Jesus College occupies a square in the heart of Oxford, with Turl Street to the east, Market Street to the south, Ship Street to the north, and a block of Cornmarket Street shop premises to the west. Most of the buildings in the Front and Second Quadrangles are seventeeth-century, with some later additions and alterations. Along Turl Street, south of the east end of the chapel, the entrance front was rebuilt in 1855 in an adaptation of the original, homely Jacobean style, with a gate-tower, a lodge, and impressively detailed chimneys, faced in golden Bath stone. The long south front, opposite the Covered Market in Market Street, was refaced in 1853 and 1875. The Ship Street buildings on the north side of the College are Edwardian.

Because of the vulnerability of the local Headington building limestone to airborne pollution and damp, large areas of the older parts of the College have been refaced during the past 150 years with Bath, Taynton, Doulting or Clipsham limestone. Some of the earlier Headington stone remains, with its original surface cut away, as on the east front of the hall directly opposite the Turl Street front gate.