|Latin: Universitas Princetoniensis|
|College of New Jersey|
|Motto||Dei Sub Numine Viget (Latin)|
On seal: Vet[us] Nov[um] Testamentum (Latin)
Motto in English
|Under God's Power She Flourishes|
On seal: Old Testament and New Testament
|Type||Private research university|
|Established||January 18, 1746|
|Endowment||$26.6 billion (2020) |
|President||Christopher L. Eisgruber|
|Students||8,419 (Fall 2019)|
|Undergraduates||5,422 (Fall 2019)|
|Postgraduates||2,997 (Fall 2019)|
|Campus||Suburban, college town 500 acres (2.0 km2)|
|Colors||Orange and Black|
|NCAA Division I|
Ivy League, ECAC Hockey, EARC, EIVA
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.[a] The institution moved to Newark in 1747, and then to the current site nine years later. It was renamed Princeton University in 1896.
Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It offers professional degrees through the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture and the Bendheim Center for Finance. The university also manages the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States.
As of May 2021, 69 Nobel laureates, 16 Fields Medalists and 16 Turing Award laureates have been affiliated with Princeton University as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, Princeton has been associated with 21 National Medal of Science winners, 5 Abel Prize winners, 11 National Humanities Medal recipients, 215 Rhodes Scholars and 137 Marshall Scholars. Two U.S. Presidents, twelve U.S. Supreme Court Justices (three of whom currently serve on the court) and numerous living billionaires and foreign heads of state are all counted among Princeton's alumni body. Princeton has also graduated many members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Cabinet, including eight Secretaries of State, three Secretaries of Defense and two Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Princeton University, founded as the College of New Jersey, can be considered the successor of the "Log College", which was a school founded by the Reverend William Tennent at Neshaminy, PA (near present-day Warminster, PA) in about 1726. While no formal connection ever existed, many of the pupils and adherents from the Log College would go on to financially support and become substantially involved in the early years of the university.:291-292
The founding of the university itself originated from a split in the Presbyterian church following the Great Awakening.:11 In 1741, New Light Presbyterians were expelled from the Synod of Philadelphia in defense of how the Log College ordained ministers.:198 The four founders of Princeton, who were New Lights, were either expelled or withdrew from the Synod and devised a plan to establish a new college, for they were disappointed with Harvard and Yale's opposition to the Great Awakening and dissatisfied with the limited instruction at the Log College.:198:11 They convinced three other Presbyterians to join them and decided on New Jersey for where to found the school, as at the time, there was no institution between Yale in New Haven, Connecticut and the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and it was also where some of the founders preached.:12 Although their initial request was rejected by the governor at the time, the temporary, successor governor, John Hamilton, granted a charter for the College of New Jersey.:12 Five months or so after acquiring the charter, in 1746, the trustees elected Jonathan Dickinson as president and opened in Elizabeth, New Jersey.:199 Although initially founded to train ministers,:47 the charter and founders transitioned to creating a college of liberal arts and sciences.:199:12 Though the school was open to those of any religious denomination,:15 with many of the founders being of Presbyterian faith, the college became the educational and religious capital of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian America.
In 1747, due to the death of then President Jonathan Dickinson, the college moved from Elizabeth to Newark, New Jersey, as that was where presidential successor Aaron Burr, Sr. lived.:199 In 1756, the college moved again to its present campus in Princeton, New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal House of Orange-Nassau of William III of England, which took two years to build and was built of stone from a nearby quarry.:329 The trustees of the College of New Jersey initially suggested that Nassau Hall be called Belcher College in recognition of Governor Jonathan Belcher's interest in the institution. Although the request was vetoed by the governor, according to myth, Belcher replied: "What a name that would be!"
Following the untimely deaths of Princeton's first five presidents,:17 John Witherspoon became president in 1768 and remained in that post until his death in 1794. During his presidency, Witherspoon shifted the college's focus from training ministers to preparing a new generation for secular leadership in the new American nation.:47-48 To this end, he tightened academic standards, solicited investment for the college, and grew its size.:29-30 Witherspoon's presidency constituted a long period of stability for the college, interrupted only by the American Revolution and particularly the Battle of Princeton, during which British soldiers briefly occupied Nassau Hall; American forces, led by George Washington, fired cannonballs at the building and proceeded to enter the building, resulting in a British surrender.
In 1812, the eighth president of the College of New Jersey, Ashbel Green (1812-23), helped establish the Princeton Theological Seminary next door. The plan to extend the theological curriculum was met with "enthusiastic approval on the part of the authorities at the College of New Jersey." Today, Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary maintain separate institutions with ties that include services such as cross-registration and mutual library access.
