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Princeton University

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 06/18/2006
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Princeton University


Princeton's main campus covers 600 acres, and its more than 135 buildings exemplify a wealth of architectural styles, ranging from colonial buildings to collegiate Gothic dormitories to modern structures by eminent architects.

Coeducational since 1969 (women comprise about 45% of an average freshman class), Princeton enrolls 6,400 students (4,600 undergraduates and 1,800 graduate students). Coming from all 50 states and from more than 70 foreign countries, Princeton students are an unusually talented and diverse group that represents many economic, ethnic, social, cultural and religious backgrounds. Minority students usually make up 25-30% of freshman classes.

Students are apt to choose Princeton for the strength of its academic program, its relatively small size combined with the resources of a major research university and the personal attention its undergraduates enjoy. Men and women who seek a quality education in the liberal arts, architecture, engineering or public and international affairs will discover that Princeton has much to offer.

Princeton offers an abundance of extraordinary resources, including a library system that holds almost five million books and almost 35,000 current journals and periodicals-nearly all on accessible open-stack shelving; an art museum that exhibits works from its own and other outstanding collections, complementing courses in art and archaeology; a natural history museum; a computing center and clusters of microcomputers throughout the campus; and outstanding recreational and athletic facilities.

Beyond the University's historic campus is the town of Princeton, a community of 30,000 people and the home of the Institute for Advanced Study (where Albert Einstein spent the last 22 years of his life), Princeton Theological Seminary and Westminster Choir College.

Princeton sits approximately halfway between New York and Philadelphia (approximately 50 miles from each) and is easily accessible by car, bus or train.


Princeton offers two undergraduate degrees: the bachelor of arts (A.B.) degree and the bachelor of science in engineering (B.S.E.) degree. Within these degree programs, students can choose from among 1,300 courses offered by 34 departments and numerous certificate programs. Students may participate in one or more interdisciplinary programs in addition to concentrating in a department. Students may also apply for an independent concentration outside existing programs. Undergraduates are admitted to the University and not to a particular department or interdepartmental program and have until the second term of their sophomore year to choose a departmental major.

A.B. Departments
Art and Archaeology
Astrophysical Sciences
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
East Asian Studies
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Molecular Biology
Near Eastern Studies
Romance Languages and Literatures
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

B.S.E. Departments
Chemical Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Computer Science
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Operations Research and Financial Engineering.

Certificate Programs
African Studies
African-American Studies
American Studies
Applications of Computing
Applied and Computational
Architecture and Engineering
East Asian Studies
Engineering and Management Systems
Engineering Biology
Engineering Physics
Environmental Studies
European Cultural Studies
Geological Engineering
Hellenic Studies
Jewish Studies
Language and Culture
Latin American Studies
Materials Science and Engineering
Medieval Studies
Musical Performance
Near Eastern Studies
Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Russian Studies
Teacher Preparation
Theater and Dance
Visual Arts
Study of Women and Gender
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Students may also take courses offered by the following programs that do not grant certificates: creative writing, humanistic studies, and the writing program.

Bachelor of Arts
Undergraduates in the A.B. program must successfully complete one or two courses, as indicated, in the following seven distribution areas: epistemology and cognition (1), ethical thought and moral values (1), historical analysis (1), literature and the arts (2), quantitative reasoning (1), social analysis (2), and science and technology-with laboratory (2). They also meet a one-term writing requirement and demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors usually enroll in four courses during each of the two terms of the academic year; seniors usually carry three courses each term. With the exception of students who receive advanced standing, all A.B. students must successfully complete a minimum of 30 courses in eight terms of study. Departmental requirements combine upper-level courses with independent work in both the junior and senior years. A senior thesis is required of all A.B. candidates.

Bachelor of Science in Engineering
B.S.E. students enroll in four courses for the first term of the freshman year and four or five courses each succeeding term, following a sequence appropriate to their individual programs. The school requirement for the B.S.E. degree is at least 36 courses in the four years of study.

B.S.E. students must complete a minimum of seven courses in the humanities and social sciences. B.S.E. students are required to take one course in four of the following six areas: epistemology and cognition, ethical thought and moral values, foreign language, historical analysis, literature and the arts, and social analysis. The remaining three required courses and additional courses may be taken in any fields in the social sciences and humanities. The ability to write English clearly and precisely is a University requirement that must be satisfied by completing a one-semester course that fulfills the writing requirement.

The Honor Code
Examinations at Princeton are not proctored by faculty members. At the end of each exam, students sign a pledge indicating that they have abided by the principles of the honor code, which was first adopted by undergraduates at Princeton in 1893.

Independent Work
Independent work is an essential part of a Princeton education; it is required for all students in the A.B. program and for many in the B.S.E. program. Juniors, in consultation with faculty advisers, research and write one or more long papers; seniors undertake thesis projects that may be research papers or something more innovative, such as a musical composition, a collection of poems, a scientific experiment, a group of paintings or the production of a play.

Campus and Residential Life
Princeton undergraduates live on campus, and campus housing is guaranteed for the full four years. All freshmen and sophomores at Princeton live and dine in five residential colleges: Butler, Forbes, Mathey, Rockefeller and Wilson. Each college consists of a cluster of dormitories (housing between 450 and 500 students) and has its own dining rooms, lounges, seminar and study rooms, computing facilities, game and television rooms and, in some cases, theaters and other spaces for the creative and performing arts. The colleges sponsor programs and special events, including intramural athletics, trips, dances, lectures and films.

