Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey -- the name by which it was known for 150 years -- Princeton University was British North America's fourth college. Located in Elizabeth for one year and then in Newark for nine, the College of New Jersey moved to Princeton in 1756. It was housed in Nassau Hall, which was newly built on land donated by Nathaniel FitzRandolph. Nassau Hall contained the entire College for nearly half a century.

In 1896 when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University in honor of its host community of Princeton. Four years later in 1900 the Graduate School was established.


United States

New Jersey
Phone: (609) 258-3000

College Photos (1)

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Location and Getting there

Take the New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 9 (New Brunswick). After the toll booths, take the first right turn onto the ramp for Route 18 north. Soon after you enter Route 18, take the left side of a fork in the road, staying in the right lane. Immediately bear right for an exit to U.S. Route 1 south/Trenton.

Drive south on Route 1 for about 18 miles to the Washington Road exit, which is a traffic circle. Take the first right off the circle (between the gas stations) toward Princeton. The campus is located approximately a mile straight ahead. See directions to parking lots 21 and 7 for further details.

From the WEST
Drive east on Interstate 78 into New Jersey. Exit onto southbound Interstate 287 (toward Somerville). Follow signs for Routes 202/206 south. Go south on 202 for a short distance and then follow signs to 206 south, which will take you around a traffic circle. Go south on 206 for about 18 miles to Nassau Street (Route 27) in the center of Princeton. Turn left onto Nassau Street, and follow it to the third traffic light. Turn...  [ Read All ]

Department and information about the department

Princeton believes that a strong liberal arts education provides an essential foundation for the aspiring artist and is the best platform for understanding the place of the arts in modern society. Even a cursory glace at the dominant journals devoted to art, photography, and cinema indicates that the visual artists of today are engaged in a dialogue with art history, information theory and literary criticism, and in debates about group identity and politics. As a result, the artist needs to be broadly familiar with the cultural history of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries and be aware of the multiplicity of issues that have excited artists of these periods; all of these things come together to form the ongoing traditions leading up to the present.

Academic Staff and Description

Many well-known and accomplished artists have been a part of the faculty of the visual arts program. A commitment has been made to maintaining a faculty that is continually reflective of a spectrum of views and ideologies within the art world. Students can always count on having access to a wide range of influence and guidance. The University's close proximity to New York City helps make this possible.  

News and Events

News and Events

Visiting Speakers:  

Information For  Undergraduates

The Program in Visual Arts
provides excellent physical facilities and an atmosphere of serious intellectual investigation. We welcome students who wish to take just one or two courses and those who are interested in a program of study leading to a concentration or a certificate in visual arts. Our close relationship with one of the finest art history departments in the country ensures that students will gain the historical knowledge of periods and cultures as diverse as African-American, European Renaissance/Baroque, Far Eastern, Islamic, Modern and Pre-Columbian.

We believe that a strong liberal arts education provides an essential foundation for the aspiring artist and is the best platform for understanding the function and history of the arts in modern society. We believe that the foundation we provide is necessary for the development of new forms and modes of inquiry.
Most importantly, the various academic subjects studied at Princeton help inspire the artwork created by our students. Contemporary visual artists are engaged with the effects of globalization, the despoiling of the earth, and issues including feminism, ge...  [ Read All ]

Student Life

A vast range of cultural, educational, athletic and social activities are available to Princeton students, faculty and staff. Getting involved in campus life is the quickest way to become a part of the University community, and to create one's own Princeton experience. Campus life activities are built around the concepts of encouraging each community member to express his or her talents and to respect all members of our pluralistic community.

One of the University's most distinctive characteristics is its closely knit and integrated residential community. Housing is guaranteed for undergraduates, and nearly all students live on campus. The residential experience is central to Princeton's educational program, and the residential colleges offer students a supportive and enriching environment full of opportunities for personal growth.  


Princeton's five residential colleges, where freshmen and sophomores live and eat, offer students close-knit and dynamic living situations with many opportunities for building a community of friends. The resources provided at the colleges -- from cultural events to intramural sports to study breaks -- help students pursue their interests and get involved.

Currently, most upperclass students live in individual dormitories that are not part of a residential college and choose from a variety of dining options, including taking their meals at one of the 11 historic coed eating clubs along Prospect Avenue or joining cooperative residences, where students prepare meals in groups or individually.

Starting in 2007, the residential college system will be expanded and enriched to include more upperclass students and a new residential college. Coinciding with a planned increase in the student body of 11 percent, three of the six residential colleges will become all-class residences and house approximately 400 freshmen and sophomores, 100 juniors and seniors, and 10...  [ Read All ]

How To Apply  

Visit us (open days)

Princeton University, located in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey, welcomes visitors to its historic campus. Each year, Princeton hosts numerous visitors who are interested in the many educational, scholarly, cultural, recreational and athletic activities that enrich this University and its community.

An excellent transportation network of bus, rail, and highways puts Princeton within easy reach (an hour or less) of major urban centers: Philadelphia and Trenton to the south, Newark and New York to the north. International airports are located in Philadelphia, Newark, and New York. Bus and train stations to these cities are adjacent to campus.