If possible, we expect students will complete the following courses before beginning study at Princeton: 

  • Four years of English (including continued practice in writing)
  • Four years of mathematics (including calculus for students interested in engineering)
  • Four years of one foreign language
  • At least two years of laboratory science (including physics and chemistry for students interested in engineering)
  • At least two years of history

In addition, most candidates have had some study in the visual or performing arts.

Whenever you can, challenge yourself with the most rigorous courses possible, such as honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and dual-enrollment courses. We will evaluate the International Baccalaureate (IB), A-levels or another diploma in the context of the program’s curriculum.

English Language Requirement

If English is not your native language and you are attending a school where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). You are not required to take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic if English is your native language or if you have spent at least three years at a secondary school where English is the primary language of instruction.

Standardized Test Scores (Optional)

  • SAT or ACT. If you choose to submit testing applicants should take the SAT or the ACT by the December date. When registering for the SAT or ACT.
  • SAT Subject Tests. Princeton does not require SAT Subject Tests. If you chose to sit for a Subject Test and wish to submit the score, you may do so.

A.B. Degree Essay

As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (Please respond in about 250 words.)

Princeton Entrance Essay

Please respond to each question in an essay of about 250 words.

  • At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?
  • Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.

Please respond to each question in 50 words or fewer. 

  • What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?
  • What brings you joy? 

What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

Graded Written Paper

We are asking students to submit a graded written paper as part of their application to Princeton, with the following guidelines:

  • The paper should be writing done for an academic course, preferably an English, social studies or history course, during the last three years of secondary school, including senior year.
  • You may send a paper, essay, research paper, or essay exam.  We are interested in seeing expository writing only, not creative writing.
  • One to two pages in length is sufficient.

The paper should include the course instructor’s grade, and comments if your instructor provided any.

Extracurricular Activity and Work Experience

Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (Please respond in about 150 words.)

Counselor Recommendation.

If you are using the Common Application online, please note that the SR and the Counselor Recommendation are separate items. Be sure to 'invite' your school counselor or academic adviser to complete both items. If you are using the Coalition Application, please invite your counselor to upload the counselor recommendation and school report.

Two (2) Teacher Recommendations.

Please ask two of your teachers who have taught you in higher-level courses (e.g. AP, IB Higher/Standard Level, A-levels, etc.) in different academic areas of study to complete and send the teacher recommendation forms, available on the Coalition Application and Common Application websites. The subjects should be in core academic areas, such as English, foreign language, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or math

Supplementary Work (Optional)

 If you've excelled in architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts, and would like us to consider your talent, you are welcome to submit an optional arts supplement via SlideRoom.


Princeton offers optional alumni interviews. Interviews take place after the Admission Office has received your application. You may choose to opt out of the interview in the Princeton Supplement, and this choice will not put you at any disadvantage in the admission process.

Princeton University - A.B. English
Source: Princeton University - A.B. English