Outside of the classroom, Princeton students pursue a variety of passions and interests — whether its joining a student club, playing a varsity or intramural sport, volunteering with organizations on and off campus, or participating in religious and spiritual programs. Students often learn as much through these extracurricular activities as they do in their classes.
There are approximately 300 student organizations representing student interest in activities such as writing, theater and dance, music and art, politics and debate, sports and games, community service, and ethnic and cultural affairs. Students are encouraged to form new organizations if there is no existing group in their area of particular interest, and new ones are always being added to the list.
The University does not recognize fraternities and sororities and strongly discourages membership. Freshmen are prohibited from having any affiliation with a sorority or fraternity. No student may solicit the participation of freshmen in any sorority or fraternity activity. Violations of this policy are regarded as serious. For a full description of University policy, please see "Rights, Rules, Responsibilities."
Students participate in the governance of the University through the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), 12 of whose 50 members are undergraduates.
Student Agencies are student-operated enterprises that offer young entrepreneurs a chance to manage small on-campus businesses (under the supervision of the Student Agency Office). More than 200 students work for student agencies each year, providing various services and distributing useful products. For more information on any of the agencies, visit the Student Agencies website or call the Student Agencies Office at 609-258-4906. Each agency can also be reached directly by email.
Princeton University sponsors 38 varsity intercollegiate athletic teams, 20 for men and 18 for women. The University’s teams have a long, proud history of success in the Ivy League, while also being a national model for athletic achievement combined with a commitment to the role that athletics plays in the educational mission of the University. Princeton athletes regularly are honored as All-America, All-Ivy League and Academic All-America, and Princeton teams have won nearly 100 more Ivy League championships than the next-highest school in the league during the last 20 years.
Princeton Stadium, which seats 27,800 spectators, is primarily the home of the Tiger football team, though it has also hosted varsity soccer and lacrosse and served as a practice venue for almost all varsity, club and intramural sports. Other athletic facilities include the Roberts Stadium soccer complex; two large gymnasiums, an ice rink, indoor and outdoor tracks, more than 50 acres of playing fields, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a crew course and boat house, an 18-hole golf course, and two swimming pools. One of these is the DeNunzio Pool, an Olympic-size facility with a 10-meter diving platform. In addition, there is the Class of 1952 Stadium, which houses Sherrerd Field, the home of Princeton lacrosse, and Bedford Field, the home for Princeton field hockey.
Campus Recreation, situated in Dillon Gymnasium, offers the following programs: intramural and special events for competition among students, faculty, and staff members; sport club opportunities for those wishing to compete on student-run teams against other local and regional schools; an extensive instructional/group fitness program with more than 60 different classes in core areas such as fitness, wellness, dance, self-defense and spinning; and a facility that is home to four basketball courts, 15 squash courts, a six-lane pool, special rooms for dance, spinning, group fitness and martial arts, along with the Stephens Fitness Center, with more than 9,000 square feet of state-of-the-art fitness equipment.
The Pace Center for Civic Engagement helps make civic engagement an integral part of the Princeton experience by connecting students with experiential service opportunities to sustain lasting and meaningful change in the community and around the world. From civic action break trips and social entrepreneurship, to public service internships and direct volunteerism, students are learning beyond the classroom, being exposed to new perspectives, stretching their own views and leading the way to make a positive impact.
The Pace Center’s programs are centered on four core values: engaged discovery, impactful programs, community focus and student leadership. Freshmen can start a path to civic engagement at Princeton during Orientation with the Pace Center’s Community Action program, which introduces students to Princeton University and the community with an immersive week of service.
But it doesn’t end there. From tackling a pressing social issue on a Breakout Princeton fall or spring break trip, to joining an ongoing service project with the Student Volunteer Council (SVC) and Community House, or working with a student advocacy group through the Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), the Pace Center’s student-led, student-driven initiatives offer a wide array of ways to get involved and make a difference.
Over the summer, students can continue to learn and engage through an internship. The alumni-driven Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) program, in partnership with the Pace Center, connects students to careers and Princeton alums in the nonprofit and public service sector. The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice and the Interfaith Summer Internship Program offer additional opportunities to learn more about a variety of social issues. Graduating seniors can extend service with a post-graduate fellowship, while graduate students can teach with the Prison Teaching Initiative.
Many other civic engagement opportunities are available through individual student organizations, residential colleges and eating clubs. The Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) provides opportunities for combining community involvement with academic work, and a number of departments and centers at the University examine the impact of public policy on real-life situations in communities around the world. Other organizations sponsor public service internships and fellowships for Princeton students and recent graduates.
Princeton Bridge Year
The Princeton Bridge Year Program is a nine-month, tuition-free program that allows newly admitted undergraduates the opportunity to engage in community service work in another country prior to the start of their freshman year.
