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Grand Challenges Education

Bringing Innovation and New Opportunities to the Academic Curriculum

The Grand Challenges Program increases opportunities for students to learn about Grand Challenges themes and prepares them to address complex environmental problems in their academic studies and future careers.

This academic mission is advanced through a dynamic web of introductory and advanced-level courses, faculty-mentored internships, and opportunities for independent study on campus and abroad. The Program is open to all students regardless of academic major or area of concentration.

Grand Challenges Courses

Students with interest in the Grand Challenges subject areas of climate and energy, development, and health may choose from more than 250 related courses in 29 academic disciplines. These include 35 new courses – sponsored by Grand Challenges -- that leverage insights from cutting edge research evolving from Grand Challenge research projects. Several Grand Challenges courses involve field research in locations including Bermuda, Kenya, Norway, Panama, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

Related Courses of Study

Undergraduate students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in specialized areas in addition to their academic major may elect to enroll in one or more certificate programs with connections to the Grand Challenges Program including the Program in Environmental Studies (ENV), the Program in Sustainable Energy (MAE), the Program in African Studies, and the Program in Global Health and Health Policy.

Grand Challenges Internships

Craig Arnold

Summer Internships are a signature of the Grand Challenges Program, allowing undergraduate students to participate in mentored immersion experiences that enhance their understanding of focal themes. The internship program provides support for both established and student initiated experiences. Grand Challenges interns work on faculty-led and self-initiated projects in national laboratories, government, and non-government organizations, industry and not-for-profit enterprises. Grand Challenges internships enable students with a broad range of disciplinary interests to gain hands-on experience in real-world settings, enriching their understanding of complex global challenges facing humanity. Participating students receive a stipend to defray the cost of living and international travel. Students in their freshman, sophomore and junior years are eligible to apply. more >>

Independent Field Research

The Grand Challenges Program provides funding to support independent field research pursued as preparation for students’ senior theses in the areas of climate and energy, sustainable development in Africa, and global health and infectious disease. Applications for senior thesis research support are coordinated through the funding portal located on the Dean of the College’s website with Grand Challenges awards made during both spring and fall award cycles. more >>

Graduate Study and Research

Grand Challenges supports graduate research and interdisciplinary graduate fellowship in climate and energy, development, and health. Funded graduate students participate in seed research projects, and may also serve as mentors to undergraduate interns in the Program. Current and prospective graduate students interested in exploring potential areas for study are encouraged to visit the directory to identify participating faculty and/or refer to descriptions of Grand Challenges research projects to understand possible research affiliations. Applications for admission to Princeton’s graduate programs are made through the Graduate School with admissions decisions coordinated through individual academic departments.