How do I...?

...think through balancing my academic and athletic commitments?

When should I plan to take five courses in a semester?

Both B.S.E. and A.B. students are required to have completed a minimum of 17 courses by the start of the junior year.  Normally, this means that students will enroll in five courses in at least one of their first four semesters.  Given the other adjustments to Princeton life that first-year students make, most A.B. students take a fifth course in one of the terms of their sophomore year.

(Note: Some students elect to take courses at other institutions during the summer in order to avoid needing a five-course term.  These courses must be pre-approved, both by your residential college dean or director of studies and by the departmental representative of the appropriate Princeton department.  See below for more on this process.)

When possible, student-athletes often seek to avoid scheduling their five-course term for the semester that contains the bulk of their competition schedule.  Others employ the PDF option for one of their courses during this term.  (Remember, students are permitted to elect the PDF option between the beginning of the seventh and the end of the ninth week of classes, so this decision can be made as the demands of the semester unfold.)  Conversations with Dean Dun, your academic adviser, and/or your director of studies can help you decide the best path, given your sport, academic program, and developing academic interests.

What academic resources exist to help me find this balance?

Many! 

  • The McGraw Center offers numerous programs, and one-on-one meetings, designed to help students develop academic plans and maximize their efficiency and proficiency.
  • Students using the Writing Center find that doing so structures (and deepens!) the time they commit to doing written work.
  • Schedule an appointment with Dean Dun, who can help you strategize, as well as point you towards other resources.
  • As always, your residential college dean and director of study are fantastic sources of advice.
  • Office hours!  Talk to your professor(s) about specific time constraints you are facing because of University-sanctioned athletic commitments.  Rather than simply presenting them with the problem, however, approach them with a suggested remedy for their consideration.  It is important to have these conversations as early as possible in the term, before moments of crisis.
What should I do if a varsity competition conflicts with a scheduled class?

Ideally, these conflicts will be rare.  The University's athletics department makes great efforts to schedule varsity competitions at times that do not conflict with the academic calendar.  In those cases where conflicts exist, it is the University's policy not to penalize students for missed class time when they are attending or traveling to varsity competitions

This does not mean that those students are excused from completing the work they missed, only that they will be given some accommodations in making it up.  For example, students might be allowed to review a classmate's notes, be asked to visit with the professor outside of class hours, be required to write a short essay covering assigned readings, or be required to complete an assignment that the professor considers an equivalent to the missed class time.

As early in the semester as possible, meet with your professor(s) to let them know of any class meetings you are likely to miss because of varsity competitions or related travel.  It is a good idea to give a subsequent reminder as the conflict approaches. 

At these meetings, it is best not to simply present your professor with the fact that you will be absent, but also to propose ways that you might make up any missed work.  While you can't expect professors to redeliver lectures or conduct one-on-one precepts, you can ask for them to talk over any topics or concepts that remain unclear to you after you've made efforts to cover the materials that you missed.

In some cases, student-athletes may request an instructor’s cooperation in rescheduling academic commitments for occasional athletic competitions that fall outside of the varsity-athletics category, such as national team and Olympic competitions. Instructors are encouraged to make allowances in such cases, although the decision about how to handle conflicts remains the instructor’s prerogative.

Any questions about these policies and practices, or about how to approach professors and coaches, should be directed to Dean Dun.

Can I miss class, lab, or precept because of practice?

No.  Students are not permitted to miss regularly-scheduled course components because of athletic practices. 

The University has reserved the 4:30-7:30PM time slot for athletic practices.  No required academic events should be scheduled during these hours.  Similarly, no mandatory athletic practices should be scheduled outside of this period.

Students experiencing conflicts around this policy should get in touch with Dean Dun for help.

What should I do if one or more of my exams conflict with a scheduled athletic commitment?

All final exam conflicts will be addressed by the Office of the Registrar.

Students should notify her/his coach and professor as early as possible about conflicts between midterm exams and athletic competitions.  They can also contact Dean Dun for assistance.

...find academic help?

What is the McGraw Center?