Before the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803, Nassau Hall was the college's sole building. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, making Princeton the country's capital for four months. Over the centuries and through two redesigns following major fires (1802 and 1855), Nassau Hall's role shifted from an all-purpose building comprising office, dormitory, library, and classroom space to classroom space exclusively to its present role as the administrative center of the university. The class of 1879 donated twin lion sculptures that flanked the entrance until 1911, when that same class replaced them with tigers.:332
James McCosh became the college's president in 1868 and lifted the institution out of a low period that had been brought about by the American Civil War.:301-304 During his two decades of service, he overhauled the curriculum, oversaw an expansion of inquiry into the sciences, and supervised the addition of a number of buildings in the High Victorian Gothic style to the campus.:301-304 McCosh Hall is named in his honor.:304
In 1896, the college officially changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University to honor the town in which it resides. During this year, the college also underwent large expansion and officially became a university. In 1900, the Graduate School was established.:268-269
In 1902, Woodrow Wilson, graduate of the Class of 1879, was elected the 13th president of the university.:268-269 Under Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system in 1905, a then-unique concept in the United States that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest.
In 1906, the reservoir Lake Carnegie was created by Andrew Carnegie.:268-269 A collection of historical photographs of the construction of the lake is housed at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library on Princeton's campus. On October 2, 1913, the Princeton University Graduate College was dedicated.:268-269 In 1919 the School of Architecture was established.:268-269 In 1933, Albert Einstein became a lifetime member of the Institute for Advanced Study with an office on the Princeton campus. While always independent of the university, the Institute for Advanced Study occupied offices in Jones Hall for 6 years, from its opening in 1933 to when its campus was finished and opened in 1939.
Starting in 1887, the university maintained and staffed a sister college, Evelyn College for Women, in the town of Princeton on Evelyn and Nassau streets. It was closed after roughly a decade of operation. After abortive discussions with Sarah Lawrence College to relocate the women's college to Princeton and merge it with the university in 1967, the administration decided to admit women and turned to the issue of transforming the school's operations and facilities into a female-friendly campus. The university finished these plans in April 1969 just as admission letters were mailed out. Its five-year coeducation plan provided $7.8 million for the development of new facilities that would eventually house and educate 650 women students at Princeton by 1974. Ultimately, 148 women, consisting of 100 freshmen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, 1969 amidst much media attention. Princeton enrolled its first female graduate student, Sabra Follett Meservey, as a PhD candidate in Turkish history in 1961. A handful of undergraduate women had studied at Princeton from 1963 on, spending their junior year there to study "critical languages" in which Princeton's offerings surpassed those of their home institutions. They were considered regular students for their year on campus, but were not candidates for a Princeton degree.
As a result of a 1979 lawsuit by Sally Frank, Princeton's eating clubs were required to go coeducational in 1991, after an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied. In 1987, the university changed the gendered lyrics of "Old Nassau" to reflect the school's co-educational student body. From 2009 to 2011, Princeton professor Nannerl O. Keohane chaired a committee on undergraduate women's leadership at the university, appointed by then President Shirley M. Tilghman.
In 2017, Princeton University unveiled a large-scale public history and digital humanities investigation into its historical involvement with slavery, following slavery studies produced by other institutions of higher education such as Brown University and Georgetown University. The Princeton & Slavery Project began in 2013, when history professor Martha A. Sandweiss and a team of undergraduate and graduate students started researching topics such as the slaveholding practices of Princeton's early presidents and trustees, the southern origins of a large proportion of Princeton students during the 18th and 19th centuries, and racial violence in Princeton during the antebellum period.
The Princeton & Slavery Project published its findings online in November 2017 on a website that included more than 80 scholarly essays and a digital archive of hundreds of primary sources. The website launched in conjunction with a scholarly conference, the premiere of seven short plays based on project findings and commissioned by the McCarter Theatre, and a public art installation by American artist Titus Kaphar commemorating a slave sale that took place at the historic President's House in 1766.
In April 2018, university trustees announced that they would name two public spaces for James Collins Johnson and Betsey Stockton, enslaved people who lived on Princeton's campus and whose stories were publicized by the Princeton & Slavery Project. The project has also served as a model for institutional slavery studies at the Princeton Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The main campus sits on about 500 acres (2.0 km2) in Princeton, New Jersey. The James Forrestal Campus, a smaller location designed mainly as a research and instruction complex, is split between nearby Plainsboro and South Brunswick. The campuses are situated about one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia. The university also owns around 500 acres (2.0 km2) of property in West Windsor Township:44 and is where Princeton is planning to construct a graduate student housing complex, which will be known as "Lake Campus North".
