Chapter 6

Settling In and Looking Ahead


“When must I declare my major?”
You will need to formally declare your engineering major at the end of your freshman year; this is followed by departmental prerequisites which must be completed by the end of your sophomore year. Thus, you should plan your courses accordingly in order to complete those required for your department. Based upon your choice of concentration, the engineering school will assign you a more expert advisor in your chosen department at the end of your first year. For a quick overview, check out our Chapter 8.

“What if I want to change my major?”
At Princeton, you do have the freedom to change your mind about your major; however, some departments are more flexible than others. It is easier to switch between more related fields — for instance, separate tracks within a single department. Bear in mind, though, that some departments would be difficult to switch into without some careful forethought, due to the nature of the curriculum.

“Princeton doesn’t offer my preferred specialty!”
Engineering programs vary from institution to institution. You may have read about programs at other universities from automotive engineering to petroleum engineering. Engineering disciplines are very interconnected. Chances are the area you’re interested in does exist at Princeton within one of the existing departments; you just have to find it. Talk to faculty members about your specific interests and opportunities for research or independent study. You will find that Princeton’s engineering faculty is interested in a wide variety of topics beyond those offered as formal degree programs.

Further information about the departments and programs available to you will be appearing on this page early second term.