From the School

Princeton combines the strengths of a major research university with the qualities of an outstanding liberal arts college. The University prepares its 5,200 undergraduates for lives of leadership and service.

Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the nation. It is a private, non-sectarian university.


From The School

Princeton's admission process goes beyond simply looking for academically accomplished students. For each first-year class, Princeton brings together a varied mix of high-achieving, intellectually gifted students from diverse backgrounds to create an exceptional learning community. American minorities comprise about 43% of the undergraduate student body, and students from more than 110 countries are represented.

Princeton cares about what students have accomplished in and out of the classroom. The admission process is highly selective. In 2017, the university offered admission to 6.4 percent of applicants for the class of 2021.

Students applying to Princeton are asked to describe their talents, academic accomplishments, and personal achievements. A transcript and recommendations also are required. To be considered for admission to Princeton, students must submit the results of the SAT Reasoning Test with Essay or ACT with Writing. Two SAT Subject Tests are recommended but not required. Students may apply to the university online, or submit a paper application, if needed.

Under Princeton's admission policy, need for financial aid is not in any way a disadvantage. Princeton welcomes applications from talented students of diverse economic backgrounds. An application fee waiver is available to students from low-income backgrounds or if the application fee presents a financial hardship.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24

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SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
710 - 780
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
720 - 790
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
700 - 790

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
730 - 800
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
740 - 800

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
32 - 35

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with Writing required

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with Essay component required


Early Action — November 1

Regular — January 1

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Extracurricular Activities
Talent / Ability
Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating

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From The School

Academic Programs

Students are encouraged to bring a multidisciplinary approach to their studies, synthesizing what they discover in different classes and through their own research. This approach may be informal, based on a student's particular avenue of study, or it may be more formally structured, such as with the integrated science curriculum that combines the study of physics, mathematics, computer science, and molecular biology.

A global perspective is emphasized across the curriculum, with special opportunities such as the Study Abroad Program and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Global summer internships are available through the International Internship Program and the Princeton Environmental Institute Summer Internship Program. The Bridge Year Program allows selected students to delay the start of their first year to engage in nine months of University-sponsored service abroad.

Majors and Degrees Offered

Princeton undergraduates pursue either the bachelor of arts (A.B.) or the bachelor of science in engineering (B.S.E.) degree. Students in the A.B. degree program choose a concentration (major) in one of 31 departments in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, including undergraduate programs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Architecture. The B.S.E. degree is granted by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, which has six engineering departments.

Princeton offers doctoral programs in a range of subjects in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and within the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In addition to their major course of study, students are encouraged to enroll in one or more of the University's 53 interdisciplinary certificate programs, which offer diverse fields of study. For example, a student may wish to concentrate in ecology and evolutionary biology while pursuing a certificate in musical performance.

Undergraduates benefit from small class sizes, a 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and one-on-one advising with faculty, particularly while working on independent projects such as the junior paper and senior thesis. The university's 1,252 faculty members are leaders in their disciplines, and it is not uncommon for students to receive classroom instruction from a Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, or MacArthur fellow. During their first year, students are introduced to many of Princeton's notable faculty through the freshman seminars program, which offers small discussion-focused classes on a variety of topics. One such freshman seminar may cover the art and science of motorcycle design; another may explore the qualities that make a poem endure.

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years



  • Architecture.


  • African-American/Black Studies.
  • East Asian Studies.
  • Near and Middle Eastern Studies.


  • Molecular Biology.
  • Neuroscience.


  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Civil Engineering, General.
  • Computer Engineering, General.
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Operations Research.


  • English Language and Literature, General.


  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General.
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
  • Comparative Literature.
  • French Language and Literature.
  • German Language and Literature.
  • Portuguese Language and Literature.
  • Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General.
  • Spanish Language and Literature.


  • History, General.


  • Mathematics, General.


  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.


  • Philosophy.
  • Religion/Religious Studies.


  • Astrophysics.
  • Chemistry, General.
  • Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other.
  • Physics, General.


  • Psychology, General.


  • Public Administration.


  • Anthropology.
  • Economics, General.
  • Political Science and Government, General.
  • Sociology.


  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation.
  • Music, Other.

