Princeton University, chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, was British North America's fourth college. Originally located in Elizabeth and later in Newark, the College moved to the town of Princeton in 1756 to occupy the newly completed Nassau Hall, one of the largest buildings in the colonies. Nassau Hall survived bombardment during the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777 (a cannonball scar is still visible on the exterior south wall of the building's west wing) and served as the home of the Continental Congress in 1783. This historic building housed the entire College for nearly half a century, and it is still home to the office of the University's president and other administrative offices.
Today, the Princeton campus covers more than 2,000 acres, 600 of which comprise the main campus. Its student body numbers approximately 7,912: 5,264 undergraduates and 2,648 graduate students, in 34 departments and more than 70 institutes, programs and centers. The University offers instruction in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional programs at the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Public and International Affairs.
Princeton is regarded as one of the world's pioneering research universities, with an emphasis on undergraduate liberal arts and doctoral education, and a small number of high-quality master's degree programs. All Princeton undergraduates are required to complete a major independent research project, and its faculty members must teach and engage in research. In Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber's words, "The University's mission is about education, research, and common good."
A tourist destination in its own right, Princeton University's campus is host to beautiful grounds and renowned architecture. Nassau Hall has been joined by many magnificent structures that represent the changing ideals and standards for university buildings. The finest architects are represented, including Marcel Breuer, A. Page Brown, Henry N. Cobb, Ralph Adams Cram, Frank O. Gehry, Charles Gwathmey, Fred Koetter, Benjamin Latrobe, Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, John Notman, I.M. Pei, Charles Steadman, Robert Venturi ‘47*50, Rafael Viñoly, and Tod Williams ‘65*67. The town of Princeton and its surrounding countryside offer numerous examples of buildings by notable architects such as Peter Eisenman, Ernest Flagg, Michael Graves, Louis Kahn, John Russell Pope, Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Visit the Princeton University home page for more information.