Updated on May 23, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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Montclair State University (MSU) is a public research university located in Montclair, New Jersey. While Montclair is home to the school’s main campus, some parts do extend into Little Falls and Clifton. Founded in 1908, the institution is the second largest public university in the state. Montclair State University is also notable for its very high research activity. Additionally, it is a U.S. Department of Education-designated Hispanic-Service Institution.

Overview of Montclair State University (MSU)

The university is dedicated to providing underserved populations access to affordable higher education. It strives to offer academic programs that help students develop the ability to discover, create, evaluate, apply, and share knowledge. In 2022, the U.S. News and World Report ranked Montclair State University 179 among all national universities. The institutions also received a ranking of 19 in Top Performers on Social Mobility and 88 in Top Public Schools overall.

The total student population is 21,005. Of those, 16,374 are undergraduate students and 4,631 are graduate students. Additionally, the university employs 619,367 full-time and 1,072 part-time faculty members, most of whom are responsible for instruction. The school also has 323 graduate assistants, 90 of whom assist in classrooms and 233 who perform research. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1, with an average class size of 24.5.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 68%
Year Founded 1908

Student Enrollment

Total Students21,007


Undergraduate Student

Male 6,508
Female 10,179

Graduate Student

Male 1,685
Female 2,635

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MSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 4,098
Female 7,790


Male 3,237
Female 6,622

Acceptance Rate83%

Male 79%
Female 85%

Enrollment 3,157

Male 1,086
Female 2,071
Application Fee $65
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Considered But Not Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Considered But Not Required
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline March 1
Common Application Accepted No

MSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of tuition and fees at Montclair State University will depend on the type of degree sought and state residency status. For residents enrolled in 12-18 undergraduate credit hours, they will be charged a flat rate of $6,162 per semester. With other mandatory fees, the total becomes $6,649. Non-residents pay more, however. Those attending the university from out of state will pay $10,221 for the same course load. After fees, the amount becomes $10,709. Resident students taking fewer than 12 credit hours are considered part-time and can pay $443 per credit, while non-residents will pay $714 per credit.

Graduate students will pay different rates that range from $515 to $786 per credit hour depending on the chosen program. Additionally, some options are priced in their entirety. Notably, tuition and fees for degrees and certificates at this level have specific structures regardless of residency status.

It’s important to realize that students will also need to account for other living expenses, such as room and board. Montclair State University offers on-campus room and board, but it will add to the overall cost of attendance. Additional expenses will include other fees, books, supplies, health insurance, transportation, and personal items. All students are encouraged to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), after which an aid package can be generated.

Prospective students will have access to a wide variety of financial aid options including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study from federal, state, and institutional sources. Taking advantage of these funding sources can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of college. University scholarships are based on specific skill and ability, as well as major of study. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 81% of students enrolled at the institution received some form of financial assistance. The majority of aid awarded was in the form of grants and scholarships, but 48% of students still required some amount of assistance in loans.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $15,890
Average Total Aid $10,570
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Room & Board $15,675

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $13,073
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $21,033
  • Books and Supplies - $1,240
  • Room & Board - $15,675
  • Other - $2,120


Montclair State University is committed to serving the educational needs of New Jersey, with programs characters by academic rigor and currency in the development of knowledge and its applications. It offers a comprehensive range of baccalaureate, master’s, and certificate programs, as well as a focused portfolio of doctoral programs.

There are over 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs to choose from offered by the following colleges and schools:

  • College of Arts
  • College of Education and Human Services
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • John J. Cali School of Music
  • School of Communication and Media
  • Feliciano School of Business
  • School of Nursing

The university also offers accredited online degrees and certificates that provide a collaborative learning community, as well as an exciting study abroad program.

As of fall 2020, Montclair State University had first-year undergraduate retention rate of 83% for full-time students and 63% for part-time students. The national average is 68%. This indicates that a large majority of students enrolled at the university were happy with their academic and extracurricular experiences and chose to return for a second year.

Of full-time, first-time students who began their studies in 2015, 67% graduated within 150% of normal time, which is six years. The transfer-out rate was 21%. About 47% were able to graduate within four years.

As a whole, Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The most recent reaccreditation process occurred in 2017. Programs leading to degrees and certificates are approved by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education of the State of New Jersey, while programs that result in certification are approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. Additionally, many of the university’s disciplines have programmatic accreditation, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), American Psychological Association (APA), Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Student Population Total

Student Population 21,007

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 780 Total Graduates / 21%
Business Administration and Management, General 660 Graduates
Accounting 120 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 423 Total Graduates / 11%
Music, General 76 Graduates
Art/Art Studies, General 66 Graduates
Fashion/Apparel Design 62 Graduates
Design and Applied Arts, Other 50 Graduates
All Psycholog Majors 395 Total Graduates / 11%
Psychology, General 395 Graduates
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 385 Total Graduates / 10%
Human Development and Family Studies, General 272 Graduates
Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, General 112 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 245 Total Graduates / 7%
Communication and Media Studies, Other 96 Graduates
Radio and Television 82 Graduates
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 54 Graduates
Journalism 13 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 41%

Outcome & Salary

Based on an exit survey conducted in the graduating class in 2016, 51% we already working 20 or more hours before completing their degrees. Approximately 20% of seniors decided to pursue graduate studies at both the master’s and doctoral levels soon after leaving the institution. Students enrolled in various programs such as master of applied linguistics, master of business administration, and master of social work.

Internships were also highly popular among students. Some of the top partner companies and organizations offering these opportunities include American Cancer Society, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Washington Center, and Superior Court of New Jersey. Common employment opportunities include behavioral therapist, hall director, investigator, librarian, legal assistant, officer, social service assistant, and teacher.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $50,900
College Grads Average Salary $65,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $99,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $650,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,646,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $63,560
10 Year Projected ROI $586,440
20 Year Projected ROI $1,582,440
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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