In 2013, the state of New Jersey restructured its medical schools by dismantling the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, known informally as UMDNJ. New Jersey now has four medical school options. Three of those options are allopathic medical schools, which lead to M.D. degrees. The fourth choice, a school of osteopathic medicine, awards D.O. degrees. All four schools are operated by the state’s public university system. Rutgers University in the northern half of the state oversees two of the allopathic medical schools. The third allopathic school and the osteopathic school are located in southern New Jersey at Rowan University.
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School opened at Rutgers University in 1961, before being folded into UMDNJ. Located in Piscataway, the medical school gets its name from one of three Johnson brothers who started the Johnson and Johnson company. In addition to awarding medical degrees, the school also has dual-degree M.D./Ph.D. programs. If a beautiful campus makes a difference, RWJMS landed on the list of "40 Most Beautiful Medical Schools in the U.S." selected by the site Best Medical Degree, tying with Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta for 39th place.
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Located in Newark, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School first opened in 1956 as part of Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry. The restructured medical school has 27 centers and institutes, including the Center for Biodefense and the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Center. In addition to offering traditional M.D. degrees, NJMS awards dual degrees such as an M.D./M.B.A. and M.D./Ph.D. Medical students can also earn an M.D./M.P.H., or Master of Public Health. NJMS also offers an accelerated M.D. program and a program allowing medical students to conduct original research and write a thesis.
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Established in 1976 as part of UMDNJ, the state's only school of osteopathic medicine was also the first medical school established in southern New Jersey. Now a part of Rowan University and called SOM, the school operates six specialty centers and institutes, including the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. According to SOM enrollment figures, the majority of its students come from New Jersey -- 88 percent in 2013. New Jersey instituted the 2013 restructuring of its medical schools partly to reap more research dollars and SOM achieved success in the 2013-2014 academic year, landing $28.8 million in sponsored research projects.
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
In 2009, Rowan University became a public research university. This allowed Rowan to partner with Cooper Health System to open the state's newest allopathic medical school in Camden. The first class of medical students arrived in the fall of 2012. While Cooper Medical School boasts new state-of-the-art facilities, Cooper hospital has existed in Camden since 1887 and encourages community service. According to a 2013 report from the Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force, Cooper's medical students gave 4,000 hours of volunteer time to the Camden community by tutoring, working in community gardens and serving food at soup kitchens.