Earning a Rutgers education has always been a valuable achievement—and a lot of hard work.
Feel the Byrne
First-year students are introduced to the breadth of research and knowledge at Rutgers–New Brunswick through the Byrne Seminars, a series of elective classes that address big-issue topics relevant to the 21st-century world.
Latin, Greek, arithmetic, and geometry
(for the two lower classes of students)
Geography, natural philosophy, mathematics, logic, and grammar (for the upper classes)
25,000+ undergraduate and graduate courses; 100+ undergraduate majors; 200+ graduate programs
Scaling the heights of academic achievement has always been the goal at Rutgers. In this drawing from 1887, right, the best students ascend to the top—and right on up the Phi Beta Kappa flag pole.
The Secret Sharers
Despite the aura of mystery, Cap and Skull, an honorary society founded in 1900 by prominent seniors, was created to promote altruism. Members, such as Paul Robeson RC’19, left, wore black gowns to inspire curiosity, and its motto, spectemur agendo (“Let us be judged by our actions”), sounds straight out of Harry Potter. Other “secret” societies included the earliest fraternities (1845), Theta Nu Epsilon (1892), and Casque and Dagger (1901).
Six Degrees of Separation
(or the path to coeducation at Rutgers)
1. Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818), namesake of Queen’s College, was said to regret her inadequate education.
2. Among her 15 children were six daughters, whom Charlotte resolved to have educated.
3. The idea of enrolling women at Rutgers was discussed as early as 1881.
4. The New Jersey College for Women opened in 1918 with 54 students.
5. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a professor at Rutgers School of Law–Newark in 1971, advised the university that it could be sued if it failed to admit women.
6. Rutgers College admitted its first full class of women students in the fall of 1972.
The Price of Admission
“Render into English Caesar’s Commentaries of the Gallick War, some of Cicero’s orations, the Eclogues of Virgil … and at least one of the Gospels from the Greek.”
— Rules and Regulations for the Government of Queen’s College (1787)