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Trenton State College

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Trenton State College

For dates before 1896, see Princeton University.
The College of New Jersey
Official Seal of TCNJ
Established 1855
Type Public
Endowment $24.3 million[1]
President R. Barbara Gitenstein, Ph.D
Academic staff 733[2]
Students 6,964[2]
Undergraduates 6,205[2]
Postgraduates 759[2]

Ewing, New Jersey, USA
40°16′16″N 74°46′58″W / 40.271223°N 74.782894°W / 40.271223; -74.782894Coordinates: 40°16′16″N 74°46′58″W / 40.271223°N 74.782894°W / 40.271223; -74.782894

Campus Suburban, 289 acres (1.2 km²)[3]
Colors TCNJ Blue and TCNJ Gold          [4]
Athletics NCAA Division III
Nickname Lions
Mascot Roscoe the Lion

The College of New Jersey, abbreviated TCNJ, is a public, coeducational university[5] located in Ewing Township, New Jersey, a suburb of Trenton. TCNJ was established in 1855 by an act of the New Jersey Legislature. The institution was the first normal school in the state of New Jersey and the fifth in the United States.[6] Originally located in Trenton proper, the college was moved to its present location in adjacent Ewing Township during the early to mid-1930s. Since its inception, TCNJ has undergone several name changes, the most recent being the 1996 change to its current name from Trenton State College.[7]

TCNJ is a highly selective institution, with a mission to keep New Jersey's most talented students in-state for higher education.[8] The College is recognized as one of the best public institutions in the United States, and is consistently ranked as the #1 public institution in New Jersey in its category; known for its programs in business, education, engineering, humanities, nursing and science.[9] TCNJ aims to combine the best practices of private institutions with a public mission, resulting in an innovative and unique model for undergraduate education. The College encourages free inquiry and open exchange,[8] offering a wide range of learning opportunities in its classrooms, laboratories, and studios, and throughout the campus, as well as at various off-campus locations. TCNJ faculty members provide a blend of accomplished scholarship and practical, applied experience.

TCNJ is organized into seven schools, all of which offer four-year bachelor's degree programs, and several of which offer targeted master's degree programs.[10] A great deal of emphasis is placed on liberal arts education via the college's general education requirements.[11] Much of TCNJ is built in Georgian colonial architecture style on 289 tree-lined acres.


The College of New Jersey was established on February 9, 1855 by an act of the New Jersey Legislature mandating the creation of a state normal school, making the New Jersey State Normal School the first teacher training institution in New Jersey and the ninth in the United States. Prior to this, then-Governor Rodman McCamley Price had actively promoted the notion of founding a training institute for New Jersey's teachers, and helped to mobilize support among influential state leaders:


For the first 73 years, the school was located in Trenton on Clinton Avenue. Beginning in 1925, the institution offered its first four-year baccalaureate degrees, and engaged on a transitional program of expansion. In 1928, a suburban tract of 210 acres (0.8 km²) was purchased in Ewing Township, New Jersey and preparations were underway to relocate the College. The first building erected on the new campus was Green Hall, built in traditional Georgian colonial style. The majority of buildings now on campus reflect Green Hall's architecture. In 1996, in a move spearheaded by Harold Eickhoff, The College of New Jersey adopted its current name.

Programs in graduate study were instituted in 1947, followed by accreditation from various national associations in the 1950s. The enactment of the Higher Education Act of 1966 paved the way for TCNJ to become a comprehensive institution by expanding its degree programs into a variety of fields aside from the education of teachers. By 1972, 70 percent of entering students were selecting non-education majors.[12]

Names over the years
  • 1855 — New Jersey State Normal School
  • 1908 — New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton
  • 1929 — New Jersey State Teachers College and State Normal School at Trenton
  • 1937 — New Jersey State Teachers College at Trenton
  • 1958 — Trenton State College
  • 1996 — The College of New Jersey


The College of New Jersey

TCNJ School of Business, to the left of Paul Loser Hall.
TCNJ School of Engineering is centered in Armstrong Hall.
Music Building
Science Complex


