Yale University


If you’ve decided to attend Yale, “Where are you going to school?” can be a complicated question. If you’re like most Yale students, you’re so excited about coming to the school that you’ll want to jump out and say “Yale!” loud and clear, eyes and cheeks aglow. But answering the question so directly provokes many different reactions, based on Yale’s reputation as one of the finest universities in the world. So students and even alumni practice several indirect responses, including “New Haven” (there are a handful of other colleges and universities here; just read the exit sign for “Yale Univ.” and “Albertus Magnus”); “Connecticut” (a state with MANY colleges), and the even more vague “Back East.”

Like many of the questions that hold great import before you begin college, this one soon fades into oblivion. A freshman will quickly observe and follow the pattern set by the undergraduate body: Everyone is too busy taking maximum advantage of the university’s vast resources to boast or even think about Yale’s reputation. The 1998 yearbook is titled Unlimited Capacity. Indeed, students are in overdrive most of the time. Yale’s unwavering commitment to undergraduate education, the residential college system, and the breadth of academic and extracurricular opportunities are central tenets of the Yale experience. These are the reasons why Yalies have chosen Yale, not for its reputation, and not for its location in the small New England city (though it seems more of a town) of New Haven, Connecticut.

Yalies joke about the question “Where do you go to school?” because Yale is not simply where people go to school. It is a community, and the happiest members of that community are those who actively participate in it. Many students remember being hit with the Yale fever almost immediately upon arriving on campus—that’s how tangible the sense of community is.

On my first walk around the campus, I just knew that this was where I wanted to go to college. Students were rushing to get to class, while I was struggling to read my campus map that was torn and wrinkled by a strong wind (which I’ve now come to recognize as a robust sea breeze from the nearby Long Island Sound). Then a student stopped and asked me if I needed directions. I wound up going to his English class, where he introduced me to his professor. Then he took me to Durfee’s Sweet Shop, and directed me to other buildings he thought I’d want to see. All his enthusiasm and helpfulness got me hooked. Now I look out for maps blowing in the wind, and am always glad for the chance to talk to prospective students.

Go to the “front door” of the Yale World Wide Web site (http://www.yale.edu/) and you may see a Yale campus scene or famous building. As Yale embarks on its fourth century, the same mingling of past and future is palpable on the campus. For example, students’ increasing use of e-mail occurs in the computer center located in the basement of Connecticut Hall, the university’s oldest building, and wireless Internet is available in most dining halls and libraries. While the university remains committed to perpetuating its traditional strengths, it also allows its energetic and intellectually enthusiastic student body to lead it toward a new future.


Information Summary

Ranks 5th in Connecticut and 132nd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 94.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $73,900
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 35 / 1570
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 11 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 99% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 13,433


In 1701 ten Connecticut clergymen met in the town of Branford, each with a gift of books to contribute for the founding of the college in Saybrook on the Connecticut River that would become Yale. From those forty folios, the university’s holdings have grown to include over twelve million volumes; the extensive library system is the seventh largest research library in the world. A library is the heart of any learning institution, and the prominence of Yale’s collections (not to mention the imposing sight of Sterling Memorial Library’s Gothic tower looming over the central campus) reminds students that while they may spend countless hours dashing around to eagerly explore extracurricular interests, their intellectual development is paramount.

To foster that development, Yale has always remained committed to the idea of a liberal arts education. According to one faculty report, “Our object is not to teach that which is peculiar to any one of the professions, but to lay the foundation which is common to them all…” Those words were written in 1828, and they still characterize the Yale philosophy today. Simply put, Yale wants to teach you how to think. The university doesn’t have career-oriented fields of study—if you want to major in communications or marketing, for example, look elsewhere— but, instead, aims to provide students with the tools to succeed in any field.

Majors and Workload

What you can major in is any of almost seventy disciplines, from astronomy to film studies to Russian. Yale also allows you to double-major and, if you can convince a faculty committee that it’s necessary and that you’re up to the challenge, to design your own major. In a recent year, there are now over 70 disciplines that students can major in. The most popular majors, in order, are history (358 juniors and seniors), political science (335), economics (320), and biology (185).

