SPIDER launch in Antartica
All areas of study

From campus laboratories to biodiversity research in the Kenyan savannah to Antarctic edge-of-space balloon launches (seen at left), Princeton’s students and scholars are involved in inquiries across the scientific spectrum.


  • Applied and Computational Mathematics

    The undergraduate certificate is designed for students who are looking to broaden their mathematical and computational skills and to give mathematically oriented students the opportunity to discover the challenges presented by applications from the natural sciences and engineering.

    On the graduate level, the program offers a select group of highly qualified students the opportunity to obtain a thorough knowledge of branches of mathematics indispensable to science and engineering applications, including numerical analysis and other computational methods.

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  • Astrophysical Sciences

    The department covers all major fields in astrophysics — from planets to black holes, stars, galaxies, quasars, dark matter, dark energy, and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to today — and plasma physics. The relatively small size of the department provides an informal, flexible and friendly setting for students. Under the department’s aegis, an extensive program of graduate research is also conducted at the renowned Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

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  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

    The program emphasizes theoretical studies and numerical model studies of the global climate system. It offers Ph.D. students opportunities for research and courses in a wide range of disciplines including geophysical fluid dynamics, atmospheric physics, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry of the land and ocean, atmospheric modeling, ocean modeling, climate dynamics, global climate change and paleo-climate. Students may benefit from the research capabilities of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

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  • Biophysics

    The Program in Biophysics is designed for undergraduate students who want to bring the intellectual traditions of physics to bear on the phenomena of life. Study ranges from the dynamics of single molecules to the networks of neurons responsible for perception and memory, from collective behavior in groups of organisms to the mechanics of single cells, and from information flow in genetic regulatory networks to evolution.

  • Chemistry

    The Department of Chemistry offers undergraduates a flexible program suitable for attending graduate or medical school, as well as for those intending to pursue a career in secondary school teaching. A chemistry concentration is appropriate for anyone who desires a broad background of undergraduate training in science.

    The graduate program is a vital, expanding hub of scientific inquiry with deep historic roots and a ready grasp on the future. Housed in the world-class Frick Chemistry Laboratory, faculty and students work at the frontiers of science where the lines between chemistry and other disciplines merge.

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  • Cognitive Science

    Cognitive science is the study of how the mind works, drawing on research from psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience and computer science. The interdisciplinary character of cognitive science reflects different levels of analysis of mental phenomena and their employment of a variety of methodologies appropriate to each level.

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  • Computational and Information Science

    The graduate certificate in computational and information science offers students comprehensive training in numerical analysis, software engineering, computer science, and statistics and data modeling in ways that promote discovery in the sciences, engineering, and humanities.

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    The undergraduate program emphasizes study from an evolutionary perspective, combining theory and empiricism and linking areas that are often treated as separate disciplines. Students with an interest in whole-organism and large-scale processes — evolution, physiology, disease, behavior, neuroscience, ecology, ecosystem biology, conservation and climate change — will find a home in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Areas of strength in the graduate program include evolutionary ecology, behavioral ecology, theoretical ecology, population, community and ecosystem ecology, ecological and evolutionary genetics, molecular evolution, epidemiology of infectious diseases, and conservation biology. Graduate students also have excellent opportunities for combining several areas for innovative interdisciplinary work.

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  • Environmental Studies

    The undergraduate program engages the scientific, political, humanistic and technological dimensions of environmental challenges facing the world today. Students majoring in any discipline may pursue either a generalist track or a specialist track that explores biodiversity and conservation, climate and energy, earth systems, environmental policy or environment and water. The graduate program broadens the educational perspective of doctoral students by exploring policy aspects of their environmental research.

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  • Geosciences

    The intellectual excitement of modern geosciences is fueled by our exploration of the dynamic forces and delicate balances that mold our planet and have rendered it conducive to life for much of its history. The diversity of processes that characterize the Earth as a whole requires geosciences to be an extraordinarily interdisciplinary field with direct connections to mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science.

    The graduate program encompasses a rich diversity of scientific expertise and initiatives, ranging from the measurement and modeling of global climatic change to high-pressure mineral physics, and from seismic tomographic imaging of the mantle to biogeochemistry and isotope geochemistry of the Earth and oceans.

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  • Linguistics

    Linguistics is the study of the distinctive properties of human language and the cognitive capacities of language users, including the rules that govern the patterns of particular languages and universal principles governing all languages. Linguists investigate the grammatical principles and processes that determine the structure of human languages, their evolution over time, and their psychological underpinnings.