Located on the second floor of Frist Campus Center, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning is a teaching and learning resource center open to every person in the campus community.  The center offers group study sessions for most introductory STEM and quantitative problem-solving courses (including ECO and Stats), one-on-one tutoring, and individual learning consultations on topics including time management, procrastination, learning styles, and speed reading.  McGraw also offers frequent workshops for students throughout the semester and will develop them for teams or groups of students.  The contact person for these services is Senior Associate Director Nic Voge.

For a video introducing the McGraw Center, click here.

What is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center offers support for student writers across the disciplines.  Located in New South, the center offers free, one-on-one conferences with "Writing Fellows" who are trained to respond to assignments for any course and at any point in the process.  While classes are in session, regular appointment hours are Sundays through Thursdays, from 9AM to 11PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 9AM to 6PM.  Drop-in hours are on Sundays through Thursdays from 7 to 11PM.  Students who are struggling with writing may request a regular weekly appointment with a Writing Center Fellow.  For further information, contact Associate Director Gen Creedon.

To make a Writing Center appointment, click here.

For a video introducing the Writing Center, click here.

...make decisions about classes?

How do I enroll in classes?

First, complete the Academic Planning Form online, designating your potential concentration and certificates, and placing courses in your queue. Meet with your adviser to discuss your courses and your academic plans. Once your adviser has approved your course choices, you enroll using TigerHub (check the academic calendar for specific dates). 

How do I drop a class?

During the first two weeks of the semester, you may drop a class with the approval of your adviser. Individual courses may be dropped through the ninth week of the semester (there is a $45 late drop penalty). No course — including an extra or elective course — may be dropped after the deadline. Academic deadlines are available on the registrar’s website.

How do I add a class?

During the first two weeks of the semester, you may add a class with the approval of your adviser. For departmental courses, juniors and seniors need the permission of their departmental representative. After the deadline to add courses, rare exceptions are made only with permission of your dean. Academic deadlines are available on the registrar’s website.

How do I choose the Pass/D/Fail grading option?

If a course is eligible for Pass/D/Fail grading, you may log in to TigerHub to select the grading option between the seventh and ninth weeks of the semester. Please remember that courses taken with the P/D/F grading option do fulfill distribution requirements and count toward graduation; however, they do not count as prerequisites or departmental courses.

Can I rescind a Pass/D/Fail decision?

In Fall 2015, the P/D/F policy was amended to include the following language:

At the point of declaring a concentration, students may appeal to rescind a P grade received for a single course taken in a previous semester in order to meet a prerequisite or departmental requirement for entry. The transcript will then reflect the letter grade earned in that course. Students wishing to make such an appeal should consult with their residential college director of studies. Students entering a certificate program may also appeal to rescind a grade of P earned in a single prerequisite or required course for that certificate provided that the program requires a letter grade for entry.

Please consult with your Director of Studies if you wish to rescind your P/D/F grade and you believe the above conditions have been met.

How do I take a graduate-level course?

Graduate courses are open to undergraduates with the permission of the instructor, departmental representative and residential college dean or director of studies. The form is available from your college office or on this website. You should only consider enrolling in a graduate course if you have exhausted the curricular possibilities in a given area, or if there are no undergraduate course offerings that would allow you to study a given topic.

How do I audit a class?

Talk to the professor of the course you wish to audit. If the professor agrees to accept you as an auditor in the course, see your dean or director of studies to change the course grading to audit (before the drop deadline in the ninth week of the semester). Audited courses do not count as prerequisites, distribution requirements, departmental courses or toward graduation.

How do I get a summer course approved for transfer credit?

All outside courses must be preapproved for credit by having the course reviewed and approved by the appropriate department where the course would be taught, were it offered at Princeton. Use the form for freshmen and sophomores, or for juniors, and submit to the appropriate departmental representative or program director. All courses must also be approved by your dean or director of studies, or by the Office of International Programs if taken abroad. The deadline for submission for approval is Dean’s Date preceding the term in which the course is offered. See the summer coursework pre-approval page for additional details.

How do I switch levels of math, if I'm in the wrong class?