The first building on campus was Nassau Hall, completed in 1756 and situated on the northern edge of the campus facing Nassau Street.:328 The campus expanded steadily around Nassau Hall during the early and middle 19th century. The McCosh presidency (1868-88) saw the construction of a number of buildings in the High Victorian Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles, although many of them are now gone, leaving the remaining few to appear out of place. At the end of the 19th century, much of Princeton's architecture was designed by the Cope and Stewardson firm (the same architects who designed a large part of Washington University in St. Louis and University of Pennsylvania) resulting in the Collegiate Gothic style for which the university is known for today. Implemented initially by William Appleton Potter, and later enforced by the university's supervising architect, Ralph Adams Cram, the Collegiate Gothic style remained the standard for all new building on the Princeton campus until 1960. A flurry of construction projects in the 1960s produced a number of new buildings on the south side of the main campus, many of which have been poorly received. Several prominent architects have contributed some more recent additions, including Frank Gehry (Lewis Library), I. M. Pei (Spelman Halls),:447 Demetri Porphyrios (Whitman College, a Collegiate Gothic project), Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (Frist Campus Center, among several others), and Rafael Viñoly (Carl Icahn Laboratory).
A group of 20th-century sculptures scattered throughout the campus forms the Putnam Collection of Sculpture. It includes works by Alexander Calder (Five Disks: One Empty), Jacob Epstein (Albert Einstein), Henry Moore (Oval with Points), Isamu Noguchi (White Sun), and Pablo Picasso (Head of a Woman).:398 Richard Serra's The Hedgehog and The Fox is located between Peyton and Fine halls next to Princeton Stadium and the Lewis Library.
At the southern edge of the campus is Lake Carnegie, an artificial lake named for Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie financed the lake's construction in 1906 at the behest of a friend and his brother who were both Princeton alumni.:82 Carnegie hoped the opportunity to take up rowing would inspire Princeton students to forsake football, which he considered "not gentlemanly." The Shea Rowing Center on the lake's shore continues to serve as the headquarters for Princeton rowing.
Buried in the ground at the center of the lawn south of Nassau Hall is the "Big Cannon," which was left in Princeton by British troops as they fled following the Battle of Princeton. It remained in Princeton until the War of 1812, when it was taken to New Brunswick. In 1836 the cannon was returned to Princeton and placed at the eastern end of town. It was removed to the campus under cover of night by Princeton students in 1838 and buried in its current location in 1840.:317-318
A second "Little Cannon" is buried in the lawn in front of nearby Whig Hall. This cannon, which may also have been captured in the Battle of Princeton, was stolen by students of Rutgers University in 1875. The theft ignited the Rutgers-Princeton Cannon War. A compromise between the presidents of Princeton and Rutgers ended the war and forced the return of the Little Cannon to Princeton.:318-319 The protruding cannons are occasionally painted scarlet by Rutgers students who continue the traditional dispute.
Princeton's grounds were designed by Beatrix Farrand between 1912 and 1943. Her contributions were most recently recognized with the naming of a courtyard for her. Subsequent changes to the landscape were introduced by Quennell Rothschild & Partners in 2000. In 2005, Michael Van Valkenburgh was hired as the new consulting landscape architect for Princeton's 2016 Campus Plan. Lynden B. Miller was invited to work with him as Princeton's consulting gardening architect, focusing on the 17 gardens that are distributed throughout the campus.
Nassau Hall is the oldest building on campus. Begun in 1754 and completed in 1756,:328-329 it was the first seat of the New Jersey Legislature in 1776, was involved in the Battle of Princeton in 1777,:330 and was the seat of the Congress of the Confederation (and thus capitol of the United States) from June 30, 1783, to November 4, 1783. It now houses the office of the university president and other administrative offices, and remains the symbolic center of the campus. The front entrance is flanked by two bronze tigers, a gift of the Princeton Class of 1879.:332 Since 1922, commencement has been held on the front lawn of Nassau Hall when there is good weather. In 1966, Nassau Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Princeton has six undergraduate residential colleges, each housing approximately 500 freshmen, sophomores, some juniors and seniors, and a handful of junior and senior resident advisers. Each college consists of a set of dormitories, a dining hall, a variety of other amenities--such as study spaces, libraries, performance spaces, and darkrooms--and a collection of administrators and associated faculty. Two colleges, First College and Forbes College (formerly Woodrow Wilson College and Princeton Inn College, respectively), date to the 1970s; three others, Rockefeller, Mathey, and Butler Colleges, were created in 1983 following the Committee on Undergraduate Residential Life (CURL) report, which suggested the institution of residential colleges as a solution to an allegedly fragmented campus social life. The construction of Whitman College, the university's sixth residential college, was completed in 2007.
Rockefeller and Mathey are located in the northwest corner of the campus; Princeton brochures often feature their Collegiate Gothic architecture. Like most of Princeton's Gothic buildings, they predate the residential college system and were fashioned into colleges from individual dormitories.
