Princeton University is ranked #2 in the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. It is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University was founded in 1746 and is the fourth oldest college in the United States. This university is committed to cultivating young minds who are in the top percentile of their high school graduating classes and furthering their knowledge to become people who change the world. Princeton’s generous financial aid program ensures that no matter the student’s economic background, if they are talented enough they can go to Princeton. With all the things to discover at Princeton it would be hard to imagine leaving it, however, a shuttle train known as the “Dinky” can have you in New York City or Philadelphia within an hour.
At Princeton University, students have the chance to utilize excellent resources coupled with top tier faculty members who have a reputation of excellence in their respective fields. This world-class research institution offers its undergraduates the opportunity to graduate with either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree. Students can choose from thirty-four different departments in social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. They may also choose from interdisciplinary certificate programs to personalize their main concentration in the field they have chosen, and are encouraged to participate in international studies and internships nationally and globally.
The academic programs for the Bachelor of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Science and Engineering are quite different from one another. If you are attending Princeton to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, you will be required to complete general education requirements as well as pre-requisites for your possible area of concentration along with a wide variety of classes that peak your academic interest. In the spring of sophomore year students choose their concentration from twenty-nine academic departments. For students who want to expand their reach, there are forty-seven certificate programs that they can add to their degree earning them proficiency in areas like computational mathematics and teacher preparation.
The Bachelor of Sciences and Engineering academic program at Princeton is a little different. The primary goal is to develop leaders who will be able to solve problems. Students in this academic program will be required to complete general studies courses in the humanities and social sciences as well as completing courses in mathematics, computing, and the physical sciences their first two years. At the beginning of their junior year they will choose their preferred concentration from one of six departments. For the last two years students in this degree program will take advanced classes in their specified concentrations and participate in independent research projects. Many students also take on multidisciplinary study and often times undertake interdepartmental work.
Campus life at Princeton University is one full of vast and unique experiences and opportunities. One of the main draws of Princeton is their close-knit vibe that starts with the residential community. Undergraduates are guaranteed housing all four years, thus most of the student body lives on campus. This not only brings faculty and students together in a social way, but it is also a fundamental aspect to the academic success of each student. Residential colleges are each equipped with a dean, faculty master, director of studies, and director of student life. Each one plays a role in assisting cultivating and enriching students’ academic and social experiences on campus, giving guidance, and advising them throughout their college careers.
Student run organizations are central to campus life at Princeton; with over 300 to choose from, students can immerse themselves in their current passions as well as develop new ones. There are also a plethora of other activities for students to enjoy such as art exhibitions, performing arts performances, and a variety of social events, lectures, and readings to name a few. At Princeton there is no shortage of activities and organizations to immerse yourself in making it one of the best college experiences in the nation.
NCAA Division I Princeton University is a member of the Ivy League conference. Thirty-eight teams compete in varsity sports. The Princeton Tigers football team is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision of NCAA Division I and holds 26 national football championship titles, more than any other school. The Tigers also excel at men’s basketball with 13 Ivy League Championship titles; they have made it to the NCAA tournament 11 times. Most recently the men’s water polo team has been getting recognition for making it to the Final Four two of the last three years in the Collegiate Water Polo Association. Thirty-five Princeton club teams, both men’s and women’s, also compete in intercollegiate sports.
For those who do not enjoy competing at the varsity or club team levels, there are roughly 300 intramural teams open to students, faculty, and staff. For those who just enjoy a good workout sans the competition, there are many options such as instructional classes and group fitness. A dance studio, spinning room, and pool are just a few of the options at your disposal. There are also several groups you can join such as Princeton Start! Walking, and Outdoor Action; the fitness opportunities are endless.
Princeton University has a vast amount of traditions and annual events for their students. A prominent (and recently celebrated) tradition is the Bonfire, which is ceremonial in nature and only takes place if Princeton beats both Harvard and Yale in the same season. Freshman coming into their first year at Princeton can look forward to the Cane Spree, where they and the sophomores go at it for control of a cane. It might seem a little odd, but if you are lucky enough to attend this university you will receive a perfectly reasonable explanation, well sort of. Seniors have a tradition all their own to enjoy before they exit the campus for good. Class Jackets, otherwise known as “Beer Jackets,” are designed to showcase the features of each class. These are just three of the many traditions you will bear witness to when attending Princeton University.
If you are looking for a school that is long on tradition and academically challenging, Princeton could be your school.
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By Colleen Hill