Princeton University: history, features of admission and education, faculties

The oldest and most famous university in the United States is considered Princeton University, a research private educational institution and the most prestigious in the world. According to the rankings of 2016, it ranks seventh among the world's universities. Princeton University is located in New Jersey, in the city of Princeton.

Princeton University

General information

This university belongs to the Ivy League, being one of its eight members along with Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Pennsylvania universities. The League is the benchmark for the prestige of education in the United States of America. Only nine universities of the country were founded before the revolution, and Princeton University is one of them.

Here are awarded diplomas of masters and bachelor in technical, social, humanitarian and natural sciences. Princeton University does not have schools of medicine, theology, business and law.However, you can get a professional degree in the walls of the School of International Relations, the School of Applied and Engineering Sciences, the School of Architecture. Princeton University has the largest endowment in the world, if you count on each student.


The history of Princeton University dates back to 1746. It was then that the school was founded as the College of New Jersey, it became the fourth in the British colonies of North America. At first, classes were held in a house belonging to the founder of Princeton University, priest Jonathan Dickinson in New Braswick. Then the university moved to Princeton, and therefore later became known differently. It is located on the site named after the house of King William - Nassau-Hall, where Princeton University is located now.

In 1768, John Witherspoon, who was in charge of his administration until 1794, became president of the university. It was then that the training and education of leaders for the newest American nation was chosen as a priority in the specialization of students. Academic standards have tightened, even investment has been received for this direction of the university.

Princeton university


There was a long and fruitful period of stability, interrupted only briefly during the American Revolution and the Civil War of the North and South. In particular, it was during the city of Princeton that the famous battle took place, when Nissau Hall was occupied by British soldiers.

It should be noted that Princeton University in the USA has served a great service already in these turbulent years. In the war for independence, he was not originally on the side of the winners. John Witherspoon personally signed the Declaration of Independence, and Princeton graduates constituted the sixth part of the Constitutional Convention.


Only in 1803, the construction of the Stanhope Hall began, since Nissau Hall had become too small for the university fifty years ago, although the cornerstone that started laying the new building was laid in September 1754. During this time a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, even more events have happened. For example, in the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress (Confederation) met in Nassau Hall, and Princeton was the capital of the country for four months.

For half a century, Princeton University has undergone two stages of reconstruction and two fires.The only building constantly changed its purpose. At first, there was literally everything there: the administration, and the bedrooms, and the classes, then the room became exclusively educational. Now it is an administrative building. Shortly after the war, the post of president was taken over by the legendary James McCosh, who radically changed the curriculum, expanded the study of sciences, and built a number of neo-gothic buildings. At the same time, the library at Princeton University grew significantly. Makkosh Hall is named after him.

Princeton University symbol


The year 1879 was a new milestone on the road to world-wide recognition - the first dissertation was defended by an 1877 graduate, DF Williamson. At the same time, a graduation course (among his students was Woodrow Wilson, who later became US President) presented his alma mater with sculptures of lions that framed the entrance to Nassau Hall until 1911. In that year, the lions were replaced by tigers - a symbol of Princeton University. And this gift made the same senior class. In 1896, the university ceased to be a college of New Jersey, having received its current name, since it was greatly expanded.

In 1900 there appeared magistracy.Thus, Princeton University gradually grew in public opinion, the faculties of which multiplied from year to year. Especially the growth of authority was influenced by Wilson, who became the rector of this university. He founded a system of seminars, or colloquiums, supplemented standard methods in the form of lectures, introducing an individual approach, when small groups of students began to interact more closely with teachers, delving deeper into the field of the subject being studied.

Significant events

In 1906, the university grounds were decorated with a reservoir, which received the name of the person who financed this project. And now Carnegie Lake and the history of its creation interests many. There is a huge collection of photos from the time of construction. All historical documents are on campus, in the library. In 1914, Palmer University Stadium was built, and in 1919, the School of Architecture was established at the university.

