

CJBA and Careers

Listen to Professor Brian Lawton talk about the CJBA major's focus on researching the criminal justice system's problems and trying to offer solutions to those problems. Students have the opportunity to conduct their own research and address social justice issues related to the criminal justice field, developing skills that prepare them for a wide range of professional careers.


Networking is often the most successful way to find an internship or job. Make use of your friends, family, professors, co-workers, classmates, and anyone else you know to see if they have a connection to someone in the field you would like to work in. Many of your current classmates may have already participated in the Academic Internship Program and may still be in contact with their previous supervisors who they can pass along your resume to. Ask around!

Job fairs
Job fairs are another excellent opportunity to make connections with employers. If you are preparing a semester ahead to find your internship, you will have plenty of time to attend the John Jay College Career and Internship Fair offered each semester. The fair is a great opportunity to make connections, collect business cards, and network for future opportunities.

Career Events
You should also make use of the many career events offered through the Center for Career and Professional Development. Employers often participate in panels, workshops, information sessions and tabling at John Jay College. Log into John Jay Careers Online and see the “Events” tab into for the upcoming schedule of events.

Online Resources
John Jay Careers Online should be your primary resource for online internship searching. Employers who are specifically interested in hiring John Jay College interns will post their internship positions on John Jay Careers Online. In order to take full advantage of this resource you will need to upload a resume into the system; without it you cannot see the full postings or apply to the positions listed.
There are many other online resources for internship searching. The following websites are particularly useful for John Jay students looking for internships:

The Center for Career and Professional Development is a great resource for all questions related to job searches, internships, and career preparation. CCPD staff are available to meet individually with students and alumni in L72.00 New Building. To request a 45-minute counseling appointment, log on to John Jay Careers Online. 15-minute drop-in sessions are available all day Mon-Fri. Stop by in person earlier the same day to schedule a drop-in session.

Students should use their time during college to start researching their intended graduate program. The Graduate Admissions Office offers information sessions for students interested in John Jay’s graduate programs. Students can also visit the admissions websites for graduate programs at other institutions.

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program encourages low income and first generation students (as well as students from underrepresented populations) to pursue graduate study, providing academically enriching experiences and mentoring to prepare students for graduate school admission and eventual doctoral study. Contact Rachel Rosado, Program Assistant ( / 212-237-8765) or Dr. Ernest Lee, Associate Director ( / 212-237-8760).

Pre-Law Institute and Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities
Students interested in going to law school can receive tailored advising and learn about development opportunities from the Pre-Law Institute. This center also provides advising for non-law related fellowships and graduate school applications. John Jay students and alumni who would like to make an appointment with a pre-law advisor may do so either by stopping by the Pre-Law Institute and Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities in 8.66 NB, signing up on our advisement page or emailing