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The Undergraduate Program

Princeton University is a private, coeducational university located in Princeton, New Jersey, midway between New York City and Philadelphia. The 500-acre central campus is residential, and all buildings are within easy walking distance of one another. Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, Princeton now has an undergraduate population of approximately 5,000 students working toward the bachelor of arts (A.B.) or bachelor of science in engineering (B.S.E.) degree. With its outstanding financial aid program, which provides grants rather than loans--which do not have to be repaid--the University ensures that a Princeton education is affordable to qualified students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Students come from all 50 states and from more than 95 countries. The University plans to increase the size of its undergraduate student body to 5,200 students by the 2012-13 academic year. A single full-time faculty of 920 teaches both graduate and undergraduate students.

Nearly all undergraduates are in residence on the campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years. The six residential colleges provide a vast array of educational and social activities. In housing and dining arrangements, extracurricular activities, and daily social life, undergraduates make up a single student body regardless of degree candidacy or program of study. With many lectures, classes, and laboratories in common, undergraduates enjoy a shared academic experience, no matter what their principal field of study.

The A.B. Degree

Programs of study in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences lead to the degree of bachelor of arts. Students select a concentration from the following academic departments:

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Art and Archaeology
  • Astrophysical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science
  • East Asian Studies
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Economics
  • English
  • French and Italian
  • Geosciences
  • German
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Near Eastern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Sociology
  • Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures
  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

The B.S.E. Degree

Programs of study in the School of Engineering and Applied Science lead to the degree of bachelor of science in engineering. Students select a concentration from the following academic departments:

  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Certificate Programs

In addition to their departmental concentration, students may earn a certificate by completing the requirements in one or more of the following programs:

  • African American Studies
  • African Studies
  • American Studies
  • Applications of Computing
  • Applied and Computational Mathematics
  • Architecture and Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Contemporary European Politics and Society
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • East Asian Studies
  • Engineering and Management Systems
  • Engineering Biology
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Studies
  • European Cultural Studies
  • Finance
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Geological Engineering
  • Global Health and Health Policy
  • Hellenic Studies
  • Information Technology and Society
  • Jazz Studies
  • Judaic Studies
  • Language and Culture
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latino Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Medieval Studies
  • Musical Performance
  • Near Eastern Studies
  • Neuroscience
  • Planets and Life
  • Quantitative and Computational Biology
  • Robotics and Intelligent Systems
  • Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Theater
  • Translation and Intercultural Communication
  • Urban Studies
  • Values and Public Life
  • Visual Arts
  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Students may also take courses offered by the Program in Humanistic Studies, which does not grant certificates.

While methods of instruction vary widely, all areas of the academic program emphasize individual responsibility and the free interchange of ideas. This emphasis is demonstrated most notably in the wide use of preceptorials and seminars, in the provision of independent study for all upperclass students and qualified underclass students, and in the availability of a series of special programs to meet a range of individual interests. The undergraduate college encourages the student to be an independent seeker of information, and to assume responsibility for gaining both knowledge and judgment that will strengthen later contributions to society.

Undergraduate regulations, academic and social, are relatively few. They represent the expectation of appropriate behavior on the part of all students and require a reasonable standard of performance in scholarly achievement.