Princeton from a Student’s Perspective: The Most Legendary Courses at Princeton University

Set of four images depicting Princeton students. Top left: two Princeton students decked out in Princeton gear, standing back to back and smiling at the camera. Top right: Four Princeton students wearing pink jackets and dotted scarves smile at camera. Bottom Left: Two students sit on the green, one holding flowers the other holding a small bunny figurine. Bottom right: Three Princeton students smile at camera in front of a Princeton flag

Thank you to the best friends in the world for sending in their favorite courses!

“Does anyone know a good English class?” “I need to fulfill my history requirement.” “I am looking for a chill, creative P/D/F course.” Everyone is searching for the best schedule possible and I know that many of you are open for suggestions. In my last post, I wrote about my favorite courses at Princeton as a SPIA major interested in law and service (see post here). But, I understand that every Princeton student is unique, so I have spoken with classmates and friends within other majors to better understand the full Princeton experience. Thus, without further ado, here are the most unforgettable courses that they have taken at Princeton.

Austen Mazenko ‘24: Mathematics Major

My favorite class was COS 451: Computational Geometry. For one, I absolutely loved Professor Chazelle; he has a very passionate and theatrical way of explaining things, providing great intuition for complicated algorithms and always doing a thorough job of answering questions. The problem sets in the class aren’t too challenging, but take some time to think about before the right idea hits, but they’re all beautiful. Additionally, there’s a lot of freedom in the final project to explore something that really interests you.

Ivy Lin ‘23: Economics Major

SOC 204: Social Networks is the best course because of the interesting perspective it teaches about the connections we form with others in an increasingly technological world; it’s changing how we think about the society we are a part of.

Jayla Cornelius ‘23: Civil and Environmental Engineering Major

AAS201: African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race. Eddie Glaude’s style of lecturing really immersed us into the readings and made us think about these social constructs in terms of our society today. His speeches were captivating and made you sit on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what great things were about to come out of his dialogue. The precepts were so engaging and the facilitator did a great job at making sure people got the chance to speak and voice their opinion while still making sure that everyone remained respectful. The course really focused on a students’ understanding of different race topics here in the US rather than putting a large emphasis on what letter grade students got.

JD Copeland ‘24: Sociology Major

LIN306: The Structure and Meaning of Words is a great class to understand how we construct words. Professor Kalin has super fun puzzles and a great instructor. It is a small seminar class where you are able to interact with the professor and get in-depth explanations. She is very nice and is open to all lines of inquiry. We were able to get a pizza study break as well!

Jodie De Jesus ‘25: Undecided Major

My favorite course at Princeton thus far has to be ANT311: Food, Culture, and Society! We not only got to learn about the role of food in cultures both in the U.S. and beyond, but also did fun in-class activities like watch the Netflix docu-series High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, have a taste-testing class outside, and even have caterers come in and shuck oysters for us in lecture! Professor Garth was also so knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. Overall, it gave me a great glimpse into the field of anthropology and inspired me to possibly consider anthropology as a concentration in the future.

Kathryn Postiglione ‘25: Computer Science Major

So far, my favorite class at Princeton has been Dr. Swati Bhatt’s freshman seminar, FRS122: Connection and Communication in the Digital Bazaar. It was fascinating to learn about different technology platforms and how they connect people throughout the world. Since each student in the class had a different relationship with technology, it was always so interesting to hear everyone’s unique perspectives. One of my favorite assignments was when we reached out to Princeton alumni to learn about what Princeton was like before cell phones and computers, so we could see how campus has changed due to technology. This assignment provided me with an amazing opportunity to speak with Princeton alumni and learn about their experiences at Princeton. 

Kelsey Champeau ‘25: Psychology Major

My favorite class that I’ve ever taken at Princeton was VIS212: Analog Photography! I feel honored and privileged to have gotten to take this class. Professor Deana is the absolute sweetest, most respectful, calm, and knowledgeable teacher. I came into this class knowing nothing about photography, cameras, or darkrooms, but I learned so much. This is how a college class should be; I was shown a whole new world and area of art and study. You will have to put in hours and hours in the darkroom outside of class, but I wish I still had access to the darkroom now. It does not feel like work, but it is, and that’s what makes it even better. You will struggle and be frustrated, but as long as you try your best you will be fine. I CRIED WHEN THIS CLASS ENDED. If I could take it a million more times I would. Best class here. 

Kevin Castro ‘23: Computer Science Major

COS426: Computer Graphics. The course shows me how graphics in movies are made and brought to reality. It is one of the most interesting courses I’ve taken at Princeton as a Computer Science major.

Naaji Hylton ‘22: Neuroscience Major

COS 226: Algorithms and Data Structures is the best class ever. It’s really hard but it single-handedly prepares you in just ONE class to be proficient in coding for any company. It’s the class that has changed my life and life trajectory and is the reason I’m able to do what I do today as an Engineer at Amazon.

I hope that these suggestions make your course selection process easier or help guide you towards classes that you feel excited about. I think that each of my friends shows that the courses offered here are truly diverse, but there is something for everyone, whether it is within or outside of your major. From food to coding to linguistics, Princeton has it all. I wish you a great Spring semester and happy enrollment!

— Ryan Champeau, Social Sciences Correspondent