The admission process for Princeton University is not as simple as showing up to the school with a transcript and SAT/ACT scores. Being admitted to Princeton requires more than just a great GPA, it also requires students to be well-rounded and have good leadership skills.
Here are some things you will need to look into before applying: your academic record, extracurricular activities, essay statements, teacher recommendations, national merit or recognition, and awards. Get started on the application process today by reading this article and checking out their website.
Princeton is one of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. It was founded in 1746 by Reverend John Witherspoon and is one of the nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution.
The university has been at the forefront of academic innovation, producing a number of important inventions and discoveries. In fact, Princeton University alumni have been responsible for the creation of driverless cars and the discovery on DNA.
If you want to get in to Princeton, here are some things you need to know about admissions criteria, deadlines, and what it’s like to attend Princeton as a student. But first…
What Is A College?
A college is an institution that provides post-secondary education, granting degrees with varying levels of academic achievement for undergraduate study.
An institute or university (in general) may provide courses leading to a degree or it may only provide research-based programs without awarding degrees. There are also many post-secondary schools providing vocational instruction or training but not awarding
Why Study at Princeton University?
You may be asking, “Why study at Princeton University?” After all, there are many world-class universities out there.
Why should you go to Princeton?
Princeton is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States, with a history that stretches back to 1746. It has consistently been ranked among the top five universities in the world with its strong ethos of self-directed learning.
A low student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students will get individual attention from their professors. Princeton also offers a generous financial aid program for students who need it and doesn’t charge tuition fees for international students. If you want to study at a university that is dedicated to your success and where you can find lifelong friends, then Princeton might be the perfect choice for you.
Princeton University Admission
Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
The university also offers professional degrees through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture, and the Bendheim Center for Finance.
Princeton University has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Princeton University has the largest endowment per student in the United States.
From 2001 to 2018, Princeton University was ranked first or second among national universities by U.S. News & World Report, holding the top spot for 16 of those 18 years.
As of August 2018, 63 Nobel laureates, 15 Fields Medalists, and 13 Turing Award laureates have been affiliated with Princeton University as notable alumni, faculty members, or researchers.
Princeton University has also been associated with 21 National Medal of Science winners, 5 Abel Prize winners, 5 National Humanities Medal recipients, 209 Rhodes Scholars, 139 Gates Cambridge Scholars, and 126 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 prominent members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Cabinet, including eight Secretaries of State, three Secretaries of Defense, and three of the past five Chairs of the Federal Reserve.
The main campus sits on about 500 acres (2.0 km2) in Princeton. The James Forrestal Campus is split between nearby Plainsboro and South Brunswick.
The University also owns some property in West Windsor Township. The campuses are situated about one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia.
Princeton has six undergraduate residential colleges, each housing approximately 500 students and a few 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 darkroom, and a collection of administrators and associated faculty.
The six colleges include Wilson College, Forbes College, Rockefeller College, Mathey College, Whitman College, and Butler College.
Rockefeller and Mathey are located in the northwest corner of the campus. Wilson and Butler are located south of the center of the campus.
Forbes is located on the site of the historic Princeton Inn, a gracious hotel overlooking the Princeton golf course. Princeton has one graduate residential college, the Graduate College, located beyond Forbes College on the outskirts of campus.
Princeton University has several apartment facilities for graduate students, they include Lakeside Apartments, Lawrence Apartments, and Stanworth Apartments.
Undergraduates who 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, public affairs, and public policy prepare candidates for careers in public life and professional practice.
Princeton offers two bachelor’s degrees: a bachelor of arts (A.B.) and a bachelor of science in engineering (B.S.E.).
Within these degree programs, students can choose from among 89 departments and interdepartmental programs.
In lieu of existing programs, students may apply for an independent concentration.
Undergraduates in the A.B. program must successfully complete general education requirements that include two courses each in literature and the arts, science, and technology (at least one course must be with laboratory), and social analysis; and one course each in epistemology and cognition, ethical thoughts and moral values, historical analysis, and quantitative reasoning.
A.B. candidates also must satisfy writing and foreign language requirements. Departmental requirements combine upper-level courses with independent work in both the junior and senior years. A senior thesis is required of all A.B. candidates.
