Program Overview

Welcome to Princeton! We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Princeton community! Orientation will introduce you to the University and to the extensive support and resources available for your success. All students are expected to actively participate in the full Orientation program in the Fall, which will take place from Friday, August 23 continuing through Monday, September 2nd 2024.

The Offices of the Dean of the College, of Undergraduate Students, and of Campus Life, jointly announced that beginning in the fall of 2016, all incoming Princeton students will participate in a single, unified orientation program.  In fall 2024, all incoming students will arrive to campus on Friday, August 23. Following move-in , parent and family programming will be held in various residential college spaces until 5pm on August 23. After 5pm, all subsequent programming will be for all incoming students only.

After their arrival, all students will participate in academic programming and small-group, experiential learning experiences. Most of these experiences are held off-campus. These small-group experiences allow students to form strong bonds among other incoming students across residential colleges and with their student leaders across class years.  Experiential learning encourages all students to engage Princeton’s values—especially service to others and intellectual reflection—outside the classroom. Students are placed into their small-group experience based on their responses from their Orientation Registration. For more information regarding the small-group experiences, please select the "Small-Group Experiences" tab under "Orientation" above.

Following the small-group experiences, intellectual life continues and students participate in a rich array of programs that further explain and explore the values of our community and begins their academic path during their first year. This academic journey continues throughout the week and includes meeting with their academic advisors, peer academic advisors or PAAs, and other Residential college staff. Students will then have the opportunity to discuss their academic goals with students and faculty from all departments during the Academic Expo. Their first week as Princeton students concludes with Course Registration.

Students then take part in Opening Exercises, followed by the traditional Pre-read.  Classes begin on Tuesday, September 3 for all students. 

Class Unity

The incoming class encompasses an impressive range of backgrounds and experiences— it’s the true benefit of attending a university with a global reach. During Orientation, there are numerous ways, both formal and informal, to get to know the fellow Princetonians with whom you will travel through this experience for years and the decades beyond.

The Orientation Welcome Committee hosts many class events during your first few months; Please take advantage of these opportunities to connect with classmates. Incoming class officers are elected in mid-October and until then the Orientation Welcome Committee will plan events to foster class unity and inclusion. Upcoming social events will be posted on this page. Stay tuned to get a glimpse of the fun we have in store for you!


A walk across campus illuminates to even the casual observer that Princeton reverberates with history and tradition. The true beauty of Princeton’s traditions is that many of most of the enduring ones were started by students. Whether the tradition is 250 years or 250 hours old, these rituals strive to create expressions of affiliation and belonging. It’s important to note that while we appreciate our past, as a learning community we are called to think critically about where we have been and where our aspirations will take us.

Traditions can be as expansive as an entire class or as intimate as a residential college ‘zee group'. There is something quite unifying about engaging in activities that students were similarly participating in over two centuries ago. To learn more about some of our most long-standing traditions, visit the Princetoniana website or take a look at Instagram or Facebook; some of the traditions found there are just minutes old yet will be as indelible as those carved into the stones of our campus walls.

Seem unlikely? We’re fairly certain that the first group of Tigers who gathered on Nassau Hall steps on the eve before their graduation didn’t expect students to be following suit more than 265 years later. This place is yours—we can’t wait to see how you make it your own.