Graduate School applications continue to rise--UPDATE

Princeton University's Graduate School admitted 1,197 of the 11,689 applicants who applied for the 2011-12 academic year, with strong interest from international students, the school's global reputation and its robust financial aid program contributing to a continued increase in applications.

This year saw a 5 percent increase in the number of students applying for master's and doctoral programs, which extended a trend of rising application totals in recent years. The Graduate School also continued to see large numbers of international applicants. The 5,936 international students made up nearly 51 percent of the applicant pool, while the 5,753 U.S. citizens and permanent residents made up 49 percent of the pool.

"The Graduate School continues to be open to literally every applicant in the world, and our programs attract a global pool of master's and doctoral candidates," said David Redman, the Graduate School's associate dean for academic affairs. "In addition to our international base of applicants, we will continue our efforts to recruit a diverse group of students from around the United States."

The 10.2 percent overall admission rate for this year is similar to last year, when 1,193 students were admitted from a pool of 11,124 applicants. This year the number of admitted students who accepted the school's offer of admission by the April 15 postmark deadline was 623, or 52 percent, compared with last year's yield at this time of almost 54 percent.

For the second year in a row, the Department of Chemistry received marked interest and acceptances from doctoral applicants, with the new Frick Chemistry Laboratory and expansion of the department's faculty attracting stellar students, Redman said.

The one new graduate program this year is the introduction of a joint doctoral degree in demography and social policy in the Program in Population Studies starting in the 2011-12 academic year.

Next year also will see a modest increase in the University's graduate stipend, with a standard 12-month doctoral fellowship of $26,784, up 3 percent from this year's standard stipend of $26,000.

"Princeton's Graduate School has long set the standard for full funding for doctoral students," Redman said. "Our students also teach and win outside fellowships, but the base support that we offer doctoral candidates is significant and very attractive to applicants."

Among the total applicants, 1,425 were American minorities, including 824 Asian Americans, 372 Hispanics, 219 African Americans and 10 Native Americans. Of the total number of minority students, 198 received offers of admission. This is the second year that figures for the collection of race and ethnicity have followed new federal guidelines allowing applicants to identify themselves in more than one race or ethnic category. The new self-identification option means figures for American minority groups for the past two years cannot be exactly compared to applicant data from previous years.

The school continues its recruitment and retention efforts aimed at U.S. students from minority and underrepresented backgrounds, Redman said. The Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE), an eight-week program for prospective students who express serious interest in pursuing doctoral degrees, has become particularly successful in generating high-quality applicants, he said. Some of the students who participated in PSURE in recent years applied and were admitted to Princeton graduate programs this year.

Among all admitted students 460, or 38 percent, are women and 737, or 62 percent, are men.
International students were admitted from 56 countries, with the largest number of students expected from, in order, China, India, Canada, Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Academic fields admitting the highest proportion of their applicants were the natural sciences and mathematics with 14 percent admitted, followed by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with 13 percent admitted. The percentage of admitted applicants for other fields was 11 percent for engineering, 8 percent for the humanities, 7 percent for social sciences and 7 percent for the School of Architecture.

The average Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for admitted students were 589 out of 800 on the verbal section, 719 out of 800 on the quantitative section and 4.2 out of 6 on the analytical writing section.

"The intellectual and talented students who are expected to enroll next year will add to our robust community of scholars from around the world," Redman said.

The Graduate School expects 2,300 degree students in their first five years of study to make up the total enrollment for the fall. An additional estimated 316 students are expected to be in Dissertation Completing Enrollment status held by students completing the dissertation portion of their degree requirement. 

Correction: A previous version of this announcement stated that international applicants to the Graduate School outnumbered domestic applicants for the first time, but there have been at least two other application cycles when this has occurred. The Graduate School regrets the error.