What are the best universities in New Jersey? When starting your college search, narrowing down the location is just one part of your decision. It can be complicated to determine the perfect mix of qualities that will make your college experience an unforgettable one. But there are a few factors that most students will agree hold high appeal – cost, student satisfaction and retention, selectivity and popularity, and long-term alumni success.
Using a combination of these metrics, we’ve compiled a list of the best universities in New Jersey. Whether you’re looking to decide between a public or private university, here are the top 10 colleges in New Jersey.
Despite being the fourth-oldest college in the country, Princeton’s graduate program has become known as a leading center of research. Admission to Princeton University is highly selective. The university does not set minimum academic requirements, but admitted undergraduate students generally earn high grades in high school and comparatively top 98% percentile scores on standardized tests. Popular majors include:
Chartered in 1870, Steven’s Institute of Technology is one of the oldest technological universities in the United States. Mechanical engineering students will also enjoy studying in Hoboken, a beautiful college town in its own right and just 10 minutes by train from Manhattan. The most popular fields of study at Steven’s Institute of Technology include:
To enter a bachelor’s program at the university, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Stevens also requires applicants to submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation from both a teacher and guidance counselor. Most programs also require ACT or SAT scores, though some allow students to share a digital portfolio of work instead.
Founded in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, The College of New Jersey is a 4-year public institution in the Trenton area. TCNJ is home to seven colleges and schools including the oldest teacher-training program in the state. The school’s liberal arts focus makes it easier for students to surround themselves with multi-interested peers in vastly different programs such as:
Admitted students generally rank within the top 15% of their high school class and score at least a 28 on the ACT or 1265 on the SAT.
As the University of New Jersey, Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence. To apply to Rutgers’ 3 campuses (New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden), applicants must hold a high school diploma and complete either the ACT or SAT. Nearly 80% of admitted undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, with an average award package of close to $16,000 per year. The most popular undergraduate programs include:
Located in the heart of Newark’s University Heights area, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in six specialized schools instructed by expert faculty with real-world experience. This prestigious university also has an excellent history of awarding engineering degrees to students with minority backgrounds, making it a diversity leader in important STEM fields. Popular fields of study at NJIT include:
Undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and at least one letter of recommendation. Students applying to the College of Architecture and Design must also provide a digital portfolio.
Seton Hall’s 58-acre main campus is located in the quaint town of South Orange, New Jersey, only 14 miles from Manhattan. Home to over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous majors, Seton Hall’s academic excellence received praise from notable publications such as The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek. The majority of enrolled students pursue degrees in:
Seton Hall University is also generous with financial aid. Each year, the university awards more than $100 million in financial aid, with 98% of all learners receiving some form of support.
Named for the surrounding Ramapo Mountains, Ramapo College of New Jersey is a 4-year public liberal arts college in northern New Jersey. Ramapo hosts five schools conferring undergrad degrees in 36 academic programs. Ramapo College has also been named a top school for military veterans due to its flexible schedules, credit transfer policies, veterans associations, and for offering credit for military training. The most popular majors studied at Ramapo College include:
The majority of admitted students typically rank within the top 20% of their graduating class and receive a composite score between 24 and 26 on the ACT.
Montclair State University is a 4-year public institution in northern New Jersey and the second-largest university in the state. With nearly 300 programs of study, Montclair State University delivers quality education to students with a wide array of interests. Popular areas of study include:
Montclair does not require prospective students to submit ACT or SAT scores. Most admitted students maintain at least a 3.2 high school GPA and engage in diverse extracurricular activities.
Fairleigh Dickinson University operates two campuses in New Jersey, a metropolitan campus in Teaneck, and a suburban campus in Florham, which makes FDU the largest private university in the state. Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) offers over 100 programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate’s levels. Its wide range of offerings, coupled with the depth and expertise of its faculty, has Fairleigh Dickinson University poised to serve the citizens of New Jersey. Fairleigh Dickinson University also offers a reputable study abroad program, allowing undergraduate students the opportunity to study at Wroxton College in England. The most popular majors studied at Fairleigh Dickinson University include:
Through its distinctive emphasis on the reciprocity of knowledge, experience, and service, Drew University prepares its students to flourish both personally and professionally. Drew’s one-of-a-kind approach to an undergraduate degree ensures that every student will graduate with sought-after transferable skills. Popular areas of study at Drew University include:
Drew also houses the Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict, the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, an independent professional theater, as well as the United Methodist Archives and History Center and one of the country’s leading concentrations of materials on Willa Cather.