While abroad, Bridge Year participants volunteer in nongovernmental organizations, schools, clinics and other institutions serving the needs of local communities. Participants also study the local language, live with carefully selected families, and engage in a variety of cultural enrichment activities, all of which helps Bridge Year volunteers integrate more easily into the host culture. In addition to supporting the needs of local communities, Bridge Year aims to provide participants with a greater international perspective and broader intercultural skills, an opportunity for personal growth and reflection, and a deeper appreciation of service in both a local and international context.
Students are invited to apply to the Bridge Year Program after they have accepted Princeton's offer of admission. Bridge Year placements are currently offered in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Senegal.
The Office of Religious Life welcomes the presence of a vigorous and diverse religious community on campus, supports all religious traditions in the practice and expression of their faith, and strongly encourages interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Through its own programs and in collaboration with others, the Office of Religious Life provides opportunities for community service, cross-cultural understanding and constructive social action. The Office of Religious Life recognizes and works closely with a range of campus chaplaincies.
Murray-Dodge Hall houses the religious life offices, the Murray-Dodge Café (offering good company every night in a non-alcoholic setting), the Muslim prayer room, an interfaith meditation room and a number of campus ministry offices. Murray-Dodge is also a frequent meeting place for diverse student gatherings, informative and engaging programs and a wide variety of worship services. Hallelujah!, which is sponsored by the Office of Religious Life, is an interdenominational clergy-and-student-led weekly worship service that draws deeply from the richness of the African American church tradition. Among other programs, the Religious Life Council provides students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of all religious faiths, to explore the connection between intellectual life and spiritual growth, and to encourage interfaith discussion of moral issues and life choices.
The University Chapel is open daily for prayer and meditation from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ecumenical services are offered in the chapel on Sunday mornings, with sermons preached by the deans of religious life and special guests, liturgical assistance provided by the student chapel deacons and music provided by the 80-member strong Chapel Choir. Opening Exercises and the Baccalaureate Service also take place in the University Chapel.
The Center for Jewish Life offers programs and services for the Jewish community on campus.
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
United States Armed Services ROTC Programs. Princeton University students may participate in Army, Air Force or Navy ROTC programs. The Army program is based at Princeton University, and the Air Force and Navy programs are based at nearby Rutgers University (see below). These programs are conducted by the United States Armed Services. Participants in either program engage in ROTC courses and activities that, if successfully completed, lead to a commission as an officer.
Army. Army ROTC is a nationally standardized program of pre-commissioning officer education and training. Non-credit military science courses complement all major areas of study by broadening the student’s basic education and helping prepare students for positions of leadership in the Army. As students earn their academic degree, they also earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army (active duty, Army Reserve or National Guard).
The focus of the ROTC program is leadership development. Cadets normally attend a noncredit military science elective course each semester and a five-week advanced camp in the summer following their junior year. The military science courses are taught by army instructors. Army ROTC sponsors a centralized training and development advanced camp conducted each summer at Fort Lewis, Washington. Successful completion of advanced camp is a prerequisite for commissioning.
For information, please write or call the director of the Army Officer Education Program, 294 Alexander St., Princeton, NJ 08540, or call 609-258-4225.
Air Force (AFROTC). Princeton students may enroll in the Air Force ROTC program via a cross-town school agreement with Rutgers University. AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. The program is designed to recruit, educate and commission officer candidates through college campus programs based on Air Force requirements.
AFROTC offers separate three- to four-year programs open to most majors. There is no military obligation until students enter the Professional Officer course (typically during their junior year) or accept a scholarship. This affords those who would like to try the program the opportunity to do so on a noncommittal basis.
Active duty Air Force officers teach weekly courses at Rutgers. In addition, a weekly leadership laboratory is held on either the Princeton or Rutgers campus, depending on the lesson objective. Travel between campuses is required. AFROTC courses focus on leadership and prepare students for duties and responsibilities as officers in the active duty U.S. Air Force.
Scholarships and incentive money are available to graduating high school seniors as well as students who are already in college and are offered on a competitive basis.
Upon graduation, students become commissioned officers with the rank of second lieutenant and serve four years on active duty (10 years for pilots). For more information, visit the AFROTC website or the unit site; or, reach the recruiting flight commander at 732-932-7706 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). Princeton students may enroll in the Naval ROTC program via a cross-town school agreement with Rutgers University. The NROTC Program was established in 1926 to develop university students interested in careers with either the U.S. Navy or U. S. Marine Corps, by enrolling them as midshipmen and preparing them mentally, morally and physically for service to their country.
The NROTC program provides military education and leadership development for Navy and Marine Corps option students and is open to qualified students of all academic majors. Enrolled midshipmen attend NROTC classes and drill at Rutgers and upon successful completion of all requirements and attainment of a baccalaureate-level degree they are commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Applicants selected to receive a four-, three- or two-year scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, will receive tuition and other financial benefits. Students enrolled in the program but without scholarship, compete for approval to continue in the program beyond their sophomore year and for commissioning.
For program information and to apply for an NROTC scholarship, visit the NROTC website. For information on NROTC Rutgers, visit the NROTC Rutgers website. NROTC Rutgers staff members can be reached at 848-932-8484.