Students must take two courses in each of these three academic areas: Humanities and Arts, Social Science, and Science. They must also take at least one foreign language course (or more—depending on the level they start at), and two courses in quantitative reasoning and two that are writing-intensive. To ensure that study is neither too narrowly focused nor too diffuse, the College stands behind the principle of distribution of studies as strongly as it supports the principle of concentration. It requires that study be characterized, particularly in the earlier years, by a reasonable diversity of subject matter and approach, and in the later years by concentration in one of the major programs or departments. A student working toward a bachelor’s degree takes four or five courses each term, and normally receives the B.A. or B.S. degree after completing thirty-six term courses or their equivalent in eight terms of enrollment.

It’s a lot to grasp at first, and it’s no surprise that the structure of a Yale education means things can get pretty hectic and intense at times. However, the system makes perfect sense from a liberal arts perspective, giving students the freedom and responsibility to shape their academic careers, while guaranteeing a certain amount of breadth of study in addition to the depth one experiences in a major. As an added incentive to explore, some courses can be taken Credit/D/Fail, which means that a grade of C or above will show up as a “CR” on one’s transcript. Many Yalies grumble about the various distributional requirements, but if you press them, most will admit they’re glad they took that English or geology course that initially seemed so unconnected to their interests, because it exposed them to different people and different ways of thinking.

“Shopping” for Classes

These notions of academic exploration, freedom, and responsibility are embodied in Yale’s unique shopping period, the first two weeks of each semester, in which students shop for classes. Most colleges require students to preregister for classes, but Yale allows its students to attend any course offered at the start of the semester, filling out their schedules only after hearing the professors and perusing the syllabi. Shopping period is a great opportunity to shape an interesting schedule while trying to balance the various times, demands (tests, papers, problem sets), and sizes (seminars, small and large lectures) of the classes. For some, shopping period can literally be a life-changing experience—one student dropped in on an introductory architecture lecture sophomore year, found himself enthralled by the professor, and spent the next two years immersed in blueprints and models. Many professors dislike shopping period, since they start off the semester with no idea of how many students will eventually take their classes, but students will tell you it’s one of the best things about the Yale experience.

Reading Week

The end-of-term equivalent to shopping period is reading week, a week between the end of classes and the start of finals that makes Yale students the envy of their peers at most other institutions. Ideally a time to pause, reflect, and study in preparation for finals, it’s more often a time of late-night paper writing and catching up on reading not completed on time. Studying, of course, includes study breaks, and reading week is also a time of catching up with friends before winter break and summer vacation.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Yale University School of Management :: Yale University University Entrance :: Yale University Pierson Gate :: Yale University
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Ask students what they know about admissions and you’re likely to hear that the hardest thing about Yale is getting in. Look past that casual statement, however, to recognize a deeper truth: There’s no set formula for admission to a place that seeks to maintain a diverse student body. As the Admissions Committee says on its Web page (http://www.yale.edu/admit/), the two basic questions it brings to the process are “Who is likely to make the most of Yale’s resources?” and “Who will contribute significantly to the Yale community?” It’s a complex approach, one designed to select a class of motivated, energetic achievers with broad interests and skills, all of whom are enticed by the opportunities Yale offers both in and out of the classroom. Beyond that stated mission, applicants should be aware of several general facts:

  • First, admission is extremely competitive, as the committee aims for a class of approximately 1,250 from over 21,000 applicants.
  • Second, while there are no official score cut-offs and applicants’ test results vary widely, medians on the Verbal and Mathematics parts of the SAT generally fall in between 700 and 790, and ACT composites in the low 30s.
  • Third, the great majority of Yalies (ninety-five percent) placed in the top tenth of their high school class; a distinguished record in a demanding college preparatory program may compensate for modest standardized test scores, but the reverse is usually not true.
  • Fourth, the committee is searching for students with some less tangible qualities suggested by the various documents in their applications. Some successful candidates are well rounded, while others have specialized talents, some have displayed leadership capabilities in extracurricular activities while others have shown dedication to an after-school job, but all, hopefully, show a capacity for involvement, commitment, and personal growth.
  • Finally, Yale has a need-blind admissions policy for both U.S. and international students, meaning that an applicant’s financial circumstances will not be given any weight during the admission process. You won’t be rejected because you apply for financial aid, as Yale is strongly committed to the idea of equality of opportunity, seeking to shape a class of students from all parts of the country and all segments of society. In addition, Yale recently announced a $7.5 million increase in undergraduate financial aid, which will reduce the amount that Yale expects a student to contribute to his or her education by $13,780 over four years.

