Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI)

Academic Unit

Program Information

Founded in 1994, the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) is the interdisciplinary center of environmental research, education, and outreach at Princeton University. PEI's mission is to advance knowledge and to develop the next generation of leadership by providing outstanding academic programs and opportunities for advanced scholarship and cutting edge research with an environmental focus.

PEI draws strength from more than 118 members of the Princeton faculty, representing 33 academic disciplines, whose research and teaching focuses on the scientific, technical, policy, and human dimensions of environmental issues. The center functions as a central resource for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and others with interest in environmental topics.

PEI's principal research centers and programs address complex issues surrounding global change; energy and climate; biogeochemical cycles; molecular geochemistry; biodiversity; conservation; environmental science and policy; environmental humanities; infectious disease and global health; and sustainable development in impoverished and resource-challenged regions of the world.

In 2007, PEI launched the Grand Challenges Program to address the world's most vexing environmental problems through an integrated research and teaching program. The program involves cutting-edge research carried out locally and around the world and engages a broad cross-section of the university research community. The program's academic mission is advanced through innovations in teaching and learning including graduate and undergraduate courses, internships, and opportunities for research in and around faculty research cooperatives.

PEI offers an array of courses that explore environmental issues through the lenses of the natural sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences. Undergraduate students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in the environmental field may pursue a Certificate in Environmental Studies through PEI's Program in Environmental Studies. As early as the freshman year, students are eligible to apply for internships with Princeton faculty and for other mentored research opportunities. These paid fellowships provide exposure to cutting edge research on a wide variety of environmental topics. Additionally, PEI provides support for field research connected to independent work in the junior and senior years. The ENV program and related opportunities are open to all students regardless of academic major.

PEI offers several novel programs and opportunities for graduate students including the PEI-STEP Fellowship Program and the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars Program (PECS).

Additional information about PEI is available on the Institute's website.