Rutgers–Camden began as the South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey. The schools were founded by a group of citizens led by Collingswood mayor and lawyer Arthur E. Armitage. In 1950, the two schools became the Camden campus when they merged with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. After decades of providing students with a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, in 1981 Rutgers–Camden began to offer its first master's degree programs, in biology, English, and business administration. In 1989, the growing demand for business offerings led to the founding of the School of Business–Camden, the first business school in southern New Jersey to earn prestigious accreditation from the AACSB International. Rutgers–Camden achieved another academic first in 2007: launching the first doctoral program on its campus—and the very first of its kind in the nation—with the PhD degree in childhood studies. Today, Rutgers–Camden boasts two additional PhD degrees in integrative biology and public affairs. The business school offers a four-year undergraduate business curriculum along with MBA, professional master’s, and executive programs. The law school, ranked highly and nationally, boasts a new and impressive facility complete with a state-of-the-art moot courtroom. In 2011, the School of Nursing became the newest academic unit at Rutgers–Camden, providing health care institutions throughout the region with high-caliber nursing professionals.
In 2002, Rutgers University–Camden and the University of Havana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize research and exchange opportunities for students and faculty. It was renewed in 2016.
In July 2012, the New Jersey Legislature passed the "New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Higher Education Restructuring Act," integrating Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with units of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The Restructuring Act created a Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors that has the authority to determine policies for the organization, administration and development of the campus. It also links Rutgers–Camden with Rowan University for joint science collaborations. In July 2014, the legacy University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing at Stratford merged with the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden.
Rutgers–Camden is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It has nearly 40 majors and 50 minors plus special programs, an Honors College, hands-on research with faculty mentors, study abroad, internships, civic learning, and various graduate and advanced professional programs. The academic year follows a 4-4 schedule of two four-course semesters, fall and spring. During the winter study term, students study various courses outside of typical curriculum for 3 weeks in January. Rutgers students often take the winter study term to pursue internships or work on intensive research projects.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest academic unit at Rutgers–Camden. Students enjoy the advantages of a personalized liberal arts education as well as the benefits of studying at a campus of a research university, particularly the opportunity to work closely with distinguished faculty. Students have a broad choice of majors and programs in the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, and the natural and physical sciences, including those in traditional liberal arts fields as well as more professionally oriented courses of study. The College of Arts and Sciences also has a highly selective Honors College, which offers a challenging academic program that includes seminars, junior and senior year projects, and extracurricular activities.