The admissions process produces a class that reflects Yale’s interest in diversity, not only in academic and extracurricular interests but also in ethnicity and geographical distribution. Today, minority students comprise nearly twenty-nine percent of the student body, and Yalies hail from all fifty states and over seventy countries. Be prepared to meet people of all cultural, social, and financial backgrounds, and also be prepared to meet people who have worn Yale blue since birth—“legacies” make up around ten percent of each class.

Early Action

Applicants who are certain that Yale is their first choice may want to take advantage of the single choice Early Action program. As with Early Action programs elsewhere, an Early Action application to Yale is not a binding commitment from the student. Interested students should submit a complete application by November 1. In mid-December the committee will respond with an acceptance or denial of admission, or a deferral, which postpones the final decision until April, when all applicants are notified. Being admitted to Yale signals the Admission Committee’s faith in the applicant’s ability to be a successful Yale student. Does that mean that admission is, in fact, the hardest part of Yale? Well, all students have to face that question on their own. Yalies tend to make life hard on themselves by pursuing their academics and activities so intensely—clearly they have proven their stamina by the time they graduate.

Financial Aid

In its admissions process Yale may be need-blind, but no one should be blind to the financial realities connected with attendance. The actual cost of attending college varies from student to student. There are the following usual expenses: tuition and fees, room and board, books, and personal expenses, and a yearly hospitalization coverage fee and other optional and incidental expenses.

The basis of all financial aid awards at Yale is the student’s “demonstrated financial need,” the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. For a recent academic year, more than sixty percent of all undergraduates qualified to receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, low-interest educational loans, and work-study from all sources. Yale does not offer academic or athletic scholarships or any other type of special scholarship that is not based on demonstrated need. More than $59.9 million in university-controlled need-based aid was offered to forty-five percent of the undergraduate student body.

The expected contribution is determined by the Financial Aid Office, which analyzes the FAFSA, CSS Financial Aid Profile, and other forms submitted by the family, and measures the family’s ability to contribute toward Yale’s costs.


After consideration of these factors, the university offers financial aid in the form of a package with two basic components: “self-help” (a combination of term-time employment and educational loans) and “gift aid,” which covers any need beyond that covered by self-help. While other types of loans are available, the primary source of long-term, low-interest loans is the federal Stafford Loan Program, for which citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible. Students who apply for financial aid will automatically be considered for all types of “gift aid,” which consists of scholarships from the university, as well as Yale alumni clubs, and from endowed and federal funds, including federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, administered by the university. Additionally, Yale participates in a number of financing options that can assist families in paying for college, whether or not the family is determined to have demonstrated financial need.


On-campus jobs (available also to students not on financial aid, though aid recipients have priority) offer a wide variety of opportunities. Students fill positions as dining hall workers, library clerks, laboratory assistants, research assistants, and aides to residential college masters. Jobs also abound in various campus offices. Recently, wage rates for university jobs ranged from $10.90 for entry-level positions to over fifteen dollars per hour for dining hall workers. A large number of Yale students balance school and employment.

It helped me pay for college, but my job (in a campus office that doesn’t interact much with students) also became something I really enjoyed. The truth is, when you spend your whole day surrounded by eighteen- to twenty-two-yearolds, sometimes it’s nice to be around people who aren’t students or professors, people who drive into New Haven for the day. It was basic office work, but it was good to have an enforced break from academics and the intensity of the Yale experience.

For more in-depth information on financing a Yale education, including an example of a financial aid award, check out http://www.yale.edu/admit/financing.html.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5566th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Connecticut.


Freshman Orientation

The first few days of freshman year lay the groundwork for a rich and intricate life outside of the classroom.They may begin with a seven-day hiking trip in the Catskills or Berkshires or a two-day retreat at a nearby summer camp. About a third of the class takes part in these programs, known as FOOT (Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trip) and Freshperson Conference. In addition to FOOT and Freshperson Conference, other pre-freshman programs include Cultural Connections (focus on diversity issues), Harvest (5-day work-stay at organic farms in Connecticut), and Orientation for International Studies. Even though their duration is brief, and students scatter in all directions once classes begin, many alumni of these orientation programs have reunions throughout college. The FOOT program has recently started an electronic listserve for alumni to share their most recent hiking adventures.

