School Profile: Creative Thinking and Campus Living at Yale University

Yale University is ranked #3 in the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. It is a private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale consists of twelve constituent schools; the undergraduate college, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and ten professional schools. The undergraduate school makes up a little under half of the entire student body and is one of the toughest undergrad programs to get into. Yale is an extremely diverse university where half of the student body is women, more than half are minorities or international students, and 55% came from public high schools. This is a university for academic excellence and 97% of those who get in were in the top 10% of their graduating class. As one of the few need-based financial aid universities, students in need usually get grants or scholarships and parents are expected to have zero contributions making it easy on the students. Yale University is committed to providing its current and incoming students with a well-rounded and profoundly rewarding college experience.

The undergraduate program at Yale University is one of the most sought after in the nation, making it a highly competitive college to get into. Students that make it into the undergraduate program can look forward to a rewarding academic experience. With over sixty-five departments, students can choose from over 2,000 undergraduate courses in liberal arts and sciences. The academic vision at Yale was best explained from the Yale Report back in 1828, “expanding (the mind’s) powers, and storing it with knowledge.” Simply put, it means the main goal of the academic program at Yale is to instill the skills and knowledge necessary for each student to thrive in whatever they field they choose by offering exploration before they decide their ultimate contribution to society. Yale firmly believes that the first years of a student’s academic studies should be focused on exploration, and the later years spent honing in on their chosen field and preparing for the future.

Students at Yale are taught that while acquiring facts is important, the main focus should be to think creatively and critically in any academic or real world arena. The academic program at Yale requires students to participate in diverse subject matter in the first few years, reserving the later years for focused concentration in their major or program of choice. All students must participate in particular foundational skills such as writing, quantitative reasoning, and foreign language. This supports the Yale academic ideal that students are neither too narrowly focused, nor too broad in their academic studies.

Combining foundational skills and exploration allows students to mature and deepen their academic repertoire ensuring they are well prepared upon graduation. Yale understands the dynamics of globalization and the importance of students experiencing cultures both academically and firsthand. Many students are encouraged to spend a term, summer, or year studying abroad at some point in their college careers. If you get the chance to attend Yale University, you will come away with a highly esteemed and greatly diverse academic experience that ensures you will be fully prepared to move forward with your career goals.

Campus life at Yale University is as diverse as the academic program with nearly 500 organizations to choose from. Students can enjoy participating with like-minded individuals in interests they’ve already established, and also acquire news ones. Service/Outreach, Religious, Performance, Cultural, and Culinary organizations represent just a few of the categories available from a long list of student organizations. There are many cultural centers on campus that serve as meeting spaces for everything from art exhibits to parties. Each one is equipped with a kitchen, library, computers, and more. While each cultural center is based on a particular background, they can also be used as social centers for a multitude of ethnicities and cultures to co-mingle. Greek life doesn’t play much of a role at Yale with only 11 fraternities and three sororities. Sigma Chi is the most notable fraternity and Kappa Kappa Gamma, the most popular sorority.

Living on campus is a unique experience in itself with twelve residential colleges, students will be placed in one starting freshmen year. What’s exceptional about this residential design is that each one of the twelve colleges has its own meeting/classrooms, architectural design, courtyards, dining hall, and commons room. Some of the colleges even have libraries, chapels, cafes, pool tables, and more. Within each residential college they offer their own seminars, Master’s Teas, and social events that are usually offered to all, but can be solely for their residential college. While each residential college has its own dining hall, students are permitted to eat at the Commons dining halls for any college. Yale offers a unique campus life experience where you can engage in several activities and enjoy lectures, movie nights, and concerts among others.

Yale University sports teams compete in the NCAA Division I Ivy League and Eastern College Athletic conferences. They also participate in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing association; sailing is of the university’s thirty-five varsity athletic teams. Yale has a multitude of athletic facilities including the world’s second largest indoor athletic complex, and the nation’s first natural bowl stadium known as the Yale Bowl. While Yale holds many athletic championships from their varsity teams, they are most well-known for Yale crew, the oldest collegiate athletic team in America. Yale crew has even won Olympic gold medals in the past. A notable rivalry in Yale athletics is with Harvard where every year their heavyweight rowing teams battle it out. If you choose not participate in varsity sports, there are still plenty of athletic opportunities, and of course the vast athletic facilities to get your heart pumping.

Ivy League colleges are known for their traditions, and Yale is no exception. Freshmen coming to Yale should seek out the statue of Theodore Dwight Woolsey and rub the toe for a promise of good luck. Four years later, it’s time to participate in another tradition to end the college career on a good note.  It’s one of the most long-held traditions performed by Yale graduates where they smash bubble pipes under their feet to symbolize passage from their “bright college years.” Traditions give students the sense of good fortune from the beginning to the end of their time at Yale, but the real good fortune is being able to attend Yale University.

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By Colleen Hill