Princeton University is member of the prestigious Ivy League. Chartered in 1746, it is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey — the name by which it was known for 150 years — Princeton University was British North America's fourth college. Located in Elizabeth for one year and then in Newark for nine, the College of New Jersey moved to Princeton in 1756. It was housed in Nassau Hall, which was newly built on land donated by Nathaniel FitzRandolph. Nassau Hall contained the entire College for nearly half a century.
In 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University in honor of its host community of Princeton. Four years later, in 1900, the Graduate School was established.
Over the last 261 years, these and approximately 120,000 other men and women have marched out into the world as graduates of the university now known as Princeton. They have become heads of state and congressional leaders; made careers as doctors, lawyers, and business executives; forged the nation and pushed back the veil of science and discovery; won prizes, honors, and awards. University of Princeton is an alma mater to 11 Nobel and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners. Notable alumni also include U.S. President Woodrow Wilson; John Forbes Nash, subject of the 2001 film "A Beautiful Mind"; model/actress Brooke Shields; and first lady Michelle Obama.
From 2001 to 2015, Princeton University was ranked either first or second among national universities by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), holding the top spot for 13 of those 15 years. Princeton was ranked first in the most recent 2015 U.S. News rankings, as well as #1 in a separate ranking for "best undergraduate teaching." In the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Princeton was ranked 6th in the world. In the 2012 QS World University Rankings, it was ranked 9th overall in the world, making it 5th among US universities.
The most popular majors at Princeton University include: Economics, General; Political Science and Government, General; Molecular Biology; Psychology, General; and Public Policy Analysis, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 98.3 percent.
Princeton University, located in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey. An excellent transportation network of bus, rail and highways puts Princeton within easy reach (an hour or less) of major urban centers: Philadelphia and Trenton to the south, Newark and New York to the north. International airports are located in Philadelphia, Newark and New York. Bus and train stations to these cities are adjacent to campus.