Frequently Asked Questions

General Admission

Princeton offers a Ph.D in my field, but I don’t see a master’s degree listed. Can I apply just for a master’s degree?

No. If you do not see a master’s degree on the fields of study page for that department, it is not offered and you may not apply for it. 

Princeton offers a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in my field of study, if I apply for one and you do not make me an offer, can I be considered for the other?

No, you may only apply to one department, for one degree per year.

When and how is the best time to request an application, catalog or departmental information?

Hard copy materials are no longer available; please refer to this website for all admission information.

The admission application is available September through December for admission the following fall. You can access the application by visiting the Applying to Princeton section for step-by-step information on what you would need to do to apply. If you are interested in material about an academic department, you may view it on the web directly from the department's website.

I have a different major than the field in which I am applying for a graduate degree. Is that a problem?

That depends on the department you wish to apply to. Some departments require specific courses in your undergraduate studies. Check the department website.  Links to the department websites can be found in the fields of study page for that department.

Is there a different application for international students?

There is only one application, which can be used by U.S. citizens, permanent residents or international applicants for any academic department.

Is it necessary to contact a faculty member before I apply?

No, it is not necessary to have a faculty member sponsor your application. You may contact faculty with questions, but it is not required. 

Am I eligible to apply to a graduate program at Princeton?

You are eligible to apply if you have, or will have before enrollment, a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent from an accredited college or university. Foreign equivalents may, in some cases, have a normal program length that is shorter or longer than four years.  No degree that has a normal program length shorter than three years will be considered equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

I have specific questions about the program and/or faculty, who should I contact?

The Graduate Program Administrator for that department. You will find an email link to the GPA for each department on the fields of study page.

My bachelor’s degree was completed in 3 years, is that acceptable?

Yes. Foreign equivalents may in some cases have a normal program length that is shorter or longer than four years.  No degree that has a normal program length shorter than three years will be considered equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

May I take graduate classes at Princeton without being admitted into a program?


Do I need a master’s degree to apply to a Ph.D. program?

No.  A bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent is required.

Can an international apply for a fee waiver?

No. Requests for application fee waivers will only be considered for U.S. citizens or permanent residents on the basis of significant financial hardship, or if you have participated or are currently participating in one of the following programs: AmeriCorps, CORO Fellows, FAF, Fleet Fellows, GEM, IIE/Fulbright, IIPP, IRT, JSI, Leadership Alliance, McNair, Mellon Mays, NYC Urban Fellows, Peace Corps, PPIA, RWJMS, SINSI, U.S. Military, VEF or Yellow Ribbon Program. Proof of program participation will need to be uploaded along with your application.

What are the application deadlines and fees?

Please refer to Deadlines and Fees.

Does the Graduate School admit for spring and/or summer?

No, new students are admitted once a year beginning in the fall.

Does Princeton have a credit system?

Princeton does not operate on a per credit basis. All students must be enrolled full time, with the exception of approved part-time students in certain professional master's degree programs.

May I pursue my degree part-time?


May I transfer credits from another college or university to Princeton’s graduate program?

Princeton does not operate on a credit system. Therefore, no provision exists for transferring credit received for work at other institutions. Ph.D. students who have completed work elsewhere should be able to present themselves for the general examination in a correspondingly shorter time and should discuss this with the director of graduate studies in their program.

May I apply to more than one department?

No, only one application may be submitted each year.

Do you have a Graduate School Admission Counselor?

No. If you have questions about which department would be the best fit for you, please visit our fields of study page. Once you have narrowed it down to a few choices, contact those departments directly.

Can I meet with someone in the department I would like to apply to?

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator in the department. Email links can be found via the Fields of Study.

Can I visit the campus?

The campus is open to explore on your own or you can take a student-led Orange Key Tour.