The day these programs end, Camp Yale—the official freshman orientation—begins. Wearing navy T-shirts that announce, “Ask me for help,” freshman counselors—seniors who have gone through a rigorous training program to serve as peer advisors to the freshman class, and who live with them—stand outside of the entryways on Old Campus to meet their new charges. At convocation, the president addresses the freshman class. This is followed by a reception at his house. Finally, the upperclassmen get their chance to meet and greet, during a bazaar of undergraduate activities. Before classes have even begun, organization leaders line the sidewalks of Old Campus to recruit freshmen. The freshman counselors also hold meetings with their counselees where they go over the course selection process and review many of the resources available to students, from a twenty-four-hour shuttle bus to free condoms to professional counseling.

This flurry of activity during the first few days exemplifies Yale’s commitment to its undergraduates. As soon as students arrive, they are part of the community, and are asked to become active in it. There are many different levels of support and orientation; students manage their way through the array of decisions and opportunities differently. Some will visit their freshman counselor every day, while others will turn to upperclassmen or to their faculty advisor. Freedom and choice prevail; Yale expects and relies on students to act responsibly.

Residential Colleges

The primary way to identify new students at Yale is by the residential college. A couple of months before school starts, every incoming student is randomly assigned to one of twelve residential colleges, an affiliation that lasts throughout one’s four years at Yale, and beyond. The college system breaks down each class of approximately 1,240 students into much smaller and more intimate units of approximately 100 students who live and eat together. Ideally, during the time students live there, this place feels like home, and has many of the amenities one could wish for: television rooms, libraries, music practice rooms, computer rooms, even performance spaces and printing presses.

Each college has a master, a faculty member who lives with his or her family in the master’s house. In addition to their professorial duties of teaching and research, the master oversees the social life of the college—intramural teams, dances, tailgates, and arts festivals, for instance. The master eats regularly in the dining hall and invites students frequently into his or her home, sometimes for the relaxed social interchange of a study break or the chance to meet an author, politician, or other dignitary during a Master’s Tea (recent guests have included Denzel Washington, Brian Williams, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair). The residential college deans also live in the college and oversee the freshman counselors and the academic lives of students. A dean must approve a student’s schedule, and is the only person authorized to grant a student a “dean’s excuse” for not meeting academic deadlines.

While most freshmen live on Old Campus together, and are encouraged to bond as a class, they also participate fully in residential college life. At the beginning of their sophomore year, students move into their colleges. There they room with classmates, but live in a section or on a hallway with juniors and seniors. In randomly assigning students to residential colleges, Yale’s aim is to create twelve microcosms of the larger undergraduate community. Students with different interests and backgrounds—and, outside of the residential college, entirely different lives—live and learn side by side. Students have the option of transferring to another residential college.

About fifteen percent of students decide to live off campus, though Yale recently instituted a new policy that requires undergraduates to live on campus for two years. The residential college system could be described as part of Yale’s infrastructure. During commencement, all students graduate in a ceremony on Old Campus, but return to their residential colleges to receive their diplomas. Most “class notes” in the monthly Yale Alumni Magazine, which all graduates of the college automatically receive, identify people by their college. It is an extremely efficient way to give students the best of both worlds at Yale—the resources of a large research university, with the attention, support, and sense of community of a small liberal arts college.

Seven Things You Can Do at Yale

  • Climb the steps to the top of Harkness Tower
  • Take a walk through Grove Street Cemetery
  • Take a trip to the Whitlocks Book Barn
  • Go apple-picking at Bishop’s Orchard
  • Picnic on the top of East Rock
  • Spend an afternoon reading on the Divinity School lawn
  • Compete in intramural coed inner tube water polo

Clubs and Organizations

Of course, many other communities and affiliations abound at Yale—the ones students create and choose for themselves. There are twelve possible responses to the question, “What college are you in?” There are hundreds of possible responses to the next-important question, “What do you do?” On any given weeknight during dinner, a group of students is planning their next singing jam, magazine deadline, political debate, student rally, chamber orchestra recital, juggling demonstration, Habitat for Humanity project, or play auditions. There’s a club for chess players, engineers, anglophiles, and polar bears (those who dare to swim in the Long Island Sound during the winter). There’s scripted comedy, improv comedy, and published comedy, not to mention many student-produced comic strips. There’s opera, klezmer, and black spiritual music, available live and on CD. It’s exhausting to even think of how many options are available—and even more exhausting to recognize that students spend large portions of their time sustaining these organizations. Over 300 groups register with the Yale College Dean’s Office, including fifteen a cappella groups (from the tuxedoed Whiffenpoofs to the Dylan-inspired Tangled Up In Blue), forty undergraduate publications (including the Yale Daily News, the oldest college daily), and two dozen cultural groups.