Talk with your adviser or director of studies to determine whether you need academic support or to change classes. During the first two weeks of the course, you may visit various levels of math and switch your courses on TigerHub.  If you need to switch levels after that point, you will need the approval of the math department and your director of studies.

How do I switch levels of language?

Talk with your director of studies and your language instructor as soon as possible. Any level switches in language courses must be approved by the course head or language coordinator. Level switches after the second week of class are extremely rare.

How do I switch degree candidacy between A.B. and B.S.E.?

First, speak with your faculty adviser about your academic interests. You may also consult with the director of studies in your residential college. Next, make an appointment to see Dean Peter Bogucki at the SEAS Undergraduate Affairs Office by calling 609-258-4554. Dean Bogucki will have a conversation with you about your program of study, and if appropriate, he will approve your transfer.  After he signs his approval, return the form to your director of studies for approval and processing.

How do I report Advanced Placement scores?

Princeton University cannot request Advanced Placement (AP) score reports on behalf of students. The College Board reports your AP scores to Princeton only if you make that request directly to the College Board. The scores are sent to us electronically and we download them to your record. We only accept score reports sent directly to Princeton from the College Board. Please make sure that you request a cumulative report of your test scores for all AP tests taken during high school. Unless you specify this in your request to the College Board, we may only receive a partial report of scores for exams taken during the current year. To request a score report, you should go to the AP Grade Reporting website.

IB scores must also be sent to Princeton electronically at the request of the student. To request an IB score report, visit their website.

If you have A level certificates, you should bring those to the director of studies in your residential college.

Am I eligible for the course book discount program at Labyrinth Books?

The 30 percent discount on course book purchases through Labyrinth Books is available to the following Princeton University students:

  • regularly enrolled, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students
  • international exchange students enrolled in Princeton courses on a full-time basis
  • post graduation students in the Program in Teacher Preparation

If you are eligible for the program, you may purchase new and used course books for use in Princeton University courses. Both required and recommended titles on the course reading lists are included in the discount program. The discount is limited to one copy per title.

You can to pay for your course books at Labyrinth Books by using a student account, credit card, check, or cash. Labyrinth staff will package all online course book orders in advance and have them ready for express pickup at the store at 122 Nassau Street.

You will receive an email confirmation of your order as soon as you have checked out with a list of the books you ordered and an estimated timeframe for pickup. As soon as Labyrinth has finalized your order, you will receive a second email to let you know the books are being held for you and for how long.

If you have paid for your order online using your student ID card, your books will be ready at a designated express pickup area downstairs at Labyrinth. You have to pick up your order in person, as you will need to give your name, show your student ID, and sign a statement of eligibility to get your books. If you choose to pay with a credit card, check or cash in the store, you will go to pick-up counter downstairs where you will get your books; you will then check out in an express line upstairs.

If you need to cancel an order, please call Labyrinth at 609-497-1600 and press 228. You will need to provide your student ID number.

How do I order my course books at Labyrinth Books?

Lists of required and recommended books are available two weeks prior to the start of fall or spring classes. You can access the purchasing tool through Course Offerings or in Blackboard.

If you are an incoming freshman, the best time to buy your course books will be after you have completed advising and registration during orientation in September; we do not recommend that you buy any course books before coming to campus. There will be ample time to do this once you are here, and when you know your final schedule of courses!

All regularly enrolled, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students (as well as full time international exchange students and post graduation students in the Program in Teacher Preparation receive a 30% discount off the list price of new and used books for use in Princeton University courses. Both required and recommended titles on the course reading lists are included in the discount program. Labyrinth also offers a rental program for more expensive textbooks, and has a generous buy-back option for used books at the end of the semester. All of these programs offer great discounts along with personalized service that is tailored to the needs of Princeton students.

After you order your books online through Blackboard, you will receive an email confirmation along with an estimated timeframe for pickup – usually within 24 hours, and often much sooner. As soon as Labyrinth has finalized your order, you will receive a second email to let you know the books are being held for you.

