World-renowned research university, Princeton University, of Princeton, New Jersey is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that offers undergraduate and graduate instruction in the areas of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States and was founded by New Light Presbyterians for the purpose of training ministers. Originally named the College of New Jersey, it was not until 1896 when the college expanded its program offerings and attained university status that its name was officially changed to Princeton University, in honor of its host community. Princeton is the alma mater of many notable figures, not the least of which includes United States Presidents, James Madison and Woodrow Wilson and Vice President Aaron Burr. Apollo astronaut and commander of Apollo 12, Pete Conrad, First Lady Michelle Obama, and multiple U.S. Supreme Court Justices are also former graduates of the school.
Princeton is distinct among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching; the school’s mission is to “achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding.” To this end, Princeton awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its 35 academic departments. Over 35 academic areas of concentration options exist for undergrads, with two distinct degrees offered – Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Research opportunities afforded to undergrads is one of the defining features of a Princeton education; unique mentorship opportunities are available to students from leading scholars as well as access to world-class research facilities and resources.
For graduate student, several degree options exist, including a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); Master of Architecture; Master of Engineering; Master in Finance; Master of Science in Engineering; Master of Science in Chemistry; Master in Public Affairs; Master in Public Policy; and multiple duel degree programs. A Master of Arts degree is available as a final degree only in Near Eastern studies – in all other fields an MA is awarded as an incidental degree for PhD candidates.
Princeton’s student population reaches over 8,000 – more than half of which are undergraduate students. Through a generous financial aid program, promising students from all backgrounds and walks of life are freely admitted and the university enjoys a close-knit and vibrant community of scholars. Housing is guaranteed for undergraduates and most students choose to live on-campus. The Princeton area offers a beautiful, picturesque setting with tree-lined streets, specialty shops, restaurants, parks, and a friendly, safe atmosphere. The McCarter Theatre Center, winner of Tony Award for best regional theater in the country, is within walking distance of Princeton’s campus and a shuttle train connects the campus to Princeton Junction Station which offers regular service to New York City and Philadelphia. Both are about an hour away from Princeton’s campus and the University subsidizes many student trips to concerts, plays and athletic events in the two cities.
As an NCAA Division I school and member of the Ivy League, athletics also play an important role in student-life. Over half of all undergraduate students compete in 38 varsity sports and nearly 35 club teams. Students also participate in approximately 300 intramural sports teams, competing against residential colleges, eating clubs, independent groups, faculty and staff.