Frequently Asked Questions


How do I request the childbirth or adoption accommodation?

Students who anticipate requesting the accommodation should first meet with their adviser and director of graduate studies as soon as possible to plan for their time off.

A student requesting the 14-week accommodation must submit the request e-form through Tigerhub (link is external) on the Resources and Opportunities tile, no less than three months before the expected due date or placement date (for adoption).

I’m at the end of my program length. Is there any way I can remain enrolled?

Ph.D. students who are at the end of their program length may apply for Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status during the annual reenrollment process.  DCE status may be approved by the department for a maximum of two consecutive years for students making progress toward their dissertation. 

I’m a DCE student. Am I eligible for parental leave?

Yes. You are eligible for the accommodation of the 12-week suspension of work.

Do I have to enter DCE status?

No. Students wishing to enter DCE status should apply during annual reenrollment.  Students who have not finished their dissertation during their defined program length and do not wish to enter DCE status may, with department approval, instead enter Enrollment Terminated/Degree Candidacy Completion (ET/DCC) status.

How do I register my travel?

Students must register any University-sanctioned travel, whether domestic or international in the Enroll My Trip tool. 

I’m a DCE student. Can I take classes?

No, students in DCE status are not eligible to enroll in classes.  The Graduate School makes exceptions for students who wish to enroll in Writing in Science and Engineering (WSE) courses through the Princeton Writing Program.

Is funding available for traveling to conferences?

Travel funding is available from the Dean’s fund for scholarly travel.  Travel funding may also be available conference travel through your department or program as well as various academic centers on campus.  Students who are taking a role in the development or administration of the conference may apply for professional development funding through the Graduate School.

I’m getting ready to FPO. What do I need to do?

Students who are preparing to defend should review the Advanced Degree Application process, which includes a Timeline to FPO outlining the typical timeframe for preparation and submission of Advanced Degree Application materials.  Always check with your department’s graduate program administrator for department specific instructions.

What’s the maximum travel funding available through the Deans Fund for Scholarly Travel?

Students can apply for up to $800.00/academic year.

What is a dissertation embargo, and do I need it?

Most dissertations will not require an embargo.  The Graduate School can approve a two-year embargo of dissertation work, most often awarded to pursue book publication of dissertation materials. An embargo places a two-year hold on the online publication of the dissertation.  

I’m thinking about taking a leave of absence. What do I need to do?

Students take leaves for a variety of personal and medical reasons.  Students thinking of taking a leave of absence should first speak with their adviser and DGS and then Academic Affairs at the Graduate School.  According to our leave of absence policy, students in good standing can apply for a one- or two-semester leave of absence.  Students can request a one- or two-semester extension to a leave of absence, but the total length of a leave of absence cannot exceed a total for four consecutive semesters.  To request a leave of absence, the student needs to submit a leave of absence request via TigerHub.  A copy of the Checklist for Students Departing the University needs to be attached to the online request for the request to be reviewed and approved.

Students approved for a leave of absence will receive a formal confirmation notification from the Graduate School outlining the terms of the leave (if any) and the reenrollment process.

Can I apply for travel funds more than once?

Yes, you may submit multiple applications but may only be awarded a maximum of $800 per year.

I just defended. When will I lose my student benefits?

If the student is currently enrolled most student benefits end the first of the month following the defense.  Students who have successfully defended the Ph.D. are eligible for a 65-day extension of network privileges and email as well as a 90-day extension of health care benefits.  

Students who are not enrolled at the time of the defense do not receive any benefit extensions.

Who is not eligible for a leave of absence?

Leaves are not normally granted to students who have not successfully completed one full term of enrollment, are scheduled to take their general examination, or have entered or are about to enter DCE status, which requires continuous enrollment.

Can I take courses at another institution while a graduate student at Princeton?

You may take courses through the Ivy-Plus Exchange Scholar Program or through one of the approved cross-registration programs. Applications for each of these can be found on the Graduate School website.

Do I need to complete the reenrollment process when I am scheduled to graduate either in June or September?

Reenrollment is the process by which you indicate your plans to the Graduate School.  If you are eligible to be reenrolled but do not believe you will need to be reenrolled because you will defend your dissertation before September 1, you should communicate this information through the reenrollment process.  If there is any possibility that you will not defend before September 1 and may require reenrollment, it is best to request reenrollment and then have it cancelled when you defend.

I’m studying away next semester. Should I take a leave of absence or should I go in absentia?

Students working full-time on degree requirements away from Princeton are eligible for in absentia status.  Students should request a leave when they will not be working on degree requirements during their time away from Princeton.

Is it possible to conduct dissertation research at another institution?

Yes. You can apply for the Ivy-Plus Exchange Program to conduct research at one of our ivy-plus peer institutions for a semester or up to one year. The Graduate School also has a number of partnerships with international institutions.

My employer wants confirmation of my defense. How do I get it?

