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Ask a Dean at TCNJ


Replies to: Ask a Dean at TCNJ

  • DeanRifkin-TCNJDeanRifkin-TCNJ College Rep Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Indeed, the College of New Jersey's School of Engineering does have a Biomedical Engineering Program. You can read more about it at

    Biomedical Engineering :: School of Engineering :: The College of New Jersey

    Once you read about the program on the web, you can contact the faculty or department administrator with your questions. As Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, I really can't say much about this program except to say that I'm very impressed with what I hear. You will get more concrete information from the faculty and staff of the program than I could possibly offer.

    Best wishes to all,

    Benjamin Rifkin
    Dean of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences
    The College of New Jersey
  • nym27jreynym27jrey Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Can I change my major/school when I get to TCNJ. I was accepted 3 weeks ago.
  • Firefighter22Firefighter22 Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Right now I'm deciding between TCNJ and Rutgers NB, I was at a college fair and the TCNJ rep told me that if i wanted my bachelors in accounting i needed to take 150 credits to qualify to get my CPA, and it was very difficult to get approved to double major in both accounting and finance. Is there any truth to this can i take the normal amount of credits in accounting and then take a finance double major.
  • DeanRifkin-TCNJDeanRifkin-TCNJ College Rep Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Good luck with your choice, Firefighter22. Here's information from the TCNJ Accounting Program (Undergraduate Bulletin):

    Students are required to take 34 course units to graduate with an accounting degree. Ten of these course units are in accounting. For students interested in the Certified Public Accountant’s (CPA) license, a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy qualifies students to take the CPA exam in the state of New Jersey. However, to qualify for a CPA license, students need to take an additional three and one-half course units (=14 credits) to satisfy the state-mandated 150-hour requirement.

    The question of whether accounting majors can double major in finance is a good one and you should direct it to someone at the School of Business. If you come to Accepted Students Day (if you're already accepted at TCNJ) you can ask the question at that time. If you're earlier in the application process (Class of 2017 or 2018), then I would encourage you to go to the School of Business website and get the email address of the assistant dean to write with your questions directly to someone who is in the know.

    The website for the School of Business at TCNJ is:


    With best wishes to all,

    Benjamin Rifkin
    Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    The College of New Jersey
  • DeanRifkin-TCNJDeanRifkin-TCNJ College Rep Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Dear nym27jrey:

    You can ask Admissions now if you can change from the major for which you applied into another major. You can also change majors throughout your undergraduate career except for certain periods of time when the change of major process is closed so that Records and Registration can prepare students for registration for the next semester of classes (course selection).

    However, there are some majors into which it is very difficult to transfer due to the restriction on the number of students in the major overall or the nature of the curriculum. If you are not accepted as a freshman into nursing, you are unlikely to be allowed to transfer into nursing. You can change from one engineering major to another, but it is difficult to transfer into engineering from English or Philosophy. The biology, psychology, and health & exercise science majors are very popular: students can transfer into those majors only through a competitive process.

    That being said, you can easily transfer from sociology to political science, from communication studies to journalism, and so forth.

    Nationally, about 50% of college students change their major between freshman and senior year. I did.

    I encourage you to come to Accepted Students Day and ask TCNJ staff about the majors of your interest to learn about the possibility of internal transfer for the particular combination of majors that interests you.

    Good luck with your decision!

    With best wishes,

    Benjamin Rifkin
    Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    The College of New Jersey
  • jisitojisito Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    My daughter has been admitted to TCNJ , Brown, Lehigh, Dartmouth. We are concerned about paying for medical school in the future, what are the chances of my daughter gaining admission to medical school, if he attends TCNJ.
    Thank you
  • njCavenjCave Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Dear Dean,
    It seems I have not been offered Honors invitation. I have been accepted to Bio-Med Engg. and has been awarded Merit Scholarship. Actually I applied for the 7 year BA/MD program at UMDNJ and did not get into though I went to the final interview. Almost all schools that I applied have offered me their Honors programs/Colleges. It looks like it is too late to get any letter regarding Honors from TCNJ. So I was wondering what other criteria is considered at TCNJ to be part of Honors program.

    - njCave

    Here are my credentials:
    SAT I (breakdown): 2230 (CR: 760, M: 780, W: 690) Single Sitting
    ACT: No.
    SAT II (if submitted): Math-II : 800, Physics: 800, Chem: 800
    Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.925
    Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): top 10%
    AP (place score in parenthesis): All 5s, Calc-AB, Physics B, Stats, Chemistry.
    Senior Year Course Load:
    AP-Calc BC, AP-Bio, AP-CompScience-A, AP-Physics C(M), AP Phyiscs-C(EM).

    Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): NHS, National Merit Commented List, Mock Trial Club, Model UN, Piano 12+ years including couple of performance at Carnegie Hall in New York, Varsity Tennis Team, 12 years of Sunday School (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) on Culture-Philosophy-Religion etc.
    Volunteer/Community service: Hospital Volunteer 90 hrs., NHS tutoring, Local Library.

  • collegemomx3collegemomx3 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Dear Dean, Thank you for taking questions and trying to help. My D has been accepted into the TCNJ school of engineering. She liked the school when we visited. I know the school has a very strong academic reputation overall but I am not sure about the engineering school's reputation. Do the students tend to find employment upon graduation? Are there internships available?She has also considered teaching STEM. Would it be possible to double major in engineering and education(STEM), or perhaps major in one and minor in the other? Thank you for your advice.
  • sleeplessNJmomsleeplessNJmom Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Dear Dean,
    I found the college's Advanced Placement info but cannot seem to find anything regarding transfer credits for SUPA (Syracuse University) classes taken senior year. My daughter is taking SUPA English/Writing for 6 credits, which is the Syracuse University freshman requirement, and SUPA Forensics for 3 credits. We are wondering if she will receive any transfer credits for these courses.
    Thanks for your help.
  • AdmissStaffTCNJAdmissStaffTCNJ College Rep Posts: 226 Junior Member
    Hi Everyone! Dean Rifkin asked me to hop on his thread and answer some of these questions.

