Although the school would not adopt the name of Newark College of Engineering until 1930, NCE began offering undergraduate degree programs in chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering in 1919. Civil engineering was added in 1927. The early degree programs incorporated real-world experience through cooperative education at area companies.
From its earliest days, NCE established itself as a "school of opportunity," with students who were often the first in their families to attend college. The co-op format allowed many students to "work their way through" and continue their studies even throughout the Great Depression.
Throughout World War II, NCE helped educate students for the war effort. Degree programs were accelerated to fill the military's need for more engineers. Some students switched to night school and went to work in defense plants and military research programs. NCE also served as a technology training site for soldiers. Although class sizes waned in the latter years of the war, returning veterans swelled the enrollment again, with veterans comprising 75 percent of the freshman class in 1946.
After the war, NCE began to expand in both size and scope. The first master's degrees were awarded in 1949, the first doctoral degree in 1964. Eberhardt Hall was purchased in 1948, and Cullimore Hall opened in 1958. A major campus building program in 1962 added Faculty Hall, University Hall, the Specht Building, Tiernan Hall, and the Hazell Student Center.
NCE's 85 years of growth and development parallel an unprecedented period of scientific discovery and technological innovation. From its earliest days, NCE has adapted its curriculum to emerging technologies to prepare its students for an ever-changing marketplace. In recent decades, a strong focus on research and the construction of state-of-the-art research facilities have made NCE an active participant in technological advancement and the development of technology based enterprise.
Research concentrations include wireless technology, transportation, nanotechnology and microelectronics, engineered particulates, microflow control, membrane technologies, environmental engineering and polymer technology.
To learn more about the history of Newark College of Engineering, visit the Van Houten Library Archives.