Students Say

As a member of the grand old Ivy League, Princeton University has long maintained a "sterling reputation" for quality academics; however, students say Princeton's "unique focus on the undergraduate experience" is what makes their school stand out among institutions. It attracts "really experienced and big-name professors, who actually want to teach undergraduates." Introductory lecture classes can be rather large, but "once you take upper-level courses, you'll have a lot of chances to work closely with professors and study what you are most interested in." A current undergrad enthuses, "The discussions I have in seminar are the reason I get out of bed in the morning; after a great class, I feel incredibly invigorated." Though all Princeton professors are "leading scholars in their field," students admit that some classes can be "dry." Fortunately, "the overwhelming majority of professors are wonderful, captivating lecturers" who are "dedicated to their students." While you may be taking a class from a Nobel laureate, "the humility and accessibility of world-famous researchers and public figures is always remarkable." At Princeton, "there are so many chances to meet writers, performers, and professionals you admire." A student details, "The two years I've been here, I've been in discussions with Frank Gehry, David Sedaris, Peter Hessler, John McPhee, Jeff Koons, Chang-rae Lee, Joyce Carol Oates, W.S. Merwin, and on and on." No matter what you study, Princeton is an "intellectually challenging place," and the student experience is "intense in almost every way." Hard work pays off, though "the academic caliber of the school is unparalleled," and a Princeton education is "magnificently rewarding."



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Woodrow Wilson
US President

Bill Bradley
US Senator and NBA All-Star

Jimmy Stewart

F. Scott Fitzgerald

James Madison
US President

Meg Whitman
Founder, CEO, Ebay

Jeff Bezos
Founder, CEO,

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

As one student tells us, “Princeton is a place that prepares you for anything and everything, providing you with a strong network every step of the way.” Career Services lends a hand the moment students arrive on campus by guiding undergrads through self-assessments, educating about majors and careers, updating HireTigers—which holds hundreds of listings for jobs, fellowships, and internships—and, of course, strategize regarding resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. “Princeternships” allow students to experience “a day in the life” by shadowing an alumnus at their workplace for a few days. According to, the average starting salary for recent grads is $69,800.


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

Estimated cost of attendance for 2018-19
Tuition: $49,330
Room charge: $9,540
Board rate: $6,840
Estimated miscellaneous expenses (books, supplies, laundry, telephone, recreation, etc.): $3,500
Total: $70,010

Financial Aid

Princeton offers one of the strongest need-based financial aid programs in the country, ensuring that all qualified students, regardless of financial need, can afford to attend. There is no income cutoff on Princeton's aid application; any family who feels the need for financial assistance is welcome to apply for aid.

Since 2001, when Princeton initiated its landmark no-loan financial aid program, the university has been a leader in changing the face of financial aid policy. The university offers every aid recipient a financial aid package that replaces loans with grant aid that students do not pay back.

If admitted, applicants can be confident that their financial need, as determined by Princeton's aid office, will be met. Today, about 60 percent of undergraduates receive aid, compared with 38 percent more than a decade ago. As a result, Princeton has been able to enroll growing numbers of students from low and middle-income backgrounds. About 82% of students graduate without debt, and those who choose to borrow for additional expenses, such as a laptop computer, graduate with an average debt of $8,900. The average aid package for the Class of 2021 was $52,690, which exceeds the cost of tuition.


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms


Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


From The School

Princeton is a residential campus that provides a close-knit living environment for its undergraduates. Through its six residential colleges, students pursue a host of recreational and academic activities. The residential colleges also serve as home base for academic advising for students, who learn about all that the university has to offer from faculty and staff advisers, peer mentors, and fellow students.

With more than 300 student organizations, as well as an extensive calendar of cultural and athletic events, students find it easy to pursue their interests or explore new ones. The Frist Campus Center serves as the hub of campus life, and is home to the Women's Center, the LGBT Center, the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, and the Undergraduate Student Government, as well as many other student clubs and organizations.

For many students, social life at Princeton includes becoming a member of an eating club. The 11 historic eating clubs are open to juniors and seniors and are run independently of the university. Fraternities and sororities are not recognized as official student organizations on campus.

