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Ramapo College
Ramapo College offers students an individualized learning experience that enables them to build meaningful,...

Ramapo College

Mahwah, New Jersey

Recently ranked as one of the best in the Best Regional Universities North category for public institutions, Ramapo College of New Jersey is sometimes mistaken for a private college. This is, in part, due to its unique interdisciplinary academic structure, its size of approximately 6,000 students, and its pastoral setting in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains on the New Jersey/New York border.


Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include nursing and social work. In addition, Ramapo College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels. The College also offers seven graduate programs as well as articulated programs with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New York Chiropractic College, New York University College of Dentistry, SUNY State College of Optometry and New York College of Podiatric Medicine.


Undergraduate students choose to concentrate their studies in one of five schools with more than 700 course offerings and 40 academic programs. Ramapo College boasts an average student/faculty ratio of 18:1 and average class size of 23, affording students the opportunity to develop close ties to the College’s exceptional faculty.


The College’s mission is focused on the four “pillars” of a Ramapo education: international, intercultural, interdisciplinary and experiential (hands-on), all of which are incorporated throughout the curricula and extracurriculars. The international mission is further accomplished through a wide range of study abroad and student exchange links with institutions all over the world. Additional experiential programs include internships, co-op and service learning.


The College’s interdisciplinary commitment helps students push intellectual boundaries; a commitment to experiential, hands-on learning allows them to push personal and professional boundaries as well. The commitment of faculty to attentive teaching and mentoring empowers students to learn actively and attain the skills they will need to succeed professionally and become lifelong learners.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
5,661 undergraduate students
88% of undergrad students are full time
45% male — 55% female
4% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
393 full-time faculty
32 part-time faculty
17 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

48% of undergraduate students live in the residence halls. Ramapo College provides seven residence halls as well as apartments.

School Location

Ramapo College is located in Mahwah, New Jersey, just a thirty­-minute drive or bus ride from Manhattan, providing access to the best entertainment options New York City has to offer. The Palisades Center Mall is located just 20 minutes away in West Nyack, NY, while outdoor lovers will enjoy the Ramapo Mountain Reservation just down Route 202 in Mahwah and Harriman State Park in Harriman, NY. There truly is something for everyone near Ramapo College.

Retention Fall 2015

86% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

74% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 13%
Black or African American 5%
White 64%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 7%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 7%


NCAA Division 3; New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) 

Men’s sports: Baseball; basketball; cross country; soccer; swimming; tennis; track and field; volleyball
Women’s sports: Basketball; cross country; field hockey; lacrosse; soccer; softball; swimming; tennis; track and field; volleyball

Mascot: Roadrunner
Colors: Maroon and White


Ramapo College of New Jersey is a four-year, public, liberal arts institution.

More Distinctions

  • Ramapo’s Anisfield School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

  • The John Templeton Foundation has named Ramapo College to its Honor Roll for Character­Building Colleges.

  • U.S. News and World Report ­a top school in the Best Regional Universities, North category

  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance lists Ramapo as one of its “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” in 2016.

  • Ramapo College has also been named a “Military Friendly School”.

  • Ramapo is a founding member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a national alliance of leading liberal arts colleges in the public sector.

Ramapo College offers a comprehensive Student Engagement Project that begins in the first year and lasts the duration of a student’s undergraduate studies at RCNJ. One of the “Key Points of Engagement,” as they are known at Ramapo College, is a structured opportunity for first ­year students to have substantive out ­of ­class interaction with peers, faculty, staff; a common experience that deepens understanding of self or others; or an opportunity to connect in­ class and out ­of ­class learning. If students can integrate concepts learned both inside and outside of class, they will have the opportunity to focus more in all settings and succeed as Ramapo College students.

Common Intellectual Experiences

The College encourages students to participate in a four-year Student Engagement Plan. The Student Engagement Plan incorporates curricular and co-curricular activities geared towards the identified needs of students for each year of their college experience. The program allows students to achieve crucial academic, social, personal, and community/civic outcomes.

Undergraduate Research

Many of the College’s academic programs offer research symposia at which students may present their work. For example, the School of Theoretical and Applied Science sponsors an annual symposium, and students in the College Honors Program conduct research in fulfillment of programmatic requirements. In addition, Ramapo College students have presented their research at the annual regional student research conference sponsored by the Council on Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

Diversity/Global Learning

There are a variety of international education programs at Ramapo College. Students can study and intern abroad in more than 50 different countries. Ramapo also participates in the National Student Exchange program and attracts a wide variety of international students from more than 30 different countries including Bulgaria, Nepal, and Myanmar. Many club and extracurricular activities on campus are designed to enhance student learning outside the classroom and raise the intellectual and cultural climate on campus, while exposing students to a wide range of topics and experiences beyond the traditional classroom. Every year, the college hosts a World Expo fair where different countries and cultures are showcased.