The Institute for Advanced Study since 1933 included Albert Einstein for life, first only with his office and then with his home in Princeton on Mercer Street. Until 1969, women were not admitted to Princeton University.Then for the first time the doors opened for them. Then about a hundred students were taken to the first course, and seventy more came from other universities.

Princeton University tuition fee

Structure and learning process

Today, the whole complex consists of the university itself and numerous research centers and graduate schools. There are the McCarter Theater, museums of art and natural history, as well as one of the largest libraries in the world.

Here, at the same time, more than two and a half thousand students study at the master's and doctoral studies only, but the priority is nevertheless a bachelor’s degree, the most unique among other higher education institutions.

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Future bachelors study in 34 faculties. They are awarded the degree of either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. There are almost 5.5 thousand undergraduate students. All their training is focused on future research. Each faculty has developed and adheres to its own requirements.

Firstly, all students are required to listen to exactly a certain number of lectures of courses, which are quite significantly beyond the scope of specialization, thus, skills and knowledge are much more versatile.Absolutely all students attend courses in literature and art, history, sociology, ethics and morality, epistemology and cognitiveness, natural science, science and technology.


It is mandatory for all three or four semesters to study foreign languages ​​and hold seminars on the writing craft. Humanitarian courses and seminars are also held weekly, as well as several additional laboratory classes per week.

To successfully complete a bachelor’s degree, a student must write two research term papers in the third and a fourth year diploma. Diploma defense is a scientific study, and students at art faculties can write novels, put on plays, and design layouts.

history of princeton university

Master and Doctorate

In the master's program, students receive scientific degrees in the fields of mechanical engineering, natural sciences, social studies, and humanities. They graduate from Princeton University, respectively, masters in a particular area: architecture, humanities, as well as technical, masters of finance, public relations, chemistry, public policy.

Doctoral studies exist in all subjects taught at the university.Originality and independence in scientific and research activities are required from the future doctor of science (unlike the magistracy, where graduates are set up to build a career purely within the profession they have acquired).

Student enrollment policy

Princeton University is considered one of the most selective. Tuition here means not only everything, but rather a minimum. Only about 9% of applicants will start classes as students. Nevertheless, loans to students who need financial assistance cannot be obtained at this university, but it is quite possible to receive a corresponding grant.

About 60% of students in the first year receive such assistance. The average grant amount is 35.5 thousand dollars, and it is issued for a year. In general, a year of study at Princeton University costs 37 thousand plus more than 12 thousand - the fee for the hostel and food.

"Code of honor"

Back in 1893, the Honor Code was created, which today's students swear by. This is an oath that serves as an expression of a policy that is obligatory for all students - academic integrity, and this does not depend on either the faculty or the specialization.At each exam and writing, an oath of honor is signed, and this is a very important, indeed, one of the most important points of study.

The student swears that he does not misunderstand in the process of passing a test or an exam that plagiarism does not penetrate into his written research. After 1980, the student, taking such an oath, is not only responsible for himself. He is obliged to bring information to the teacher if his comrade violates the oath. That is why there is no need in the presence of a teacher or assistant at the exam preparation.

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Scientific activity

Research at Princeton University is a priority. Activities can be divided into four areas: the humanities, engineering, social and natural.

1,100 teachers work with students in 75 institutes and centers, in 34 academic departments, as well as in two national laboratories. The official website of the university constantly informs the public about the discoveries made there, including the most recent. For coverage of scientific achievements there is a specialized subsection.

student life

Here, all students, without exception, are provided with housing for all four years of study. Almost all of them live on campus. First-year students are separated from undergraduates, they have their own dining halls in college dormitories, where everyone has the right to a food plan. Undergraduates have the opportunity to live outside the campus, but most of them save, while remaining within the walls of a college dormitory.

Public student life is in full swing mainly in the dining clubs (eating clubs), of which there are many, and there are plenty to choose from. But this can only be done from the second course. Freshmen do not have this privilege. This is a very characteristic, even unique phenomenon of student life. These clubs are in no way dependent on the administration of the university. Students love them for the possibility of holding parties.

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