RGS Position Description

Position Description

Princeton University graduate students are encouraged to apply for the position of resident graduate student (RGS) in the residential colleges. For the academic year 2021-2022, each of Princeton’s six residential colleges (Butler, First, Forbes, Mathey, Rockefeller, and Whitman) will have multiple positions available. The program offers current Princeton graduate students the opportunity to experience a fully integrated campus community that unites undergraduates of all four years, graduate students and faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, and college administrative staff. The RGSs will be appointed by the head of college and will be considered full members of the college fellowship. RGSs will live in one of the furnished graduate student suites in the college, take meals in the dining hall, and participate in the vibrant intellectual and social life of the college, to include formal and informal events that bring together faculty fellows, visiting scholars, and other members of the Princeton community.

Each successful candidate for the position of resident graduate student will draw upon their interests (academic and/or extracurricular) to make a meaningful contribution to college life. Opportunities will depend on the differing needs of individual colleges, but may include: coordinating fellowship advising; assisting the head of college with the organization of the fellows’ program; running a film series; coordinating music programming; assisting the director of student life with the residential college advisers or with social programming; facilitating intramural sports competitions; coordinating in-college events with the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning; and assisting the director of studies with academic and intellectual programming. The specific role of each RGS will be determined, finally, in consultation with the head of college and staff of the residential college in which the RGS is appointed.

Residence in a college gives graduate students varied opportunities for informal interaction with undergraduates, both over meals and in college activities. As mature members of the college community, RGSs are expected to exercise good judgment in helping to create and sustain a safe and civilized college environment.

The RGS position has been structured in such a way that it should not hinder a student’s timely completion of the degree program. RGSs will be expected to spend 10 hours a week on college activities, including meals taken in the college with undergraduates. RGSs will remain eligible to teach if they so choose, and the position will have no effect on a student’s external or University-based funding. This is a one-year appointment, with the possibility of renewal.


All Princeton graduate students who expect to be enrolled in good standing are eligible, including both Ph.D. (regularly enrolled and in DCE status) and Master’s candidates A resident graduate student may share accommodations designated as a single with a spouse or domestic partner, but please note that the number of suitable suites is extremely limited. Unfortunately, there are no resident graduate accommodations suitable for families. Neither smoking nor pets are permitted in residential college housing.

Financial Assistance to Resident Graduate Students

In addition to providing educational benefits to graduate students through their immersion in the intellectual and social life of a residential college community, this program also provides financial assistance to them in subsidizing the cost of room and board as they complete their graduate programs at Princeton. They are graduate students in residence, not University employees; their involvement in the life of the college supplements the work of the regular University staff members who serve in the residential colleges. RGSs will be housed in furnished subsidized accommodations, they will receive a fully subsidized 125-meal block plan, and they will be assigned to park in a student lot.

  • Room: RGSs will live in a graduate student suite in a residential college. Single and double suites are available in each college; all suites are furnished. The single suites normally consist of a bedroom, a living room, and a small kitchen; the double suites normally include two bedrooms, a living room, and a small kitchen. Depending on availability, each RGS will have their own bedroom, but may share a suite with another RGS. (Graduate students who are married or have domestic partnerships would be assigned to single suites, if available.) The rent for the graduate student suites will be subsidized significantly (in AY 2020-2021, double suites are $432/month per student, and single suites are $520/month, on a 12-month basis). Normally, a continuing RGS will be able to stay in their own suite over the summer months at the same cost. RGSs may not sublet their suites at any time.
  • Board: RGSs will have a fully-subsidized 125-meal block plan per semester for meals taken in the college or its paired college. (Meals will not be subsidized for spouses or domestic partners who are not RGSs.)
  • Privileges: RGSs will have full fellowship privileges in the college, including eligibility to participate in fellows’ receptions and lunches, head of college dinners, and college-sponsored trips to sporting and cultural events throughout the year.


The residential colleges will hold information sessions for potential candidates in December and early January. A web-based application will be due at noon on January 14, 2021. As part of the application, candidates will be asked if they have any preferences with regard to college of residence and/or suitemate. These preferences will be taken into consideration to the extent possible when candidates are assigned to the individual colleges for interviews. Interviews will be conducted in February, and decisions will be communicated to the candidates before the deadline to register for the graduate housing process.

Please note, the offer to serve in the role of Resident Graduate Student at Princeton University is contingent upon the successful completion of the University’s criminal history and national sex offender background check. This confidential background check is required for you, and, if applicable, your spouse/domestic partner who will live in the residential college. Background check results may impact a candidate’s ability to serve as an RGS, but will not affect a candidate’s status as a student.