Colleges in New Jersey offer strong programs for learners across New Jersey as well as nearby states like New York and Pennsylvania. Graduates of world-renowned schools in the area like Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology may gain an advantage over competitors in the job marketplace.
The best colleges in New Jersey emphasize fields like business, nursing, and technology, all of which are key sectors in New Jersey's local workforce. Numerous global corporations and Fortune 500 companies also maintain headquarters in New Jersey.
Read on to explore the best colleges in New Jersey and fit the best fit for your learning needs and career goals.
What Are the Best Colleges in New Jersey? Here Are Our Top 10:
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
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Why Study in New Jersey?
New Jersey houses some of the most prestigious research, tech, and liberal arts colleges in the United States.
New Jersey houses some of the most prestigious research, tech, and liberal arts colleges in the United States. Princeton University, for example, is located in its namesake city of Princeton, New Jersey. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, enrolls the largest number of students in the state and ranks among the nation's largest colleges.
While the cost of living in some areas of New Jersey is higher than the national average, the state offers more affordable housing options than New York City. Many students choose to live here and attend colleges in New Jersey rather than commute to New York or Pennsylvania.
Graduates of colleges in New Jersey can choose from diverse occupations. New Jersey's largest employers include Rutgers University, United Airlines, and Johnson & Johnson. The state boasts 17 Fortune 500 companies, including Prudential Financial, Merck, and ADP.
The Garden State offers dozens of state parks, beaches, and outdoor recreation activities. Students may enjoy visiting the impressive university art museums at Rutgers and Princeton. Colleges in New Jersey also offer easy access to nearby New York City and Philadelphia through the NJ TRANSIT system.
The best colleges in New Jersey prepare students for jobs in multiple industries. New Jersey employs the most workers in office and administrative support, transportation, and sales occupations, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The average annual salary for those employed in New Jersey was $59,980 in 2019, according to the BLS, which is higher than the average annual salary of $53,490 across the U.S. The highest earners in the state include surgeons, obstetricians, and chief executives.
Founded in 1746, Princeton University is the fourth-oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. and the only Ivy League school located in New Jersey. Princeton currently hosts 36 academic departments with a low five-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. Students can pursue degrees in areas like media and modernity; science, technology, and environmental policy; and materials science and engineering.
Undergraduate admission requirements include an online application, a personal statement, official transcripts, and recommendations. Graduate admission requirements vary by program by generally include a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a statement of academic purpose, resume, three letters of recommendation, prerequisite test scores, and official transcripts.
Founded in 1766 as Queen's College, Rutgers currently operates as the eighth-oldest postsecondary school in the country. Its academic offerings include over 120 undergraduate majors; more than 200 graduate and professional programs; and numerous continuing education programs including certificates, noncredit courses, and degree completion programs.
Besides the standard online application, prospective first-year students must submit a self-reported academic record, official transcripts, a list of extracurricular activities, and an essay. Graduate and professional studies admission requirements vary by program.
Undergraduate in-state tuition costs $390 per credit, while out-of-state students pay $940 per credit. Graduate in-state tuition costs $800 per credit while out-of-state students pay $1,260 per credit.
Stevens Institute of Technology currently hosts more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students across four schools and colleges, including the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science, School of Business, School of Systems and Enterprises, and College of Arts and Letters. The institution offers 34 undergraduate majors, 56 master's degree programs, 22 doctoral programs, and more than 100 graduate certificates.
The school also offers several online master's programs in areas like business, computer science, data science, engineering, and systems and enterprises. Admission requirements for these programs include an online application, academic transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores.
Founded in 1855 as New Jersey State Normal School, The College of New Jersey currently serves about 6,600 full-time students. The school offers more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs for undergraduates, as well as more than 20 master's degree programs.
Prospective first-year undergraduate students should complete an online application; declare a major; and submit official transcripts, two or three letters of recommendation, official standardized test scores, and a resume. In-state undergraduates can expect to pay about $16,000 in tuition per year, while out-of-state students pay about $28,000.
Graduate admission requirements vary by program but usually include official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores. All graduate students pay the same, flat-rate tuition of $810 per credit.
More than 6,000 students are enrolled in over 40 academic programs across five schools at this public liberal arts college. Students at Ramapo can select from nearly 540 course offerings through the Anisfield School of Business, School of Social Sciences and Human Services, School of Contemporary Arts, School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, and School of Humanities and Global Studies.
Students can take many classes online. These online courses are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. The institution provides online information technology services for distance learners.
Undergraduate admission requirements include official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores. Graduate admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, official transcripts, a personal statement, and a resume.
NJIT offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across six schools and colleges. Many programs feature hands-on learning through state-of-the-art labs, internships, co-op programs, and research opportunities. Additionally, students can complete over 42 programs through hybrid, virtual classroom, or completely online learning.
In-state students pay $550 per credit at the undergraduate level and $1,120 per credit at the graduate level. Out-of-state students pay $1,290 per credit at the undergraduate level and $1,610 per credit at the graduate level.
Undergraduate students must submit a completed application, official high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a letter of recommendation as part of the application process. Graduate-level admission requirements depend on the specific school of instruction.
Rutgers University-Newark hosts over 13,000 students at two separate campuses — the Newark Campus and the Rutgers Health Sciences Campus at Newark. In total, six schools and colleges span the two campuses, with over 60% of the student body enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences. Current academic offerings include more than 40 undergraduate majors and 50 graduate and professional studies programs.
Undergraduate applicants are judged based on their official transcripts, strength of their academic profile, standardized test scores, cumulative rank, and various qualitative factors. Graduate applicants should prepare to submit official transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
Founded in 1908 as the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair, Montclair State University has grown to support over 21,000 students annually across eight schools and colleges. The university offers more than 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs.
Montclair takes a holistic approach during the admissions process, considering an applicant's GPA, rigor of coursework, letters of recommendation, admissions essay, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores. Montclair's 2+2 program guarantees admission for students who earn an associate degree from a partner community college.
The estimated cost of attendance for in-state undergraduates is about $13,000 per year, while out-of-state students can expect to pay about $21,000 per year. Graduate tuition rates vary widely depending on the program.
With five campuses and an annual enrollment approaching 10,000 students, Stockton University has grown into one of the larger institutions of higher education in New Jersey. Stockton currently houses seven schools and colleges, 116 undergraduate areas of study, and 28 graduate programs. Students can complete a majority of the graduate-level programs completely online.
Stockton requires prospective first-year applicants to submit official high school transcripts, a completed application, and a personal essay. Applicants can also submit two or three letters of recommendation and standardized test scores to strengthen their application. Graduate application requirements vary by program but typically include letters of recommendation and official transcripts.
Rowan University hosts more than 18,000 students annually and offers more than 80 bachelor's and 60 master's programs. Students can also choose from four doctoral programs and two professional programs. Additionally, Rowan supports dozens of online degree, certificate, and continuing education programs online through its Global Learning and Partnerships division. Students can complete online coursework in a hybrid or fully online format.
Undergraduate admission requirements include the Common Application, an activities list or resume, official high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. The admission requirements for graduate, online, or degree completion programs vary.