Princeton University

#14 / #8
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
#5
Most Desirable School

Private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Princeton University Featured Rankings

About Princeton University

By James Barham, PhD

Although only the ninth-oldest university in the country, Princeton is one of the most historic. Originally founded as the College of New Jersey, the school’s sixth presidents, the Scottish theologian and educator John Witherspoon, signed the Declaration of Independence—the only college leader to do so. The next year, George Washington’s colonials dealt a small but significant blow to Lord Cornwallis’s superior forces at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. The victories at the earlier Battle of Trenton and at Princeton had an important positive effect on American morale, leading to increased enlistments in Washington’s army.

Princeton has pursued a different strategy over the years from its Ivy League confrères. For example, it has no law school, medical school, or business school. It has only loose academic connections to the nearby Princeton Theological Seminary and Institute for Advanced Study. In spite of its seemingly narrow focus on the arts and sciences to the detriment of professional training, Princeton nevertheless maintains a towering reputation for the cutting-edge academic research of its faculty, as well as for their teaching prowess (all professors are expected to teach undergraduates). Perhaps due to this focus, Princeton has also developed a reputation for academic “toughness,” resisting the grade inflation trend rampant elsewhere in American academia and insuring a challenging intellectual experience to even its very best incoming students.

On the roster of preeminent, Princeton-connected names in the sciences, Nobelists in physics have been the most prominent, including:

  • Arthur Compton
  • Wolfgang Pauli
  • Eugene Wigner
  • Richard Feynman
  • John Bardeen
  • Philip Anderson
  • Steven Weinberg
  • Frank Wilczek
  • Kip Thorne
  • James Peebles

Princeton has special strength in mathematics, being connected to many Fields Medalists, including:

  • John Milnor
  • Edward Witten
  • William Thurston
  • Terence Tao
  • Manjul Bhargava
  • Akshay Venkatesh

In addition, the great mathematician, logician, and father of the theory of computation, Alan Turing, received his doctorate from Princeton.

Among other eminent philosophers and logicians who have been associated with university, we may mention:

  • Alonzo Church
  • John Rawls
  • Robert Nozick
  • Donald Davidson
  • Saul Kripke
  • Jerry Fodor
  • David K. Lewis
  • Cornel West
  • Peter Singer

Four Princeton-connected individuals have won the Nobel Prize in Economics, namely,

  • Gary Becker
  • John Nash
  • Michael Spence
  • Angus Deaton

Another special strength of Princeton has lain in the fields of law and politics. The school has contributed three Presidents to the United States, namely,

  • James Madison
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • John F. Kennedy

as well as a host of other prominent statesmen, including:

  • John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Influential diplomat, George F. Kennan
  • James A. Baker, US Secretary of State under President George W. Bush
  • Supreme Court Justices, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, & Sonia Sotomayor

Finally, some other distinguished individuals linked to Princeton include:

  • Anthropologist Mary Douglas
  • Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Playwright Eugene O’Neill
  • Literary critic, Edmund Wilson
  • Attorney and consumer advocate, Ralph Nader
  • Financial journalist, Michael Lewis
  • Automobile company chief executive, Lee Iacocca
  • Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos
  • Army General and public servant, David Petraeus
  • Actor James (“Jimmy”) Stewart

According to Wikipedia, Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, and then to the current site nine years later. It officially became a university in 1896 and was subsequently renamed Princeton University.

Princeton University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
32,835 6% 98% 1515 34

How Much Does Princeton University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
$56,010
Price by Family Income
Income Average Net Cost
0 - 30K $1,386
30K - 48K $2,044
48K - 75K $7,576
75K - 110K $16,989
110K+ $36,747

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do Princeton University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Princeton University, then you can expect to earn an average of $116,300 per year. You also have a 88% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Princeton University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
7,142 5,768 1,374

Where is Princeton University?

Princeton University is located at 1 Nassau Hall, Princeton NJ 08544-0070

How Safe is Princeton University?

Princeton University has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%. Princeton has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Princeton University Known For?

Princeton University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Princeton University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are Princeton University's Most Influential Alumni?

Princeton University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science. Here are some of Princeton University's most famous alumni:

Alan Turing
Alan Turing
A British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist .
Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman
An American theoretical physicist .
John Rawls
John Rawls
An American political philosopher.
Marvin Minsky
Marvin Minsky
An American cognitive scientist .
Alonzo Church
Alonzo Church
An American mathematician .
Allen Newell
Allen Newell
An American cognitive scientist.
Edward Witten
Edward Witten
An American theoretical physicist.
Robert Nozick
Robert Nozick
An American political philosopher .
Stephen Cole Kleene
Stephen Cole Kleene
An American mathematician and theoretical computer scientist.
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
An American consumer rights activist and corporate critic.
Edward Said
Edward Said
A Professor of literature and a public intellectual.
John McCarthy
John McCarthy
An American computer scientist and cognitive scientist.