You can pay for your course books by using a student account, which makes it easy to pay for course materials with your financial aid package. You can also pay with a credit card, check, or cash. Labyrinth staff will package all online course book orders in advance and have them ready for express pickup at the store at 122 Nassau Street. You will need to show your student ID and pick up your order in person.

If you have additional questions about Labyrinth, they are likely answered in this FAQ; you may also be interested in learning more about the benefits of buying your books at Labyrinth!

What are the options for summer coursework?

There are a range of options for students who wish to continue their coursework over the summer months. Funding is often available for summer study, as well. See the Summer Coursework pages for additional information.

...engage with my residential community?

Who can I turn to for help with a roommate conflict?
It is a great idea to complete a roommate contract before the start of the academic year. If you live in the residential college, your RCA is a primary resource to talk about any concerns. Your Director of Student Life is also a resource to discuss any serious community standards concerns.
How does room draw work?
Housing and Real Estate Services oversees the room draw process.  Information about it can be found here.  Remember, students are required to live in their assigned residential college for the first two years of their time at the University.
What is an RCA? How can I become one? Are student-athletes eligible to apply?

Residential College Advisers (RCAs) and Assistant Residential College Advisers (ARCAs) are Juniors and Seniors selected by their college staffs to preside over a "zee group" in their college.  As such, they play an integral role in fostering a safe, inclusive, and engaging community for all residential college students.  RCAs and ARCAS are responsible for promoting safety, citizenship, and civic responsibility among college residents and for maintaining an environment in which all members of Princeton’s diverse campus community feel comfortable.  Along with being available for zees in the residential college, holding regular study breaks, and meeting weekly with the RCA core group, RCAs are expected to attend mandatory Spring and Fall training.  While many student-athletes are able to balance academic, athletics and the RCA commitment, some are unable to apply due to scheduling conflicts and competing expectations.  Ask your Dean, DoS, and DSL to find out if this amazing leadership opportunity can work for you.

Are there other leadership opportunities on campus that I might engage in?

Yes!  Click here to find out about the range of ways student-athletes can be part of student leadership on campus.

What should I do if I have an injury or other health-related concern that may not be compatible with my current housing assignment?

Princeton University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.  The Office of Disability Services coordinates this process for undergraduate students. If you have questions or concerns regarding Special Needs Housing, please contact Dean Blount at (609) 258-3061.

...make decisions about my major?

How do I choose a major?

There are many factors you may wish to consider when selecting a major — your interests, your talents, your goals and values, and what intellectual community will be the best fit for you. Fortunately, there are also many advising resources to help you make your decision, including your academic advisers, departmental representatives, residential college deans and directors of studies, peer advisers and the Office of Career Services. Departmental open houses in the spring and Major Choices events throughout the year will also introduce you to disciplines and departments. Above all, the best way for you to explore potential majors and find the one that’s best for you is to take a variety of courses that interest you during your first two years.

Student-athletes are members of--and successful in--every academic department at Princeton.  The University is fundamentally committed to the notion that academic and athletic excellence are mutually reinforcing, not exclusive.  Choose a concentration that you are passionate about, rather than one you think leads to a certain career or which fits best with your athletic schedule.

How do I declare a major?

B.S.E. students join their departments at the end of their first year by selecting courses for the next fall with their chosen department and declaring their selection on the registrar’s website in May. A.B. students declare their concentration in mid-April of their sophomore year by selecting their next fall’s courses with their chosen department’s designated adviser or departmental representative and then confirming their selection on the registrar’s website. Detailed information regarding the major declaration process will be e-mailed to you as your selection time approaches.

How do I change my major?

Changes of departmental concentration are rare, but they are possible. The rule is that you must complete all the requirements for your new major, including independent work requirements. This means that the further you have progressed in your college career, the harder it becomes to change concentrations, even though a junior paper written for one department may be acceptable to your new department or it may be possible to write new junior independent work, if necessary, during the summer following junior year. Students wishing to change majors should make an appointment to see their residential college dean in order to discuss their proposed program of study.

How do I declare an early concentration?