First and Butler, located south of the center of the campus, were built in the 1960s. First served as an early experiment in the establishment of the residential college system. Butler, like Rockefeller and Mathey, consisted of a collection of ordinary dorms (called the "New New Quad") before the addition of a dining hall made it a residential college. Widely disliked for their edgy modernist design, including "waffle ceilings," the dormitories on the Butler Quad were demolished in 2007. Butler is now reopened as a four-year residential college, housing both under- and upperclassmen.
Forbes is located southwest of the center of the campus where the historic Princeton Inn, a hotel constructed in 1924 that served as a regular host for both events and scholars of the university and the nearby Institute for Advanced Study, operated. The university acquired the hotel and converted it to Princeton Inn College in 1970 as more residence was needed since women were now being admitted.:384 Then, in 1984, the college was renovated and renamed Forbes College on behalf of a three million dollar donation of Malcom Forbes, Class of 1941. Forbes currently houses nearly 500 undergraduates in its residential halls.
In 2003, Princeton broke ground for a sixth college named Whitman College after its principal sponsor, Meg Whitman, who graduated from Princeton in 1977. The new dormitories were constructed in the Collegiate Gothic architectural style and were designed by architect Demetri Porphyrios. Construction finished in 2007, and Whitman College was inaugurated as Princeton's sixth residential college that same year.
The precursor of the present college system in America was originally proposed by university president Woodrow Wilson in the early 20th century. For over 800 years, however, the collegiate system had already existed in Britain at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Wilson's model was much closer to Yale's present system, which features four-year colleges. Lacking the support of the trustees, the plan languished until 1968. That year, Wilson College was established to cap a series of alternatives to the eating clubs. Fierce debates raged before the present residential college system emerged. The plan was first attempted at Yale, but the administration was initially uninterested; an exasperated alumnus, Edward Harkness, finally paid to have the college system implemented at Harvard in the 1920s, leading to the oft-quoted aphorism that the college system is a Princeton idea that was executed at Harvard with funding from Yale.
Princeton has one graduate residential college, known simply as the Graduate College, located beyond Forbes College at the outskirts of campus. The far-flung location of the Graduate College was the spoil of a squabble between Woodrow Wilson and then-Graduate School Dean Andrew Fleming West. Wilson preferred a central location for the college; West wanted the graduate students as far as possible from the campus. Ultimately, West prevailed.:502-503 The Graduate College is composed of a large Collegiate Gothic section crowned by Cleveland Tower, a local landmark that also houses a world-class carillon. The attached New Graduate College provides a modern contrast in architectural style. Graduate students also have the option of living in student apartments.
Forbes College (founded 1984)
Rockefeller College (founded 1982)
Mathey College (founded 1982)
Butler College (founded 1983)
Whitman College (founded 2007)
The Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre was built by the Princeton Triangle Club, a student performance group, using club profits and a gift from Princeton University alumnus Thomas McCarter. Today, the Triangle Club performs its annual freshmen revue, fall show, and Reunions performances in McCarter.
The Princeton University Art Museum was established in 1882 to give students direct and sustained access to works of art for instruction and research at the university. This continues to be a primary function, along with serving as a community resource and a destination for national and international visitors.
Numbering over 92,000 objects, the collections range from ancient to contemporary art and concentrate geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States, and Latin America. There is a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including ceramics, marbles, bronzes, and Roman mosaics from faculty excavations in Antioch. Medieval Europe is represented by sculpture, metalwork, and stained glass. The collection of Western European paintings includes examples from the early Renaissance through the 19th century, with pieces by Monet, Cézanne, and Van Gogh, and features a growing collection of 20th-century and contemporary art, including iconic paintings such as Andy Warhol's Blue Marilyn.
The museum also features a collection of Chinese art, with important holdings in bronzes, tomb figurines, painting, and calligraphy. Its collection of pre-Columbian art includes examples of Mayan art, and is commonly considered to be the most important collection of pre-Columbian art outside of Latin America. The museum has collections of old master prints and drawings and a comprehensive collection of over 27,000 original photographs. African art and Northwest Coast Indian art are also represented. The Museum also oversees the outdoor Putnam Collection of Sculpture.
The Princeton University Chapel is located on the north side of campus, near Nassau Street. It was built between 1924 and 1928 at a cost of $2.3 million, approximately $34.7 million adjusted for inflation in 2020. Ralph Adams Cram, the university's supervising architect, designed the chapel, which he viewed as the crown jewel for the Collegiate Gothic motif he had championed for the campus. At the time of its construction, it was the second largest university chapel in the world, after King's College Chapel, Cambridge. It underwent a two-year, $10 million restoration campaign between 2000 and 2002.
Measured on the exterior, the chapel is 277 feet (84 m) long, 76 feet (23 m) wide at its transepts, and 121 feet (37 m) high.:11 The exterior is Pennsylvania sandstone, with Indiana limestone used for the trim. The interior is mostly limestone and Aquia Creek sandstone. The design evokes an English church of the Middle Ages.:7-9 The extensive iconography, in stained glass, stonework, and wood carvings, has the common theme of connecting religion and scholarship.