You will never lack for something to do on the Yale campus, and if you ever did find yourself in that position, you would do as many have done before you: start your own group for your own hobby. If you’re not copyediting final pages into the wee hours of the morning, you’re trying to figure out how to see your friends in their three separate productions. Most likely, you’ll see the productions back to back and then do your copyediting. One cannot measure a student’s devotion, nor can one imagine a limit to a student’s energy. The majority of students aren’t merely involved in a group, they’re leading one. Only during reading period, the week before final exams start, does the campus start to settle down. The kiosks all over campus, usually plastered with posters advertising events, begin to look bare as the libraries swell with students for the first time all semester.

Sometimes I wish I could take a semester off from classes, given my other commitments. Blackberries, iPhones, and the like are for professionals, but many people at Yale have them just to keep track of the meetings and dinners they take part in. I try to take my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I have three full free days to work my campus job, do my activities, and study. I feel wired all of the time, but everyone does. There’s this frenetic energy or buzz on campus that’s very difficult to escape. If I’m not doing something, I feel like a slacker. It’s difficult to find time just to hang out, though luckily, I see my friends regularly, since most of them are involved in the same groups. During vacations, I sleep. A lot.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The residential colleges also create an infrastructure for students to participate in athletics. Intramurals are recreational and everyone in the college, regardless of previous experience, is encouraged to participate. Competitions between the colleges usually take place in the afternoon or evening, and results are tallied on a weekly basis as residential colleges strive for the Tyng Cup, awarded at the end of the year to the college with the most points. Less publicly fought for but nonetheless a source of college pride is the Gimbel Cup, awarded annually to the residential college with the highest grade point average. Lastly, there’s the Tang Cup, awarded to college teams in a one-day competition organized in association with the fraternities. Because of the residential college system, fraternities and sororities are not a major social force at Yale, but they do exist, and provide community service and social outlets for the students who participate.

Local Community

New Haven, a moderate-sized port city, is about ninety minutes away from New York. That’s far enough away to make New Haven part of New England, and not a New York offshoot. To call it a port city is perhaps misleading, since its days as a prosperous center of shipping and industry are long past. New Haven, designated as an All American City in 2008 and recognized as the cultural capital of Connecticut, would be much worse off without Yale, and while town-gown relations have sometimes been strained in Yale’s history, today their interaction is characterized by collaboration and cooperation. Yale is the city’s largest contributor of real estate taxes, donates over $2 million a year to the city’s fire services, is the city’s biggest employer, and the university has joined forces with the city to build a new economic base—the latest goal is to utilize Yale’s academic resources to develop a profit-minded Biotechnology center within the city. Completely revitalized Broadway and Chapel Street shopping districts—a component of Yale’s community investment program—feature many locally-owned shops and several national anchor stores such as J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, and Au Bon Pain.

The campus is a few miles from Long Island Sound, and refreshing sea breezes can still be felt, even if you have to climb one of the towers on campus to see the water. Beach towns along the Connecticut coast, though difficult to visit if you don’t have a car, offer antique shops, fresh seafood, and farms for hayrides and apple picking. East Rock Park is a ten-minute bike ride away. In short, though the campus is adjacent to neighborhoods of different income levels, many of the pastoral diversions completely absent from a big city campus are quite accessible to Yale students. Far from hiding in their dorm rooms in the walled-in courtyards of green lawns and shady trees, students are aware and caring of their surroundings. Over sixty-five percent of the students pursue community service projects in New Haven. The locked gates and visibility of both Yale and New Haven police patrols don’t seem to bother students, but do serve to keep students safe.