In rare instances, A.B. students who have completed the prerequisites for a department may choose to begin their majors in the spring of sophomore year and usually engage in independent work that semester as well. Students who choose to concentrate early may do so — for instance, in order to facilitate studying abroad in junior year — by completing one junior paper ahead of time. If you decide to major early, you should get the approval of the departmental representative and then contact your residential college dean or director of studies for final approval. More details can be found in the Undergraduate Announcement under “Special Features of the Undergraduate Program.”

How do I decide what certificate(s) to get, if any?

Certificate programs can offer excellent ways to complement your studies in your concentration, either by building bridges between your major and other disciplines or geographical areas or by providing you with an opportunity to cultivate skills and knowledge outside your major. Certificates provide you with a structured and coherent program of study and the resources of a program as you pursue these interests. For many students, these are great benefits. Many other students, however, choose not to get any certificates, preferring to simply take individual courses in areas of interest without being held to all the requirements for obtaining a certificate. 

How do I apply for a certificate?

Unlike majors — which are a mandatory aspect of the B.S.E. and A.B. degrees and are selected at standard times — certificates are optional and each certificate program sets its own deadlines for admission. For this reason, you must read the information on each certificate in the Undergraduate Announcement or on each program’s website. Some programs, such as Finance or Global Health and Health Policy, require students to apply at the end of their sophomore year. Other certificates offer more flexible deadlines. Almost all require some form of independent work in senior year as well as coursework, so it is almost always necessary to apply for a certificate before the beginning of senior year. 

How do I pursue an independent concentration?

If you are absolutely convinced that your academic interests cannot be served adequately by any existing departmental concentration or certificate program, you may apply to be an independent concentrator. This requires you to devise a rigorous and coherent program of studies with the support and mentorship of at least two faculty advisers (from different departments). You should schedule a preliminary consultation with your residential college dean once you have developed your proposal. Further information about the program is available here.

...find out more about summer and post-graduation options?

What is Project 55?

Princeton Project 55 Fellowship program places recent graduates at nonprofit organizations working towards systemic change. Program alumni now number more than 1,900 and have served at nearly 500 nonprofits across the country.  To find out more, click here.

What is Handshake?

Handshake is an internship and job-posting site for Princeton students and alumni.  To find out more, click here.

What is UCAN?

UCAN is an internship-specific job posting site shared by 22 highly selective colleges and universities for current students only. Learn how to register for an account by clicking here.

What is CareerShift?

CareerShift is a site that lets you search by keyword for open internships in geographic areas and industries that interest you most. To find out more, click here.

Are there summer programs and internships that are only available to Princeton students?

Yes! To find out more, click here.

How can I explore different career paths and industries?

https://careerservices.princeton.edu/people/all/kathleen-mannheimerCareer Services has numerous tools to help you think this through.  For a particularly helpful one, click here.

How can Career Services be helpful?

In myriad ways! Check out their offerings hereKathleen Mannheimer is the Senior Career Adviser who provides individual career advising appointments for all student-athletes.

...manage concussions?

What is a concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a direct or indirect blow to the head or caused by the head striking something else such as the ground. A concussion typically causes the rapid onset of short lived impairment of brain function that resolves spontaneously with time. However, occasionally there can be a more significant problem, and it is important that symptoms from every concussion are monitored by your athletic trainers (ATC) and team physicians (MD). Concussions usually do not cause structural damage to the brain. A concussion can occur whether or not a person is “knocked out.” When you suffer a concussion, you may have problems with concentration and memory, notice an inability to focus, feel fatigued, have a headache (HA) or feel nauseated. Bright lights and loud noises may bother you. You may feel irritable, be more emotional or have other symptoms. It may be difficult to study, attend class, or use the computer.

What takes place directly after my injury? What should I watch for?