Published in 2008, the Sustainability Action Plan was the first formal plan for sustainability enacted by the university. It focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of resources, and research, education, and civic engagement for sustainability through 10 year objectives. Since the 2008 plan, Princeton has aimed at reducing its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels without the purchase of market offsets and predicts to meet the goal by 2026 (the former goal was by 2020 but COVID-19 requirements delayed this). Princeton released its second Sustainability Action Plan in 2019 on Earth Day with its main goal being reducing campus greenhouse gases to net zero by 2046 as well as other objectives building on those in the 2008 plan. In 2021, the university agreed to divest from thermal coal and tar sand segments of the fossil fuel industry and also from companies that are involved in climate disinformation after student protest.
Princeton's Sustainability Action Plan also aims to have zero waste through recycling programs, sustainable purchasing, and behavioral and operational strategies.
Tiger Transit is the bus system of the university, mostly open to the public and linking university campuses and areas around Princeton. NJ Transit provides bus and rail service in the form of the 600, 609 and 606 and the Dinky. Coach USA, through their subsidiary Suburban Transit, provides bus service to New York City and other destinations in New Jersey.
The Trustees of Princeton University is responsible for the overall direction of the university. It consists of no fewer than 23 and no more than 40 members at any one time. It approves the operating and capital budgets, supervises the investment of the university's endowment and oversees campus real estate and long-range physical planning. The trustees also exercise prior review and approval concerning changes in major policies, such as those in instructional programs and admission, as well as tuition and fees and the hiring of faculty members.
Princeton University's endowment of $26.6 billion (per 2020 figures) was ranked as the fourth largest endowment in the United States, and it had the greatest per-student endowment in the world (over $3 million per student). The endowment is sustained through the continued donations of its alumni and is maintained by investment advisers.
Undergraduates fulfill general education requirements, choose among a wide variety of elective courses, and pursue departmental concentrations and interdisciplinary certificate programs. Required independent work is a hallmark of undergraduate education at Princeton. Students graduate with either the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.).
The graduate school offers advanced degrees spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Doctoral education is available in most disciplines. It emphasizes original and independent scholarship whereas master's degree programs in architecture, engineering, finance, and public affairs and public policy prepare candidates for careers in public life and professional practice.
The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers University, and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Students in the graduate school can participate in regional cross-registration agreements, domestic exchanges with other Ivy League schools and similar institutions, and in international partnerships and exchanges.
Undergraduate courses in the humanities are traditionally either seminars or lectures held 2 or 3 times a week with an additional discussion seminar that is called a "precept." To graduate, all A.B. candidates must complete a senior thesis and, in most departments, one or two extensive pieces of independent research that are known as "junior papers." Juniors in some departments, including architecture and the creative arts, complete independent projects that differ from written research papers. A.B. candidates must also fulfill a three or four semester foreign language requirement and distribution requirements (which include, for example, classes in ethics, literature and the arts, and historical analysis) with a total of 31 classes. B.S.E. candidates follow a parallel track with an emphasis on a rigorous science and math curriculum, a computer science requirement, and at least two semesters of independent research including an optional senior thesis. All B.S.E. students must complete at least 36 classes. A.B. candidates typically have more freedom in course selection than B.S.E. candidates because of the fewer number of required classes. Nonetheless, in the spirit of a liberal arts education, both enjoy a comparatively high degree of latitude in creating a self-structured curriculum.
Undergraduates agree to adhere to an academic integrity policy called the Honor Code, established in 1893. Under the Honor Code, faculty do not proctor examinations; instead, the students proctor one another and must report any suspected violation to an Honor Committee made up of undergraduates. The Committee investigates reported violations and holds a hearing if it is warranted. An acquittal at such a hearing results in the destruction of all records of the hearing; a conviction results in the student's suspension or expulsion. Violations pertaining to all other academic work fall under the jurisdiction of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline. Undergraduates are expected to sign a pledge on their written work affirming that they have not plagiarized the work.
|Admit rate||5.8% ( -1.6)|
|Yield rate||70.4% ( +4.2)|
|Test scores middle 50%|
|SAT Math||750-800 ( +20 median)|
|ACT Composite||33-35 ( +1.5 median)|
|High school GPA|
|Average||3.91 ( no change)|
Princeton's undergraduate program is highly selective, admitting 5.8% of undergraduate applicants in the 2019-2020 admissions cycle (for the Class of 2024). The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 1470-1560, the middle 50% range of the ACT composite score was 33-35, and the average high school GPA was a 3.91. In 2011, The Business Journal rated Princeton as the most selective college in the Eastern United States.
