photo of campus entrance

History

Established in 1908 as a two-year Normal School in response to the growing demand for professionally trained teachers, the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair became Montclair State Teachers College in 1927, dedicated to the education of secondary school teachers through a four-year Bachelor of Arts program. Part-time, extension, and summer courses were added, and in 1932 Montclair State was authorized to offer the master’s degree. With its strong emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences, in 1937 Montclair State became the first state teachers college accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Responding to rapid enrollment growth in the late 1940s and 1950s with an expanded curriculum and faculty, the school became Montclair State College in 1958 and a comprehensive, multi-purpose institution in 1966. Based on the strengths of its academic programs and faculty and its commitment to excellence in instruction and research, in 1994 Montclair State became the first of the state colleges to become a university. The University has eight approved doctoral programs. With a proud history and a vibrant future, Montclair State University is one of New Jersey’s most diverse and dynamic institutions of higher education. One of four public research institutions in the state, Montclair State is designated a Research Doctoral 3 University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Located 12 miles west of New York City on a 252-acre suburban campus which boasts modern, state-of-the-art facilities complemented by green spaces, public plazas and striking Spanish Mission architecture, the University offers a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus; a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level; and a highly productive, dedicated and diverse faculty and student body.

The University’s 11 colleges and schools offer more than 300 undergraduate and graduate majors, minors, concentrations and certificate programs, and with more than 120 student organizations and 18 NCAA Division III athletic teams for men and women, Montclair State offers its students a comprehensive college experience.

With more than 340 majors, minors and concentrations and one of the nation’s few doctoral programs in Teacher Education and Teacher Development, Montclair State provides a comprehensive array of academic programs while remaining accessible and affordable. Through its 11 colleges and schools — the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Education and Human Services, the College of the Arts, the School of Nursing, the Feliciano School of Business, the John J. Cali School of Music, the School of Communication and Media, the New Jersey School of Conservation and The Graduate School — Montclair State prepares its students to lead productive and rewarding lives and to participate responsibly as citizens.

Montclair State provides a superb undergraduate program based in the arts and sciences and a rigorous but flexible master’s program designed to provide the specific skills needed to apply knowledge to real-life situations. The PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development is the first of its kind in the region — and one of only a few in the country — and is based on the most current research in teacher preparation and learning. It builds on Montclair State University’s nationally recognized programs in teacher preparation and provides a unique opportunity for those who wish to become future leaders in the preparation and development of teachers. The doctoral program in environmental management is designed to foster understanding of the structure and function of environmental systems and their management. It focuses on investigations of the mechanisms and interconnections found within and among components of environmental systems and associated human systems.

Montclair State University does not lose sight of the development and well-being of students. Innovations implemented to make student life less stressful and more enriching are the Academic Success Center, in which all counseling services are gathered under one roof; web-based registration; and Internet connections in all residence hall rooms. Students have differing academic needs and Montclair State offers a variety of programs to meet them. The Honors Program offers an intellectually challenging, interdisciplinary curriculum for academically superior students, and agreements with the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School provide combined BS/MD or BS/DMD programs. Several educational opportunities are offered for disadvantaged students.

Recognizing that its graduates will be living and working in a global environment, the University provides many opportunities for travel abroad to study, perform and conduct research. The Global Education Center helps arrange student and faculty exchanges, scholarly visits, conferences and seminars that promote greater global awareness.

Growth in science and mathematics students and faculty has been marked by notable increases in life science and computer science majors, supported by the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities including the Center for Environmental Life Sciences (CELS) and the Center for Computing and Information Sciences (CCIS); increasing research activity supported by numerous federal and state agencies and private foundations, and establishment of research institutes and centers such as the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies, Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center, and the Sokol Institute for Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences.

The Feliciano School of Business is one of a select few schools accredited by the AACSB International: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier international accrediting agency for business schools. Only 716 schools of business worldwide are AACSB accredited.

In line with its origin as a Normal School for the training of teachers, Montclair State has become an internationally recognized institution for the preparation of high-quality teachers and the improvement of education. The University also established the Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal (MSUNER) – now one of the foremost school-university partnerships in the nation – as the vehicle for partnership with 30 New Jersey school districts and over 13,000 professional educators. Examples of awards received for Montclair State’s teacher education programs include rankings by U.S. News and World Report, including Top 20 in the nation for the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree program. The University was awarded the Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award for the partnership with Newark Public Schools by the Council of Great City Colleges Education, 2010; and was identified as one of the 10 leading teacher education programs in the nation, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2008.

Accredited in art and design, theatre, dance and music, and recognized for its programs in communication, filmmaking, digital media and television, Montclair State University’s College of the Arts offers students a broad range of extraordinary learning opportunities. Students work with successful professionals and academics in the creative industries and disciplines among faculty from New York, the region and world. Initially founded as the School of Fine and Performing Arts in 1969, the College has grown in industry partnerships, international exchange and field work, and cross-disciplinary collaborations that prepare students for careers in today’s complex and changing cultural environments. Dedicated to developing and sharing the fruits of aesthetic discovery and innovation, the College engages the general public, students and the rest of the campus community with 250-500 events each year.

With a strong commitment to public service, Montclair State University offers a number of noncredit programs to varied constituencies. Each year, close to 500 talented children receive instruction through the Preparatory Center for the Arts. The College of the Arts’ School of Communication and Media has formed the New Jersey Commons and Center for Cooperative Media in partnership with numerous news agencies in the state in order to facilitate collaborative news story development and distribution. Arts and Cultural Programming and The George Segal Gallery bring premiere performances and exhibitions to northern New Jersey. The Creative Research Center (CRC) produces a blog and live panel presentations designed to inspire national and international dialog on the imagination and creativity across all disciplines. The WMSC-FM Radio Station schedules programming by local and state groups, the DuMont Television Center provides studio space and production services to a host of campus and external groups, and Memorial Auditorium is leased for productions by community and professional groups. A 240-acre facility in Stokes State Forest that is one of the largest university-operated environmental education centers in the world, the School of Conservation provides two- to five-day programs for about 10,000 elementary and secondary school students from around the state. The Psychoeducational Center provides special services to children with learning, reading, speech and other disabilities, and the campus’ Ben Samuels Children’s Center offers day care for pre-school children of students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Of special interest is the University’s Service Learning Program, in which students work with community groups throughout the area as part of their academic coursework. It functions under the larger umbrella of the Center for Community Based Learning, a unit of the University that promotes cooperative education courses, provides volunteers for service in community agencies, and creates projects to address other specific town/gown initiatives.

From its founding in 1908, the history of Montclair State University has been one of change, growth and distinction. Proud of its heritage and prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century, Montclair State continues to be a major contributor to the cultural, economic, and educational life of the region.