After evaluation by your athletic trainer / team physician, it may be determined that you are safe to go home. Otherwise, you may be sent to the UHS infirmary, or to the hospital. If you are sent home, you should not be left alone. A responsible adult should accompany you. The initial treatment of concussion is physical and cognitive rest, so avoiding texting, video games, homework and/or excessive computer use is important. Symptoms from your concussion may persist when you are sent home but should not worsen, nor should new symptoms develop. You should watch for symptoms including:

  • Increasing headache
  • Increasing nausea or vomiting
  • increasing confusion
  • garbled speech
  • unusual sleepiness or difficulty being awakened
  • trouble using your arms or legs
  • convulsions or seizure

IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS OR HAVE ANY OTHER PROBLEM THAT APPEARS WORSE AS COMPARED TO HOW YOU FELT AT THE TIME YOU LEFT THE TRAINER/TEAM PHYSICIAN, IMMEDIATELY CALL PUBLIC SAFETY (609-258-3333). IF YOU ARE OFF CAMPUS, DIAL 911. PLEASE ALSO CALL YOUR TRAINER/TEAM PHYSICIAN.

Is it OK to go to sleep?

Concussions often make a player feel drowsy or tired. As long as you are not getting worse, as noted above, it is all right for you to sleep. We do want the responsible adult to be at home with you in case any problems arise.

Do I need a CT scan or MRI examination?

If the ATC / team MD has determined that you are able to go home, these types of diagnostic tests are not necessary. If you are sent to the hospital with a concern for a more complicated injury (e.g. skull fracture, or intracranial bleeding) a CT scan or MRI examination may be considered. If your symptoms linger for several days these studies may be considered. Neuropsychological (NP) testing post injury is a component of the PUAM Concussion protocol.

May I eat after the practice or game?

It is fine for you to eat if you are hungry. Remember, some athletes do have a sense of nausea and fatigue, and often find that their appetite is decreased immediately after a concussion. Do not force yourself to eat.

How long will I be observed?

You will be asked to follow up in the training room after your concussion. You will be assessed by the ATC / team MD and, if necessary, consultants. Your symptoms and difficulty with academics will be monitored and assessed.

When can I return to class/school work ("Return to Learn")?

You should refrain from any significant cognitive work as well as physical exertion until released to do so by the medical staff. Initial cognitive rest includes avoiding texting, video games and excessive computer work as well as avoiding homework and/or class activities. Depending on your situation, you can consider trying to work or focus for short periods of time and attending class. The increase in cognitive activity should be progressive and individualized. Determining if school activities need to be modified can be evaluated by the team MD and enhanced by communication between your team MD and your dean or director of studies (DoS).

Who should I contact if I've been diagnosed with a concussion?

Contact your residential college dean or DoS by email.  Copy your evaluating physician at UHS and assistant dean Alec Dun (jamesdun@princeton.edu).  In the email, let your dean/DoS know that you've sustained a concussive injury, that you want them to be aware of your situation, and that you may need time to recover.

How do I receive academic support after I've sustained a concussion?

There are two options for receiving post-concussive academic support, short-term adjustments and extended accommodations through the Office of Disability Services (ODS).  These options usually involve disclosing some information about your medical condition to University offices and/or personnel.

  • If you need a short-term adjustment for your academic course work (e.g., an extension on a paper or a rescheduled test), your dean or DoS will help you manage your course load and assist you in communicating with your instructors.  Dean Dun can also be of assistance.
  • Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be eligible for additional support and/or accommodations (e.g., help with note-taking or test accommodations) via ODS.  Your dean/DoS can help you explore this option and should be contacted prior to contacting ODS directly.  (ODS: ods@princeton.edu or 609-258-8840).
When can I resume athletic activity ("Return to Play"/RTP)?

You should refrain from any physical exertion including strength conditioning until released to do so by the medical staff. Additional testing will be performed (e.g. NP testing) and this will be explained to you during your follow up visit. The RTP decision is an individualized one made by the team MD, which incorporates a progressive increase in both the level of exertion as well as intensity of activity and takes into account individual modifiers (e.g. history of concussion, HA, learning disability, mood disorder). This typically includes a period of rest followed by light exertion, sport-specific activities, practice and finally full play.

...handle end-of-term work?

What is Dean's Date?

Dean’s Date is the University deadline for the submission of all written work (except for take-home exams), usually the last day of the reading period. Extensions beyond this date are normally given only for compelling circumstances beyond your control (such as medical or family emergencies) and must be approved by your residential college dean or director of studies and the course instructor before the deadline. The same rules apply to the take-home exam deadline, usually the Monday of the following week.

