Yale University
  • EduScore 95 /100

Yale University: Quick Overview

Quick Stats
  • Year founded1701
  • Number of students enrolled5746
  • Average cost (in total)$53430
Application Info
  • Acceptance rate6.7%
  • SAT/ACT1420/32
  • Application dateNovember 1st

One of the Unites State’s most historic and respected learning institutions, and the first institution in the country to award a Ph.D., Yale University has a small college feel while featuring prestigious research, graduate and post-graduate programs. Among these are 12 professional schools, which regularly place among the best Legal, Business, Medical and Art curricula in the country.

Currently 3rd in the ranking of Best Colleges by National Universities, Yale has consistently been one of the most competitive colleges in the nation, only accepting between 6% and 7% of applicants. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the campus itself is situated over 345 acres that offers university housing for Graduate and Professional students only.

Outside of academic performance, Yale has a colorful array of clubs, publications and secret societies that have added to its history and mystique. The famous Skull and Bones Society boasts former presidents and government leaders among its members. Notable Yale alumni include Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush, Meryl Streep, and 31 of the world’s billionaires. Yale’s athletic programs compete in the Ivy League and are particularly known for their rowing team’s prowess. Yale’s offerings are substantial and enriching both in and out of the classroom.


History and mission

Yale traces its history back to America’s pre-revolutionary colonial era, taking its name from Elihu Yale, a British representative of the East India Company who had donated material for the construction of Yale College’s first buildings in New Haven in 1718. Yale’s curriculum was initially conceived as an institution of enlightened religious and scientific learning, and the desire to stay at the forefront of the arts, humanities and social sciences remains at the core of Yale’s mission.

The university’s three core missions are the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. “Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society.” Undergraduate programs at Yale are enhanced by faculty and graduate students who take an active part in the undergrad life. Undergraduate students are assigned to one of 14 undergraduate residential colleges that foster a sense of community among their members and make Yale’s campus culture unique among other universities.

In the continuing history of Yale, 2 new residential colleges, Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges, were added to the residential college system in 2017, allowing Yale to admit an incoming class that was 15% larger than previous years. Yale’s approach is one of an expansive liberal arts institution that aims to offer diverse perspectives, which will inform a student’s growth through a broadened world-view.

Areas of Study

Yale’s most significant majors center on social sciences, engineering and biology. These tend to be common areas of focus due to their application in professional career paths such as technology, medicine or finance. Yale has a broad cross-educational attitude that allows students to explore a wide variety of interests and permits a truly rich educational experience. With a high 6 to 1 faculty to student ratio, students enjoy low class numbers and a supportive academic experience. There is generally high student satisfaction, indicated by a 99% student retention rate.

School of Law

Yale’s School of Law has been a stronghold of legal excellence for generations. Currently ranked first in the nation among law schools by US News, Yale Law has eliminated traditional grading systems. Students receive their first rankings of “honors, pass, low pass, credit or failure”. Students at Yale School of Law do not specialize in one area, but have a great amount of freedom to peruse diverse areas of interest in concert with other departments, such as the School of Management for those interested in business law or the School for Forestry and Environmental Studies for those interested in environmental law.

School of Drama

Yale’s School of Drama is world renowned for producing captivating and powerful figures of stage and screen, but Yale’s drama school is more than its actors. Yale’s program is comprehensive and encompasses every aspect of theatrical production and management. Students at Yale School of Drama specialize in one or more area, from design, directing, acting to Dramatically and Theatrical Criticism. According to their mission “Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre train and advance leaders to raise the standard of global professional practice in every theatrical discipline, pursuing excellence in art to promote wonder, empathy, and understanding in the world.”

Yale College

The Yale College includes most of Yale’s undergraduate liberal arts and social science departments. Political Science and History are the most populated programs with a total of 15% of the undergraduate population studying in one of these disciplines. Many of Yale’s social sciences are skewed toward a political and humanistic approach, with students often going on to peruse careers in law, politics and social activism.

Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Yale’s engineering disciplines span the breadth and depth of technology and development and include Computer Science, in addition to chemical, biological and electrical engineering. As with many areas of study at Yale, emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, which will equip undergraduate students for a wide array of potential careers, can be found in science majors and arts majors alike. Unlike those at tech schools, Yale students take their non-engineering subjects in classes taught by renowned faculty and together with liberal arts majors whose focus is on social, political, economic, and other humanities areas.

Yale School of Management

Yale’s school of Management is on the cutting edge of producing leaders for a distinctively global marketplace. Yale’s strategy that accounts for how the world has changed over the last several decades and the implications for leadership today. As with the School of Law, only graduate and post-graduate programs are run out of the School of Management, however, undergrads benefit from contact with faculty and graduate students at the top of their respective fields.

