Rutgers University
#47 Overall Influence

Rutgers University

Multi-campus American public research university in New Jersey, United States

By James Barham, PhD

Rutgers University’s full official name is Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Rutgers traces its roots to Queen’s College, which was founded in 1766, making it the thirteenth-oldest university in the US.

In 1825, Revolutionary War hero and philanthropist Henry Rutgers made a large financial contribution to the school, which in turn changed its name to Rutgers College.

Rutgers College was upgraded to full university status in 1924, and in 1945 Rutgers was officially designated The State University of New Jersey.

Today, Rutgers comprises three main campuses (New Brunswick-Piscataway—the flagship campus—Newark, and Camden), with over 4000 faculty members spread across 175 academic departments and a total student body approaching 70,000.

Rutgers is associated with six Nobel Prize laureates, namely:

  • Physicist, Heinrich Rohrer
  • Microbiologist, Selman Waksman
  • Economists, Milton Friedman & Harry Markowitz
  • Dominican poet, Derek Walcott
  • American novelist, Toni Morrison

Among other prominent Rutgers-connected people, we may note the following:

  • Singer, actor, and civil rights activist, Paul Robeson
  • Popular musician, David Bryan
  • Painter and sculptor, George Segal
  • Poets, Joyce Kilmer & Robert Pinsky
  • Novelists, Philip Roth, Junot Díaz & Janet Evanovich
  • Film director, Henry Selick
  • Actors, James Gandolfini, Roy Scheider, Calista Flockhart, Charles Hallahan & Keir Dullea
  • Historian, David Levering Lewis
  • Linguist, John McWhorter
  • Philosophers, Jerry Fodor, Zenon Pylyshyn, Stephen Stich & Jonathan Schaffer
  • Philosopher, computer scientist, and Turing Award winner, Judea Pearl
  • Physicist, Michael R. Douglas
  • Evolutionary biology, Robert Trivers
  • Former FBI Director, Louis J. Freeh
  • US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • US Senator and 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination candidate, Elizabeth Warren

What is Rutgers University known for?

#11 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#25 World Rank #15 USA Rank
#28 World Rank #14 USA Rank
#33 World Rank #28 USA Rank
Social Work
#34 World Rank #17 USA Rank
#36 World Rank #27 USA Rank
Political Science
#38 World Rank #29 USA Rank
#41 World Rank #35 USA Rank
#43 World Rank #23 USA Rank
#44 World Rank #35 USA Rank
#47 World Rank #42 USA Rank
#51 World Rank #29 USA Rank
#54 World Rank #29 USA Rank
#56 World Rank #29 USA Rank
#57 World Rank #37 USA Rank
Computer Science
#64 World Rank #36 USA Rank
#70 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#71 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#71 World Rank #47 USA Rank
#84 World Rank #58 USA Rank
#86 World Rank #28 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#90 World Rank #44 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#106 World Rank #37 USA Rank
#178 World Rank #65 USA Rank

Influential People

Who are Rutgers University's Most influential alumni?

Rutgers University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Criminal Justice, Economics, and Literature. Rutgers University’s most academically influential people include Milton Friedman, Toni Morrison, and Philip Roth.

Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman

American economist, statistician, and writer

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Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison

Afro-American writer

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Philip Roth
Philip Roth

American novelist

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Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz

Dominican-American writer

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Stanley Norman Cohen
Stanley Norman Cohen

American geneticist

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James Blish

American author

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Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka

African-American writer

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Robert Pinsky
Robert Pinsky

American poet, editor, literary critic, academic.

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Eugene Thacker

American philosopher

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Vera Green

American anthropologist and academic

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Richard Florida
Richard Florida

American academic

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James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini

American actor

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