Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Initiative

Jael Hernandez-Vasquez holding a microphone speaking at an event


The Pre-Doctoral Fellowship is an initiative designed to offer promising graduate students an additional year of graduate study to help ensure their success in graduate school. Ideal candidates for this fellowship are those who will contribute to the scholarship and rich intellectual and personal diversity of their academic fields but who, whether due to issues of access or opportunity, or the circumstances of their academic, personal, or professional backgrounds, may benefit from the opportunity to engage in additional academic work in their doctoral degree program.


All interested applicants for regular admission are invited to apply for consideration. Interested students are strongly encouraged to visit the FAQ page.

Pre-Doctoral Benefits

Full funding for academic year (tuition and stipend)

Priority for University housing

Graduate Scholars Program Invitation*

Pre-docs are invited to participate in the Graduate Scholars Program (GSP), a cohort-based community for entering first-year graduate and pre-doctoral students from diverse backgrounds designed to enhance and support academic, social, and community development during their initial graduate school experience.

Applications Open in September

How to Apply

Within the regular admission PhD application, applicants must select "yes" to the "Are you interested in being considered for the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Initiative?" question. If you answer 'yes,' you will then be prompted to briefly explain why you are interested in being considered for the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship initiative. [500 words max].

Your response can address any of the following questions:

How would you benefit from the fellowship? What would you want to accomplish during your fellowship year? What skills would you want to enhance during your fellowship year?

Note: Your answer to these questions will have no impact on the admission process for the department to which you are applying and does not finalize enrollment in the pre-doctoral fellowship program.

Participating Departments

Specific departments are participating in this program, therefore only those departmental applications will include the pre-doctoral fellowship initiative question.

At this time the participating departments include:

  • Art and Archaeology (ART)
  • Astrophysical Sciences (AST)
  • Classics (CLA)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE)
  • Chemistry (CHM)
  • Computer Science (COS)
  • East Asian Studies (EAS)
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
  • Economics (ECO)
  • Electrical Engineering (ELE)
  • Geosciences (GEO)
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)
  • Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE)
  • Philosophy (PHI)
  • Physics (PHY) 
  • Politics (POL)
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL)  
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB)
  • Religion (REL)  
  • School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) STEP Program
  • Sociology (SOC)  
  • Spanish and Portuguese (SPO)

Application Requirements

Application requirements are department specific, please check our Fields of Study page to determine the application requirements for the department you are interested in applying. The requirements may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Statement of Academic Purpose                    
  • Personal Essay
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Transcripts
  • Fall Semester Grades
  • GRE (department specific, some departments do not require the GRE)
  • Sample of written work

Application Deadline

Click HERE for a list of all department deadlines. (E.g. November 15 — 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time). Pre-Doctoral Fellowship application deadlines correspond with the sponsoring department's PhD application deadline.

Fee Waiver Requests 

Please see details regarding fee waivers here.

Contact Us

Please address program-related questions to Associate Dean Joseph Lewis at [email protected]

For application-related questions please reach out to [email protected] for assistance and allow at least 24 hours for a response. When contacting us, please include your application number, full name and associated email address.

Applicants who require additional accessibility assistance may also contact [email protected] or call (609) 258-3034.

Learn more about the Grad Scholars Program (GSP)!

Grad Scholars Program (GSP)

Check out the Prospective Ph.D. Program (P3)!

P3 Prospective Phd Preview

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in the News!

Princeton’s new pre-doctoral fellowship aims to help diversify academic pipeline
Aug. 18, 2020
Written by Emily Aronson


Princeton’s Graduate School has launched a new pre-doctoral fellowship, which will fund students to study at Princeton for a year before they enroll as first-year Ph.D. students. Students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education are especially encouraged to apply for…