In the 1950s, the university used the ABC system to function as a precursory early program, where admission officers would visit feeder schools and assign A, B, or C ratings to students. From 1977 to 1995, Princeton employed an early action program, and in 1996, transitioned to an early decision program. In September 2006, the university announced that all applicants for the Class of 2012 would be considered in a single pool, ending the school's early decision program. In February 2011, following decisions by the University of Virginia and Harvard University to reinstate their early admissions programs, Princeton announced it would institute a single-choice early action option for applicants.
In 2001, expanding on earlier reforms, Princeton became the first university to eliminate the use of loans in financial aid, replacing them with grants. In addition, all admissions are need-blind. Kiplinger magazine in 2016 ranked Princeton as the best value among private universities, noting that the average graduating debt is $8,557. In 2017, Princeton ranked as fifth in a list for universities with students with the least amount of debt upon graduating.
The first focus on issues of grade inflation began in 1998 when a university report was released showcasing a steady rise in undergraduate grades from 1973 to 1997. Subsequent reports and discussion from the report culminated to when in 2004, Nancy Weiss Malkiel, the Dean of the College, implemented a grade deflation policy to address the findings. Malkiel's reason for the policy was that the A was becoming devalued as a larger percentage of the student body received one. Following its introduction, the number of A's and average GPA on campus dropped, although A's and B's were still the most frequent grades awarded. The policy received mixed approval from both faculty and students when first instituted. Criticism for grade deflation continued through the years, with students alleging negative effects like increased competition and lack of willingness to choose challenging classes. Other criticism included job market and graduate school prospects, although Malkiel stated that she sent 3,000 letters to numerous institutions and employers informing them. In 2009, transcripts began including a statement about the policy.
In October 2013, Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber created a faculty committee to review the deflation policy. In August 2014, the committee released a report recommending the removal of the policy and instead develop consistent standards for grading across individual departments. In October 2014, following a faculty vote, the numerical targets were removed as recommended by the committee. In an analysis of undergraduate grades following the removal of a policy, there was no long-lasting effects, with the percent of students receiving A's higher than in 1998.
The Graduate School has about 2,600 students in 42 academic departments and programs in social sciences, engineering, natural sciences, and humanities. These departments include the Department of Psychology, Department of History, and Department of Economics.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, it received 14,343 applications for admission and accepted 1,268 applicants. The university also awarded 319 Ph.D. degrees and 170 final master's degrees. Princeton has no medical school, law school, business school, or school of education. (A short-lived Princeton Law School closed in 1852.) It offers professional graduate degrees in architecture, engineering, finance, and public policy, the last through the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, founded in 1930 as the School of Public and International Affairs, renamed in 1948 after university president (and U.S. president) Woodrow Wilson, and most recently renamed in 2020.
The Princeton University Library system houses over 13 million holdings through 11 buildings, including seven million bound volumes, making it one of the largest university libraries in the world. Built in 1948, the main campus library is Firestone Library. Additionally, it is among the largest "open stack" libraries in existence. Its collections include the autographed manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and George F. Kennan's Long Telegram. In addition to Firestone library, specialized libraries exist for architecture, art and archaeology, East Asian studies, engineering, music, public and international affairs, public policy and university archives, and the sciences. In an effort to expand access, these libraries also subscribe to thousands of electronic resources.
|U.S. News & World Report||1|
|U.S. News & World Report||8|
USNWR National Graduate Rankings
From 2001 through 2021, Princeton University was ranked either first or second among national universities by U.S. News & World Report, holding the top spot for 19 of those 21 years (sole #1 fourteen times, tied with Harvard for #1 five times). Princeton was ranked first in the 2021 U.S. News rankings. Princeton also was ranked #1 in the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 rankings for "best undergraduate teaching." In the 2021 Times Higher Education assessment of the world's greatest universities, Princeton was ranked 9th. In the 2022 QS World University Rankings, it was ranked 20th overall in the world.
In the 2021 U.S. News & World Report "Graduate School Rankings," 13 of Princeton's 14 graduate programs were ranked in their respective top 10 (with Engineering 22nd). 7 of them in the top 5, and two in the top spot (Economics and Mathematics).
Founded in 1994, the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) is a center for research and education about the environment at the university. The institute was renamed from the Princeton Environmental Institute in late October 2020.
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) was founded in 1951 as Project Matterhorn, a top secret cold war project aimed at achieving controlled nuclear fusion. Princeton astrophysics professor Lyman Spitzer became the first director of the project and remained director until the lab's declassification in 1961 when it received its current name. Today, it is an institute for fusion energy research and plasma physics research.
Princeton is one of five US universities to have and to operate a Department of Energy national laboratory.