Princeton is an NCAA Division I school. The university offers 37 varsity sports and 38 club teams. Each year more than 1,000 students participate in intercollegiate varsity and junior varsity sports. In any given year, more than half of Princeton's varsity athletic teams compete in national championships. In recent years, Princeton teams have won national titles in lacrosse, rowing, fencing, track and field, and squash. The women's basketball team finished its 2014-15 regular season with an unprecedented 30-0 record.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



49% female
51% male
82% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time

Students Say

It's not surprising that most undergraduates are "driven, competitive, and obsessed with perfection." "Academics come first," and Princeton students are typified by dedication to their studies and "a tendency to overwork." "Almost everyone at Princeton is involved with something other than school about which they are extremely passionate," and most have "at least one distinct, remarkable talent." "It's fairly easy for most people to find a good group of friends with whom they have something in common," and many students get involved in one of the "infinite number of clubs" on campus. Superficially, "the preppy Ivy League stereotype" is reflected in the student population, and many students are "well-spoken," "dress nicely," and stay in shape. A student jokes, "Going to Princeton is like being in a contest to see who can be the biggest nerd while simultaneously appearing least nerdy."


From The School


Princeton is a residential campus set on 500 park-like acres located in the town of Princeton (pop: 30,000) in central New Jersey. Known for its beauty and architectural variety, including the famed "Collegiate Gothic" style of architecture, the campus is home to historic landmarks such as Nassau Hall, which was built in 1756 and played an important role during the American Revolution.

Princeton students enjoy convenient transportation options to New York City and Philadelphia, both only about an hour away by car. Other nearby attractions include numerous parks, cultural venues, and commercial hubs. For arts lovers, the McCarter Theatre is a campus treasure within easy walking distance.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

Academic support services include academic advising centered in each of the six residential colleges; the McGraw Center, which offers workshops and individual consultations with students as they evolve as scholars; and the Writing Program, which strengthens students' writing skills through a required seminar. Ongoing tutoring sessions also are available at the program's Writing Center.

Throughout their undergraduate careers, Princeton students are supported by a range of first-rate academic resources, including libraries, laboratories, and one of the leading university art museums in the country. The largest library on campus, Firestone Library, contains more than 70 miles of shelving and a vast range of electronic resources. The Peter B. Lewis Library, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, offers impressive print and digital collections in the sciences. In the past several years, new initiatives in African American studies and neuroscience have resulted in expanded activities.

A state-of-art and environmentally sustainable science facility houses the chemistry department and provides laboratory space for research and teaching. A new neuroscience and psychology building recently opened, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment opened in 2016.

The impressive Lewis Center for the Arts opened in 2017 and includes multiple venues for dance, music, theater and the visual arts. A range of athletic facilities also are available across campus.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Princeton students "tend to participate in a lot of different activities, from varsity sports (recruits), intramural sports (high school athletes), and more academically restricted activities like autonomous vehicle design club, Engineers Without Borders, and the literary magazine." In and out of the classroom, there are a "billion opportunities to do what you know you love" on the Princeton campus, from performance to sports to research. "Princeton offers a lot of different opportunities to relax and de-stress," including "sporting events, concerts, recreational facilities," "a movie theater that frequently screens current films for free," and "arts and crafts at the student center." For some, social life is centered along Prospect Avenue, where "Princeton's eating clubs are lined up like ten booze-soaked ducklings in a row." These eating clubs—private houses that serve as social clubs and cafeterias for upperclassmen—"play a large role in the social scene at the university." On the weekends, "the eating clubs are extremely popular for partying, chatting, drinking, and dancing"—not to mention, "free beer." "The campus is gorgeous year-round;" however, when students need a break from the college atmosphere, "there's NJ Transit if you want to go to New York, Philly, or even just the local mall."

