Placement Philosophy

Deciding which math course is the best fit may feel like a real challenge when you arrive to Princeton. So we have gathered some general information here to help you make a reasonable plan. Just keep in mind that this process often involves a bit of trial and error, and as the first few days of the semester provide additional important information, it will be easy to make adjustments in your schedule if necessary. This process is very flexible and gives excellent results, but the add/drop adjustment step is crucial and the process relies on students to take an active role in gathering information and (re)assessing the situation in the early weeks of the semester. All the general information needed to get started can be found here on these web pages, and various advisors, formal and informal, are available to help with your questions. We recommend that you take the time to explore the various possibilites by reviewing the information provided here as you plan your program of study and your first semester here.

The Math Placement Process at Princeton:

  1. The University makes an initial placement recommendation (e.g., MAT104/175) based solely on reported standardized test scores.
  2. Students refine this initial placement recommendation based on potential majors and other factors. Representatives from the math department will be available to answer questions at freshman registration, but this will go more smoothly (and many routine questions can be cleared up ahead of time) if you have done some preliminary research using the placement tools and course information collected here:
  3. In many cases, students will still be considering various options even as classes begin, but the drop/add period exists to deal with this.  Going to the first few classes and/or taking the first quiz will usually clarify the decision. Then it is a straightforward matter to make any adjustments that are needed.


Undergraduate Administrator: 
Mrs. LeeAnn Coleman, Fine 315
drop/add procedures, all administrative questions

Placement Officer: 
Prof. Vlad Vicol, Fine 907
Math placement for incoming freshmen;
summer courses;
Questions about all lower division courses (MAT100-218)

Associate Departmental Representative:
Dr. Jennifer M. Johnson, Fine 606
Questions about lower division courses for non-majors (MAT100-204)

Departmental Representative: 
Professor János Kollár
Questions about being a math major and upper division (300- and 400-level) course offerings