The graduate school offered admission to 10.2 percent of a record 12,077 applicants, but acceptances dipped to just below 50 percent. The yield of accepted offers has been 51 to 52 percent for several years, reaching 53 percent in 2010.

David Redman, the graduate school’s associate dean for academic affairs, said the number of departments that used their wait list — and the number of wait-list offers — was higher than usual this year. Unable to reach their target numbers, he said, were German, quantitative and computational biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, philosophy, sociology, applied and computational math, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and electrical engineering.

“We will be very alert next admission season,” Redman said. “We will debrief with the departments that had a low yield and/or had to go to the wait list.”

Faculty changes can have an impact, he said, noting that if a senior professor leaves Princeton, “it could lower the profile of the department.” He added that departments are “still getting large application numbers from very, very good students.”

Redman said the master’s program in finance routinely achieves a high yield, and the Ph.D. programs in music ­composition, religion, astrophysics, Spanish and Portuguese, history, psychology, English, and history of science meet or exceed their targets.

Applications from underrepresented groups (African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans) rose to 653 from 601 last year, with 81 students admitted and 47 accepting their offer. Applications from women in science and ­engineering rose slightly to 1,519, with 210 offers and 87 acceptances. 

International students make up 41 percent of those who plan to enroll, with the largest numbers from China and India. International applicants were up 8.4 percent, outnumbering U.S. applicants for the second year in a row.

The grad school expects 610 new master’s and Ph.D. students this fall. Total enrollment is expected to be a record 2,320, with another 323 students in Dissertation Completion Enrollment status.