×

Frequently Asked Questions

ADMISSIONS & FINANCIAL AID

Application Deadlines

When is my Admissions Application due?

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Deadlines for fall 2022 admission are as follows:

  • December 15, 2021: Fall 2022 deadline for all PhD applicants
  • January 15, 2022: Fall 2022 deadline for all masters-level international applicants
  • January 15, 2022: Fall 2022 priority deadline for merit scholarship consideration for MDiv, MACEF, Dual MDiv/MACEF, and MA(TS) applicants.
  • April 1, 2022: Fall 2022 deadline for MDiv, MA(TS), MACEF, Dual MDiv/MACEF, and ThM applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents of the US. Applications that become complete after this deadline are considered by the admissions committee on a “space available basis.”

Do I need to schedule an interview as part of the application process?

  • Interviews are recommended for all domestic MDiv, MA(TS), MACEF, and MDiv/MACEF (dual-degree) applicants. For these programs, an interview is required for merit scholarship consideration.
  • International applicants are automatically considered for our international merit scholarships. Interviews are not required for international applicants, but may be requested by the committee as part of the review process.
  • Interviews are not required for ThM or PhD applicants, but may be requested by the committee during the application review process.
  • Interviews may be scheduled online anytime after you have started your application, and should be completed prior to the January 15 priority deadline for scholarship consideration. Applicants are encouraged to book an interview early in the process as slots fill quickly. If no interview slots are available, please email admissions@ptsem.edu.

Application Materials

How should I send my unofficial transcripts to Princeton Seminary?

Unofficial transcripts from every college, university, and seminary where you have received academic credit must be uploaded in the application.

Princeton Seminary accepts transcripts by mail:

Princeton Theological Seminary
Attn: Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 821
64 Mercer Street
Princeton, NJ 08542-0803

or by email through an official electronic transcript service to:

sherry.garrahan@ptsem.edu

*Princeton Seminary does not accept personally scanned and emailed transcripts.

Who should I ask to be my recommendations?

One of Princeton Seminary's primary commitments is to “Faith & Scholarship.” Your recommendations should be formational people in your life who can speak genuinely and in depth to one or both of those things.

One of your recommendations must be academic. If you have been outside of an academic environment for a significant amount of time and are unable to acquire an academic recommendation, please contact the Admissions Office.

Your pastoral recommendation can come from any formal ministerial leader integral to your vocational discernment. Many applicants select the senior pastors from their home congregations, but other specialized pastors and chaplains who have served as mentors can also complete the recommendation.

Please note that Princeton Seminary cannot accept recommendations from your family members.

Can I apply to Princeton Seminary more than once?

The Admissions Committee and the faculty at Princeton Seminary recognize a maximum of two admissions attempts for each prospective student.

Master’s-level applicants may apply for a second time as early as the next admissions cycle opens. In this case, the Admissions Committee and faculty would require a new application, academic transcript(s) from any school(s) attended since the last application, a new pastoral recommendation, and a new academic recommendation.

Prerequisites

Do I have to have a particular undergraduate major to apply to Princeton Seminary?

Princeton Seminary prepares students to serve in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena. This means that Princeton Seminary attracts applicants from a variety of vocational fields, taking all undergraduate majors into consideration during the admissions process.

A background in the liberal arts helps prepare students to think and process theologically — the Admissions Committee and the faculty at Princeton Seminary recommend at least 60 credit hours of language, philosophy, history, literature, psychology, and/or sociology as ideal preparation for Master’s-level theological studies.

Does Princeton Seminary accept transfer credits toward its degree programs?

Princeton Seminary accepts up to one academic year in transfer credits — 26 credit hours total. The Office of the Registrar determines transfer credit eligibility and options with each individual admitted Master’s candidate.

Financial Aid

How much is tuition?

For the 2021-22 academic year, tuition is $19,000. A more detailed look at the cost of a seminary education is available on our cost calculator.

How do I finance my Princeton Seminary education?

Gifts from generous donors and alumni help to subsidize many of the costs faced by Princeton Theological Seminary students. Approximately 93% of MDiv, MACEF, MA(TS), and dual MDiv/MACEF students receive grants or scholarships. 85% of all students receive aid from the seminary financial aid program, and 87% of students receive the maximum level of financial aid. The average award for MDiv, MACEF, MA(TS), and dual MDiv/MACEF students is more than 90% of tuition. These funds significantly reduce our students’ reliance on student loans.

