Graduate School applications reach record high

Princeton University's Graduate School offered admission to 1,226 of the record 12,077 applicants who applied for the 2012-13 academic year, with the school's global reputation and strong financial aid program contributing to a continued increase in applications, particularly among international students.

This year saw a 3 percent increase in the total number of applications from last year. The total was bolstered by an 8.4 percent increase in the number of international applicants, from 5,936 last year to 6,437 this year, making up 53 percent of the applicant pool. The 5,640 U.S. citizens and permanent residents make up 47 percent of the pool. The overall admission rate for this year is 10.2 percent.

"For the second year in a row, the number of applications from international students exceeded the number of applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents," said David Redman, the Graduate School's associate dean for academic affairs. "It's gratifying that the Graduate School continues to be a very attractive place for students from all over the world for graduate study at the master's and doctoral levels."

This year the number of students who accepted the school's offer of admission by the April 15 postmark deadline was 610, or 49.7 percent.

Among the total applicants, 1,417 were American students of color, including 764 Asian Americans, 409 Hispanics, 236 African Americans and eight Native Americans. Of the total number of students of color, 188 received offers of admission. Of the admitted students 446, or 36 percent, are women and 780, or 64 percent, are men. International students were admitted from 70 countries, with the largest number of students expected from, in order, China, India, Canada and Korea.

"We were pleased to note that the number of admitted students from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education rose slightly compared to last year," Redman said. "The Graduate School and the academic departments carefully monitor both the composition and balance of the pool and our programs to ensure that we have the best possible mix of students."

The school continues its recruitment and retention efforts aimed at U.S. students from 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, is particularly successful in generating high-quality applicants, he said. Some of the students who participated in PSURE in recent years are currently enrolled in the Graduate School.

University funding for graduate students also has seen a 3.2 percent increase for the 2012-13 academic year, up from a 3 percent increase last year. A standard 12-month doctoral fellowship will increase to $27,640 from the current stipend of $26,784.

"The full funding for doctoral students in Princeton's Graduate School continues to attract exceptionally talented and outstanding candidates who also have excellent opportunities to teach and win outside fellowships," Redman said.

The highest proportion of admitted candidates were applicants for the natural sciences and mathematics with 15 percent admitted, followed by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with 12 percent admitted. The percentage of admitted applicants for other fields was 10 percent for engineering, 9 percent for the humanities, 8 percent for the School of Architecture and 7 percent for the social sciences.

The Graduate School expects to register 2,320 degree students this coming fall in their first five years of study, as the total enrollment. Another estimated 323 students are expected to be in Dissertation Completion Enrollment status, which is held by students who have completed their regular five-year program length, are still making satisfactory academic progress, and who need a bit more time in which to finish the dissertation and defend.

The average Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for admitted students were 590 out of 800 on the verbal section, 750 out of 800 on the quantitative section and 4 out of 6 on the analytical writing section.