Alumni include US Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson and the former first lady Michelle Obama. Currently the university has 5,267 students mentored by 1,289 faculty – Akhila Damodaran
Established almost three centuries ago — 19 years before declaration of the United States of America as a sovereign nation — Princeton University (estb.1746) has matured into a globally venerated institution. This vintage private Ivy League research varsity is routinely ranked among the world’s Top 10 and among the Top 3 in the US by most rating agencies. In the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, Princeton has been ranked #1 or #2 for almost two decades (2001-2019) and in the latest World University Rankings of the London-based Times Higher Education, it is ranked #6 worldwide. Alumni include US Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson and former first lady Michelle Obama. Currently its four faculties — humanities, engineering, natural and social sciences — provide fouryear liberal arts undergrad, postgraduate and doctoral programmes to 5,267 students mentored by 1,289 faculty.
With the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic having hugely disrupted education and forced closure of education institutions globally, in March, Princeton had moved all classes and lectures online. However on July 6, the university issued a statement that undergraduates will be able to return to campus for one semester during the 2020-21 academic year, with first-year students and juniors welcomed back to campus for the fall semester (beginning August 31), and sophomores and seniors for the spring semester. (Since then as we go to press, this plan has been rescinded.) In the case of graduate students, “the university will welcome all its graduate students to campus” in the fall (autumn) with the option to study remotely.
“Over the past two months, my colleagues and I have been studying the pandemic and identifying measures we can take to accommodate students on campus. Covid-19 is still a very new disease, and much remains unknown about it. Several points have, however, become clear. Based on the information now available to us, we believe Princeton will be able to offer all of our undergraduate students at least one semester of on-campus education this academic year, but we will need to do much of our teaching online and remotely,” says Christopher L. Eisgruber, president of the university.
Princeton. A municipality (estimated pop. 31,187) of New Jersey City, Princeton is the outcome of a 2013 amalgamation of the now-defunct Borough of Princeton with Princeton Township. Almost equidistant from the mega-metros of New York City and Philadelphia, this woody cosmopolitan town offers large well-preserved open spaces and community recreation spaces including bars, restaurants, and shopping areas. Princeton also hosts the McCarter Theatre Center, winner of a Tony Award for the best regional theatre in the US, and the 200-year-old Morven Museum and Garden, which houses unique fine and decorative arts collections.
Princeton has a continental climate. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures soaring to 38°C. Winters are cold and windy with temperature dipping to -18°C and copious snowfall.
Campus facilities. The university’s picturesque campus spread over 600 acres is an ecletic mix of Victorian Gothic, Romanesque Revival and modern architecture, and offers state-ofthe-art academic, laboratory, recreational, sports and residential facilities. The oldest building on campus is Nassau Hall (1756), which houses the university’s administrative offices. Other campus landmarks include the University Chapel, Art Museum and McCarter Theatre. At the southern end of the campus is Lake Carnegie named after ScottishAmerican industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The university’s Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library, divided into nine specialised branches with three storage facilities, houses 10 million printed volumes, 5 million manuscripts, 2 million non-print items and extensive collections of digital text, data, images, audio, video and online resources.
Inevitably, Princeton also offers excellent sports facilities including an ice hockey rink, eight-lane Olympic track and sports complex, tennis courts, and the 27,800-seat Princeton Stadium for softball, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, swimming and diving, rugby and supplemented with 50 acres of fields. The Jadwin gymnasium offers facilities for indoor sports such as basketball and athletics while the Dillon Gymnasium has a swimming pool and dance studio.
Admission. Princeton is one of America’s most selective universities with an admission acceptance rate of 5 percent. For admission into undergraduate programmes, the minimum eligibility criterion is successful completion of class XII/Plus Two and excellent ACT/SAT scores. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Princeton has made the submission of SAT or ACT scores optional this year. But international students need to submit proof of English language proficiency — high IELTS or TOEFL test scores. For the academic year 2021-22, the admission deadline is January 1, 2021.
Accommodation. Nearly all undergraduates and 70 percent of graduate students live on campus. The university’s six residential colleges house undergrad students — three accommodate only first-year students and sophomores (second year) while the remaining three are open to all. These colleges offer dining halls, common rooms, laundry facilities, academic spaces, and arts and entertainment resources
Degree programmes. The university’s 36 academic departments offer 55 interdisciplinary undergraduate programmes, 18 Master’s and 33 interdisciplinary/interdepartmental doctoral programmes.
Scholastic options at Princeton
The university offers a wide range of undergrad and postgraduate study programmes. They include:
Humanities. Architecture, art and archaeology, English, entrepreneurship, gender and sexuality studies, history, humanistic studies, journalism, media and modernity, music, philosophy, religion, teacher preparation, theater, translation and intercultural communication, visual arts, etc.
Engineering. Applications of computing, architecture and engineering, chemical and biological engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and information science, computer science, electrical engineering, robotics and intelligent systems, sustainable energy, etc.
Natural Science. Applied and computational mathematics, astrophysical sciences, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, biophysics, chemistry, cognitive science, mathematics, molecular biology, neuroscience, physics, plants and life, plasma physics, psychology, statistics and machine learning, sustainable energy, etc.
Social Sciences. Anthropology, cognitive science, economics, entrepreneurship, ethnographic studies, European cultural studies, history, psychology, public policy, social policy, sociology, south Asian studies, urban policy and planning, urban studies, values and public life, etc.
Tuition & other fees (annual)