Explore Princeton's two undergraduate degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.). The A.B. degree is offered in humanities, social science, and natural science departments, while the B.S.E. degree is awarded by the six departments of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. All programs of study are consistent with Princeton’s ideals of a liberal arts education that emphasize breadth across multiple fields of study and depth in one, achieved through your course of study and independent work. Which Major is Right for You? A.B. Majors Consider the following: Focus areas: A.B. majors are offered in a wide variety of liberal arts and science disciplines. Studies: Explore a body of fundamental knowledge such as texts, general principles, analytical methods, and theories. The general education component of the curriculum provides breadth across multiple fields. Writing and languages: All A.B students take a first-year writing seminar and fulfill the language requirement. B.S.E. Majors Consider the following: Focus areas: B.S.E. degrees are offered in six engineering disciplines. Computer Science also offers the A.B. degree. Studies: Focus on the principles of engineering science and their application, especially in design, along with breadth in the humanities and social sciences. Writing and languages: All B.S.E. students take a first-year writing seminar. Language study is optional, although many B.S.E students pursue them. Get into the Details A.B. vs. B.S.E.: A Side-by-Side Comparison Although the A.B. degree requires 31 courses and the B.S.E. requires 36, the difference is misleading. In the B.S.E. program, independent work and a thesis count as courses, while in the A.B. program, independent work is counted separately from the course requirements. A.B. B.S.E. Overview Two years of general education and departmental prerequisites are followed by two years of independent work, departmental course, electives, and a senior thesis. Basic science and math courses, departmental foundation courses, advanced departmental courses, humanities and social science electives are complemented by independent work (usually in the form of a two-term thesis). Departments African American Studies Anthropology Architecture Art & Archeology Astrophysical Sciences Chemistry Classics Comparative Literature Computer Science East Asian Studies Ecology and Evolutionary Biology English French and Italian Geosciences German History Mathematics Molecular Biology Music Near Eastern Studies Neuroscience Philosophy Physics Politics Psychology Public Policy (Princeton School of Public and International Affairs) Religion Slavic Languages and Literature Sociology Spanish and Portuguese Chemical and Biological Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering Computer Science Electrical and Computer Engineering Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Operations Research and Financial Engineering Courses 31 taught courses, including: Writing seminar Language requirement General education requirements Departmental prerequisites Departmental courses Electives 36 courses, including: Writing seminar Basic math and science requirements, computing requirement Humanities and social science general education requirements Departmental core courses Departmental electives Departmental independent work or thesis (each term counts as a course) Electives Major Declaration Spring of sophomore year Spring of your first year Language Up to four semesters of language are required, depending on placement. Some students fulfill the language requirement through placement testing, standardized test scores, or other demonstration of native proficiency (see your assistant dean for studies). No language requirement, although language courses may fulfill general education requirements Math and Science No specific math and science course requirements. Choose courses that will fulfill science and quantitative reasoning general education requirements. Math and science course requirements (four semesters math, two semesters physics, one semester chemistry), plus computer science proficiency. Course sequence 17 classes by the start of junior year, 26 classes by the start of senior year, and a minimum of six courses in senior year. 4-5 classes per term; 18 classes by the start of junior year and 27 classes by the start of senior year. Junior independent work Two semesters of junior independent work without course credit, equivalent to two course units Some B.S.E. students pursue one or two semesters of junior independent work for course credit Thesis One two-semester senior thesis without course credit, equivalent to two course units Many B.S.E. students complete a senior thesis, for course credit equivalent to two course units. Useful Information Faculty Advisers Create or adjust your course schedule and make academic plans. Work with your faculty adviser Independent Work Showcase the impact of your Princeton education through a junior project, senior thesis, and other independent work. Apply your studies Course Placement Plan a course schedule that aligns with your goals and academic readiness. Build a strong foundation Princeton Placement Tests Plan your courses with the benefit of placement tests in selected subjects in the languages and science. Review options and requirements Additional Resources Majors & Minors Explore majors and minors offered across 36 departments in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Your Path to Princeton Connect to a range of resources focused on learning and living at Princeton. Undergraduate Announcement Review academic regulations, programs of study, and undergraduate course offerings in this publication released each August.