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Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students. The University's generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.

Princeton University: Facts and Figures


  • Established in 1746; Graduate School established in 1900
  • President: Christopher L. Eisgruber, 2013-present; 20th president
  • Private university, member of Ivy League athletic conference
  • Location: Princeton, N.J.
  • Size of main campus: 180 buildings on 500 acres
  • Residential college system with 98 percent of undergraduate students living on campus


  • Faculty, including full time, part time and visiting: 1,175 (spring 2014)
  • Undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
  • Departments: 34
  • Interdisciplinary certificate programs: 47
  • Schools within the University: School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Library holdings: More than 14 million in 10 libraries


  • Student enrollment: 7,910 total; 5,244 undergraduate; 2,666 graduate (2013-14)
  • Undergraduate admission rate in 2014-15: 7.4 percent
  • Undergraduate students on financial aid: 60 percent
  • Average financial aid award for the Class of 2018: $44,700
  • International students make up 11 percent of undergraduates
  • American minorities make up 40 percent of the undergraduate student body

Princeton University: Brief History

Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey — the name by which it was known for 150 years — Princeton University was British North America's fourth college. Located in Elizabeth for one year and then in Newark for nine, the College of New Jersey moved to Princeton in 1756. It was housed in Nassau Hall, which was newly built on land donated by Nathaniel Fitz Randolph. Nassau Hall contained the entire College for nearly half a century.

In 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University in honor of its host community of Princeton. Four years later, in 1900, the Graduate School was established.

Timeline of Princeton History


1696:  Town of Princeton settled.

1746:  College of New Jersey founded in Elizabeth, N.J., by the Presbyterian Synod. 

1747:  Jonathan Dickinson appointed first president. College moves to the Newark parsonage of Aaron Burr Sr., after Dickinson's death.

1748: Aaron Burr Sr. elected the College's second president. Present charter granted in New Brunswick, N.J. First Commencement exercises held, with six undergraduate degrees awarded.

1753:  Nathaniel and Rebeckah Fitz Randolph and others deed 10 acres in Princeton to the College.

1756:  Nassau Hall and Maclean House (the president's house) completed; College of New Jersey moves from Newark to Princeton.

1758:  Jonathan Edwards becomes third president.

1759:  Samuel Davies installed as fourth president.

1761:  Samuel Finley becomes fifth president.

1768:  Rev. John Witherspoon of Scotland installed as sixth president.

1769:  American Whig Debating Society formed.

1770:  Cliosophic Debating Society formed.

1776:  President Witherspoon signs the Declaration of Independence.

1777:  George Washington drives the British from Nassau Hall.

1783:  Continental Congress meets in Nassau Hall, which served as the capitol of the United States from June until November.

1795:  Samuel S. Smith becomes seventh president.


1802:  Nassau Hall gutted by fire and rebuilt.

1812:  Ashbel Green installed as eighth president.

1823:  James Carnahan becomes ninth president.

1826:  James Madison, Class of 1771 and former president of the United States, becomes the first president of the Alumni Association of the College of New Jersey.

1854:  John Maclean Jr. installed as 10th president.

1855:  Nassau Hall gutted by fire again, and rebuilt again.

1859: Alma mater song, “Old Nassau” written by Harlan Page Peck (Class of 1862).

1868:  James McCosh of Scotland elected 11th president.

1869:  Princeton plays Rutgers University in the first college football game.

1876:  The Princetonian student newspaper is published for the first time (still published daily by students during the academic year).

1882:  Princeton University Art Museum founded.

1883:  Triangle Club (originally called the Princeton College Dramatic Association) founded.

1888:  Francis L. Patton becomes 12th president.

1893:  Honor system established.

1895: A graduate degree (a Master of Arts) is awarded to a black student for the first time.

1896:  Name officially changed to Princeton University. Then-professor Woodrow Wilson provides Princeton's informal motto with a speech titled "Princeton in the Nation's Service."


1900:  Graduate School established.

1902:  Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, elected 13th president.

1905:  President Wilson establishes system of preceptorials.

1906:  Lake Carnegie created by Andrew Carnegie.

1912:  John G. Hibben installed as 14th president.

1913:  Graduate College dedicated.

1914:  Palmer Stadium completed.

1919:  School of Architecture established. Princeton's Army ROTC unit established.

1921:  School of Engineering established.

