Rutgers University

Home/Colleges/Rutgers University


Rutgers University, which is the state university of New Jersey, is the eighth oldest institute of higher learning in the United States. The college was one of nine established prior to the American Revolution, beginning as Queen's College in 1766. It was established by Colonial Governor William Franklin, the son of Benjamin Franklin, as an all-male college in New Brunswick. The name was chosen in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg, wife of King George III who advocated for women's education. Initially, the school was affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church, although the original charter remained secular.

The first classes at the school were held in a local tavern, The Sign of the Red Lion, which was located at the corner of Albany and Neilson Streets. The building eventually became the City Hotel. During the Revolutionary War, classes were held sporadically in private homes. Members of the Athenian Society, a student-run organization, took up arms against the British as General William Howe pursued General George Washington through New Jersey. An alumnus of Rutgers, James Schureman, lead the Middlesex County militia in the Battle of Brooklyn. He was captured during the battle, escaped in 1777 and rejoined the Continental Army. In 1783, Rutgers was the first college to publish a school newspaper, The Political Intelligence and New Jersey Adviser.

As the war continued, the college suffered financially. At one point, the trustees voted to merge with Princeton, but the measure failed by one vote. In 1795, the college closed for 12 years due to lack of funds and teachers. The school reopened in 1807 after trustees were able to raise $12,000. In 1810, the school issued 104 rules and regulations in order to promote student morals. Dancing, fencing, billiards, cards, dice, beer, oyster houses, firearms, powder and public ball alleys were forbidden.

In 1816, the school closed for a second time due to a depressed economy and mounting debts. In 1825, trustees voted to change the name of Queens College to Rutgers in honor of a Colonel Henry Rutgers, a Revolutionary War hero and a member of the Board of Trustee president's parish. Although the trustees indicated he was chosen because he epitomized Christian values, he was also a wealthy bachelor who was known for philanthropy. However, when Col. Rutgers died in 1830, a third of his estate was earmarked for charity, yet none was left to the college. The college reopened in November 1825. The school remained open, despite the fact that enrollment dropped to 64 in 1863 as the impact of the Civil War was felt throughout the country.

The Federal Morrill Act was passed in 1862, providing a grant of public land to any state that remained in the Union to establish an institute of higher learning. States were required to use proceeds from the sale of lands to establish colleges in engineering, agriculture and military science. In 1864, Rutgers prevailed over Princeton to become New Jersey's land-grant institution, requiring the school to offer higher education to a wider range of students. That same year, the Dutch Reformed Church severed ties with the school. The goal was to create a better trained workforce in response to the Industrial Revolution. Rutgers became the State University of New Jersey in 1945, making it a public institution. In 1946, the University of Newark joined Rutgers and the College of South Jersey joined in 1950, giving the university a statewide presence.

Today, Rutgers is one of the most prestigious universities in the country with enrollment of more than 67,000 students. The school has more than $550 million in sponsored research grants and $700 million in research and development expenditures.

Rutgers University Accreditation Details

Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Accreditation indicates that the university meets or exceeds standards that indicate excellence in education and that they strive to continually improve programs to continue to meet the needs of students.. In addition, programs within Rutgers are accredited by the following additional accrediting agencies:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Library Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Association of American Law Schools
  • Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • Planning Accreditation Board
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Rutgers University Application Requirements

Freshmen students who have not attended college must complete the online application and the Self-Reported Academic Record. Students must submit SAT and/or ACT scores as well. An official high school transcript is required in addition to an essay, a list of activities and experiences along with letters of recommendation. Students who have completed 12 college credits after high school are considered transfer students. They must submit official college transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students must submit to a credit evaluation after admittance. In most cases, students must have earned a "C" or better in the course to be transferred and it must be comparable to one offered at Rutgers.

Graduate students must complete an online application and provide one official transcript from each college or university attended. Students must provide letters or recommendation, a personal statement and may be required to submit standardized graduate test scores. Some programs may also require supplemental materials for admittance.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate full-time tuition at Rutgers for in-state students is $11,217 and for out-of-state students $26,607. Graduate tuition varies by program.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and federal work-study programs. In addition, students may choose to apply for federal student loans or parent PLUS loans. In order to qualify for any financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Online Degree Programs Available

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Rutgers University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program designed for students who already hold an active Registered Nurse license. With the nursing profession in a constant state of change, educational expectations in the industry are also changing. Students must hold an active RN license as well as an Associate's Degree or Nursing diploma. Students must maintain a 2.7 grade point average and have an active CPR certification. The program is offered online, allowing current nurses to apply what they learn in class to their current position. Students are able to pursue opportunities beyond inpatient care facilities and place themselves on a path to advanced education in order to pursue clinical leadership roles. Students develop an understanding of how nursing is expanding into the community as well as the foundations of nursing leadership. Courses include:

  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Chemistry
  • Community Health Nursing and Global Health
  • Conceptual Foundations of Professional Practice
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Genetics
  • Nursing Management and Leadership
  • Nursing Pharmacology
  • Nursing Research
  • Nutrition
  • Pathophysiology

Related Resource: The Top 10 Masters in Nursing (MSN) Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Labor and Employment

The Bachelor of Science in Labor and Employment provides students with knowledge regarding how work is managed, the problems of working individuals and what has been done to address certain workforce problems. Students have the advantage of accessing real-world knowledge in order to be prepared for positions in the labor market. Students develop an understanding of diversity, unions, employee rights, work-life balance and other issues that affect working people today.

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration provides students with an understanding of public problems, analyzing data and developing creative solutions. The program is designed for those who wish to advance their careers in public service or nonprofit management. Students develop an understanding of public problems and how to implement ethical solutions while applying theory to actual practice. Students must provide GRE scores, a personal statement, resume, three letters of recommendation and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. The program is 42 credits with 33 credits of core curriculum and nine elective credits.

Rutgers University is world-renowned for their excellence in education and is one of the world's premier research facilities. Students have the option of completing degree programs online which offers flexibility for those who may have work, family or social obligations. An online Rutgers University degree can help individuals move into a new career or advance in a current career while still allowing them to meet other obligations.