Frequently Asked Questions


Can an international applicant apply for a fee waiver based on financial hardship?

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, BUILD Program, COMPASS, CORO Fellows, FAF, Fleet Fellows, GEM, IIE/Fulbright, IIPP, IMSD, IRT, JSI, Leadership Alliance, LSAMP, MARC, McNair, Mellon Mays, NSF-REU, NYC Urban Fellows, Peace Corps, PPIA, Questbridge, RISE, SINSI, Truman Fellows, U.S. Military, or Yellow Ribbon Program. Proof of program participation will need to be uploaded along with your application.

I would like to withdraw my application; will you refund my application fee?

No.  Application fees are nonrefundable.

My major is not listed in the application, what should I do?

Please choose the closest major in the drop down menu. You can provide more specific information about your major in your resume/CV or your personal statement.

I received a double major. How do I indicate that on my application?

There is an option to choose two majors in the electronic application. If you have more than two majors, clearly indicate your multiple majors in the education section of your résumé.

I only have one name, but the application asks for a first and last name, what should I do?

Enter your name in the last name field and a period (.) in the first name field.

Who should I contact if I am experiencing technical difficulties with the online application?

Send an email to

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.

I started filling out the application, but when I went to log back in, the information was gone. What do I do?

This may happen if you have created two application accounts with two different email addresses and have logged into the wrong one. Please make sure you have used the correct email address and password for this account.

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.

Is a writing sample required?

If a writing sample is required, it will be listed in the department’s requirements on the fields of study page.  Also, the online application will prompt you to upload a writing sample only if it is required by the department you have selected.

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.

What are the formatting requirements for my statement of purpose or writing sample?

The Graduate School does not have specific formatting requirements. 

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.

Did you get my application?

When you submit your application you will receive a confirmation email.

What are the application deadlines and fees?

Please refer to Deadlines and Fees.

How can I check the status of my application?

Please research the requirements of the department to which you are applying (see Fields of Study) and confirm they have been received by tracking your submitted application checklist.  You can verify the receipt of letters of recommendation and test scores. Any item that has been received will have a date next to it.  Tests that have been received will show the test date. 

May I apply to more than one department?

No, only one application may be submitted each year.

How will I be notified when my application is complete?

Please research the requirements for the department to which you are applying and confirm they have been received by tracking your Application Checklist. No notifications will be sent.

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.

How do I access my checklist?

If you have already submitted your application and paid the application fee, you can log into your application portal to view your Application Checklist.

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. 

When will a decision be made?

All decisions will be emailed on a rolling basis between January 15 and March 15.

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.

May I request that my application materials be returned to me?

The application and all materials submitted to the Graduate School become the property of Princeton University and will not be returned under any circumstances.

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.

What is the phone number for Graduate Admission?


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. 

May I defer my admission?

An offer of admission is made only for the next academic year and generally cannot be deferred. The Graduate School, however, permits academic departments to recommend admission deferrals on a case-by-case basis. If granted, the deferral is normally for one year only; the student is expected to have accepted Princeton’s offer of admission and support. Accordingly, a student who requests and is approved to defer admission is considered under an obligation to enroll and attend the graduate program the following year.