Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ)
TypePublic liberal arts college
Established1969; 52 years ago (1969)
Academic affiliations
Sea-grant, Space-grant
Endowment$21.2 million (2020)[1]
PresidentCindy Jebb
Location, ,
United States
300 acres
ColorsMaroon & White    
SportsNCAA Division III
Ramapo College arch
Ramapo College arch

Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ) is a public liberal arts college in Mahwah, New Jersey. It is part of New Jersey's public system of higher education. As of the spring 2018 semester, there were a total of 5,685 students enrolled at the college, including 483 graduate students.[3]


Main article: History of Ramapo College

In the late 19th century, the Ramapo Valley was developed for large estates by many wealthy families. Theodore Havemeyer and his family arrived in the area in the 1870s. Havemeyer, a founder of the American Sugar Company, purchased and renovated a home on the road that would become Route 202 and developed more than 1,000 acres surrounding the mansion into a farm. In 1889 he had a second mansion built on the property for one of his daughters. That mansion and about 700 acres of the original 1,000 were later purchased by Stephen Birch, president of the Kennecott Copper Company.[4]

In 1968, the New Jersey Department of Higher Education authorized establishing a new state college in Bergen County, due to its increasing population and suburbanization. The criteria for the new college's location were sufficient land for the construction of current needs and future expansion, and proximity to at least one major highway. The locations of existing public and private institutions in the state were also taken into consideration.[4] The college was planned to serve economically deprived students from urban and rural areas, in addition to a full range of middle-class families.

George Potter, an administrator at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, was appointed the first President of the college before a location had been determined.[4] After many board meetings, it was decided that the former Birch Estate in Mahwah would be the location for the new college. Although the land was farther north than originally intended for the campus, its proximity to Route 17 and mountainous surroundings made it an attractive site.[4]: 19 The architects drew up plans for an L-shaped, glass-walled facility consisting of five 2-story academic buildings connected by large entry spaces, with each building devoted to a particular department or division. The architects recommended this approach to allow for rapid construction of additional wings onto the various entry spaces, allowing quick expansion of the college.[4]

The former Havemeyer mansion was adapted as the president's house, and the former Birch Mansion was renovated to be used as the administration building of the college.[4] Rodney David Smith served as college's third president, from July 1, 2001,[5] to June 30, 2004.[6] He was succeeded by Dr. Peter Philip Mercer,[7] who was succeeded by Cindy Jebb on July 6, 2021.[8]


Ramapo College offers bachelor's degrees in the arts, business, the social and natural sciences, and the humanities, as well as in professional studies programs such as nursing and social work. Seven programs are offered leading to a master's degree: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL), Master of Science in Educational Technology (MSET), Master of Arts in Special Education (MASE), Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN), and a Master of Science in Accounting (MSAC). The college also offers a physician assistant (B.S./M.S.) and physical therapy (B.S./D.P.T.) with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; a B.A./Master's degree program in Art Therapy with Caldwell University; a B.S./Doctor of Chiropractic with New York Chiropractic College; a B.S./D.D.S. and a B.S./D.M.D. with the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine; a B.S./Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) with SUNY State College of Optometry; and a B.S./Doctor of Podiatric Medicine through New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM).

The five interdisciplinary schools include the Anisfield School of Business (Dean Edward Petkus), the School of Contemporary Arts (Interim Dean Peter Campbell), the School of Humanities and Global Studies (Interim Dean Susan Hangen), the School of Social Science and Human Services (Dean Aaron Lorenz), and the School of Theoretical and Applied Science (Interim Dean Edward Saiff).


The administration building at Ramapo College, built in 1889, was formerly Birch Mansion
The administration building at Ramapo College, built in 1889, was formerly Birch Mansion

Ramapo College was established in 1968 as a state-supported, co-educational, four-year College for liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. Ramapo received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 1975. Individual programs also received accreditation. The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Chemistry Program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the Teacher Certification program is approved by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the State of New Jersey, and the Anisfield School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Ramapo College is also a founding member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.


US News and World Report ranks Ramapo 37th among 196 "Regional Universities in the North" in its 2018 list.[9]

According to Forbes, as of 2018, Ramapo College of New Jersey was rated #370 in Top Colleges, #127 in Public Colleges, and #143 in the Northeast region.[10] However, in 2019, Forbes ranked Ramapo College at #341 in Top Colleges, #116 in Public Colleges, and #133 in the Northeast region, and ranked Ramapo at #206 in America's Best Value Colleges of 2019.[11]


The Salameno Spiritual Center in front of the C-Wing Academic Building at Ramapo College
The Salameno Spiritual Center in front of the C-Wing Academic Building at Ramapo College

Praised for its accessibility and modernity which is juxtaposed by the picturesque outdoors, Ramapo College, which lies at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, was named by CondeNast Traveler as one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America in 2020.[12]

The 300-acre campus includes modern academic buildings, the Robert A. Scott Student Center (which houses student offices, the Birch Tree Inn and Atrium cafeterias, and J. Lee's student lounge); entertainment and meeting rooms; a library with electronic research facilities; the Ramapo Spiritual Center, an administration building; athletic playing fields and 12 lighted tennis courts.

The Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts houses performance theaters, art galleries and specialized spaces devoted to fine arts, computer art, photography, theater, dance and music. The Berrie Center includes a number of art galleries that are aligned with the School of Contemporary Arts and display a wide variety of art including faculty artwork and international collections. The visual arts faculty uses the exhibitions as an educational tool to illustrate the creative process to students. The art galleries include the Kresge Gallery, Pascal Gallery, Selden Rodman Gallery, Potter Library Gallery, and the Photo Lounge Gallery. The Potter Library Galleries showcase regional artists and student work.

A campus-wide building program during recent years has resulted in the completion of the Anisfield School of Business, designed by local firm SNS Architects & Engineers, which opened in Fall 2007 and the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation center with its 2,200-seat arena, fitness center, climbing wall, dance/aerobics studio, gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. The center has also been used for live music.[13] A new synthetic outdoor running track was laid down in the summer of 2008, and further refurbishments to the main athletic stadium are ongoing. Five residence halls, Mackin Hall, Bischoff Hall, Overlook Hall, Laurel Hall, as well as the Village, an apartment-style complex, were also completed. Restoration of the College Park Apartments, built during the late 1970s, is also underway, reaching Phase II of the project. As per the other residence halls, they are relatively modern, with Pine Hall being completed in 1986 and Linden Hall completed in 1990.[14] Bischoff Hall opened in 1999, followed by Mackin Hall in 2000, the Village apartments in 2002, the distinctively designed Overlook Hall in 2004, and Laurel Hall in 2005.[14] The Salameno Spiritual Center is now open. The Adler Center for Nursing Excellence opened in the fall of 2015 and houses both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, featuring three simulation rooms where students work with computer-simulated patients, in addition to a nursing skills lab and a laboratory for anatomy and physiology.[15]

The school has an independent FM radio station, WRPR, 90.3 FM, a free-form station featuring numerous genres and talk shows.

The Roukema Center for International Education is located in the Anisfield School of Business. Here, advisement is given for those students who want to study abroad. There are more than 50 countries in Ramapo's study abroad program, which includes a variety of faculty-led trips to international destinations such as China, Cuba, Ghana, India, Japan, Spain, Peru, and Portugal.[16]


Ramapo College currently has 8 men's teams and 12 women's teams, and participates in NCAA Division III sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country running, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women's athletic teams at Ramapo College consist of basketball, cheerleading, cross country running, dance, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Ramapo also offers a club DIII ice hockey team.

The men's basketball team won the 2017 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs. However, Ramapo was eliminated after the second round of playoff competition.[17]

The hockey team won the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference title for 2016–2017 season.

Student supporters of Ramapo College's athletic teams are known as the Ramapo Rowdies.


Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Ramapo Enrollment" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Ramapo Enrollment Report" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b c d e f Henry Bischoff, A History of Ramapo College of New Jersey: The First Quarter Century – 1971–1996 (Mahwah: Ramapo College of New Jersey,1997).
  5. ^ "Rodney D. Smith Appointed President of Ramapo College" (Press release). Ramapo College. January 25, 2001. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ramapo College President Announces He Will Not Seek Reappointment" (Press release). Ramapo College. January 30, 2004. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "Dr. Peter Philip Mercer Appointed President of Ramapo College of New Jersey" (Press release). Ramapo College. February 16, 2005. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  8. ^ "Cindy R. Jebb, Ph.D., Named 5th President of Ramapo College of New Jersey" (Press release). Ramapo College. March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Ramapo College". USNews.com. Archived from the original on 2017-04-05.
  10. ^ "Ramapo College of New Jersey". Forbes. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ramapo College of New Jersey". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  12. ^ Timothy Latterner (July 24, 2020). "The 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  13. ^ Ambrose, Anthony. "inTuneMusic Online: Brand New @ Mahwah 4/3". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  14. ^ a b Hann, Chris (Fall–Winter 2009). "Ramapo College Celebrates 40 Years". Ramapo Magazine. Ramapo College of New Jersey. Retrieved August 6, 2019 – via issuu.com.
  15. ^ Nursing Programs at Ramapo College, Ramapo College. Accessed April 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Ramapo Faculty-Led Programs, Ramapo College. Accessed April 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "2016-2017 Men's Basketball Schedule - Ramapo College Roadrunners". ramapoathletics.com.
  18. ^ Lauren H. Carson, Rhode Island General Assembly. Accessed February 23, 2018. "She obtained a Master’s degree in History from the University of Rhode Island in 2008 and her Master in Business degree from URI in 1992, and earned a BA in sociology from Ramapo College in New Jersey."
  19. ^ Bradley, Jeff. "Eufemia Winds Up In Doubt Brings To Yankees Resume & Anxiety", New York Daily News, February 19, 1995. Accessed February 17, 2018. "A Bergenfield, N.J., native and product of Ramapo College, Eufemia went 4-2 with a couple of saves for the Twins in '85."
  20. ^ Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 17, 2018. Education: B.S. Ramapo College of N.J. (Psychology)"
  21. ^ Chozet, Tara. "ESPN New York 98.7FM Signs Don La Greca to Multiyear Extension", ESPN Media Zone, August 27, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2018. "La Greca graduated from Ramapo College in 1992 with a degree in communications. In 2014, La Greca was honored by the College with its Distinguished Citizen Award, given for his 'personal and professional commitment to advance higher education and for his significant service to the community.'"
  22. ^ Herzog, Laura. "YouTube comedian recounts SNL failure at Ramapo College graduation", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 15, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2018. "YouTube comedian Grace Helbig, a 2007 graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey who gave this year's commencement speech on Friday night, now has her own E! show. Before that, she failed a lot."
  23. ^ "How hit show This Is Us is connected to NJ — NO spoilers, scout’s honor!", WKXW, February 23, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2018. "First, the cast includes New Jersey native, Ron Cephas Jones. The Paterson native who plays William (Randall's biological dad) graduated John F. Kennedy High School and then attended Ramapo College in Mahwah. Jones also has had recent roles in Mr. Robot & Luke Cage."
  24. ^ Trutor, Clayton. "Mark Leiter", Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed February 23, 2018. "Mark played baseball at Connors State Junior College in Warner, Oklahoma, a perennially nationally-ranked junior college team, and in 1983 he played far closer to home at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey."
  25. ^ "Toronto Argonauts - Argos". argonauts.ca. Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  26. ^ Holler, John. " Legend of Lowber, 10 years laterRick Spielman has brought several very good players to the Minnesota Vikings in the last decade. Todd Lowber wasn't one of them.", Scout.com, April 18, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2018. "It didn’t take long for Lowber’s myth to build. He had never played college football. He was a basketball player at some phantom college in New Jersey – the fabled Ramapo College in Mahwah."
  27. ^ "The Final Goodbye For Hon. Joshua Orwa Ojode". Gusii.com. June 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Upon graduation from Maranda, Hon. Ojode proceeded to Ramapo State College of The University System Of New Jersey, in Mahwah, New Jersey, United States. When he graduated from Ramapo State in 1991, Hon. Ojode returned to Kenya.
  28. ^ Hess, Elizabeth. Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human, p. 102. Random House, 2008. ISBN 9780553904703. Accessed February 23, 2018. "Laura-Ann Petitto, an ambitious undergraduate from Ramapo College in New Jersey, often transported Nim from the LaFarges' home to Columbia for his classes."
  29. ^ Duggan, Amelia; Spelling, Ian (May 9, 2012). "Big Name, 'Small' Start: Famous people who entered the world in Bergen". Bergen.com. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2018. Jeff Phillips, 1968 Veteran soap actor Jeff Phillips was raised in Hillsdale and went to Pascack Valley High School and Ramapo College.
  30. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn. "Two Actors Find the Perfect Parts in Love", The New York Times, September 16, 2016. Accessed February 23, 2018. "He was also a baseball player at Ramapo College in New Jersey before working as a production assistant and an actor for Estelle Parsons and then winning a 2010 Drama Desk Award as a member of the Godlight Theater Company."
  31. ^ Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 23, 2018. "Education: Ramapo College (Business)"
  32. ^ Rohn, Virginia (February 29, 2012). "Jay Seals, an actor from Hasbrouck Heights, talks about his role in the new series Awake". The Record. Bergen County, New Jersey. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2018. A graduate of Ramapo College, he booked his first big job – a one-shot gig on Saturday Night Live – in 2000.
  33. ^ "Rumors swirling around Dave Brock at Delaware", On the Banks, January 18, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2018. "Skrosky is from Lodi in Bergen County and went to college at Ramapo, giving him obvious local ties to New Jersey."
  34. ^ "Alumni". Ramapo College Literature Department. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  35. ^ Tedder, Michael. "The Power of Negative Thinking", The Village Voice, October 31, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2018. "Stickles’s mom is a student assistance counselor in New Jersey, 'which is like being a guidance counselor, but it’s exclusively about feelings.' His dad is a high school principal, and his stepmom teaches second grade. Well read as a kid, he majored in literature and minored in philosophy at Ramapo College of New Jersey."
  36. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Murray Bookchin, 85, Writer, Activist and Ecology Theorist, Dies", The New York Times, August 7, 2006. Accessed February 17, 2018. "In 1971, he started the Institute for Social Ecology in Plainfield, Vt., to further his ideas, and began teaching at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where he was later given tenure."
  37. ^ "Ramapo College Adjunct Professor Appointed Maldives Ambassador to U.S." (Press release). Ramapo College of New Jersey. 1 May 2019.
  38. ^ Paulson, Dina. "The Story Behind 'Across Which the World' by Laura McCullough", Compose, March 29, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2018. "She teaches full time at Brookdale Community College, has taught at Stockton University and Ramapo College, and is on the faculty of the Sierra Nevada low-res MFA where she teaches poetry and critical theory."

Coordinates: 41°04′58″N 74°10′41″W / 41.08278°N 74.17806°W / 41.08278; -74.17806