Thomas Edison State College

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Thomas Edison State University, commonly referred to as TESU, is a public institution of higher learning located in Trenton, New Jersey. It is one of the 11 public postsecondary schools in the state. It prides itself on its academic excellence and educational integrity along with its flexible learning opportunities. It offers more than 100 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its programs are geared toward meeting the needs of adults. The programs are offered through its five schools of education: Heavin School of Arts and Sciences, School of Applied Science and Technology, School of Business and Management, W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies.

Thomas Edison State University was founded in 1972 and it was named after the famous American inventor who gained knowledge outside of traditional classrooms. It was established for the purpose of providing superior, alternative, and diverse learning opportunities to mature adults. It moved locations in 1979 to accommodate for its growth. The school established its headquarters in the Kelsey Building, which was built in 1911. Throughout its history, TESU has been active in conserving historic structures to preserve the spirit of the city and encourage economic development. In 2015, the school finally became Thomas Edison State University. Today, TESU is home to about 18,000 students.

Thomas Edison State University Accreditation Details

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits Thomas Edison State University to grant associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

The online business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; nursing programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; engineering programs by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET; and education programs by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Thomas Edison State University Application Requirements


  • Complete and submit the undergraduate application either by mail or online
  • Submit official high school transcript
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously enrolled colleges and universities
  • Submit official SAT or ACT scores
  • Complete any additional requirements for specific programs
  • Submit nonrefundable $75 application fee


  • Complete and submit the online graduate application
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary schools
  • Submit official graduate level test scores, like the GRE or GMAT
  • Submit two letters of reference
  • Submit a personal statement
  • Submit a current resume
  • Complete any additional application requirements for certain programs
  • Submit nonrefundable $75 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

• Comprehensive tuition plan, New Jersey residents: $7,300

• Comprehensive tuition plan, out-of-state residents: $9,820

• New Jersey residents per credit tuition: $396 per credit

• Out-of-state residents per credit tuition: $499 per credit

• Non-matriculated students: $525 per credit

Graduate Tuition

• All graduate programs except for nursing and MBA: $668 per credit hour

• MBA tuition: $714 per credit hour

• Nursing tuition: $440 to $740 per credit hour, depending on specific program

Financial Aid

Thomas Edison State University features a variety of financial aid options including scholarships, grants, loans, and work study.


  • Presidential Endowed Scholarship
  • Thomas Edison State University Foundation Military Scholarship
  • American Federation of Teachers Local 4277 Scholarship
  • W. Cary Edwards Foundation Nursing Scholarship
  • Thomas Eklund Endowed Scholarship
  • Susan O. Friedman Endowed Scholarship
  • Norma L. Horton Scholarship
  • Julia Cadiz Negron Endowed Scholarship
  • Edith and Oscar Smilack Memorial Scholarship
  • Fred C. Rummel Foundation Endowed Scholarship


  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant


  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Federal Work Study

Thomas Edison State University participates in the Federal Work Study program that enables students to work on a part-time basis to earn money for college related costs. Students work both on and off campus and are typically paid on a biweekly basis. Pay is at least federal minimum wage, but varies based on employer, position, and qualifications of the student.

Online Degrees Available

Thomas Edison State University offers an array of online degree programs. The Bachelor's of Science in Energy Systems Technology is intended to help students prepare for new opportunities in the field of energy technologies. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. The core courses include DC circuits, AC circuits, applied quality management, current trends and applications, and occupational safety and health. Students are then able to select an energy specialty from nuclear operations and maintenance, plant operations and maintenance, gas distribution, electric transmission and distribution, instrumentations and control, appliance service, alternative and efficient energy, regulatory policy and procedures, and applied economic analysis.

The Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice concentrates on the interdisciplinary study of crime and the structure and operation of the criminal justice system. Students develop critical analytical analytical abilities and understanding of the methods used in this field. It requires the completion of 120 credits. The core courses include introduction to criminal justice, American Juvenile Justice System, criminology, criminological theory, introduction to corrections, courts and criminal procedure, public policy and criminal justice, ethics in the justice system, and introduction to law enforcement.

The Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration in Operations Management provides students with understanding and expertise in the design, analysis, and operation of complex management systems. The program requires the completion of 120 credits including a capstone requirement. The core courses include introduction to operations management, quality assurance, strategic management, business law, managerial accounting, principles of management, principles of finance, and business/managerial communications.

Related Resource: Top 30 Online MPA Degree Programs

The Master's of Arts in Educational Leadership strives to encourage a solid understanding of educational leadership and administration that is based on national ISLLC standards. The standards include school culture, vision, management, community collaboration, ethical action, integrity-fairness, and political, social, economic, legal and cultural influences. Students have the ability to choose from three areas of study: building leadership, district leadership, and school business administration. The building leadership concentration requires the completion of 36 credits. The district leadership area requires the completion of 42 credits. Students must complete 36 credits for the school business administration. The core courses include effective leadership from theory to practice, technology for instruction and administration, school law, human resources administration, curriculum leadership and supervision, the inquiry process: a framework, budget forecasting and fiscal planning, and professional portfolio development. All three options must complete a field based practicum to earn the Master's of Art in Educational Leadership from Thomas Edison State University.