A Liberal Learning Curriculum ensures that all students are grounded in the values of civic responsibility, intellectual and scholarly growth, and that they receive a well-rounded education in the liberal arts.
In 2004, the College completed a transformation of its curriculum requiring fewer, more in-depth courses. All courses have been transformed and contain a significant out-of-class requirement that provides for even more student and faculty interaction.
These small classes enable dialog between students and with TCNJ's accomplished teaching staff. This staff is composed of professors with terminal degrees in exclusivity; no courses are taught by graduate students or Teacher's Assistants. The College shapes its curricula and educational experiences around the concept of personalized, collaborative, and rigorous intellectual development.
The required First-Year Seminar, the cornerstone of the Liberal Learning program, introduces students to the habits of mind and the methodologies of research; it's seminar format of no more than 15 students reinforces the message that students are not to be passive recipients of knowledge but rather active contributors to their own learning. Requirements are grouped as diversity and community engagement goals that can be self-designed or designated as interdisciplinary concentrations.
Top students may enroll in TCNJ's honors program, designed to provide a core curriculum with additional challenges and opportunities for individualized work. Most honors classes take an interdisciplinary approachand encourage collaboration between faculty and students from multiple academic departments and disciplines. Independent study arrangements fall easily within the parameters of the honors program, as well.
Majors and Degrees Offered
The College of New Jersey hosts seven schools: Arts and Communication; Business; Humanities and Social Sciences; Education; Engineering; Nursing, Health & Exercise Science; and Science. The College offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
TCNJ grants degrees in the following majors: Accountancy, Art Teacher Preparation (K-12), Art History, Biomedical Engineering, Biology*, Business Administration (specializations in Finance, Interdisciplinary Business, Management, and Marketing), Chemistry*, Civil Engineering, Communication Studies, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Economics*, Electrical Engineering, Elementary Education, Engineering Science (specializations in Engineering Management and Policy and Society), English*, Global Business, Health and Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education (Teacher Preparation K-12), History*, Interactive Multimedia, International Studies, i-STEM (Integrative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Mathematics*, Mechanical Engineering, Music (options in Performance and K-12 Teacher Preparation), Nursing, Philosophy, Physics*, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, Special Education, Spanish*, Technology Education / Pre-Engineering (K-12), Urban Education, Visual Arts (options in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and Lens-Based Art), and Women and Gender Studies.
(* Programs in which students may prepare for teacher certification)
The College also offers a unique Self-Designed major option, catering to students who wish to forge their own academic path.
In addition to full degree programs, students may also choose to complete a minor, in one of the previously mentioned fields or another subject area, such as African American Studies, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, Religion, Public Administration, Communication Disorders and Public Health.
Joint degrees are also available at TCNJ. In conjunction with NJMS, students can pursue a seven-year combined BS/MD degree. A seven-year combined BS/OD degree program is also available through the State University of New York College of Optometry. Students can study for five years to receive their Master of Arts in teaching (along with a certification in Elementary Education at the bachelor's level) in the following areas: Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Special Education, and Urban Education.
The College of New Jersey is a small public college dedicated to education and to the pursuit of passions, all at an affordable price. Each of TCNJ’s “excellent” seven schools offers “an awesome range of classes to choose from” (it is “one of the best schools in the area for future teachers,” in particular), and the academic environment “is an open and honest one.” On top of all that, “the campus is gorgeous, the students are friendly, and you can’t beat the price!” “The College of New Jersey is a community unlike any I have ever been a part of; everyone is proud to be a part of and to contribute to the TCNJ culture,” says a satisfied student.
Professors are always available in and out of the “small classes,” and they “are truly interested in the progress and well-being of their students.” Though the classes for liberal learning requirements are “stressful,” teachers want their students to do well and “are eager to help and answer questions.” “There has never been a moment where I have felt unsupported in my academic endeavors or felt that I could not reach out for help,” says a student. A few students warn that some requirements become hard to fill because “there are only a few options that fit the topic, and everyone is trying to get into those classes.”
One of TCNJ’s greatest strengths is the Freshman Year Seminar Program. Freshman students choose a class that they are interested in (ranging from “a class on Bruce Springsteen, to one about Harry Potter, to one about the meaning of life”), and then live on a floor with all of the students in that class. “This is a wonderful opportunity to build community and to ensure that students are surrounded by people with similar interests and academic goals.”