Princeton University Courses
Students may choose from among 36 majors, or an independent concentration, and participate in 53 interdisciplinary certificate programs.
Undergraduates may concentrate their studies in the following Academic Departments; African American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Astrophysical Sciences, Chemical, and Biological Engineering,
Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, East Asian Studies, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, Electrical Engineering, English,
French and Italian, Geosciences, German, History, Independent Concentration, Mathematics, Mechanical, and Aerospace Engineering, Molecular Biology, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Neuroscience, Operations Research, and Financial Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology,
Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Interdepartmental Programs
Undergraduates may supplement their concentration by participating in any of the following programs, all of which grant certificates of proficiency:
African American Studies, African Studies, American Studies, Applications of Computing, Applied and Computational Mathematics, Archaeology, Architecture and Engineering, Biophysics, Cognitive Science, Contemporary European Politics and Society, Creative Writing, Dance, East Asian Studies,
Engineering Biology, Engineering and Management Systems, Engineering Physics, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Ethnographic Studies, European Cultural Studies, Finance, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Geological Engineering, Global Health, and Health Policy, Hellenic Studies, History and the Practice of Diplomacy, Humanistic Studies, Jazz Studies, Judaic Studies, Language and Culture,
Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, Linguistics, Materials Science and Engineering, Medieval Studies, Music Theater, Musical Performance, Near Eastern Studies, Neuroscience, Planets and Life, Quantitative and Computational Biology, Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, South Asian Studies, Statistics and Machine Learning, Sustainable Energy, Teacher Preparation, Technology and Society, Theater, Translation, and Intercultural Communication, Urban Studies, Values, and Public Life and Visual Arts
Undergraduate concentration patterns have remained fairly constant over the years. Here, in descending order, are the 10 areas of concentration undertaken by the most juniors and seniors in the academic year 2016-17;
Computer Science, Economics, Molecular Biology, Mechanical, and Aerospace Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, English, The Creative Arts, History, Politics, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Princeton’s undergraduate program is highly selective, admitting 6.1% of undergraduate applicants in the 2016-2017 admissions cycle.
The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 690-790 for critical reading, 710-800 for math, and 700-790 for writing. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 32-35. U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review both cite Princeton as the university that has the fewest of graduates with debt even though 60% of incoming students are on some type of financial aid.
Kiplinger magazine in 2016 ranked Princeton University as the best value among private universities, noting that the average graduating debt is $8,557.
The Graduate School has about 2,600 students in 42 academic departments (including the Department of Psychology, Department of History, and Department of Economics) and programs in social sciences, engineering, natural sciences, and humanities. In 2017/2018, the graduate school received nearly 11,000 applications for admission and accepted around 1,000 applicants.
The University also awarded 319 Ph.D. degrees and 170 final master’s degrees. Princeton University has no medical school, law school, business school, or school of education.
It offers professional graduate degrees in architecture, engineering, finance, and public policy. Princeton University was ranked first in the most recent 2017 U.S. News rankings, as well as #1 in 2015, 2016, and 2017 rankings for “best undergraduate teaching”.
Princeton University Ranking
In the 2019 Times Higher Education assessment of the world’s greatest universities, Princeton was ranked 6th. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings, it was ranked 11th overall in the world.
In the “America’s Top Colleges” rankings by Forbes in 2016, Princeton University was ranked third among all national colleges and universities, after holding the number one position for a number of years.
In the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Graduate School Rankings”, all thirteen of Princeton’s doctoral programs evaluated were ranked in their respective top 20, 8 of them in the top 5, and 4 of them in the top spot (Economics, History, Mathematics, Sociology).
Princeton University was ranked the 360th top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet’s Social Mobility Index college rankings.
Princeton University Tuition
Princeton University has a great record in terms of producing quality graduates, who are top-notch names in society. The Princeton University tuition fee is about $65,000.
Princeton University Notable Alumni
Some notable alumni of Princeton University include:
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, born January 17, 1964, is an American lawyer and writer. She is married to Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. President and Mitchelle served as the first African-American First Lady.
