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.