At the heart of Ramapo College’s mission is excellence in teaching and learning. To that end, the College offers a wide array of innovative disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors rarely found at small public colleges. Ramapo faculty, whom students consistently praise in institutional surveys, devote time and energy outside the classroom working with students on research projects and mentoring them about future career goals. The College’s close proximity to New York City turns that world city into a veritable classroom, rich with opportunities for enhancing student learning.

First-Year Seminars and Experiences

Ramapo College has a summer reading  program that is academically linked to the First-Year Seminar (FYS) course. Students read the book over the summer and come to campus prepared to discuss the book with their FYS classmates as the concepts are integrated into their coursework. This enables them to exercise their critical thinking,  reasoning, analytical thinking, and writing and communication skills.

Ramapo College offers approximately 42 first ­year seminar experiences. These courses are designed to provide students with a strong foundation for lifelong learning and achievement through interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Seminars also promote diversity, inclusiveness, sustainability, student engagement, and community involvement.

Writing-Intensive Courses

Ramapo College offers Critical Reading and Writing courses that encourage students to think critically and express concepts learned in the course through writing essays and research papers. Communication and creative writing courses are also highly intensive, encouraging students to think outside the box. The Center for Reading and Writing provides support to students, regardless of ability, to help them achieve their goals in reading and writing.


Ramapo College offers students the opportunity to become part of various “Living­ Learning Communities” (LLCs) during their time at the College. The purpose of this residential experience, specifically designed with undecided first­ year students in mind, is to provide students with the opportunity to integrate their in­-class learning and apply concepts learned in their academic courses in a practical manner. Students in the LLC all have similar academic, cultural, and social interests and will build ongoing and lasting relationships. The LLC program also offers the opportunity for first­ year students to connect with faculty and enhances students’ first year learning experiences at Ramapo College. There are numerous events that Living ­Learning Community students participate, beginning with a group orientation and barbecue event at the beginning of the semester and culminating with the end ­of ­the­ semester dinner. The program also includes a community­ building retreat at Camp Bernie in Port Murray, NJ, along with trips to various cultural attractions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Meadowlands Environment Center, Hindu Samaj Temple, American Museum of Natural History, Ellis Island, the New York Historical Society, and the Tenement Museum, throughout New Jersey and New York City.

Outside the Classroom

Ramapo College has a diverse array of cultural activities and other learning experiences outside of the classroom. These activities include:

  • A Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, performing for students and exposing Brazilian music to those who may not otherwise have a chance to listen to it.
  • The Gross Center for Holocaust Studies organizes various events and activities centered around the history of the Holocaust and prevention of genocide and human rights violations. These events attract prominent political leaders, activists, and academics as guest speakers, who provide insight to students and faculty alike.
  • School­ sponsored screenings of feature films and documentaries that are relevant for the understanding of certain historical, cultural, literary and political issues provide students with an opportunity to connect the concepts studied in the classroom to historical events. The Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies hosts an annual film colloquium.
  • The International at Home is a program, consisting of three or four events each semester, sponsored by the school’s International faculty and students and is designed to enhance the international and cross­cultural knowledge of the community.
  • The Readings at Ramapo Series brings authors, such as the late Adrienne Rich, Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Nobel Prize nominee Joyce Carol Oates, to campus to read and discuss their work with students.
  • The School of Social Science and Human Services sponsors day-long conferences on such topics as bullying and child abuse.
  • The Berrie Center for Visual and Performing Arts hosts musical and theatrical productions as well as art exhibits, featuring student, faculty, and professional artists.
  • The Schomburg Program brings distinguished minority scholars and artists to campus every year.
  • The Deans’ Lecture series invites scholars to address select themes.
  • The Annual Opening Convocation features the author of the first-year summer reading, who addresses the entire first-year class.
  • The Eastern Economic Association has brought to campus past winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics to address the community.
  • Café Demos feature lively discussions on topics related to democracy and civic engagement and encourage fruitful exchanges of ideas.
  • The Peer Facilitator Program develops leadership and mentorship skills in upperclassmen whom share their insights into academic, social, and personal success with students in First-Year Seminar.
  • The Diversity Action Committee sponsors the annual Diversity Convocation, which promotes and celebrates diversity through presentations, lectures, and performances by individuals whose work advances diversity in their fields.

Cahill Center for Career Services

The Cahill Center for Career Services has two locations on the Ramapo College campus (the main location in C­209 and a satellite office in the Anisfield School of Business, ASB­513), with supportive career advisors who provide insight to those pursuing internships, co­-ops, and other career experiences. There is also an assortment of on-­campus jobs that allow students to gain work experience without leaving the College. Some of the many organizations at which Ramapo students have interned include WNET­TV, TD Bank, Sharp Electronics Corporation, North Jersey Media Group, and BMW North America. Ramapo College students not only have the option of interning in the New Jersey/New York area, but also have the opportunity to consider interning outside the United States in one of 20 different countries, such as the United Kingdom, China, India, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, and Colombia.