She studied at Princeton University, majoring in sociology and minoring in African-American studies, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985.
Michelle Obama subsequently worked as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago and the Vice President for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born Jorgensen; January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico but raised in Houston, Texas. He is an American technology entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer.
Jeff Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. Bezos founded aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000. In 2013 he purchased The Washington Post US$250 million in cash.
The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, he was designated the “wealthiest person in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018.
John C. Bogle
John Clifton “Jack” Bogle was born on May 8, 1929, in Montclair, New Jersey, U.S. He is an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is the founder and retired chief executive of The Vanguard Group.
Stephen A. Feinberg was born on March 29, 1960, in New York City, New York, U.S. He is an American billionaire financier, who is active in hedge fund management and private equity. He is co-founder and CEO of Cerberus Capital Management.
On May 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump named Feinberg to head the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He attended Princeton University and graduated with a degree in politics in 1982.
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes was born on 19 August 1919 in Englewood, New Jersey and died on 24 February 1990 in Brooklyn, New York.
He was an American entrepreneur most prominently known as the publisher of Forbes magazine, founded by his father B. C. Forbes. He graduated from the Princeton University
Malcolm Stevenson “Steve” Forbes Jr. was born on July 18, 1947 in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. He is an American publishing executive, and the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, a business magazine. Forbes is the son of Forbes publisher Malcolm Forbes, and the grandson of that publication’s founder, B.C. Forbes.
In 1970, Forbes graduated “cum laude” from Princeton University, New Jersey. While at Princeton, Forbes co-founded his first magazine, Business Today which is currently the largest student-run magazine in the world. Forbes is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.
William Clay Ford Jr.
William Clay Ford Jr. was born on May 3, 1957, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. He is an American businessman and the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.
The great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. Ford graduated from Princeton University in 1979 with a B.A in history. While at Princeton, he served as president of the Ivy Club and played on the Princeton rugby team as well.
Eric Emerson Schmidt was born on April 27, 1955, in Falls Church, Virginia, U.S. He is an American businessman and software engineer. From 1997 to 2001, he was the CEO of Novell. From 2001 to 2015, Schmidt served as the executive chairman of Google.
He is known for being the Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc from 2015 to 2017. He has also served on various other boards in academia and industry, including the Boards of Trustees for Carnegie Mellon University, Apple, Princeton University and Mayo Clinic.
Eric attended Princeton University in 1976, graduating with a B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering.
Sandi Peterson born in 1959, is an American businesswoman. She previously held leadership positions at Bayer Medical Care, Medco Health Solutions, Nabisco and Whirlpool Corporation. She has been the group worldwide chairman at Johnson & Johnson since 2012. Peterson received her MPA in applied economics from Princeton University.
Jon Steinberg is the former President and COO of website BuzzFeed. He is the founder and CEO of Cheddar Inc., a new media company covering tech news and culture. Steinberg sits on the board of Bustle.com and is an advisor to The Skimm and Taboola. He is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Margaret Cushing “Meg” Whitman was born on August 4, 1956, in Huntington, New York, U.S. She is an American business executive, political activist, and philanthropist. Whitman served as President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, an executive in The Walt Disney Company, as Vice President of Strategic Planning throughout the 1980s.
And in the 1990s, Meg served as an executive for DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. Whitman also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay, from 1998 to 2008. Meg Whitman is a graduate of Princeton University where she studied economics, earning a B.A. with honors in 1977.
Rawleigh Warner Jr. born on February 13, 1921, in Chicago and died on June 26, 2013. He was an American business executive, who was president of Mobil from 1965 to 1969 and chairman and the chief executive officer from 1969 to 1986. He was the recipient of the 1984 Henry Laurence Gantt Medal.
He Graduated from Princeton University in 1943.
Ellen Pao born in 1970, is an American activist and litigant. She co-founded the diversity consulting non-profit organization Project Include. She was previously a partner at Kapor Capital and the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact before leaving in 2018 to focus on her role as Project Include’s CEO.
Pao also held positions as interim CEO of social media technology company Reddit, investment partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, board director at Flipboard, and corporate attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Pao graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1991.