The Elm City birthplace of President George W. Bush, may not be as nationally recognized as cities that host other Ivy League schools, its charms grow on students, who often decide to stay in New Haven during the summers or attend graduate school at Yale. The small portion of students who do stick to campus life exclusively miss out on a modest but eclectic music and arts scene, and treasures like the first and best hamburger (Louis’s Lunch), the best fried donuts and pigs-in-a-blanket (The Yankee Doodle), and, of course, the first pizza in the U.S. (Pepe’s, and its rival, Sally’s located in Wooster Square—about a twenty-minute walk from campus). The chance to get involved and be useful to the city fosters a civic identity that graduates carry with them. Last year, more than 100 seniors took jobs with Teach for America and the Peace Corps.


It’s difficult enough to describe the intense experience of four years at Yale. Once they enter the world at large, Yalies go off to do a multitude of impressive things. Part of Yale’s mission is to train leaders, and Yale’s alumni do lead, as U.S. presidents (five attended Yale), company CEOs, academics, journalists, lawyers, and advocates. Living in New Haven, a city where volunteerism can make such a difference, is a life-shaping experience for students, many of whom later gravitate to public service in government or nonprofit organizations. The diversity of Yale’s student body, and the breadth of its academic offerings, prepares graduates for diverse careers. A sampling of recent graduates should give you an idea: investment banker, Peace Corps volunteer, reporter in Indonesia, computer programmer, book publicist, teacher. When alumni reach out to one another, they continue to learn from their classmates’ endeavors.

The Association of Yale Alumni oversees a network of more than 125 local Yale Clubs and associations that have a mission to connect and reconnect the alumni to the university. These groups also involve alumni volunteers in the admissions process, as they are charged with interviewing students in their area and filling out evaluation forms. Many local groups host receptions for admitted students. Fund-raising is carried out by the Alumni Fund, a separate organization that can boast one of the highest participation rates of the Ivy League. The university recently launched a $3.5 billion capital campaign, largely fueled by the generosity of its alumni. That alumni are devoted and loyal is a good sign of the quality of the experience they had during their time here.

Yalies enjoy coming back to campus. Twice yearly, over 200 alumni, elected as delegates by their local associations, convene in New Haven to address the latest news and developments at Yale and discuss alumni affairs. Some fly in from as far away as Switzerland and Hong Kong. Reunions bring thousands more back to campus in the spring, for a weekend of dancing, dining, and catching up. Many current students work during reunions, and have the extra treat of meeting alums who lived in their residential college or perhaps took a class with the same instructor. Recently, the university has embarked on “A Day with Yale” program, which puts administrators and faculty members on the road to share their knowledge and talents with the alumni population.

An alumni gathering would not be complete without the spirited singing of the alma mater, “Bright College Years.” The lyrics sum up the immense loyalty and nostalgia shared by Yale graduates.

“Bright College years, with pleasure rife, The shortest, gladdest years of life; How swiftly are ye gliding by! Oh, why doth time so quickly fly? Oh, let us strive that ever we May let these words our watch-cry be, Where’er upon life’s sea we sail: “For God, for Country, and for Yale!

Prominent Grads

  • William F. Buckley, Writer
  • George H.W. Bush, U.S. President
  • George W. Bush, U.S. President
  • Jodie Foster, Actress/Director
  • Charles Ives, Composer
  • Joseph I. Lieberman, U.S. Senator
  • Sinclair Lewis, Nobel Prizewinning Author
  • Maya Lin, Architect
  • Henry Luce, Time and Life Magazine Founder
  • David McCullough, Historian
  • Samuel F.B. Morse, Telegraph and Morse Code Inventor
  • Gene Siskel, Movie Critic
  • William Howard Taft, U.S. President
  • Garry Trudeau, “Doonesbury” creator
  • Arthur Watson, IBM Founder
  • Thornton Wilder, Pulitzer Prizewinning Playwright


Yale’s graduate schools are well respected, but the college remains the physical, intellectual, and even emotional center of Yale. The student-to-faculty ratio is 7 :1 and only nine percent of classes have fifty or more students. As a leading research institution attracting scholars of international renown in every field, Yale expects its faculty to put time and energy into teaching undergraduates. Faculty members welcome the opportunity to share their enthusiasm with students, and many of Yale’s most distinguished senior professors teach introductory courses. Some have attained cult status and attract hundreds of students.

Yale is not merely a place for academic excellence. In fact, many students won’t even cite the academic environment as the most important aspect of their college years. It is academic excellence, however, that makes the Yale experience and reputation so distinctive and attracts so many applicants each year.

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