Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway, is one of the nation's major state university systems. The university comprises 29 degree-granting divisions: 12 undergraduate colleges and schools, 11 graduate schools, and six schools offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Five are located in Camden, eight in Newark, and 16 in New Brunswick/ Piscataway.
Rutgers has a unique history as a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a state university. Chartered in 1766 as Queen's College, it was the eighth institution of higher learning to be founded in the colonies. The school opened its doors in New Brunswick in 1771 with one instructor, one sophomore, and a handful of first-year students. During this early period, the college developed as a classical liberal arts institution. In 1825, the name of the college was changed to Rutgers to honor a former trustee and Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel Henry Rutgers.
Rutgers College became the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1864, resulting in the establishment of the Rutgers Scientific School with departments of agriculture, engineering, and chemistry. Further expansion in the sciences came with the founding of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in 1880, the College of Engineering in 1914 (now the School of Engineering), and the College of Agriculture (now Cook College) in 1921. The precursors to several other Rutgers divisions also date from this period: the College of Pharmacy in 1892 (now the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), the New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College) in 1918, and the School of Education (now a graduate school) in 1924.
Rutgers College became a university in 1924. The legislature passed laws in 1945 and 1956 designating all divisions of Rutgers as the state university of New Jersey. During these years, the university expanded dramatically. An evening division, University College, opened in 1934. The University of Newark joined the system in 1946, and the College of South Jersey at Camden was added in 1950.
Since the 1950s, Rutgers has continued to expand, especially in graduate education. The Graduate School- New Brunswick, the Graduate School-Newark, and the Graduate School-Camden serve their respective campuses. In addition, the university has established professional schools in applied and professional psychology; communication, information and library studies; criminal justice; the fine arts; management; and social work. Several of these schools offer undergraduate programs as well. In 1969, the university founded Livingston College to provide undergraduate degrees to a diverse community of students.
Today, Rutgers continues to grow, both in its facilities and in the variety and depth of its educational and research programs. The university's goals for the future include the continued provision of the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education along with increased support for outstanding research to meet the needs of society and to fulfill Rutgers' role as the state university of New Jersey.