Princeton University accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application or the Universal College Application.

In addition to the required primary essay contained in each of the above three applications, Princeton requires first year applicants to answer multiple short answer and essay questions as part of the 2017-2018 Princeton University Supplement.

Essays and Short Answer Questions:

1.  Briefly elaborate on one extracurricular activity or work experience that was particularly meaningful to you. (respond in approximately 150 words.)

2.  Describe how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (respond in approximately 150 words.)

3.  Provide a few details about:

  • Your favorite book and its author
  • Your favorite website
  • Your favorite recording
  • Your favorite source of inspiration
  • Your favorite line from a movie or book and its title
  • Your favorite movie
  • Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you
  • Your favorite keepsake or memento
  • Your favorite word

4.  Essay supplement:  Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world.

  1. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.
  2. “One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions.”
    Omar Wasow, assistant professor of politics, Princeton University and co-founder of This quote is taken from Professor Wasow’s January 2014 speech at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Princeton University.
  3. “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.”
    Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and director of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, Princeton University.
  4. Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.
This essay should contain about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no fewer than 250 words).

Engineering Applicants Additional Essay

If you will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering as a definite or possible degree of study, you must write an additional 300-500 word essay describing your interest in studying engineering, any experiences in or exposure to engineering you have had, and how you think Princeton’s engineering programs suit your particular interests.

For guidance in crafting your responses to any of the above, contact