What will my classes be like?

As you transition into Princeton’s academic community, you will likely be challenged by new expectations: courses will move at a rapid pace; you may find that you are expected to solve problems in math and science at a higher conceptual level; you may read multiple unfamiliar texts that require new approaches. You will encounter disciplines instead of subjects. And you will be expected to learn the particular conventions and assumptions of multiple disciplines, often in your first semester at Princeton. It’s perfectly normal to feel that the study strategies that got you here are not as effective as they were in high school, You have arrived at Princeton with good adaptive skills, and with the help of your professors and peers, you will learn from challenges. You have moved into a new phase, that of beginner in your area of concentration, and eventually, you will join the experts in your field of choice through the work of your senior thesis. Keep in mind that learning is a process that should challenge you. With time and practice, you will adapt and grow.

See How do classes at Princeton work? for information about different types of courses you’ll experience: the lecture, precept, class/seminar, and laboratory and Waiting in the wings for more about the arts at Princeton.

The Princeton calendar is unique, and because the year moves quickly, it’s important to plan ahead. Fall and spring have some characteristics in common, but also have some important differences. See How the semester works for more information about the flow of the fall and spring terms.