New Jersey’s Best Research Colleges and Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in New Jersey? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

New Jersey’s Best Research Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

Nearly half of the colleges and universities in this state are private, and tuition rates range from $6,000 to $52,000. With a graduation rate of 97% and a student population of just over 7,000, Princeton University is the state’s most esteemed institution. Narrowing in on the sciences and arts, this Ivy League school offers unique areas of study, including robotics, intelligent systems, and public life. The remaining 31 public colleges and universities range in tuition from $4,000 to $17,000.

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The state’s largest and top-ranked public research institution is Rutgers University. With campuses in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden as well as smaller locations across the state, Rutgers awards degrees in physics, economics, criminal justice, and psychology. New Jersey also has 11 religiously affiliated colleges and universities, including the oldest diocesan university in the United States, Seton Hall University. This Roman Catholic university has a tuition rate of $42,000 and a student population of over 8,000.

New Jersey, known for its sandy shores and busy expressways, also has more diners than any other state in the U.S., as well as the world’s longest boardwalk, located in Atlantic City. Many influential people, including Buzz Aldrin, Frank Sinatra, and Thomas Edison, have called The Garden State home. Visitors can even peek at some of Edison’s early light bulbs at the Menlo Park Museum. And with 50 higher learning institutions to choose from, students can find a school that suits their career path and budget.

Learn more about earning your degree from one of New Jersey’s highly regarded colleges and universities.

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What are New Jersey’s Colleges & Universities?

New Jersey’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 9 research universities in New Jersey which meet our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

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How do we determine New Jersey's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Best Research Universities in New Jersey for Undergraduates

  1. #1

    Princeton University

    #11 institution's historical influence
    #5 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Princeton, NJ

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    What is Princeton University known for?

    Princeton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. #2

    Stevens Institute of Technology

    #408 institution's historical influence
    #213 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1420/32

    Hoboken, NJ

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    What is Stevens Institute of Technology known for?

    Stevens Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    New Jersey Institute of Technology

    #811 institution's historical influence
    #1299 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/27

    Newark, NJ

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    What is New Jersey Institute of Technology known for?

    New Jersey Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
  4. #4

    Seton Hall University

    #525 institution's historical influence
    #691 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/26

    South Orange, NJ

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    What is Seton Hall University known for?

    Seton Hall University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Montclair State University

    #955 institution's historical influence
    #1365 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    19K

    Montclair, NJ

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    What is Montclair State University known for?

    Montclair State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
  6. #6

    Rutgers University–Camden

    #3959 institution's historical influence
    #654 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/20

    Camden, NJ

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    What is Rutgers University–Camden known for?

    Rutgers University–Camden’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

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  7. #7

    Rutgers University–Newark

    #4104 institution's historical influence
    #363 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/22

    Newark, NJ

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    What is Rutgers University–Newark known for?

    Rutgers University–Newark’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

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  8. #8

    Rowan University

    #1016 institution's historical influence
    #884 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Glassboro, NJ

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    What is Rowan University known for?

    Rowan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
  9. #9

    Rutgers University–New Brunswick

    #1069 institution's historical influence
    #1275 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1320/28

    New Brunswick, NJ

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    What is Rutgers University–New Brunswick known for?

    Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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