Princeton, NJ
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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5 College Junior

Academics: My department is very small, and I am on a first name basis with most of my professors, which is really nice.

5 College Junior

Academics: The professors are (overall) excellent. Courses are easy to register for, and professors are very accessible.

3 College Freshman

Academics: The classes are pretty rigorous but I guess it is worth it in the end...

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Like I mentioned previously, the classes are pretty challenging and you get tons of work everyday, but then again, it is an ivy league...

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: ...everything is amazing academically, but the work is even harder than you might expect.

2 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 84th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 118th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 126th
    Most Available Classes
  • 161st
    Smartest Professors
  • 271st
    Best Course Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kristen McCarthy
Mahwah, N.J.
View all previous student authors

The level of Princeton’s academics makes it one of the best schools in the nation for undergraduate education, if not the best. Princeton professors place an emphasis on personal accessibility, and no graduate students are allowed to lead lecture courses. What results is an institution focused upon the education of undergraduates, not the research of professors. Each week, Princeton professors hold office hours so that students may stop by to discuss upcoming assignments or misunderstood lecture topics. The policies of each professor vary, but students generally do not have to make appointments to go to office hours. Some professors even ask students not to send e-mail but instead to stop by office hours to facilitate interaction out of the classroom. But, professors do respond to e-mail quickly and are happy to answer questions that students may have.

While some students gripe about some of Princeton’s academic requirements, including a diverse selection of distribution requirements, demanding independent work both junior and senior years, and mandatory weekly preceptorial sections, it is these features of the undergraduate education at Princeton that make students here some of the best prepared for graduate work and demanding jobs. Princeton’s rigorous academic demands encourage independent thought and efficiency. Even though the work is demanding, there is an extensive network of tutors and a staff of well-trained Writing Center advisers who ensure that no one is left behind.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 73%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 16%
  • 50 or More Students: 11%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 4%
  • History, General: 3%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 4%
  • Public Policy Analysis, General: 4%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Architecture Library
  • CafĂ© Vivian
  • Empty classrooms in the Frist Campus Center
  • Firestone Library
  • Small World Coffee
Tips to Succeed
  • Actually use reading period, and go to all review sessions.
  • Ask the TAs tons of questions.
  • Check your e-mail constantly, but do not spend all your time on the Internet.
  • Go to class. Never miss precept.
  • Pick classes you actually like.
  • Research your professors before choosing your classes.
  • Take advantage of as many special lecture series as possible.
  • Try to complete your distribution requirements as early as possible. If you can't find a class you want to take in a given semester that fills a distribution requirement, look at the Bulletin to see if something more interesting is going to be offered the following semester.
  • Use all resources that are available to pick your classes-RAs, Student Course Guide-and do not believe everything your academic advisor says.
Did You Know?
  • Princeton University's sixth president, John Witherspoon, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
  • James Madison, Class of 1771 and former president of the United States, became the first president of the Alumni Association of the College of New Jersey in 1826.
  • Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879 and future president of the United States, served as thirteenth president of the University in June 1902 and revolutionized the academic program through his inventive "preceptorial" system, which is still in use today. Additionally, he instituted the distribution requirements for undergraduates in order to create more well-rounded students.
  • In May 1970, Colleges around the nation adopted the "Princeton Plan" (fall recess) in response to the student unrest following the Cambodian incursion in Southeast Asia.
  • Five members of the Princeton faculty were recipients of the Nobel Prize in physics, two in economic studies, two in economic sciences and one each in literature and medicine.
  • After Princeton's founding, it was widely speculated that there was a curse on the University's presidents, as there were five presidents in the first twenty years of the University.
  • Princeton is one of the only American institutions to mandate a senior thesis, which has been a requirement for graduation since 1925.
  • Princeton's Honor System has been in place since 1893, when students, who were dissatisfied with faculty proctoring of examinations, called for a system similar to the ones at the University of Virginia and William and Mary. Even today, there are no proctors in exams, and students must sign the honor code at the end of every assignment and exam.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 20 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 20 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.


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