Two N.J. colleges rank among best for undergraduate science research

Eric Strauss//March 10, 2015

Two N.J. colleges rank among best for undergraduate science research

Eric Strauss//March 10, 2015

With the current emphasis on the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — it may be heartening to see two New Jersey universities listed among the nation’s top science research schools.Best College Reviews, a collegiate ranking service, released its Top 50 list based on undergraduate research potential on Tuesday, and both Princeton University and Rutgers University made the grade.

Princeton, which came in at No. 5 on the list, earned praise for the opportunities it provides to students.

“Students at all levels are encouraged to participate in research, with plenty of funding available,” Best College Reviews said. “One opportunity available for undergraduate students is through PRISM (Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials), where undergraduates can earn a certificate in materials through taking a combination of core courses and participating in research with PRISM faculty.”

Rutgers, meanwhile, was ranked 29th, and won kudos for its university-wide research.

“Rutgers … spends nearly $744 million per year in research and development, placing it as the top-spending college or university in the state of New Jersey,” the service said. “Research at Rutgers is vast, and (much) of the university’s research is world-renowned. Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository is the largest university-based repository in the world and has received over $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health.”

Best College Reviews chose its Top 50 based on whether:

  • The university has at least one research center or institute that functions under the jurisdiction of the university, but as a separate entity;
  • There are opportunities for undergraduates to participate directly in research;
  • The university receives federal research funds.

“Research is of vital interest to the progress of humanity,” Nick Plato, the author of the ranking, said in a prepared statement. “Identifying leading research universities in regards to undergraduate opportunities and research centers seemed a needed task, as every potential scientist and researcher is an undergraduate at some point. Knowing where opportunities abound is a required resource in the noble pursuit of knowledge for the sake of mankind.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked first on the list. For the complete rankings, click here.


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