Masters-level students can learn more about the financial support the Seminary offers in the Financial Aid section of our website.

Information about the generous financial support offered to PhD students is available here.

Do you offer merit-based scholarships?

About 25% of our admitted masters-level applicants receive merit-based scholarships. To apply for one of these merit-based awards, a prospective student must complete their application for admission by February 15 (including all supporting materials), and have an interview.

Learn More

How can I contact Princeton Seminary for more information about Admissions?

Mailing Address:
Princeton Theological Seminary
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 821
Princeton, NJ 08542-0803

Physical Address:
Princeton Theological Seminary
64 Mercer St.
Princeton, NJ 08540

Telephone, Fax, and Email
Phone: 609.497.7805 or 800.622.6767, ext. 7805
Fax: 609.497.7870
Email: admissions@ptsem.edu

Schedule a Conversation

ACADEMICS AND STUDENT LIFE

History of Princeton Theological Seminary

When was Princeton Seminary founded?

The Theological Seminary at Princeton was established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1812. It was the Presbyterian Church’s first graduate school for the education of clergy, and the second such school in the United States. Affiliated from the beginning with the Presbyterian Church and the wider Reformed tradition, Princeton Seminary is a denominational school with an ecumenical, interdenominational, and worldwide constituency.

Does Princeton Seminary have a denomination affiliation?

Princeton Theological Seminary is a seminary related to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Enrollment is open to students of any trinitarian Christian denomination.

What is Princeton Seminary’s relationship with Princeton University?

Princeton Theological Seminary is accredited separately from Princeton University and has its own faculty, facilities, and student body. However, Princeton Seminary has a relationship of academic reciprocity with Princeton University which allows students to take one class per semester at the University (excluding their first and last semesters at the Seminary) and gives them full access to its libraries. Princeton Seminary also has relationships of academic reciprocity with Westminster Choir College of Rider University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Rutgers School of Social Work.

What is the difference between Princeton Seminary and a divinity school?

Princeton Theological Seminary is a freestanding graduate school dedicated to educating Christian leaders; divinity schools are part of larger universities. While divinity schools provide excellent religious education, students at Princeton Seminary are holistically prepared for ministry in the church, the academy, and the public arena through the Seminary’s combination of world-class scholarship, opportunities for hands-on ministry experience, and life together in residential community.

Degree Programs

What degree programs does Princeton Seminary offer?

Princeton Seminary offers six degree programs:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF)
  • MDiv/MACEF Dual
  • Master of Arts, Theological Studies (MA(TS))
  • Master of Theology (ThM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Princeton Seminary also offers five certificate programs or concentrations that can be integrated into most Master’s programs:

  • The Certificate in Black Church Studies
  • The Certificate in Christian-Jewish Studies
  • The Certificate in Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation
  • The Certificate in Theology, Women, and Gender
  • The Lutheran Studies Concentration

What classes does Princeton Seminary offer?

The most current classes, schedules, instructors, and book lists at Princeton Seminary can be searched here.

What academic resources does Princeton Seminary offer?

Apart from top-tier faculty members and more than 600 integrative field education sites worldwide, Princeton Seminary offers students one of the best theological research libraries in the world.

The 92,000-square-foot library houses:

  • More than 600,000 print volumes, 600,000 microforms, museum-quality artifacts and other special collections
  • 2,750 cuneiform tablets that illuminate life in Ancient Babylon
  • Rare texts, illuminated texts, hymnals, and Bibles from the Middle Ages
  • The unrivaled Moffett Korea Collection, including photographs, missionary papers, and a 1,000-volume research library on Korean history, culture, and religions in Korea
  • The Wilhelm and Marion Pauck Collection, which highlights the life and work of leading 20th-century theologians like Reinhold Niebuhr, James Luther Adams, and Paul Tillich
  • An extensive Latin American Collection of 25,000 Spanish and Portuguese books and 1,300 periodicals

Both the Seminary library and Princeton University’s Firestone Library are open to Princeton Seminary students and to participants in Princeton Seminary’s Visiting Scholar Program.

Princeton Seminary also offers students the opportunity to participate in specialized research initiatives including:

View all Research Centers & Initiatives

Does Princeton Seminary offer distance learning, evening programs, or part-time programs?