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Office of Disability Services

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Elizabeth Erickson

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division I

72% participate in intramural sports
23% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Tigers)
20 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Ice Hockey
Light Weight Football
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Water Polo
Women's Sports (Tigers)
18 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Water Polo

Student Services

Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Rutgers University
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Rutgers University


When it comes to sustainability, Princeton University won’t settle for merely meeting benchmarks—it wants to exceed them. The university aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, even while expanding its campus by more than half a million square feet. How will this ambitious goal be achieved? To begin with, all new non-laboratory buildings will strive to be at least 50 percent more energy-efficient than required by code. The university will invest $45 million over the next ten years to cut back on utility usage on campus, and—through incentives for faculty and students—will reduce by 15 percent the number of cars coming to campus by 2020. Princeton is conserving resources in other ways as well: With low-flow fixtures and other solutions, annual campus water usage has declined 25 percent since 2006. The university only purchases 100 percent post-consumer, chlorine- free recycled office paper. resulting in greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking 16 cars off the road for a year. Princeton has also made an effort to address green issues in its curriculum. In 2014, 20 percent of graduating seniors had engaged in academic or research efforts in sustainability. Many are drawn by the university’s broad array of green course offerings: Nearly 270 courses offered at Princeton since 2009 have incorporated sustainability. More than sixty classes have a sustainability component. Finally, Princeton has installed a massive 5.3-megawatt photovoltaic solar array (16,500 solar panels!) generating a whopping 8 million kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to powering 700 homes.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Fee for Network Use

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Agreements with Apple and Dell

Campus Visits Contact

Janet Lavin Rapelye
Dean of Admission

Admissions Office
P.O. Box 430
Princeton, NJ 08542-0430


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Nassau Hall
Firestone Library
McCarter Theater
University Art Museum
University Chapel
Frist Campus Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Washington's Crossing (Delaware River)
Institute for Advanced Study
Jersey Shore
Access to cities: New York and Philadelphia
Waterfront Park

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
8:45am-5pm (summer hours 8:30am-4:30pm)

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Monday through Friday and most fall Saturdays

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Athletic Department

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available


Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available



Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Newark and Philadelphia International Airports are an hour from campus. From the Newark Airport, NJ Transit trains stop near the airport (take monorail from terminals) and disembark at Princeton Junction (take Dinky described below); A1 Limo or Princeton Airporter is available for the trip to campus. Princeton Airporter courtesy phones are located at the airport terminal's limousine counters. The vans take passengers to the Nassau Inn, one block from the university. From the Philadelphia Airport, take either a limousine or the airport shuttle train to Philadelphia's 30th St. Station; from there, take an Amtrak train to Princeton Junction. Rental cars are available at both airports. Amtrak train service to Princeton Junction is available through NYC and through Philadelphia. From Princeton Junction the Princeton Shuttle, a 1-car train (known as the Dinky), makes the 5-minute trip to Princeton. (Note: The Dinky does not meet every train; contact New Jersey Transit for a current schedule before making plans.) Bus service to Princeton is provided by New Jersey's Suburban Transit Corporation; every half hour throughout the day, buses leave NYC's Port Authority terminal for Princeton. The same schedule is followed for buses from Princeton to NYC.

Driving Instructions to Campus
(For a recording of travel instructions to campus, call 609-258-2222) From north and south, take the New Jersey Tpke. to Exit 8 (Hightstown) and follow signs for Hightstown, then for Princeton. (Note that the NJ Tpke. is coincident with I-95 from central to northern New Jersey.) From the Philadelphia area, you also can take I-95 N. to U.S. 1 N. Follow U.S. 1 to the Hightstown/Princeton circle, and follow signs to Princeton. From the west, the Pennsylvania Tpke. (I-76, then I-276 E.) connects to the NJ Tpke.; take the NJ Tpke. north to Exit 8 (Hightstown) and follow signs for Hightstown, then for Princeton. For a recording of instructions to campus, call 609-258-2222.

Local Accommodations
The Peacock Inn (20 Bayard Lane, at the junction of Rte. 206 and Nassau St.; 609-924-1707) is a historic country inn with simple accommodations for overnight visitors. Rates for its 17 rooms range from moderate to expensive. Nassau Inn (10 Palmer Square; 609-921-7500) is within walking distance of the university, but it's expensive. The closest and cheapest motel is the MacIntosh Inn (3270 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville; 609-896-3700), 5 miles from campus. About the same distance away is Red Roof Inn (3203 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville; 609-896-3388). The Hyatt Regency Princeton (102 Carnegie Ctr.; 609-987-1234), only 4 miles away, has special rates for Princeton visitors.

Articles & Advice