One of Princeton's defining characteristics is its small, residential community for undergraduate and graduate students. Nearly all of the University's undergraduates and 70 percent of the graduate students live on our beautiful campus, which creates a close-knit environment for living, studying and relaxing.
The heart of undergraduate residential life at Princeton lies in our six residential colleges, groups of dormitories that form mini-communities within the University. The opportunities and resources provided at the colleges — from cultural events and intramural sports to study breaks — help students pursue their interests and get involved, with staff nearby for advising and support.
Most upperclass students live in individual dormitories that are not part of a residential college, and they choose from a variety of dining options, including eating in the dining halls, taking their meals at one of the 11 historic coed eating clubs along Prospect Avenue or joining food co-ops, where students prepare meals in groups or individually.
As an admitted student, one of the most exciting moments is learning which residential college you will call home — , (formerly Wilson), Forbes, , Rockefeller, or . Each college offers a sense of community through its unique subculture.
When you arrive at your residential college, you'll be greeted by a team ready to support you in your academic and personal endeavors. Each college has a faculty head, dean, director of studies and director of student life. Undergraduates also receive support and guidance from residential college advisers, who are upperclassmen, and resident graduate students. While each college is architecturally distinctive, they all contain dining halls, common rooms, laundry rooms, academic spaces, and arts and entertainment resources.
Residential colleges are the center of residential life on campus. The colleges are where you'll meet some of your closest friends, share meals with professors, learn new skillsets and more. Throughout the year, colleges interact with each other through spirited competitions, social events, study breaks and intramural sports, all of which help to define University life.
Three residential colleges house students from all classes, while the other three residential colleges house only first-year students and sophomores. At the end of your sophomore year, you'll decide whether to continue living in a residential college or move into upperclass housing. Either way, the relationships you develop at your college will follow you throughout your undergraduate experience and beyond. In fact, you'll return to your home college to receive your diploma.
Undergraduate Dining Options
First-years and sophomores eat most of their meals at their residential college dining hall. Juniors and seniors may dine at residential colleges, or join eating clubs or student food cooperatives. In addition, students can eat at campus cafés, the Center for Jewish Life, or local restaurants, or prepare their own food in dormitory kitchens.
Residential Dining Halls
Residential college dining halls aren't just where students to go to grab food. They are where they connect with friends, unwind, experience other cultures through food and language, and extend their Princeton family.
Dining halls are located in each of Princeton's undergraduate residential colleges. Each dining hall features its own chef who creates healthy, sustainable menus for every taste and preference using scientific culinary principles.