Montclair State University (MSU) is a regionally accredited university located in Montclair, New Jersey. Originally founded as a teacher’s college, MSU now offers both undergraduate and advanced degrees in over 250 majors, minors, and concentrations. It is the second-largest school in the state behind Rutgers University.
The New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair opened to students in 1908; one of the original buildings constructed for the institution still exists on the present-day MSU campus. The first school in the country to offer a four-year program in educational instruction, it adopted the name of Montclair State Teachers College in 1927. Ten years later, it was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In the late 1950s, the teachers college merged with another institution to become Montclair State College. The College received its current name in 1994, when it was also designated a teaching university by the Board of Higher Education.
Students can pursue their studies in the following schools, colleges, and departments:
- College of Education & Human Services
- College of Humanities & Social Sciences
- College of Science & Mathematics
- College of the Arts
- School of Business
- School of Communication & Media
- Graduate School
MSU offers a well-rounded array of undergraduate majors, including such traditional fields as Classics, Economics, and History, but also incorporating seven different concentrations within the Human Ecology program as well as four concentrations in Justice Studies, for example.
Graduate / master’s degree programs include counseling, human services and guidance, environmental studies, fine arts, human ecology, legal studies, music, physical education, psychology, teaching, and education, among others. A master of fine arts (MFA) is offered in studio art. There is an MBA program with several concentrations.
Doctoral degrees include an Ed.D. with a concentration and mathematics education, an Ed.D. with a concentration in philosophy for children, and a doctor of environmental management (DEnvM).
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Justice Studies program offers a concentration in Child Advocacy that prepares graduates to work with children as advocates in a variety of settings. Emphasis is placed on law, sociology, and psychology to prepare graduates for skillful employment and marketability.
The Music Therapy program combines strict and attentive study of music theory with applications in psychological and sociological settings that prepare graduates for working with people with disabilities. Students have the opportunity to serve a six-month internship to become a Board Certified Music Therapist.
Incoming freshmen are expected to complete four units of English, two of the same foreign language, two of American history, three of mathematics, two of laboratory science, and three electives during high school. Students must provide official high school transcripts and test scores. There is no minimum GPA or standardized test score requirement and the Admissions department believes that a strong high school GPA and transcript is more valid than a strong score on any standardized test, but most admitted students have a B average and an SAT score of around 1100.
Applications must be submitted for the fall term no later than March 1, and decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in October of the prior academic year. Admission to some programs or colleges, such as the School of Arts (including Dance, Music, Fine Arts, or Theatre), require auditions, interviews, or portfolio reviews. The university does not guarantee acceptance into the applicant’s chosen college.
Graduate programs require a university application and a special application for doctoral programs is necessary. Other prerequisites and requirements vary from program to program, so applicants are advised to contact the department directly to obtain accurate information.
Montclair State participates in federal financial aid programs including the Pell grant, SEOG, and Stafford Loan programs. The Educational Opportunity Fund is a unique opportunity offered by the state of New Jersey for students with exceptional need from disadvantaged backgrounds. Programs like the Bloustein Distinguished Scholars/Urban Scholar program for academically qualified students; the Outstanding Scholar Recruitment Program for state residents; and the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), which is also a state grant, are also available for select eligible students.
To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The FAFSA is available online beginning every January 1.
Student Financial Aid Details
Montclair State’s teams have had several names and mascots since the school’s inception. Now known as the Red Hawks, named after the birds that live in the area, MSU is a member of the NCAA Division III and the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Intercollegiate teams include include football, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, swimming, diving, both indoor and outdoor track and field, baseball, lacrosse, and softball. Additionally, the school has club teams that play ice hockey, rugby, and volleyball.
Athletic facilities include the student rec center, Floyd Hall Arena, Panzer Gymnasium and Pool, a soccer park, softball stadium, tennis courts, Yogi Berra stadium (home to both Red Hawks baseball and the New Jersey Jackals Northern League team), and Sprague Field.
One of the college’s proudest assets is the Yogi Berra Museum, which honors the often-quoted Montclair resident through film, photos, and other memorabilia. The museum is located on campus and sits next to Yogi Berra Stadium. The museum’s mission includes promoting “the values of respect, sportsmanship, social justice and excellence” that Berra has stood for.
Additional School Information
Just 14 miles away from New York City, the famous Big Apple skyline can be seen from campus. In addition to residence halls, classroom buildings, athletic facilities, and administration buildings, MSU is home to art galleries, a theater, and a natural stone amphitheater.
Montclair State’s library offers electronic databases, journals, and catalogs, books and periodicals, and interlibrary loan services. There are also government documents, and the multimedia resources department maintains DVDs, videotapes, microfilm, CDs, and more.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.