How do I request an extension?

During the term, all papers and other written work are due at the time set by the instructor. If there are reasons you’re unable to meet a deadline (such as illness or a family emergency), you should discuss the delay with your course instructor and arrange for a new due date. Extensions during term time are granted by instructors directly. 

At the end of the term, any postponement of written work due on Dean’s Date must be approved by your dean or director of studies as well as the professor in charge of the course. If, despite your best efforts, you cannot finish your Dean’s Date work on time, make an appointment to see your dean or director of studies to discuss an official extension — before the deadline has passed. You will need to receive written authorization prior to the Dean’s Date deadline, since deadlines cannot be altered after the fact. Normally, only short-term extensions are granted and there must be compelling circumstances beyond your control.

What do I do if I miss a final exam because I slept through it?

If you miss a scheduled final exam by mistake (you slept through, for instance), you must report immediately to your residential college dean or director of studies. If you discover your problem after hours on weekdays or any time during the weekend, leave a voice message for your dean or director of studies and call the deputy registrar immediately at 609-258-7242. Once during your career at Princeton you may be allowed to make up a missed exam at the next available time slot, under the following conditions: 1) you have reported the missed exam within 24 hours; 2) you have never missed a scheduled exam before; 3) you are making satisfactory progress in the course; 4) there is no evidence that you were seeking to gain additional study time. But it’s wiser to try to ensure that you never find yourself in such a situation.

What do I do if I fall ill before a final exam?

If you feel too ill to take an exam, you must report to University Health Services prior to the scheduled exam time and call the deputy registrar at 609-258-7242. The deputy registrar will consult with the health services staff in order to determine if you are able to take an exam at the scheduled time. If an exam is approved for postponement, the deputy registrar will arrange for you to take the same exam within a 24-hour period of the scheduled time. If you need to postpone a final exam for more than 24 hours due to illness, you may apply to your dean or director of studies for authorization for a long-term postponement. In such cases, the deputy registrar will administer a make-up exam at the beginning of the following term.

What do I do if I get sick during a final exam?

Exams that have been completed cannot be retroactively annulled due to illness. This means that if you begin a scheduled final exam, you will — except in the rarest of circumstances — be held accountable for taking the exam and will be assigned a grade based on the work completed on it. If your condition is so serious that it requires urgent medical attention and continuing the exam is not an option, then you must report immediately to University Health Services and notify the deputy registrar, as well as your residential college dean or director of studies.

What do I do if I have more than one final exam scheduled on the same day?

The University’s policy is that a student who has two exams on the same day may postpone one exam to the following day. In order to arrange for such rescheduling, you must apply to the Office of the Registrar in the week before final exams begin. For more information, see the registrar's webpage on final examination policies. (link is external)

If you have a conflict involving a take-home exam, please see your dean or director of studies.

How do I reschedule an exam?

All students are expected to take midterm exams at the time and date specified by the instructor. If, however, for a good and sufficient reason you are unable to take a midterm exam as scheduled, please discuss the problem in advance with your course instructor. Your residential college dean or director of studies may also be able to help you work with the course instructor to reschedule the examination.

All in-class final exams are scheduled by the Office of the Registrar during an 11-day final examination period at the end of each semester. Exams must be taken at the assigned times, so you should be prepared to be available throughout the examination period and should not schedule personal travel until the examination schedule has been published. You can view your final exam schedule in TigerHub at the beginning of the sixth full week of classes.

The deputy registrar may authorize a student to take a final exam up to 24 hours before or after the scheduled time. Appropriate reasons for granting such requests are religious days, personal emergencies and more than one exam scheduled in a single calendar day. Exams will normally be rescheduled during the 24 hours after the scheduled examination time. Course instructors are not allowed to approve the rescheduling of final exams. For more information, see the registrar's webpage on final examination policies.

...study abroad?

Can I study abroad if I am a B.S.E. student or a varsity athlete?