A senior faculty member serves as master of each college. Each also has a staff that includes a director of studies responsible for academic advising, a college administrator, two assistant masters, a resident faculty member, faculty fellows, about a dozen juniors and seniors who serve as resident advisers and three juniors and seniors who serve as minority affairs advisers.

Approximately 75% of juniors and seniors take their meals at one of 12 historic, coeducational eating clubs, which also offer social, athletic and recreational programs. Other juniors and seniors cook their own meals in dormitory kitchens or off-campus apartments, dine in the residential colleges or join Stevenson Hall, a dining and social facility that, like the residential colleges, has a staff and faculty fellows and plans social and cultural activities.

Computing and Information Technology
Princeton students are given access to a varied and powerful computing environment supported by the Office of Computing and Information Technology (CIT). The cornerstone of student computing is Dormnet, a fiber-optic-based network that brings a high-speed data connection into every undergraduate dorm room on campus. In the last academic year, 95% of first-year students took advantage of this subscription-based connection to campus and Internet resources, with computers purchased through Princeton or brought from home.

In addition to accessing computing resources from their rooms, students can use any of more than 300 workstations and numerous high-quality printers in the two dozen CIT-supported computing clusters around campus. The campus clusters contain a mix of Windows-based Intel computers, Unix workstations, and Apple Macintoshes. Software on cluster computers includes basic productivity tools such as word processors, information access tools used to explore the World Wide Web and the Internet, special software needed for the many classes in which computing is integral to learning, and sophisticated programs for use in research.

Each student is given a NetID, an identifier that enables the use of e-mail as well as allowing access to powerful Unix computer servers (currently four Sun Ultra 2 servers and three Silicon Graphics Origin 200 systems) and to the large-scale IBM mainframe computer on campus (an IBM 9672-RC 4 system running VM/CMS and MVS). Students also have access to specialized resources and online library systems. All of these resources are available over the campus network. Princeton is fully connected to the Internet with multiple high-speed services allowing students to take full advantage of the wide range of resources, such as the World Wide Web, made available through this global network.

Additional CIT services include computer-based training and support in the use of selected software packages, maintenance of the University language resource center and video library, and support for instructional technologies in classrooms and over the campus network. Beginning in 1999 a set of specialized clusters around campus provides students with access to very high bandwidth resources for use in language and other courses.

CIT provides a number of information access servers, including World Wide Web and Usenet News servers. Students can have their own Web pages delivered to the Internet via high-speed CIT-supported servers. A CGI server allows students to write programs that can be accessed and executed over the World Wide Web.

Foreign language and educational programming and selected cable TV channels are broadcast over the campus network to dorm rooms on a subscription basis, public viewing rooms, classrooms, and the language lab.

Seniors' Plans
Each spring the Office of Career Services asks the senior class about their plans. According to that survey, roughly 46% of the Class of 1998 planned to go to work right away-almost 31% had accepted job offers; 5% were expecting offers; and 5% were considering offers. Nearly 31% of the class planned to continue their education immediately after graduation: 22% had accepted admission offers to graduate or professional schools; 9% were still choosing a school or seeking admission. Of those planning to continue their education, 11% had decided to pursue studies in the arts and sciences; 8% in medicine; 5% in law; 4% in engineering; and 2% in divinity, business, architecture, or other professions.

As of August 1999, there were more than 73,000 living Princeton alumni (54,000 undergraduates and 19,000 Graduate School, including approximately 13,000 women). Princeton graduates live in all 50 states and more than 115 foreign countries. In a typical year some 6,000 to 8,000 volunteers work for Princeton in class and regional association activities, fund raising, programs in the local schools, a job placement network and internship program and community service-many in advisory and leadership roles, some as members of Princeton's Board of Trustees. Today there are 130 Princeton alumni clubs and organizations throughout the world. The Alumni Association, to which all alumni belong, was established in 1826. It meets twice each year: Alumni Day in February and Reunions in June.

The Town of Princeton
Beyond Princeton University are the communities of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, with a combined population of 30,000 people. Princeton's earliest inhabitants were Quakers, encouraged by William Penn to settle the area he had purchased in 1693.

A short walk around Princeton reveals streets named for these first families- FitzRandolph, Olden, Stockton. The Historical Society of Princeton, located in the colonial Bainbridge House, two blocks from the University's main gate, offers information on the town's early years. Princeton conscientiously preserves many of its historically and architecturally important buildings, making the town an unofficial museum of American architecture from colonial times to the present.

Within this historic setting, institutions and individuals, including many writers, artists, scientists and business executives, create an intellectual and cultural climate of unusual diversity. In addition to the University, Princeton is the home of the Institute for Advanced Study (where Albert Einstein spent the last 22 years of his life), Princeton Theological Seminary, Westminster Choir College and Educational Testing Service. Cultural activities approach the variety ordinarily found only in large cities; the community supports a resident repertory theater, several orchestras, a ballet troupe, several choral groups and an opera festival.

Although the Princeton community is small and semirural, it is far from isolated. Both New York City and Philadelphia are about 50 miles away and are readily accessible by either bus or train. Princeton also frequently plays host to traveling art shows, dance and musical groups and solo performers by virtue of its convenient location along the Boston/Washington, D.C., corridor.

The history of Princeton University and the town of Princeton is reflected in the University's buildings and grounds.







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