Junior Action Plan

Welcome to your junior year! This year you will begin the process of becoming an independent scholar in your department and making decisions about your life after Princeton. Are you preparing for the job market? Thinking about graduate school, law school, or med school?  Considering your options for post-baccalaureate fellowship applications? Preparing for the job interview process? As you embark on the next chapter in your Princeton journey, here are a few general thoughts:

Clarify your goals. Think about what you’ve accomplished so far, what the connective threads are in your experiences, and what your values are, and use those as a guide to craft a path for the next few years. 

Strengthen your connections, both in academic and co-curricular circles. The deeper your connections with faculty and with prospective employers and alumni, the more people you’ll have to support you in your independent work and future planning.

Think big, start small. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your first large independent project. Don’t be afraid to think big, but then break your goals down into actionable, achievable mini-goals.

We’ve put together this timeline and resource guide to help you think through some of your options, but remember that you are not required to decide everything all at once, or all alone. As you chart a path that is right for you, we encourage you to talk with faculty members in your department and with your residential college staff, who continue to be a resource for you in junior and senior year.


Early September

Identify and cultivate a faculty mentor. Touch base with people who might write your recommendations over the next year. Have you grown close to someone in your department? Who has taught your favorite class? Visit that faculty member during office hours or invite them to have coffee or a conversation over lunch. Ask questions about their research, talk with them about your summer experience, and discuss plans for the year (or topics for a JP). 

Use your departmental Independent Work Guide to familiarize yourself with departmental goals and expectations regarding independent work.

Consult PURC, the Princeton Undergraduate Research Calendar for upcoming seminars and workshops in support of independent work, funding opportunities, important deadlines, and more. Subscribe to the calendar for weekly reminders about upcoming events.

If you’re thinking about medical school, talk with HPA about your plans.



Discuss spring study abroad options with advisers in the Office of International Programs.

Read about how to craft a good research question or develop an argument in the Writing Program's Writing a JP: the Handbook.

Search the Thesis Archive on DataSpace to explore topics, gather ideas for possible faculty advisers, find sources, gain familiarity with disciplinary writing styles, develop research methodologies for your own independent work, and understand what makes a good independent project.


Early October

Meet with a Center for Career Development counselor to explore your options, create a plan, and continue to develop your resume. If you haven’t done so already, consider attending a workshop to clarify your goals. Use the Alumni Careers Network (ACN) to connect with the more than 5,200 alumni who have offered to provide advice about majors and careers.

Review the guidelines on creating original work and citing sources.

Attend a HireTigers Meetup for Internships. Meet with employers and alumni for recruiting and networking.


The RCA application process begins.

Visit the Fellowship Advising Office in OIP and other offices around campus to discuss your eligibility for junior-specific fellowships like the Truman (public service), DAAD (study or internships abroad), Davis Projects for Peace, SINSI, and more.


November 1

Deadline to apply to study abroad for spring term programs.


Early November

Deadline to apply for summer PICS (Princeton Internships in Civic Service) programs.



If you’re interested in applying to law school, begin to talk with a pre-law counselor in the Center for Career Development.


Late November

Begin to discuss summer study abroad options with OIP advisers.



Deadline to apply for Princeton International Internship Programs.


January Reading Period

Special Needs Housing Application Opens.

Apply to become a Dormitory Assistant.

Apply to present your JP at Princeton Research Day.


Attend the HireTigers Meetup for Internships. Meet with employers and alumni for recruiting and networking.


Late February

Apply for A.B. senior thesis funding through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) to fund your thesis research over the summer.

Deadlines for most Princeton summer study abroad programs. 


Early March

Apply to be a Community Action leader.


Late March/Early April

Develop and Propose a Breakout Trip.

Visit the Fellowship Advising Office in OIP and other offices around campus to discuss your eligibility for post-baccalaureate fellowships like the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Fulbright, and more.


Early April 

Begin talking with a faculty member about advising your senior thesis (optional for B.S.E. students).



Study Abroad

International Internship Program

PICS (Internships in Civic Service)


Center for Career Development

Alumni Careers Network

Independent Work Guides

Undergraduate Research Calendar

Campus Resources for Independent Work