1930:  School of Public and International Affairs established (and named after Woodrow Wilson in 1948).

1940:  Undergraduate radio station (then WPRU, now WPRB) founded.

1942:  The first black undergraduate students are admitted.

1954:  Ivy League athletic conference founded, with Princeton as one of eight members.

1960:  Martin Luther King Jr. preaches at the University Chapel. Nassau Hall deemed a national historic landmark.

1964:  Ph.D. degree awarded to a woman for the first time.

1969:  Trustees vote to admit women undergraduates.

1974:  International Center (now the Davis International Center) founded.

1982:  System of residential colleges established.

1998:  First major steps undertaken to overhaul financial aid policies, making Princeton more affordable.


2000: Graduate School celebrates 100th anniversary.

2003:  Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics dedicated with a mandate to focus on research and teaching at the interface of biology and the quantitative sciences. Princeton Prize in Race Relations founded to promote understanding among high school-age students.

2005:  Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton Center for Theoretical Science and Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (renamed the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education in 2008) established. LGBT Center founded.

2007:  Four-year residential college system launched with the opening of Whitman College.

2010:  Frick Chemistry Laboratory, the largest single academic building on campus excluding Firestone Library, opens; Streicker Bridge opens, connecting the two sides of the science neighborhood across Washington Road.

2013:  Christopher L. Eisgruber becomes Princeton's 20th president.

Princeton University and the Neighborhood

The Princeton area, which has a population of approximately 30,000 residents, has tree-lined streets, specialty shops, restaurants, parks and a friendly and safe atmosphere.

For arts lovers, the McCarter Theatre Center, winner of a Tony Award for the best regional theater in the country, is a campus treasure within easy walking distance for students.

To further explore the arts and countless other resources, the shuttle train known as the "Dinky" connects the campus to Princeton Junction Station and regular service to New York City and Philadelphia (approximately one hour to either city). The University subsidizes many student trips to concerts, plays and athletic events in the two cities.

Information for International Students

Princeton is a great American university with a broad, international vision. The International Princeton website conveys Princeton's global vision and outlines the University's wide range of international opportunities. A variety of offices and individuals serve as contacts for internationally focused initiatives across the University.

The following: “Quick Facts” illustrate Princeton's international activities and global connections.

A Welcoming Community

Princeton’s Davis International Center offers specialized support for international students and scholars and their families, including resources to adjust to life at Princeton. 

Graduate and undergraduate student organizations celebrate the many cultures at Princeton and promote cross-cultural understanding.

A full calendar of events enables all members of the University to explore diverse activities and perspectives.

Princeton welcomes applications from students around the world and offers tips for international students considering applying for undergraduate admission or graduate admission. Princeton is need-blind for all applicants, U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens alike, which means that the University meets the full demonstrated financial need of accepted students with a no-loan aid package.

Learning on Campus

The "global classroom" at Princeton provides numerous opportunities for students to learn from and incorporate international perspectives and experiences throughout their academic careers, including opportunities to study more than 20 modern languages.

Throughout their Princeton experience, all students can benefit from the opportunity to study and conduct research with some of today's greatest global scholars. 

Princeton's extensive library system and art museum bring the world to campus, with collections from regions across the globe and through the ages.

Opportunities Abroad

It is Princeton's goal that all students explore the opportunities for international experience available to them. The Study Abroad Program (SAP) provides guidance for Princeton undergraduates who wish to study abroad during the academic year or summer. The International Internship Program (IIP) supports Princeton undergraduates who wish to undertake a summer internship abroad.

A wide range of international study and research opportunities are available to both undergraduate and graduate students, including the chance to conduct independent research abroad.

The University also supports students interested in individual or group extracurricular projects abroad. 

The Bridge Year Program enables a select group of incoming undergraduates to spend a year in public service abroad.

Lifelong learning and service abroad are pursuits that many Princeton alumni share, bringing them into contact with cultures and communities that span the globe. International alumni groups allow the Princeton community to build global networks.

All Programs Available:
  • Arts, Design and Crafts
    • Fine Arts
  • Engineering
    • Engineering Science
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
  • Humanities
    • Humanities
    • Philosophy
  • Philology, Languages, Literature
    • Philology and Linguistics
    • Literature
  • Sciences
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Archeology
Language of instruction


Type of school

Private University




Admission Office - 110 West College, Box 430, Princeton, New Jersey, The United States, 08544-0430