University housing is guaranteed to all undergraduates for all four years. More than 98% of students live on campus in dormitories. Freshmen and sophomores must live in residential colleges, while juniors and seniors typically live in designated upperclassman dormitories. The actual dormitories are comparable, but only residential colleges have dining halls. Nonetheless, any undergraduate may purchase a meal plan and eat in a residential college dining hall. Recently, upperclassmen have been given the option of remaining in their college for all four years. Juniors and seniors also have the option of living off-campus, but high rent in the Princeton area encourages almost all students to live in university housing. Undergraduate social life revolves around the residential colleges and a number of coeducational eating clubs, which students may choose to join in the spring of their sophomore year. Eating clubs, which are not officially affiliated with the university, serve as dining halls and communal spaces for their members and also host social events throughout the academic year.
Princeton's six residential colleges host a variety of social events and activities, guest speakers, and trips. The residential colleges also sponsor trips to New York for undergraduates to see ballets, operas, Broadway shows, sports events, and other activities. The eating clubs, located on Prospect Avenue, are co-ed organizations for upperclassmen. Most upperclassmen eat their meals at one of the eleven eating clubs. Additionally, the clubs serve as evening and weekend social venues for members and guests.:488 The eleven clubs are Cannon, Cap and Gown, Charter, Cloister, Colonial, Cottage, Ivy, Quadrangle, Terrace, Tiger, and Tower.
Princeton hosts two Model United Nations conferences: PMUNC for high school students and PDI for college students. It also hosts the Princeton Invitational Speech and Debate tournament each year at the end of November. Princeton also runs Princeton Model Congress, the oldest model congress in America.
Princeton has made significant progress in expanding the diversity of its student body in recent years. The 2021 admitted freshman class was one of the most diverse in the school's history, with 68% of students identifying as students of color. Total enrollment at the university was 54% male and 46% female for the 2019-20 academic year.
The median family income of Princeton students is $186,100, with 57% of students coming from the top 10% highest-earning families and 14% from the bottom 60%. In 2017, 22% of freshman qualified for federal Pell Grants, above the 16% percent average for the top 150 schools ranked by the U.S. News & World Report; nationwide, the average was 44%. Princeton has increased its enrollment of first-generation and low-income students in recent years.
In 1999, 10% of the student body was Jewish, a percentage lower than those at other Ivy League schools. Sixteen percent of the student body was Jewish in 1985; the number decreased by 40% from 1985 to 1999. This decline prompted The Daily Princetonian to write a series of articles on the decline and its reasons. Caroline C. Pam of The New York Observer wrote that Princeton was "long dogged by a reputation for anti-Semitism" and that this history as well as Princeton's elite status caused the university and its community to feel sensitivity towards the decrease of Jewish students. At the time many Jewish students at Princeton dated Jewish students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia because they perceived Princeton as an environment where it was difficult to find romantic prospects; Pam stated that there was a theory that the dating issues were a cause of the decline in Jewish students.
In 1981, the population of African Americans at Princeton University made up less than 10%. Bruce M. Wright was admitted into the university in 1936 as the first African American, however, his admission was a mistake and when he got to campus he was asked to leave. Three years later Wright asked the dean for an explanation on his dismissal and the dean suggested to him that "a member of your race might feel very much alone" at Princeton University.
Princeton students partake in a wide variety of campus traditions, both past and present:
Princeton supports organized athletics at three levels: varsity intercollegiate, club intercollegiate, and intramural. It also provides "a variety of physical education and recreational programs" for members of the Princeton community. According to the athletics program's mission statement, Princeton aims for its students who participate in athletics to be "'student athletes' in the fullest sense of the phrase." Most undergraduates participate in athletics at some level.
Princeton's colors are orange and black. The school's athletes are known as Tigers, and the mascot is a tiger. The Princeton administration considered naming the mascot in 2007, but the effort was dropped in the face of alumni opposition.
Princeton is an NCAA Division I school. Its athletic conference is the Ivy League. Princeton hosts 38 men's and women's varsity sports. The largest varsity sport is rowing, with almost 150 athletes.
Princeton's football team has a long and storied history. Princeton played against Rutgers University in the first intercollegiate football game in the U.S. on Nov 6, 1869. By a score of 6-4, Rutgers won the game, which was played by rules similar to modern rugby. Today Princeton is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision of NCAA Division I. As of the end of the 2010 season, Princeton had won 26 national football championships, more than any other school.
The men's basketball program is noted for its success under Pete Carril, the head coach from 1967 to 1996. During this time, Princeton won 13 Ivy League titles and made 11 NCAA tournament appearances. Carril introduced the Princeton offense, an offensive strategy that has since been adopted by a number of college and professional basketball teams. Carril's final victory at Princeton came when the Tigers beat UCLA, the defending national champion, in the opening round of the 1996 NCAA tournament, in what is considered one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament. Recently Princeton tied the record for the fewest points in a Division I game since the institution of the three-point line in 1986-87, when the Tigers scored 21 points in a loss against Monmouth University on Dec 14, 2005.