TCNJ has earned national recognition as a leading academic institution. According to U.S. News & World Report’s latest annual rankings, TCNJ found a place near the top of the list in Best Regional Universities category for the northern region of the country. The 2014 edition ranks TCNJ as the #1 public institution in the Northeastern United States and fifth overall institution in the standings among both public and private institutions in this category.[13][14] Forbes ranks TCNJ the best NJ public college.[15][16] Kiplinger’s ranks TCNJ #1 Best Value Public College in New Jersey that combines outstanding education with economic value.[17][18] Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks TCNJ the best public institution in New Jersey, with high academic excellence, talented student body, generous financial aid awards, beautiful campus setting, and excellent quality of life.[19] TCNJ currently is ranked as one of the “Most Competitive” institutions in the nation by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.[20] TCNJ has also earned recognition by the Princeton Review for having a world-class library, an excellent quality of life and highly selective medical program; ranking it one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education.[21][22][23] TCNJ continuously boasts one of the best undergraduate business program in the nation according to Bloomberg Businessweek Survey of Best Undergraduate Business Schools.[24][25]


The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) mission is to create a culture of constant questioning. This is achieved through small class size, which allows students and faculty members to collaborate in various academic fields such as: to understand fundamental principles, apply key concepts, reveal new problems and pursue lines of inquiry to gain a fluency of thought in their disciplines. This transformative and unique process is at the core of the educational experience at TCNJ. Large number of TCNJ students extend their classroom work by participating in research with faculty members or studying abroad. Often, professors and students co-author papers published in academic journals.[26] The mission of the College is to mentor relationships to help students discuss career options and land pertinent fellowships, internships, and summer research positions.[27][28]

TCNJ admits a diverse class each year full of talented and ambitious students who graduate in the top of their class. Only those students who graduate on the top 10% of their high school class are usually admitted, which is the highest percentage in the Northeastern region of incoming freshmen for public institution. Since the 1990s, incoming students are required to participate in the TCNJ First Year Experience, a large component of the liberal arts curriculum at TCNJ. The College encourages students to build on their earlier education and plunge into new topics. The most successful admits are prepared to steer their own academic pursuits toward post-graduation goals of graduate school, professional training, or satisfying careers.

Prestigious graduate schools routinely welcome TCNJ alumni into their ranks. Eighty-five percent of TCNJ students who apply to medical school are accepted. Many top corporations recruit TCNJ graduates, providing avenues into excellent careers directly after graduation. Other barometers of student success include the 100% pass-rate of education majors taking the state teacher preparation test and the 85 percent three-year pass rate for nursing students going for their license. TCNJ has the highest average freshman retention rate among institutions in the northern region. The College distinguished itself by boasting one of the highest 4 year graduation rate in the nation.[29]

Faculty at TCNJ have also put on a number of successful programs that have had an impact on the scholarly and New Jersey communities. In 2005, English professors David Blake and Michael Robertson hosted a symposium celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. English Professor Lincoln Konkle hosted an International Thornton Wilder Conference at TCNJ in 2008.


More than 50 liberal arts and professional programs are offered through the College's seven schools: Arts and Communication; Business; Culture and Society; Education; Engineering; Nursing, Health & Exercise Science; and Science.

The College of New Jersey offers degrees in over 50 liberal arts and professional programs, leading to one of the following undergraduate (baccalaureate) degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science. It also offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Science, and Master of Science in Nursing. TCNJ also offers a 7 year combined B.S./M.D. (Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine) program for graduating high school students in conjunction with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Admission into this program is highly selective. This program offers guaranteed admission to UMDNJ upon completion of three years of undergraduate study at TCNJ and the maintenance of a minimum GPA (currently set at 3.5).

Roscoe the Lion
TCNJ mascot

TCNJ's mascot is the Lion, named "Roscoe" during the College's sesquicentennial celebration in 2005. Shown here stomping the Serpent of Knowledge.

These programs are organized into one of seven schools:

  • School of Arts and Communication
  • School of Business
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science
  • School of Science

Global programs

The College of New Jersey offers graduate programs in Education at a number of international locations. Currently students can complete a State of New Jersey Teacher Certification and earn a Master of Education degree while studying in Bangkok, Thailand, Majorca, Spain, or Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition to this, all TCNJ students are encouraged to study abroad after completing a year's worth of credits from the school. The student must also be in good academic standing. The TCNJ Center for Global Engagement works together with TCNJ faculty to offer undergraduate students a wide variety of programs, from short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs to semester- and year-long programs in dozens of countries. More than 110 students in Spring 2013 studied at universities in over twenty countries on six continents.

