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Class of 2020 Academic Guide

This guide is intended to address some of the common academic questions and concerns that are likely to arise during your first year at Princeton. Its purpose is not merely to lay out the rules and regulations of academic life, but also to point out ways of thinking about the start of your undergraduate education. Planning carefully and looking ahead will enable you to maximize your opportunities at the University. Knowing when and where to find guidance and counsel is important for ensuring that your educational choices are well considered and make sense in the context of your larger academic goals.

Students who take the initiative and make themselves aware of the many opportunities around them get the most out of their Princeton education. Princeton is a caring and relatively small place, so it is not difficult to find help, advice, information, and just plain encouragement if you look for it. We do assume, however, that you will seek out the help you need. This guide should help you do just that. Please READ it, KEEP it, and USE it as a reference for names, offices, telephone numbers, and schedules you will need throughout the year.

Congratulations and Welcome

Planning Your Program for the Fall

Academic Advising and the Residential College

Your Advising Team

How to Think About Your First Course Selection

University Requirements

Writing Requirement

Foreign Language Requirement

Distribution Requirements

Advanced Placement and Advanced Standing

The Structure of a Princeton Course

Learning at Princeton

Scheduling Your Time

Developing Effective Learning Strategies

Academic Writing

Consulting Your Professors

Studying for Exams

Taking Exams

Utilizing Academic Support Resources

The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

Residential College Individual Tutoring

The Writing Center

Support for Health and Well-Being

Learning Outside the Classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking Toward Sophomore Year

General Guidelines

Course Selection for Sophomore Year

Choosing a Major

Consider Study Abroad

Useful Resources

Title IX Coordinator

Preprofessional Advisers


Health Professions



Academic Regulations

Course Load for Underclass Students

Course Deficiencies

Dropping Optional Courses

Pass/D/Fail Option

Courses Taken for Credit Outside Princeton

Deadlines and Extensions

Midterm Examinations

Final Examinations

Submission of Papers and Other Written Work

Honor Code and Other Academic Integrity Regulations

Academic Standing

Academic Probation and Academic Warning

Required Withdrawal

The Academic Calendar for 2016-17 is available on the web.

How to make a telephone call to an administrative office on campus:
Dial 8 and the four-digit extension.
Cell phone use: The area code for campus is (609).

Nondiscrimination Statement
In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other federal, state, and local laws, Princeton University does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status in any phase of its employment process, in any phase of its admission or financial aid programs, or other aspects of its educational programs or activities. The vice provost for institutional equity and diversity is the individual designated by the University to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX, Section 504 and other equal opportunity and affirmative action regulations and laws. Questions or concerns regarding Title IX, Section 504 or other aspects of Princeton s equal opportunity or affirmative action programs should be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, Princeton University, 205 Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 or (609) 258-6110.

Published by the Office of the Dean of the College
Coordinated by the Office of Communications
Cover photograph (printed edition) by Jill Feldman
Copyright © 2016 by The Trustees of Princeton University

Princeton in the Nation's Service and the Service of Humanity

The Class of 2020 Academic Guide is also available in these formats:
Download (.pdf)

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