Princeton women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship semi-finals in 2004, the only Ivy League team to do so in a 64-team tournament. The season was led by former U.S. National Team member, Esmeralda Negron, Olympic medalist Canadian National Team member Diana Matheson, and coach Julie Shackford. The Tigers men's soccer team was coached for many years by Princeton alumnus and future United States men's national team manager Bob Bradley.
The men's water polo team is currently a dominant force in the Collegiate Water Polo Association, having reached the Final Four in two of the last three years. Similarly, the men's lacrosse program enjoyed a period of dominance 1992-2001, during which time it won six national championships.
In addition to varsity sports, Princeton hosts about 35 club sports teams. Princeton's rugby team is presently organized as a club sport but was originally among the first college sponsored teams to play intercollegiate sports against Harvard, Penn, and Columbia in the mid 1870s through 1880s using Rugby Union code.
Each year, nearly 300 teams participate in intramural sports at Princeton. Intramurals are open to members of Princeton's faculty, staff, and students, though a team representing a residential college or eating club must consist only of members of that college or club. Several leagues with differing levels of competitiveness are available.
Bob Dylan wrote "Day of The Locusts" (for his 1970 album New Morning) about his experience of receiving an honorary doctorate from the university. It is a reference to the negative experience he had and it mentions the Brood X cicada infestation Princeton experienced that June 1970.
"Old Nassau" has been Princeton University's anthem since 1859. Its words were written that year by a freshman, Harlan Page Peck, and published in the March issue of the Nassau Literary Review (the oldest student publication at Princeton and also the second oldest undergraduate literary magazine in the country). The words and music appeared together for the first time in Songs of Old Nassau, published in April 1859. Before the Langlotz tune was written, the song was sung to Auld Lang Syne melody, which also fits.
However, Old Nassau does not refer to only the university's anthem. It can also refer to Nassau Hall, the building that was built in 1756 and named after William III of the House of Orange-Nassau. When built, it was the largest college building in North America. It served briefly as the capitol of the United States when the Continental Congress convened there in the summer of 1783. By metonymy, the term can refer to the university as a whole. Finally, it can also refer to a chemical reaction that is dubbed "Old Nassau reaction" because the solution turns orange and then black.
U.S. Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson and Vice President Aaron Burr graduated from Princeton (son of Aaron Burr, Sr., who was the second president of Princeton College), as did Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States. Former Chief Justice of the United States Oliver Ellsworth was an alumnus, as are current U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Alumnus Jerome Powell was appointed as Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board in 2018.
Princeton graduates played a major role in the American Revolution, including the first and last Colonels on the Patriot side Philip Johnston and Nathaniel Scudder, as well as the highest ranking civilian leader on the British side David Mathews.
Notable graduates of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science include Apollo astronaut and commander of Apollo 12 Pete Conrad, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, former Chairman of Alphabet Inc. Eric Schmidt, and Lisa P. Jackson, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Actors Jimmy Stewart, Wentworth Miller, José Ferrer, David Duchovny, Brooke Shields, and Graham Phillips graduated from Princeton as did composer and pianist Richard Aaker Trythall. Soccer-player alumna, Diana Matheson, scored the game-winning goal that earned Canada their Olympic bronze medal in 2012.
Writers Booth Tarkington, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Eugene O'Neill attended but did not graduate. Selden Edwards and Will Stanton graduated with English degrees. American novelist Jodi Picoult graduated in 1987. Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize in Literature, received an honorary degree in 2015 and has been a visiting lecturer at the Spanish Department.
Notable graduate alumni include Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Richard Feynman, Lee Iacocca, John Nash, Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, Terence Tao, Wei Ho, Edward Witten, John Milnor, John Bardeen, Steven Weinberg, John Tate, and David Petraeus. Royals such as Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, and Queen Noor of Jordan also have attended Princeton.
3rd Vice President of the United States
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Father of theoretical computer science
NASA astronaut, third man on the moon
Actress and model
F. Scott Fitzgerald
(Did not graduate)
Queen Noor of Jordan
Philanthropist and Queen dowager of Jordan
Notable faculty members include P. Adams Sitney, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Joyce Carol Oates, Cornel West, Robert Keohane, Anthony Grafton, Peter Singer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Mullen, Robert P. George, and Andrew Wiles. Notable former faculty members include John Witherspoon, Walter Kaufmann, John von Neumann, Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman, Joseph Henry, Toni Morrison, John P. Lewis, and alumnus Woodrow Wilson, who also served as president of the University 1902-1910.
Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Joyce Carol Oates
Philosopher, political activist and public intellectual
...the fourth college to be established in British North America.
Although they were full-time students, these women were not eligible for a Princeton degree, as the program encompassed only the students' junior year
The Home of Spiritual Activities at Princeton
The Institute is a private, independent academic institution that enjoys close, collaborative ties with Princeton University...