Yes! It may take careful planning, but we encourage all students to have a structured international experience during their Princeton career. B.S.E. students can take advantage of engineering-specific exchange programs at Oxford, Ecole Centrale Paris, University of Cantabria in Spain and Hong Kong University, but they have studied in many countries, including Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa and Australia. Since the engineering curriculum is highly structured, some semesters work better than others depending on your department, so early consultation with your departmental representative and with Dean Peter Bogucki is essential. Varsity athletes should talk to their residential college dean or director of studies, and to Dean Alec Dun, the academic liaison, about how best to combine a program of study abroad with athletic commitments. Depending on the sport, coaches can be very helpful in arranging for training facilities while a student is studying at a foreign institution.

...do independent work?

What is the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Located on the 3rd floor of 36 University Place, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is designed to inform, engage, connect, and support undergraduates on matters related to research at Princeton.  In addition to providing research opportunities for first- and second-year students, its offerings provide many resources for juniors and seniors working on their JPs and theses.

To get in touch, write to undergraduate.research@princeton.edu, or use WASE to set up an appointment with Director Dr. Pascale Poussart or Program Coordinator Crystal Arrington.

When should I start thinking about independent work topics?

The short answer — it’s never too early. You can start thinking about possible independent work well before you select your major. In fact, considering the possibility of conducting research on a particular topic can help in the process of finalizing your choice of major. The seeds of many junior papers and senior thesis topics are often planted in courses taken early on in a student’s Princeton career. So you should always be approaching your coursework with the thought that it could provide the starting point for independent work, and that it could provide a possible faculty adviser, should you ultimately choose to major in that particular field of study.

How do I find a faculty adviser for independent work?

First of all, consult your department’s materials for specific instructions on how to find an adviser; departments do it very differently. Some departments collect information on students' interests and assign them to advisers, while some expect students to approach faculty on their own. If you are in a department where it is your responsibility to find an adviser, don’t be shy! Do your best to get to know faculty outside the classroom by taking advantage of office hours and attending departmental events. Faculty should welcome conversations about advising independent work. You should have some ideas for possible topics to discuss, and also ask how the faculty member likes to structure their work with advisees. The earlier you start the process the better chance you have of connecting with the ideal adviser, one who is interested in your topic and encourages you, but challenges you as well. It is entirely normal to have to approach several people before you find someone who can advise you, so persevere!

How do I find a thesis topic?

Selecting the right topic, or the proper scope of a topic, is ideally done in close consultation with your adviser, and the earlier you start to dialogue with faculty, the better. Students in the sciences conducting lab research might have their topic nailed down the summer before senior year and work in a lab gathering data. In the humanities and social sciences the topic would normally be settled as early in the fall of senior year as possible, in order to maximize research possibilities and locate the best possible primary and secondary sources. The best advice is to select a topic that you know you are passionate about. Without an underlying passion for your thesis, writing a long and demanding work is very difficult. With that passion for the subject in place, writing the thesis can be one of the most fulfilling and, indeed, fun experiences of your academic career. If you need help formulating a topic, you should know that over 63,000 senior theses are archived at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.  You’re encouraged to visit the basement of Mudd Library as well as consult the online database of senior theses, which holds information about student works dating back to 1926.

Where can I find specific information about independent work in my department?

Since independent work requirements vary widely across the University’s academic departments, you should consult the departmental independent work guides to familiarize yourself with the specific goals and expectations of the departments that are of interest to you.

How will my independent work be evaluated?

The standards by which your work will be evaluated are described in your department’s independent work guide.

Where can I request funding to undertake research for my independent work project?

A number of departments and programs across campus have funding available to support independent work projects. The key to taking full advantage of the available funding opportunities is to start planning early. If you’re applying for funding to do thesis research in the summer, the deadline is in late-March of your junior year. Successful applicants need to have strong faculty endorsement at that time.

Where can I find help for my independent work?

In addition to your faculty adviser, there are several other resources available to support various aspects of your independent work. Whether you need assistance with your writing, conducting survey and library research, data and statistical analysis, getting approval for projects involving human and animal research, or planning your research project abroad, there are many qualified individuals across campus eager to help you.