TCNJ also hosts Institute for ESL & American Studies, a summer language and culture immersion that brings international students to campus from all over the world to develop their English language skill and American culture. Students in this program earn 8 credits that can be transferred anywhere, learn in small classes of no more than 8 students, and take trips to New York City and Philadelphia. Graduate students can also take part in a non-credit seminar on teaching in American universities. Full-time TCNJ students have the chance to live with this cohort during the program, work with them as conversation partners, and help them learn to navigate campus life.

Campus life

Residence halls

First-year students at TCNJ are either given a room assignment in Travers/Wolfe Tower, Norsworthy Hall, or any empty rooms in the Allen/Brewster/Ely Complex. Second-year students live in New Residence, Allen Hall, Brewster Hall, Ely Hall, Centennial Hall, Eickhoff Hall and Decker Hall. There are currently plans to construct another building specifically for second-year housing. Upperclassmen typically live in Townhouses South, East or West, or in one of the two newly constructed apartment complexes; Phelps Hall and Hausdoerffer Hall. Upperclassmen may also live in one of the various College Houses that surrounds the campus. While 95 percent of first-year students live on campus, only 50 percent of upperclassmen live on campus, instead choosing to live in homes and apartments surrounding the College.


There are currently seven dining facilities on the TCNJ campus as well as a convenience store and bookstore (where convenience store-like food and beverages are sold). Eickhoff hall houses the convenience store and the main dining hall, where students pay a door price and have access to buffet style food. There are several different sections within this dining hall, providing students with a variety of food and beverage choices. The late night dining hall is located between the Travers and Wolfe towers (freshman housing) and looks rather like a large diner. Flatscreen TVs are mounted among the couches and tables to provide entertainment while students eat.

A café serving Starbucks coffee is located on the main level of the TCNJ library. Sandwiches, bagels, and other items are served in addition to beverages. Many students choose the café as a late-night study area. A similar café, known as the "Kineticart" is located in Armstrong Hall, the main engineering building. Breakfast foods and some lunch items are served here. It is located in the center of Armstrong Hall, and among the tables and chairs various engineering and science exhibits can be viewed.

The Brower Student Center is home to three different dining facilities. The "Fairgrounds" is located near one of the main entrances and is the smallest of the three. Because there are various couches and benches of the students center surrounding it, it does not have seating of its own. The Rathskellar or "Rat" is a restaurant and bar, where students can sit down to order meals from servers, including the famous "Kesselburger" (chili-cheese burger). Alcoholic beverages are served, and IDs are always checked. Also within the "Rat" is a stage where bands perform on various nights. Often there are special shows on the weekends, featuring different acts. On weekends there is also karaoke. The last dining facility is the student center food court and is colloquially referred to as "The Stud". Students can get food and other items at various stations, which they then bring to one of the registers to purchase. "The Stud" has the second largest quantity of seating out of the dining facilities (the first being Eickhoff) but during lunch it can get very full. Movies are also screened here on certain nights.

Student life


Nearby metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia and New York City are an hour and a half or less away by train. Surveys of the student population indicate, however, that 80% of residential students remain on-campus for at least 3 weekends per month.[30] TCNJ also has over 180 student organizations managed by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development. The Signal has been the college's newspaper since 1885 and wins awards almost annually. The Lion's Eye is the literary magazine on campus, distributed each semester and funded by the Student Activity Fee. Lions Television (LTV), founded in the spring of 2008, is TCNJ's first television network.

Campus attempts at providing non-alcohol-related social events for students are numerous, including both on and off-campus activities such as musical and comedic performances. The College Union Board (CUB) sponsors visits by celebrities as well as movie showings, all of which are funded by the Student Finance Board. To help kick off each new fall semester, "LollaNoBooza" is held. This is a large carnival-like affair meant to be an alternative to a night of partying. In April 2011, the College Union Board, Student Finance Board, and Student Government held their first annual Spring Carnival entitled "fun.ival" (fun.ival was named after live performers, fun.).

Greek life

Greek life has a foot-hold at TCNJ, with roughly 20% of the student population belonging to a fraternity or sorority. The Greek organizations are governed by the Inter-Greek Council, whose purpose is to unite the members of the Greek community in spirit of mutual interest. It organizes and governs activities, highlights goals and opens lines of communication between the members of the organizations and the rest of the campus community. In order to join any Greek organization, students must have at least one semester's worth of TCNJ credits and be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.2. The Inter-Greek Council recognizes 29 organizations; 16 sororities, 12 fraternities, and 1 coed organization.