Students can receive a confirmation of defense from Academic Affairs at the Graduate School.  

I’ve decided that I’d like to permanently withdraw from my program. What are my options?

Students who are considering withdrawing from their program should first speak with their adviser(s) and DGS.  In many cases, students considering withdrawing from the program are better served by taking a leave of absence.  Please keep in mind that once students withdraw from the program, they cannot be reenrolled.  If students would like to pursue a voluntary withdrawal, they should complete the Checkout Form for students departing the University and submit an withdrawal request via TigerHub.

As a first year student, can I participate in the Exchange Scholars Program?

Ordinarily no. You must have completed one academic year before you are eligible.

My enrollment is ending, but I haven’t finished my dissertation yet. What can I do?

Students who are post-generals and making progress toward the degree can be moved to Enrollment Terminated Degree Candidacy Continues (ET/DCC) status.  ET/DCC status allows student who are no longer enrolled to submit a dissertation for review.  To ease the transition to this status, students retain network and library privileges for one year after entering ET/DCC status.  Students have up to five years past the general examination to submit a dissertation for review.  If more than five years have passed since a student has passed the General Examination, the faculty are not obligated to accept the dissertation for review.

Can master’s students participate in exchange programs?

No. You must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program.

I’m an international student and need to end my enrollment. How long can I remain in the US?

Students who end their enrollment for any reason must leave the country within 15 days. 

International students who have earned an advanced degree at Princeton may be eligible for optional practical training (OPT), which allows international students the opportunity to pursue work experience that is directly related to their field of study.  Please contact the Davis International Center for more information.

How do I apply for external fellowships?

For those fellowships administered by the Graduate School (i.e.,  Fulbright, DAAD) or those that need institutional endorsement, be sure to follow the application process and campus deadlines provided. For all others you should apply directly to the fellowship.

How can I change my demographic information?

Students can log into TigerHub to submit changes to the necessary offices.  Supporting documentation may be requested.

When should I begin to apply for external fellowships?

It is never too soon.  For many of the fellowships administered by the Graduate School, Ph.D. students must have passed their general examination. Many fellowship deadlines occur in the fall term, so preparation can begin as early as the spring term of the previous year.

What is Academic Year Sign-in?

Academic Year Sign-in is a yearly process that all graduate students (incoming and current) need to complete in order to be enrolled and to receive student benefits, including stipend support. 

Who do I contact for help with my fellowship proposal?

The Writing Center provides workshops on writing research proposals as well as one-on-one meetings. You may also contact the Graduate School for fellowships administered directly by the Graduate School.

What is reenrollment?

Reenrollment is a process that asks each student, adviser(s), and department to review the student’s progress.  Students often find this review of progress helpful in reflecting on their own degree progress and a way to discuss goals with their adviser or department.

I’m having trouble writing my dissertation. What resources are available?

Students currently writing their dissertation can participate in dissertation boot camps or Graduate Writing Days, which provide a space for writing to jumpstart the writing process.

Dissertation boot camps offer dissertators a quiet space to work, focused thinking and writing time, and the camaraderie of a writers' community.

Graduate Writing Days offers:

  • Plenty of caffeine and a generous spread of food
  • Work space to suit your style (quiet zone or cafe atmosphere)
  • Tips and strategies for the writing process
  • Optional weekly debriefing groups
  • A great complement to Dissertation Boot Camp (gear up and maintain momentum) OR an independent low-intensity, flexible writing routine.

I was told I have to complete RCR training. What is it?

All graduate students in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering who complete research as part of their degree are required to complete responsible conduct in research (RCR) training.  The training generally is offered in the form of a course but can also be a workshop or an online module.  All RCR training is mandated by certain federal agencies.

I’m interested in teaching. Where can I get more training and experience?

Students interested in teaching in higher education should review the many programs offered by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. The McGraw Center offers extensive programs and services to graduate students related to their development as scholars.  These programs include: The Teaching Transcript, pedagogy and professional development workshops and seminars, instructional consultations, and online resources.

Am I eligible for the childbirth and adoption accommodation benefit if I am a primary caregiver?

Yes. Also eligible for the 14-week accommodation are students who assume the role of a primary caregiving parent for a newborn infant or newly adopted pre-school child.  The 14-week accommodation, which for enrollment purposes can be granted only in one continuous 14-week block, may commence at any point that primary caregiving begins but must be concluded no later than one year after the birth of the child or, in cases of adoption, one year after the child is placed in the home.

To meet the definition of a primary caregiving parent, students must in good faith declare that for a period of 14 weeks they are spending at least 30 hours on care for their new child during each work week, defined as a period of Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each of those days. 


I’m going to be an AI next term. Do I require any training?

All students who will serve as first-time AIs are required by the Graduate School to attend AI training.  AI training is run through the McGraw Center, and is offered once every semester.  Departments may also conduct their own AI training to supplement the program run by McGraw.