Living at Princeton
Princeton students have a wide range of cultural, educational, athletic, and social activities available to them. Engaging in campus life is a way to feel like part of the University community and to create your own unique Princeton experience. There are many opportunities to complement the work that you are doing in the classroom. The FAQs below should provide you with many of the questions and answers you may currently have about being part of the Princeton community. If you still can’t find the answer you are looking for, click the Ask a Dean button in the top right-hand corner. Once you are assigned to a residential college, feel free to direct any questions about life on campus to your Director of Student Life.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you may imagine, there are some questions that arise anew with each entering class. We’ve taken the opportunity of answering some of the more common questions on this page. We will add to the FAQ list over the summer as new issues of common concern come up in the Ask a Dean correspondence. If you want more information about any of these topics, use the Ask a Dean link on the upper right-hand side of this page.
One of Princeton’s most distinctive characteristics is its close-knit residential community. On-campus housing is guaranteed for undergraduates for all four years. The University’s six residential colleges are the center of residential life and offer an array of academic and social programs that enhance the undergraduate experience. There are a number of staff and peer support resources set-up in the colleges, including the residential college office, your RCA (residential college adviser), PAA (peer academic adviser), and the RGS (resident graduate students). More information about Residential Colleges can be found here and on each college’s website.
Check out these blogs for more information about naviagting your first year in the residential colleges.
- Princeton Real Estate - The Residential Colleges
- What’s dining like on campus?
- First Year Residential Experience (FYRE)
There is really something for everybody at Princeton. Whether you are looking for civic service opportunities, clubs and organizations, or athletic opportunities, Princeton has it or it can be created by you. We encourage students to complement their intellectual pursuits with self-directed programs that provide a bridge between their academic and extracurricular experiences. There are more than 350 student organizations, 80 civic engagement opportunities, and 37 varsity sports. In addition, there are other ways to get involved on campus as you move through your four years here.
For more information:
We recognize Princeton students come to campus with an array of identities and diverse experiences. Whether you are looking for ongoing support or want to explore different opportunities, we want to make sure you know what is available for you. Princeton strives to be an inclusive place for all members of its community. In addition to the resources identified in the residential colleges, Princeton has a number of offices and organizations designed to help you find your path at Princeton and support you along the way. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is committed to supporting and challenging all undergraduate and graduate students by facilitating co-curricular experiences and learning about identity, inclusion, equity, and social justice education. They serve the campus community through education, advising and training, and university-wide programming. They also support the work of the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, the LGBT Center, and the Women*s Center. Each Center provides student support and mentoring, educational opportunities for students and employees, community advising, and university-wide programming.
The Office of Religious Life houses 10 chaplaincies and groups which attend to the spiritual needs of students, staff, faculty, families, alumni, and friends through many opportunities for ritual observance, spiritual counseling, and engaging programming. If you identify as a first generation, low income (FLI) student, we have a student-run organization, the Princeton Hidden Minority Council, which works to reduce stigma associated with these identities and SIFP (Scholars Institute Fellows Program), which offers academic opportunities, mentorship, and a community of students with backgrounds historically underrepresented at Princeton.
The Davis International Center is committed to providing services and programs that support the growth, development, and welfare of international students and scholars on multiple levels -– immigration regulatory advising and processing, cultural adjustment, social enrichment, and assistance with practical matters related to living in the U.S. The Davis IC also acts as a center for cultural and educational programming that advances cross-cultural understanding and interaction between U.S. and international students and scholars and promotes cultural competency across the University.
Princeton provides students with an array of medical services on campus at University Health Services, located in the McCosh Health Center. McCosh Health Center is a fully accredited health care facility with an infirmary available 24/7 for students to utilize during the academic year. McCosh houses Medical Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education (SHARE), and Health Promotion and Prevention Services. There are also peer advisers for the SHARE and Health Promotion and Prevention Services offices.
The Eating Clubs are part of a tradition that dates back more than 100 years. In the early years, the University did not provide students with dining facilities, so the students created their own clubs to provide comfortable “houses” for dining and social life.There are currently 11 eating clubs, 10 are located on Prospect Ave and Terrace Club is on Washington Road. All of the clubs are co-educational and reflect the diversity of the Princeton student body. The clubs provide spaces for dining, studying, socializing and hanging out. The eating clubs are unique to Princeton and a popular dining and social option for students in their junior and senior years.
All members of our community follow the policies as stated in Rights, Rules, Responsbilities. You will receive a hard copy of this manual this summer. In addition to those guidelines, when you arrive on campus you will meet with your RCA (residential college adviser) who will discuss the responsibilities that each person has as a member of the residential community, and PAA (peer academic adviser), who will facilitate a conversation around Academic Integrity. Our Department of Public Safety (DPS or PSafe) is open 24/7, 365 days a year and is committed to a comprehensive and integrated safety and security program in collaboration with the Princeton community.
For more information:
- Public Safety - Get to know your community caretakers
- Welcome to college, freedom and responsibility go hand in hand
If you have questions about jobs on campus or during the summer, we have many ways to approach the job search. If you are looking for an on campus job, then you will want to check out “Student Employment at Princeton“ . If you are wondering about your resume, summer internships or how your major intersects with your career interests, then it is never too early or too late to connect with the Center for Career Development. In addition, there are some great tips in “Princeton on a Dime - tips for Thrifty Tigers” to being thrifty while being a part of the Princeton community.
The Financial Literacy Initiative is a cross-campus group working to promote financial literacy among Princeton students. A large selection of very informative and helpful resources available on their website. Be sure to check out the Real World Playbook, created by Genevieve Ryan, a lawyer, MBA and member of the Class of 2011.
Orientation for the Class of 2024 is scheduled to take place from Saturday, August 22 to Tuesday, September 1, but please note these dates are subject to change. During Orientation you will get to know your residential college, engage in small group experiences*, learn Princeton traditions, and most importantly… have fun!
*In light of the health and safety guidelines currently in place due to COVID-19, we are proactively modifying the activities of the small group experience programs that typically occur off-campus for four days during Orientation to an online format. With the goals of connecting members of the class of 2024 to each other and providing a warm introduction to student life at Princeton, we plan to connect students via virtual small groups starting in late June. These groups will be led by current students (Orientation Leaders) and will meet virtually throughout the summer. Opportunities to interact with fellow students are particularly helpful during the transition to Princeton, and we look forward to answering your questions and sharing our perspectives and experiences.
In the coming weeks, members of the Class of 2024 will receive directions about virtual small group assignments, and when and how to meet. We will reach out via messages sent to Princeton email accounts and on the Path to Princeton portal. General information regarding other Orientation programs, and the beginning of the academic year, will be updated on the Path to Princeton portal as available. We very much look forward to meeting all of you, and are eager to share with you all the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Welcome to Princeton!
Wintersession is a two-week series of active and intriguing workshops, trips and events between Princeton’s fall and spring semesters. Wintersession is a hybrid between a conference and a festival, where students can take everything from ceramics to dance for klutzes to cooking classes to a coding bootcamp or head out on a local or regional trip. Sessions are led by student, faculty and staff who submit proposals and can receive funding to cover costs of their session. Registration opens in late October, and this year’s Wintersession will run from January 11 to January 24, 2021. All residential colleges and dining halls will be open so students can be on campus at no extra cost, and all of the Wintersession offerings (with the exception of a few trips) are free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or want to get involved.