Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is one of the oldest colleges in the US, founded in 1766 as Queens College. Rutgers is one of only nine Colonial Colleges still in operation, and over its long history the university has served many needs for the people of New Jersey. As it stands today, Rutgers is a public-private hybrid, partly depended on state support, but independently operated. Rutgers is also New Jersey’s land-grant institution, incorporating agriculture and mechanical engineering in 1864 – the foundations of the university’s world-class STEM research and degrees. Rutgers stands as New Jersey’s premier public research university, ranked as one of the top 30 national public institutions by U.S. News & World Report and central to culture and learning in New Jersey.
Academic ProgramsNew Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive university, Rutgers meets essentially every educational need a New Jersey student might have. With more than 30 dedicated schools and colleges, more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs, and more than 300 specialized research institutes and centers, Rutgers has demonstrated expertise in every discipline, from Biomedical and Health Services to business to the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Whether it’s the Rutgers tomato or Nobel Prize-winning antibiotics, Rutgers has been at the center of research and discovery longer than there’s been a US, and every Rutgers students becomes part of that legacy.
Besides research and traditional academics, Rutgers is also crucial to adult education and online education in the state. From degree completion programs for working adults looking for a way to progress in their careers, to professional development and help for the underemployed, Rutgers Continuing Education is a resource for New Jersey’s workers and veterans. Rutgers Online is rapidly becoming a force in adult and nontraditional education as well, providing flexible, convenient degrees all over New Jersey, with no need for a campus. And of course, with the Rutgers reputation, and extensive corporate and industry connections in New Jersey and New York, Rutgers graduates have the job market on their side.
Student LifeAs should be expected from an institution as large and as old as Rutgers, student life is multifaceted, complex, and extremely hard to pin down. Rutgers has nearly 70,000 students from a dizzying multitude of places, backgrounds, races, and faiths. More than 700 student-led organizations and clubs are officially recognized by Rutgers, offering (quite possibly literally) something for every student’s interests, whether it be entertainment, professional networking, shared religion, or political persuasion. Rutgers also has more than 50 Greek organizations, each of which perform community service and raise funds for a chosen charity. All of the Rutgers fraternities and sororities also collaborate for the annual Dance Marathon, a long-standing tradition.
Rutgers is also notable as one of the founders of collegiate athletics, forming the first college football conference with Yale, Columbia, and Princeton University, still Rutgers’ fiercest in-state rival. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are one of the few independent athletic institutions that belongs to no organized conference; Rutgers plays anyone. Rutgers was central not only in the first college football game and first intercollegiate baseball game, but, a century and a half later, the first collegiate Ultimate Frisbee game – showing that history repeats itself, just more whimsically.