Princeton Seminary serves the church and to the academy through an intentionally residential and primarily full-time curriculum.

While some courses offered as part of a full-time Master’s program are held in the evening, the majority of courses are held on campus between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

However, one of Princeton Seminary’s core commitments is to “Tradition & Innovation.” The Admissions team and the registrar work together to embrace the vocational diversity of Princeton Seminary’s student body, and are open to discussing the potential of part-time or non-degree status with individual applicants.

Additionally, Princeton Seminary offers a spectrum of specialized events and certificate programs through the Office of Continuing Education.

What can I do with a degree from Princeton Seminary?

Princeton Seminary prepares people to serve Jesus Christ in ministries marked by faith, integrity, scholarship, competence, compassion and joy, equipping them for leadership worldwide in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena.

On average, 92% of Princeton Seminary graduates are placed in vocationally-related positions within a year of graduation. They serve congregations, the academy, chaplaincies, social service agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Residential Life

What housing options does Princeton Seminary provide?

The Seminary provides a variety of housing options for students at about half the local market rate. Most Princeton Seminary students live in Seminary housing.

Main campus housing includes three dormitories for single students: Hodge, Alexander, and Brown halls. Brown Hall will be the only residence hall in use for the 2021-2022 academic year. All three dormitories are air-conditioned, and include communal kitchens, lounges, and laundry facilities. All rooms house a single student and are furnished with a bed, bedside table, desk, chair, chest of drawers, mirror, and bookcase.

Tennent Campus housing, located two blocks from the main campus and the library, provides apartments for both single students and families in two historic buildings. Tennent and Roberts halls offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with kitchens that include an electric stove and full-sized refrigerator. The Tennent campus has laundry facilities, a lounge, a common green, and a playground.

West Windsor campus housing, located approximately three miles from the main campus, includes the Charlotte Rachel Wilson (CRW) Apartments for families and Witherspoon Apartments for single students. The CRW Apartments are made up of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units with air conditioning, balcony, dishwasher, microwave, electric stove, refrigerator, and washer/dryer. Pets are only allowed in first- and second-floor apartments at CRW; availability is limited. Witherspoon Apartments are one- and two-bedroom apartments with air conditioning and balcony, and include an electric stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher; laundry facilities and a lounge are provided in the building. The West Windsor campus has a courtyard with a playground and a picnic pavilion.

More information about housing options at Princeton Seminary is available here.

What recreational facilities and activities does Princeton Seminary offer?

The CRW apartments have a small fitness center with exercise equipment that will reopen in September 2021. The Seminary offers fitness classes such as yoga, dance, and circuit training for both children and adults for a small fee. Princeton Seminary also hosts several intermural sports leagues, such as flag football, frisbee, volleyball, and basketball. Alternatively, students may join the University gymnasium, which includes a pool, at the student rate

How can I obtain information about the public school districts in the area?

The Princeton and West Windsor-Plainsboro school districts are ranked among the best in the nation. The school district your children attend depends upon your housing situation. For those housed in Princeton (Tennent Campus residents), visit the Princeton Public Schools website. For those housed in West Windsor (the CRW or Witherspoon apartments), visit the West Windsor-Painsboro Regional School District website.

What is spiritual life like at Princeton Seminary?

Students at Princeton Seminary not only learn together but also worship, pray, and grow spiritually together. The Seminary community — students, faculty, and staff — gathers in Miller Chapel daily for worship and shares the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper every Friday. President Barnes preaches weekly. The Seminary community does not gather for worship on Sundays so that all can be involved in local churches. The chapel is open at all times and houses a prayer and meditation room as well as the main worship space.

The Office of Student Counseling offers counseling, individual and group spiritual direction, retreats, and other wellness services. Students regularly create their own Bible studies and prayer and support groups.

How can I get involved in the Princeton Seminary community outside of my classes?

Princeton Seminary is dedicated to being a residential community of learning where students are formed together for ministry through class, field education, communal worship and extracurricular activities. The Student Government Association hosts a variety of student groups, and the Office of Multicultural Relations offers a wide range of programming to promote justice and help students get to know their neighbors. Princeton Seminary also has a number of choirs and student-led musical groups that enrich the community’s worship life.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Chaplain at the Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Khristi Adams, Class of 2008

“At Princeton, we had precept groups—we’d engage text and debate. That gave me confidence to have those conversations anywhere.”