Princeton University

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Updated August 6, 2020

A charter was granted in 1746 for "the education of youth in the learned languages and in the liberal arts and sciences" to the Province of New Jersey in the name of King George II. The school, known as the College of New Jersey, was unique from the beginning as the charter allowed for any religious denomination to attend. Classes began with ten students, young men, who met for class in the parlor of Reverend Jonathan Dickinson in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1756, the school moved to Princeton.

The first building on campus, Nassau Hall, was named for King William III, Prince of Orange of the House of Nassau, was the largest in the Colonies. For almost 50 years, the entire college was housed in Nassau Hall and, during the American Revolution, it survived occupation by armies on both sides. The building still bears a cannonball scar from the Battle of Princeton.

A new charter was developed in 1780, declaring that the trustees no longer had to swear allegiance to the King of England and the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall in 1783, making it the capital of the United States for a short time. With nine members of the Continental Congress being alumni, Princeton boasts the highest number of founding fathers than any other American or British institution. This led to another revision in the charter requiring trustees to declare allegiance to the United States in 1799.

The College of New Jersey was renamed Princeton University in 1896 along with an informal motto "Princeton in the nations service." In 1902, Woodrow Wilson, who would go on to become President of the United States, became president of the university. Under his direction, the faculty doubled in size and curriculum was revised to include general studies for freshmen and sophomores.

Today, every student who attends Princeton shares a tradition of academic excellence that began more than 260 years ago. From the Dickinson parlor's library of a few books to today's Firestone Library, which contains more than seven million volumes to Nassau Hall, which has grown into a campus of more than 500 acres, Princeton is constantly evolving.

Although Princeton began as a school to education young men, it became co-educational in 1969. Approximately 5,200 undergraduates and 2,600 graduate students now learn from the more than 1,100 full- and part-time faculty members. Almost all undergraduate and two-thirds of graduate students live on campus.

Princeton University Accreditation Details

Princeton University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This accreditation indicates that a voluntary, non-governmental association has found that the university promotes educational excellence with diverse missions, student populations and resources. In addition, specific programs offered at Princeton have received accreditation from organizations within a particular industry.

Princeton University Application Requirements

Undergraduate students who wish to attend Princeton should complete the Common Application or the Universal College Application. Students must also provide a School Report, Counselor Recommendation and official transcript along with two teacher recommendations. Students must also provide official SAT or ACT scores.

Graduate students must complete the application and provide a statement of academic purpose that outlines goals for graduate study. Students must provide a resume and letters of recommendation along with official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students must also provide GRE or GMAT scores as well.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at Princeton is $45,150 for full-time attendance. Full-time graduate school tuition is $43,450 or $3,280 per credit hour. Approximately 60 percent of all students who attend Princeton receive financial aid. In 2001, Princeton became the first university to offer aid recipients a financial aid package that replaces loans with grant aid that students are not required to repay. In 2014-15, the average aid grant covered 100 percent of tuition receiving aid with an average grant of $46,000. In addition, 83 percent of recent seniors graduated debt-free and the average indebtedness for students who did obtain loans privately was $6,600. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for financial aid.

Online Degree(s) Available

Master of Arts in Psychology

Students in the Master of Arts in Psychology program at Princeton University are prepared for careers in research and teaching in the industry. Students are able to specialize their studies in:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Language
  • Learning and Memory
  • Perception and Cognition
  • Psychology of Inequality
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology
  • Systems Neuroscience

Students work closely with a faculty adviser in order to develop and conduct research. Students take advance seminars while continuing research projects that begin in their first year. They will be required to prepare a written report of the project as well. Students must master methods and techniques in their chosen field of study, complete thesis-related research and write a thesis. Students must also write and submit for publication research conducted during their studies.

Students should meet with an adviser before they begin selecting courses to be sure that those chosen meet the requirements of their concentration. Because the Princeton Graduate School consists of scholars engaged in ongoing research, discussion and scholarly exchange, students are required to be present on campus a majority of the days of the week for the academic term. All candidates must spend at least one year in residence in Princeton or in the vicinity. Graduate study is full-time and students are expected to pursue degree-related work while attending the university. Although there may be the availability of some online courses throughout the graduate program, the majority of classes are only offered in a traditional format. Students must be in good administrative standing in order to receive their advanced degree. Transfer credits are not accepted as part of any graduate degree at Princeton. Students who wish to transfer to Princeton must submit to a general examination in the subject after meeting residence requirements and any other departmental requirements.

Some of the courses required for completion of the degree include, but are not limited to:

  • Proseminar in Basic Problems in Psychology: Cognitive Psychology
  • Quantitative Analysis in Psychological Research
  • Research Seminar in Cognitive Psychology
  • Design and Interpretation of Social Psychological Research
  • Current Issues in Neuroscience and Behavor

Although Princeton does not offer an online master's degree in psychology, the school does provide a high-quality educational experience that prepares students for leadership roles in the human service industry.

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