    NJCave, I would recommend giving a call to our Scholar Hotline. Honors Program invites are tied to scholarship so they should be able to clear things up for you. Their phone number is 609.771.3239

    Collegemomx3, Engineering is one of the schools that really sees the benefit from TCNJ being undergrad focused. The amount of resources that are available to the engineering students are amazing. Because there are no teaching assistants, TCNJ engineering students get hands on experiences in the labs and in competitions across the country working alongside their professors. Most of our engineering students will take internships and almost 100% have jobs or are placed in graduate programs within 6 months of graduation. For a more detailed list of where our engineering grads are, check out our One Year Out survey results: http://career.pages.tcnj.edu/files/2011/09/0751_001.pdf It is certainly possible for your D to have a second major in education or any kind of minor. We offer all of our education programs (special ed, urban ed, early childhood, etc) with 'MST' or Math/Science/Technology. We also have a separate Technology Education program for students interested in teaching at the secondary education level.

    Hey SleeplessNJmom! SUPA credits are accepted so long as the student earned a C or better. Once your daughter enrolls at TCNJ, that information is pulled from her HS transcript and noted as credits transfered into TCNJ on her college transcript.
  • njCavenjCave Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Dear Dean,
    I already spoke to some one at the scholarship line about no invitation for the honors role.
    These are the four main reasons I inferred from the response:
    1. There are no special benefits like honors housing, research opportunity, and preference for class registration as offered in several schools in which I am admitted.
    2. One can get honors by taking necessary additional credits before graduation.
    If that is true I won't mind waiting till I get into TCNJ.
    3. Last, but not least, is that honors invitation is based on several factors. I am not sure what this means. Being invited to honors role is to encourage students to demonstrate academic excellence at TCNJ based on their past academic performance. But apparently that is not the case it seems.
    4. Most of the honors decision are done while awarding scholarship. So there may not be any more review.
  • AdmissStaffTCNJAdmissStaffTCNJ College Rep Posts: 226 Junior Member
    The benefits of TCNJ's Honors Program can be found at the following link - however, you are correct that this list does not include any specific research opportunities or preference during course registration: Benefits | Honors

    You are also correct that current TCNJ students can, and are encouraged to, apply to join the Honors Program once they have taken 16 credits (4 course units) at TCNJ and if they have maintained a 3.5 gpa or higher.

    Invitations to join the Honors program are, of course, based on academic factors - but in selecting students for this year's Honors Program we have also looked at a number of different factors such as co-curricular involvement and diversity of majors. Less than 10% of admitted students are invited to join the Honors Program, while 25% of our admitted students met the minimum requirements for the program. This means that there are many, many more qualified students than there are available seats in the Honors Program. TCNJ expects that ALL students (in the Honors Program or otherwise) will demonstrate the level of academic excellence at TCNJ that they have in their high school careers.

    While all invitations to join the Honors Program have been offered at this time, students who remain interested in the program can contact the Admissions Office for more information.
  • momworriedmomworried Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    I have contacted the same number 3 weeks ago per your suggestion. They told me that they will take student's names that didn't get into the honors program and are still interested. They also told me that they will let my son know one way or the other in couple of weeks if he made it in. So far TCNJ didn't follow up. That is extremely dissappointing. I understand that there are a lot of smart kids that are applying. My son is a salutatorian with a 2300 SAT. TCNJ offered him a good scholarship. So at this point it makes absolutely no sense to me. I really wanted him to go to TCNJ, but I think with all his other acceptances and TCNJ's handling of the honors program, I don't think he will. He's down to picking between 2 schools. TCNJ and TUFTS and he actually told me that the fact that TCNJ didn't accept him into the honors program he's leaning towards Tufts.
  • DarkfireguitarDarkfireguitar Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Is it possible to switch from a major in mathematics to a chemistry major. I don't know if it affects anything but I am in the honors program? Also I was considering applying to law schools after my undergraduate education; would I need to take Pre-Law as a minor or second major, or do I just take certain classes for this?
  • DeanRifkin-TCNJDeanRifkin-TCNJ College Rep Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Dear DarkFireGuitar:

    Sorry I couldn't respond right away - it's been a busy time on campus with a lot of award ceremonies.

    If you have been admitted to TCNJ for the class of 2016, and if you would like to change your major, you need to contact admissions and can do so through this site:

    Change of Major | New Undergraduate Student Registration and Enrollment Site

    In general, some of the majors are not accepting intra-college transfers at this time; biology and chemistry may be among that group.

    You can request chemistry and it might be approved, but it might not at this time in order to ensure the availability of labs and equipment for the students who have already been admitted to that major. Admissions can tell you for sure.

    You can have a 2nd major or a minor, but we do not offer a minor in Law and Law Schools are not looking for such a program in the transcripts of their applicants. We do have a concentration in law and society (very popular) and you can participate in pre-law advising by signing up for it (no charge, no course credits) with a pre-law advisor. In the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the following faculty are pre-law advisors: Dr. Melinda Roberts (Philosophy), Dr. Daryl Fair (Political Science), Dr. Robert McGreevey (History). There are also pre-law advisors in the school of business. Law schools do not require a single course (unlike med schools, which have a prescribed course of pre-med study they want every student to have). We do recommend logic for pre-law students as we believe that this helps with the LSATs.

    Best wishes,


    Benjamin Rifkin
    Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    The College of New Jersey
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