The recognized Greek organizations at TCNJ are:[31]

Fraternities Sororities

Brower Student Center

The Brower Student Center (BSC) is the student center on the campus. The BSC was originally built in 1976 and has continued to serve the students through the present day. The Brower Student Center seeks to provide on-campus activities for all the students of TCNJ as well as maintain partnerships within the community that accentuate the student and community experience. A game room is also located in the student center, complete with multiple pool tables, TVs with wiis connected, ping pong and other games.

The building is home to all of the student organizations on campus, as well as the dining facilities that are run by Sodexo Incorporated and a campus bookstore. All recognized student organizations have an office or cubicle, or at least a meeting area. Most of these are located on the second level, but there are a handful located elsewhere. The student-run newspaper, for example, has both its business office and production room in the basement.

The building was named after former president Clayton R. Brower, who served as president during the time that TCNJ was referred to as Trenton State College. His wife, Dorothy Brower, was an active volunteer in the surrounding community.

Museums and exhibits

The College of New Jersey is home to the KidsBridge Museum of Tolerance, located in Forcina Hall. This interactive museum teaches children to appreciate and tolerate racial and ethnic differences. While the museum does have employees of its own, many TCNJ students volunteer there.

The David Sarnoff museum, formerly located at Princeton Junction, is a new arrival to TCNJ. The collection detailing the life of NBC founder David Sarnoff is now located in Roscoe L. West Hall. Various art exhibits can be found in galleries at Holman Hall and the Art and IMM building. The exhibits feature the work of student artists, professional artists and local artists. The exhibits are updated regularly.


The Signal has been The College of New Jersey's student-run newspaper since 1855. It has won numerous awards, and has placed first many times in the General Excellence category (the highest category) for collegiate news publications at the New Jersey Press Association awards. The Seal is TCNJ's yearbook, which has been in publication since 1911. Both The Signal and The Seal are run almost entirely out of offices located in the Brower Student Center basement. TCNJ Magazine is another publication, covering both current campus life and alumni affairs. The Perspective, an openly left-leaning student news booklet, is the school's newest publication having been first published in 2009. The Perspective received funding from the Student Finance Board, but so far has no established publishing schedule (as opposed to other campus publications). On the literary side, The Lion's Eye and The Siren are both student-made magazines filled with poetry, prose and artwork by students.



TCNJ Lions
Athletic awards

The College of New Jersey is affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and participates in athletics events as a Division III school. It is a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The mascot is Roscoe the Lion.

TCNJ's varsity teams are the top combined first- and second-place finishers of all 424 Division-III schools in the nation over more than 25 years.[32]

The main athletic facility, Lions Stadium, holds 6,000 spectators and is home to the football, field hockey, lacrosse, and intramural teams. The stadium opened in the fall of 1984 and featured the first North American installation of AstroTurf's vertical-drainage system. This system prevents the "duck-pond effect" commonly seen with other artificial surfaces.[33] In 2008, reports indicated that the turf contained higher-than-acceptable levels of lead and was subsequently removed. Now, the stadium is furnished with Tiger Turf, which is the first installation of the Trophy Turf in the United States. The stadium has hosted multiple NCAA tournaments and championship games, as well as the annual Special Olympics New Jersey and the annual USSBA Central Jersey Regional marching band competition.

The women's lacrosse team has played in the championship game 16 out of 20 possible times, winning 11 (though the 1992 title was later vacated) and qualifying for the NCAA tournament 21 consecutive times through 2005, highlighted by a 93-1 record from 1991 to 1996. The women's field hockey team has won 9 Division III crowns.

The TCNJ wrestling team hosts the NCAA championships regularly and has placed in the top 20 nationally for 30 consecutive years, including 5 national championships (1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987), 5 runner-up finishes, and numerous finishes in the top 5.

The TCNJ track and field teams have also dominated the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Since the NJAC title was first contested in 1997, TCNJ has won the title — both indoor and outdoor — each year.

Notable alumni

Politics and government
Arts and entertainment

Notable faculty

See also

New Jersey portal



External links

  • Official website
  • Official Athletics website
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