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Thomas Edison State College Review

Thomas Edison State College is a public, four-year institution in Trenton, New Jersey, that specializes in continuing education degrees for working adults. The college was founded in 1972, and 100 percent of its classes are offered as distance learning opportunities. Not only does Thomas Edison State College take its name from New Jersey's own Wizard of Menlo Park, but it's the only institute of higher learning that can claim the controversial industrialist as an alumnus — the college awarded Edison a posthumous bachelor's degree in 1992.

  • Total enrollment: 20,877
  • Undergraduate admission deadline: Rolling
  • Graduate admissions deadlines:
    • Feb. 15 (for April 1 start)
    • May 15 (for July 1 start)
    • Aug. 15 (for Oct. 1 start)
    • Nov. 15 (for Jan. 1 start).
  • For prospective MBA students, the deadlines are:
    •  Dec. 12 (for Jan. 1 start)
    • April 17 (for May 1 start)
    • Aug. 15 (for Sept. 1 start)
  • Are transfers accepted in both spring and fall? Yes

Steps to admission

  • General undergraduate degrees
    • Possess a high school diploma or certificate of General Educational Development (GED)
    • Be at least 21 years old (participants in certain special programs exempt)
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing applicants must have an active and valid U.S. registered nursing license
  • Graduate degrees
    • Complete undergraduate work at an accredited institution; a 2.75 or better GPA is recommended
    • Complete 3 to 5 years of workforce experience in a managerial or supervisory capacity
    • Submit two letters of reference along with all applicable personal statements and essays
    • Applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program must have an active and valid U.S. registered nursing license
    • MBA program applicants must have completed undergraduate courses in financial accounting, microeconomics and statistics or be willing to complete the college's MBA Preparatory Program

Military applicants have slightly different application requirements and should contact the college for further information.

Financial Aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV approved)? Yes
  • Does this school offer scholarships? Yes
  • What percentage of students receive financial aid? 27 percent
Featured Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 

Working nurses tend to appreciate the scheduling flexibility that an online education can provide, and Thomas Edison State College offers a program that can work well with even the busiest professional schedule. With an RN-BSN program as well as an accelerated one-year second degree BSN -- both 120 credits in length with transfer credits applicable -- nurses in a wide variety of situations can start on the path to career advancement.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The online MBA is one of the most widely distributed degrees in today's distance learning ecosystem, and it's one that many institutions have been offering for long enough to have most or all of the kinks worked out of the process. The general MBA from Thomas Edison State provides advanced training in business communication, analytical thinking and essential skills of leadership and management.

MBA in Marketing 

Marketing professionals certainly use some of the common business principles taught in a general MBA curriculum, but the skillset needed to excel in the field of brand outreach requires a dedicated program of study. Students in the Marketing MBA program at Thomas Edison State take courses in market research, social media, global marketing and digital marketing analytics to help them better understand and communicate with users and consumers the world over.

MBA in Finance

Financial specialists are always in high demand in the business world, and studying finance at the graduate level is a tried and true way to demonstrate your commitment to the craft and polish your expertise in the field to a gleaming shine. Finance coursework at Thomas Edison State College aims to provide students with an integrated understanding of finance with classes in such subjects as investments, entrepreneurship, financial statement analysis and quantitative reasoning.

Healthcare Management 

The health care system in the U.S. is undergoing a major operational evolution, and leaders with a thorough education in modern principles of healthcare finance, law and delivery will be in a strong position to help lead the industry into its new era. Thomas Edison State offers its healthcare management degree as an MBA, also, which means that students will graduate with a full complement of highly adaptive general business skills to back up their specialized knowledge.


Thomas Edison State College focuses on educating adults who are looking to improve the skills they use on the job or make a career change. As one of the oldest colleges in the U.S. that restricts its admissions policy to only serve self-motivated adult learners, Thomas Edison State has been able to tailor its programs to suit the particular needs of busy students looking to improve their career position with continued education.

The student-teacher ratio is 20 to 1, as of the 2012-13 school year, and the college's faculty members have strong professional experience they can draw on to help teach their students. The school is appreciative of its history as well: Inventor Thomas Edison, for whom the school was named, was awarded an honorary Bachelor of Science degree in applied science and technology in 1992, 20 years after the college was founded and 61 years after his death.

Thomas Edison State tailors its programs to suit the particular needs of busy working students looking to improve their career possibilities via education.

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Thomas Edison State College has worked hard to ensure that its adult education programs match up with the educational offerings provided at traditional institutes of higher learning across the country. Its efforts have landed it on more than one rankings list in the last several years, including multiple categories at U.S. News and World Report:

  • Best Graduate School Rankings 2011
    • • Nursing
  • Best Online Programs Rankings 2014
    • • Online Bachelor's Program

Notable Faculty/Awards
  • Margaret Ciocco, Nursing Program Adviser for the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, was named the Hannelore Sweetwood Mentor of the Year in 2012 from Sigma Theta Tau – Lambda Delta Chapter
  • Julie Kulak, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, won the New Jersey State Nursing Students Faculty Award in 2010
  • George A. Pruitt, College President, was one of two recipients of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities in 2014
  • In 2011, Thomas Edison State College received the Distance Education Innovation Award from the National University Technology Network (NUTN) for developing the FlashTrack course delivery system
  • P. Henry van Zyl, Vice Provost of Academic Administration, received the 2014 J.O. Grantham Leadership Award for service to the NUTN
  • Robin Walton, Vice President of Community and Government Affairs, was named hospital trustee to the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Hospital Association in 2015

1. Thomas Edison State College, http://www.tesc.edu/
2. "Chronicle," Nadine Brozan, The New York Times, Oct. 23, 1992, http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/23/style/chronicle-994592.html
3. "Thomas Edison State College vice president appointed to N.J. Hospital Association Board," Rich Cuccagna, The Times of Trenton, Feb. 12, 2015, http://www.nj.com/mercer-community/index.ssf/2015/02/thomas_edison_state_college_vi.html
4. College Navigator: Thomas Edison State College, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=Thomas+Edison+State+College&s=all&id=187046
5. Thomas Edison State College, The Princeton Review, http://www.princetonreview.com/ThomasEdisonStateCollege.aspx#/
6. "Thomas Edison State College president receives public service award," Amy Reynolds, The Times of Trenton, Nov. 25, 2014, http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/11/thomas_edison_state_college_president_george_pruitt_receives_public_service_award.html
7. Thomas Edison State College: All Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/thomas-edison-state-11648

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