First-Year Student Challenge

Several Ramapo College faculty members offer service learning components as part of their course curricula. The First­-Year Student Challenge encourages residence hall floors to partner with a civic organization in order for students living in that residence hall to gain experience working in the surrounding communities near Ramapo College.


Ramapo College students participate in a wide variety of internships and co­-op programs to gain valuable career experience during their academic career at RCNJ. Area corporations that provide opportunities for Ramapo College students to pursue internships include TD Bank, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Pearson Education Corporation, WNET­-TV, BMW North America, Mercedes-­Benz North America, Stryker, and area hospitals. Due to the College’s proximity to New York City, internships abound. In fact, 250 companies in New York City alone offer internships to Ramapo College students in addition to opportunities in NJ and NY State.

Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience

Ramapo College includes capstone projects in both undergraduate and graduate studies. Students collaborate with faculty mentors and often outside businesses and organizations to conduct research, plan, and execute projects. This collaborative experience provides real-world business and situational problems for students to provide solutions to.

At the undergraduate level, there are numerous symposia, such as the undergraduate Student Research Symposium held annually since 2002. At this symposium, students have the opportunity to present posters and describe their undergraduate research in detail.

service learning

Ramapo College offers “Alternative Spring Break” trips in which students perform community service for an extended period of time during spring break. “Alt Break” trips include:

  • Opportunities for students to work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those in need
  • Assist a nonprofit organization, River-Link, to spearhead the development of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a destination for everyone to work, live, and play
  • A New Mexico alternative break focused on mindfulness and community service in the Albuquerque region
  • A special trip exclusively for first-­year students involves service learning on a sustainable farm in Rutland, Massachusetts, as students attend educational workshops and simulate the conditions of poverty as found throughout the world
  • There are both Alternative Spring Break and Alternative Winter Break programs in Costa Rica where students work with the El Manantial Macaw Sanctuary to feed, clean, and build enclosures for the animals at the wildlife preserve, many of which have been rescued from the black market pet trade
  • Closer to home, in the vicinity of Sea Bright, NJ, students have worked with the St. Bernard Project to rebuild homes devastated by Superstorm Sandy


Admissions Fall 2015

7,106 Total Applicants 
3,783 Total Admissions 
931 Total Freshman Enrollment

53.24% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 490 590
SAT Math 500 610
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 20 26
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $8,866 $17,731
Fees $4,832 $4,832
Total $13,698 $22,563
Room and Board (on campus) $11,640 $11,640
Room Only $8,020 $8,020
Board Only $3,620 $3,620
Estimated Total On Campus $25,338 $34,203 


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

80% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
65% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$11,378 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,406 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

Ramapo College encourages students to apply for admission by December 15 for the following fall semester and by December 1 for the following spring semester. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application online by using the Common Application or the Ramapo online application. In addition to the application, applicants should submit an official copy of their high school transcript, SAT and/or ACT test scores, and at least one letter of recommendation. Applications will be reviewed thoroughly, and decisions will be sent no later than April 1 for the following fall semester.

Other Admissions Opportunities

In the fall, Ramapo College offers students the opportunity to apply to Early Decision.  Students interested in pursuing this option must submit their application by November 1st.  Decisions are sent on approximately December 1st and are binding. 

Each fall Ramapo College offers Immediate Decision Days (IDDs) that allow students to apply, meet with an admissions representative, and receive a decision all in one day on campus. Space at IDD is very limited, but all students interested should visit www.ramapo.edu/idd for more information.

Students should consider visiting Ramapo College, where they can walk the picturesque campus, connect with a current Ramapo student tour guide, see the newer residence halls, and learn about how one of Ramapo’s majors can align with future plans. Students may visit campus in two ways: by signing up for a campus tour at www.ramapo.edu/campustours or by attending one of the Open Houses, details about which can be found at www.ramapo.edu/openhouse. Students can also view a virtual guided tour at: www.ramapo.edu/#virtualtour

All freshmen applicants who apply by the December 15th priority scholarship deadline for the following fall semester are automatically reviewed for a merit-based scholarship. Four levels of scholarships are available for incoming first-year students: the Presidential Scholarship, which is $18,000/year; the Provost Scholarship, which is $10,000/year; the Dean’s Scholarship, which is $6,000/year; and the Academic Achievement Scholarship, which is $3,000/year. In addition to scholarships, Ramapo College fully participates in both the Federal Title IV and New Jersey aid programs, offering Pell and SEOG grants; work study; Stafford, Perkins and PLUS loans; NJ Tuition Aid Grants (TAG); and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) grants, among others. These awards are all contingent upon a student’s completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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