Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with more than 51,000
students on campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, is one of
the nation's major state university systems. The university comprises 30 degree-granting divisions: 13 undergraduate, 11 graduate, and 6 schools offering both undergraduate and graduate
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.