Princeton University, the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, is located in Princeton, New Jersey. The campus is spread over an area of more than 600 acres, with many buildings representing a wide variety of architectural styles. The current enrollment includes 4,635 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students with more than 700 faculties.
This coeducational institution was founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was located in Elizabeth for one year and then in Newark for nine years. In 1756, the college moved to Princeton and was housed in Nassau Hall, which was newly built on land donated by Nathaniel Fitz Randolph. Serving as a barracks and hospital during the War of Independence, the hall was the temporary home of the Continental Congress.
The College of New Jersey changed its name to "Princeton University" in 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the college university status. Its Graduate School was established in 1900. In 1930, the university founded the Institute for Advanced Study, which became the first residential institute for scholars in the country. At the same time, Albert Einstein was appointed as one of its first professors. Women were first admitted in 1969 as undergraduates.
The university library, one of the world’s most distinguished research facilities, includes the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library (opened 1948) and 13 special libraries in locations around campus. Its holdings include more than 6.2 million books, 6.3 million microforms, 36,000 linear feet of manuscripts, and impressive holdings of rare books, prints and archives.
Affiliated with the Brookhaven National Laboratories, Princeton is one of the leading research universities in the state. Its aim is to attain the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding, and in the education of graduate students. The research there is mainly carried on plasma physics and jet propulsion.
Two major undergraduate programs are their Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in engineering. Courses in the humanities are traditionally either seminars or semi-weekly lectures with an additional discussion seminar. The postgraduate research degrees (most notably the Ph.D.) include mathematics, physics, economics, history, and philosophy. Princeton also offers professional graduate degrees in the field of engineering and architecture.
Princeton is one of the original Ivy League colleges, the home of numerous Nobel prizewinners for their scholastic, literary, and world-stage achievements. In addition to the educational services, it offers a vast range of cultural, athletic, and social activities to its students, faculty, and staff.
Princeton University also houses an art museum, a natural history museum, and a university chapel that are all open to the public. Sculpture from the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection can be seen on the campus.
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