Princeton, NJ
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Our varsity football/basketball teams aren't very important to the Princeton experience, unlike some other colleges. I know more people on Sprint Football and other club/intramural teams than I do varsity athletes, except for crew. Everyone does crew.

5 College Junior

Athletics: There are tons of athletic opportunities on campus for people of every interest and level.

4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: The amount of attention and success is sport-dependent.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: I am not really that sure because I am not all into sports...

3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Club tennis was a little lacking


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 207th
    Best Intramural Sports
  • 1141st
    Most Active Varsity Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Athletics-varsity, club, and intramural-play an important role on campus. At some point in their Princeton career, most students will have some exposure to campus athletics, whether it is attending a game of the title-winning men's lacrosse team at the Class of 1952 Stadium or participating in a yoga class at Dillon Gym. For students who are not up to varsity level, there are plenty of opportunities to participate on a team whether it is on one of the spirited IM teams or one of the University's 34 club teams. Scenic features such as the wooded towpath and Lake Carnegie also encourage students to take a break from their work and go jogging along one of the University's trails.

For a small Ivy League school, Princeton exhibits an athletic prowess that's almost surprising. Unable to offer athletic scholarships, the University draws athletes who come to Princeton not only because of some of the award-winning athletic teams but also because of the top-notch academics. The Ivy League provides a fantastic rivalry and gives Princeton students another venue for bragging about their abilities on and off the field.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-AA
Athletic Conferences
Football: Ivy Group
Basketball: Ivy Group
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
588 - 23%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
374 - 15%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Other sports
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
Club Sports
  • Aikido
  • Badminton
  • Ballroom dance
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (men's and women's)
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Field hockey
  • Figure skating
  • Ice hockey (men's and women's)
  • Karate
  • Kendo
  • Lacrosse (men's and women's)
  • Rifle
  • Rugby¬†(men's and women's)
  • Sailing
  • Ski and snowboard
  • Soccer (men's and women's)
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee (men's and women's)
  • Volleyball (men's and women's)
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Broomball
  • Dodgeball
  • Floor hockey
  • Foosball
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Ice hockey
  • Inner tube water polo
  • Kickball (coed)
  • Soccer
  • Soccer (indoor)
  • Softball
  • Tennis
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • L. Stockwell Jadwin Gymnasium
  • Baker Ice Rink
  • Class of 1952 Stadium
  • DeNunzio Pool
  • Dillon Gymnasium
  • Lenz Tennis Center
  • Pagoda Tennis Courts
  • Peterson Recreation Center
  • Princeton Stadium
  • Shea Rowing Center
  • Springdale Golf Club
  • Weaver Track, Field Stadium & Frelinghuysen Field
Most Popular Sports
On the varsity level, the most visible teams are the football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, and lacrosse teams. Football games draw in droves of alumni, especially for games against Big Three rivals Harvard and Yale. A strong rivalry with Penn in basketball gives Princeton students something to cheer about during the icy winters. Both lacrosse teams-men's and women's-have pulled in multiple national titles in recent history and are a great source of school spirit.
Most Overlooked Teams
The squash program is probably one of the most successful but underappreciated athletic programs on campus. Each year, the team places well in national tournaments but gets little exposure on campus, perhaps because few students even know what squash is by the time they get to campus freshman year. On the club level, both rugby teams have had great runs in national tournaments recently, but, because of its status as a club sport, rugby does not get the same sort of exposure as the football or lacrosse teams.
School Spirit
Princeton students and alumni can never be accused of not having school spirit. From making endless jokes about Harvard and Yale to coming back for annual reunions, Princeton is more than a four-year education, it is a lifetime legacy. While Princeton is not a school where all undergrads attend all of the football games, there is a constant aura of Princetonia. It is nearly impossible to pass through FitzRandolph Gates at graduation without owning at least one vibrant orange and black article of clothing. This spirit does not stop at the school level. Princeton undergrads also rally behind their residential colleges. For example, Butler residents brag about their intramural prowess, while Rocky residents poke fun at Butler's dorms and claim superiority because of their Gothic dorms.
Getting Tickets
Students do not need to pay for many sporting events, and tickets are not difficult to obtain. Occasionally, it is necessary to get tickets ahead of time, but that is usually for major events, such as a Princeton-Penn home basketball game.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Towpath around Lake Carnegie, Princeton Battlefield

Student Polls

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 24 responses

  • 0% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 12% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 75% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 12% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 26 responses

  • 0% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 15% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 35% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 50% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 26 responses

  • 8% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 69% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 23% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.


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