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  • Materials Science and Engineering

    The undergraduate program emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the study of materials and the engineering application of their properties. It is designed primarily for students in science and engineering departments who are considering careers in materials.

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  • Mathematics

    The department offers study in undergraduate and graduate mathematics.

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  • Molecular Biology

    The undergraduate program provides courses of study in molecular, cellular, and developmental processes. The graduate program fosters the intellectual development of modern biologists. The graduate M.D./Ph.D is done in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and the Rutgers University (New Brunswick) Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

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  • Neuroscience

    The undergraduate concentration offers the opportunity for the serious study of molecular, cellular, developmental and systems neuroscience as it interfaces with cognitive and behavioral research. The undergraduate certificate is geared toward students in other departments who are interested in an interdisciplinary study of the brain.

    The graduate program trains researchers to answer the fundamental, unanswered questions of how the millions of individual neurons work together to give rise to behavior at the level of a whole organism. Students will learn the latest techniques and approaches in neuroscience, and train in how to think and develop new techniques and approaches to cracking the puzzle of the brain.

    Graduate students who want to add a neuroscience component to their Ph.D. work in another discipline may apply to participate in the Joint Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience.



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  • Physics

    The undergraduate program offers the flexibility to accommodate students with a range of interests, allowing them to take a considerable course load outside the department. Students preparing for graduate school can choose from a variety of advanced-level courses.

    Graduate study is strongly focused on research, with equal emphasis on theoretical and experimental studies. The department has strong and growing groups in experimental condensed matter physics and biophysics in addition to traditional strengths in theoretical and experimental elementary particle physics, theoretical and experimental gravity and cosmology, experimental nuclear and atomic physics, mathematical physics, and theoretical condensed matter physics.

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  • Planets and Life

    The undergraduate program equips students with skills to assume leadership roles in discovering the origins of terrestrial and extraterrestrial life through an understanding of astrophysical, chemical, biological and geological principles, and engineering.

  • Plasma Physics

    Plasmas, the fourth state of matter, are collections of freely moving charged particles in which collective phenomena, such as waves, dominate the behavior of the system. The purpose of this program is to provide strong interdisciplinary support and training for graduate students. The scope of interest includes fundamental studies of plasmas, their interaction with surfaces and surroundings, and the technologies associated with their applications.

  • Psychology

    The undergraduate program provides a rigorous understanding of human behavior and mental processes through foundational and advanced courses on sensation, perception, movement, language, reasoning, decision making, social interaction and computational models of the brain. The psychology concentration also provides a grounding in neuroscience, since mental processes and behavior arise from the brain.

    The graduate program emphasizes preparation for research and teaching in psychology, with specialization in cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, language, learning and memory, perception and cognition, the psychology of inequality, social neuroscience, social psychology, and systems neuroscience. 

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  • Quantitative and Computational Biology

    The undergraduate program is designed for students with a strong interest in multidisciplinary and systems-level approaches to understanding molecular, cellular and organismal behavior. The curriculum introduces students to experimental and analytic techniques for acquisition of large-scale quantitative observations, and the interpretation of such data in the context of appropriate models.

    The graduate program facilitates education at the interface of biology, the more quantitative sciences and computation. The program covers the fields of genomics, computational biology, systems biology, biophysics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution and microbial interactions.

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  • Science, Technology and Environmental Policy

    The graduate program develops a deep understanding of current scientific, technological and environmental issues and potential local, national and international policy responses through a systematic introduction to the field of policy analysis. The Program provides interdisciplinary training that facilitates communication between technical experts and policy makers. 

  • Statistics and Machine Learning

    The undergraduate program is designed for students who have a strong interest in data analysis and its application across disciplines. Statistics and machine learning -- the academic disciplines centered around developing and understanding data analysis tools -- play an essential role in various scientific fields including biology, engineering and the social sciences.

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  • Sustainable Energy

    The undergraduate program is designed to broaden understanding in energy resources and their impact on the environment. Students learn to quantitatively analyze, design and develop systems that support sustainable economic growth and environmental harmony, and learn about environmental change from the perspective of engineering, technology, economics and policy.

  • Teacher Preparation

    The program combines coursework, seminars, laboratory experience, field work and practice teaching to become fully prepared and certified to teach successfully at the middle and secondary levels. Participants can earn certification in art, English, mathematics, music, the sciences, social studies and world languages. The program is approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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