Academics and Advising

Degree Programs

Once enrolled at Princeton, transfer and veteran students benefit from the same curriculum as every Princeton undergraduate. You may pursue any major or seek any minor or certificate, allowing you to explore an amazing range of intellectual and creative trajectories. To learn more about Princeton’s undergraduate curriculum, including the differences between our AB and BSE programs, please visit the Undergraduate Announcement website.

Advising Resources

As a transfer or veteran student, you’ll benefit from the same robust advising structure as your peer undergraduates. That means you’ll work with the Dean and Assistant Deans in your Residential College, and will be assigned a faculty adviser to help with all course selection and curricular planning matters. In addition, you’ll benefit from the mentorship of our transfer program directors, and you’ll be invited to participate in the Scholars Institute Fellows Program and other opportunities in the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access & Opportunity, where you may join a vibrant community of engaged scholars participating in year-round academic, co-curricular, and professional development opportunities.

Transfers Walking to Class

Writing Seminar

You will enroll in a customized, 200-level Writing Seminar in the fall of your first term to meet the university writing requirement. This course equips you with the tools you’ll need to tackle research writing and prepare you for independent work in the junior and senior year. Your Writing Sem will also be the one course you take exclusively with fellow transfers, allowing you to get to know your incoming cohort and crowdsource success strategies for negotiating the transition to Princeton.

Transfer Credit

Academic Standing: Depending on your academic record prior to enrolling at Princeton, you might enroll as a first-year, a sophomore, or, in very rare cases, a junior. Transfer students may only enroll in the fall term. A committee of Princeton faculty and administrators will carefully review your file to ensure you enter our curriculum equipped to succeed. This review process determines your standing and what courses, if any, transfer to Princeton: first-year students enroll with up to three transferred courses, sophomores enter with up to eleven courses, and juniors enter with up to seventeen. We normally use transferred courses to help meet your general education requirement, meaning that you take most of the coursework in your concentration (Princeton’s term for a major) here. You take a customized Writing Seminar in the fall of your first term to meet the university writing requirement.

Eligible Courses for Transfer: To be eligible for transfer, a course must be of a topic and level of rigor such that it could be taught in a department at Princeton, even if there is no exact equivalent here. A course must be taught at an accredited institution of higher learning, and may be taken online so long as it meets Princeton’s minimum requirements for course credit. This means that most semester-long courses, taken at an accredited community college or four-year college or university, taken online or in-person, taken in a field represented by a Princeton department or program, are likely to be eligible. Some examples of eligible courses might be:

  • A general chemistry course with a lab taken at a community college.
  • An introduction to sociology course taken at a four-year state university.
  • An African-American history course taken at American Military University.

By contrast, the following courses would likely not be eligible for transfer:

  • A pharmacology course taken at nursing school, (because such courses are not offered by a Princeton academic department; note that Princeton does not have a medical, law, or business school).
  • A course in elementary algebra taken at a community college, (because it would be of a lower level of rigor than is taught in Princeton’s math department).
  • A SOI (School of Infantry) course taken as part of one’s Marine service, (both because no Princeton department teaches such a course, and because to be transferable a military course would need to come from an accredited institution, such as American Military University). 

Department Requirements: Transfer students are not automatically given credit for department prerequisites or requirements through transferred courses. In consultation with the transfer program’s directors, you may petition an academic department to evaluate transferred courses for this purpose. You will be asked to show relevant documentation, in particular the course syllabus, graded written work, or graded exams, to help faculty make such decisions, so please hold on to all your course records! You’ll talk with the transfer program directors about this process early in the summer prior to enrollment to help plan your on-ramp into our curriculum.

First-Year Reversion Option: Our first principle in determining academic standing and course transfer is to place students in the position to succeed. That’s why we take such care in reviewing student transcripts and deciding on placement. However, we also recognize that for any number of reasons a student who is admitted with sophomore or higher standing may prefer instead to take the full four years to complete their degree. For that reason, Princeton’s transfer program allows its students to voluntarily forego sophomore or higher standing and instead begin as a first-year student. Transfers will still benefit from their full financial aid package for the duration of their time at Princeton, and receive all the other benefits of enrolling as a transfer student.