Online program

Yale offers many lectures and courses through online programs and platforms. They have made many lectures open and available to the public. Yale actively engages with students through online offerings and some courses are offered to students for credit, however, there are no degrees offered purely online. Yale’s community and culture is considered to be essential to the achievement of a degree and campus attendance is required. For those who wish to audit courses online, classes on a myriad of subjects can be found on YouTube, iTunesU, Coursera, and through Open Yale Courses.

How do I apply to Yale University?

Yale University’s application process is fairly rigorous. The perspective student must fill out an application form via one of three standardized application portals – My Coalition (mycoalition.org), The Common Application (commonapp.org) or The QuestBridge National College Match (www.questbridge.org). A student must apply using only one of these application methods. All will include essay questions as well as an opportunity to provide background and achievement information to the selection board.

An $80 application fee applies, although a need-based waiver of the fee is available. Each student should supply two teacher recommendations, one counselor recommendation in addition to their high school transcripts. The deadline for applications is November 1st.  All applicants who are still attending high school should submit their mid-year grades once they become available via their school counseling department.

Standardized testing is required of all applicants in the form of the SAT, both writing and math or the ACT with the optional writing portion. Only one is required. The median scores for past applicants have been SAT-Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 720-770, SAT-Math: 740-790 or ACT Composite: 33-35.

Selected applicants will be asked to take part in in-person or web-based interviews. Interviews are conducted by Alumni and current senior students at various locations around the country. Although not required, it is recommended that applicants take part in an interview to provide background and color to their application. A small number of on-campus interviews are granted to visiting students and are conducted by current students working with the admissions department.

Further information on applying or on scheduling an interview can be accessed on Yale’s website at www.admissions.yale.edu.

Acceptance rate

With Yale’s Ivy League status and its reputation of excellence, it is no wonder that they receive nearly 36,000 applications for undergraduate admission every year. In addition to having stellar academic transcripts, Yale looks for people with leadership qualities and a willingness to fully employ their talents to produce a change in the world. Yale places significant emphasis on full engagement with the resources provided by the school and the ability to connect with fellow students and faculty in a synergistic way. Simply due to the extremely high number of applicants and the limited available spaces, Yale admits approximately 6.3% of students who apply. However, if Yale is your school of choice, your odds of acceptance may have just improved. With the opening of 2 new residential colleges, Yale’s freshmen classes of 2017 and 2018 have grown by nearly 15%. Due to the number of applications received each year, Yale was able to admit a larger number of students without changing acceptance standards or amending their holistic approach to admittance.


Student life at Yale

The student experience at Yale is unique and a hallmark of what makes a Yale education so special. Although a high level of academic achievement is expected, students also engage in more than 560 student groups and organizations, including the well-known and whimsically named a capella group the Whiffenpoofs, America’s oldest College Humor Magazine, The Yale Record and numerous other academic, athletic and performing organizations. The famous Yale College system for undergraduate living is a distinctive part of the Yale experience.

Undergraduates are randomly assigned to a College that will be their home for their four years of studies. Each college has equal numbers of athletes, international students, men, and women to add to a balanced and cohesive living experience. During this time they will eat, live and socialize in this microcosm to foster a sense of a comradely and support that is easily lost in a large university setting.

Many students report loyalty to their college far beyond graduation. Yale places a high importance on creating an atmosphere of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity to enrich their social and cultural fabric, which also expresses itself in a number of multicultural groups. Yale athletics boasts 30 men’s and women’s varsity teams and over 40 undergraduate and graduate intramural programs. Students can also take advantage of Yale’s extensive athletic and training facilities, including Yale’s unique sailing and rowing facilities.


Yale Campus

Yale’s campus is one of the oldest in the country. As such, it boasts many historic buildings, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History. The libraries, housed in a total of 22 buildings, have more than 13 million holdings, the largest of which is the Sterling Memorial Library at the center of campus.

Yale has a number of theaters and venues for theatrical and musical performances. Each of the 12 residential colleges houses its own dining facility with a sustainable and health-centered focus. West Campus, a 136 acre scientific research center located 7 miles west of New Haven, includes 1.6 million square feet of research, office, and warehouse space that complements Yale’s $1 billion investment in science and research facilities on the central campus. Yale also places high importance on engaging with nature and the surrounding community in New Haven.

Costs of studying at Yale University

Yale is one of the country’s pricier universities with total annual tuition cost of around $54,000 including all fees. As most students live on campus, the price of housing and living expenses can be easily calculated. The yearly cost of housing per student is as follows

  • Housing $8,700
  • Meal Plan $6,800
  • Books and Various Supplies $4,390

Those figures raise the total cost for one student above the steep cost of tuition by nearly $20,000. That puts the cost of one year at Yale well above $70,000. However, there is a bright side. Yale has endowments valued at $25 billion due to shrewd investing and generous donations from alumni. Undergraduates are admitted without taking into account to their ability to pay. Yale routinely extends need-based financial aid to all admitted students who qualify to ensure that cost is not a barrier for any student admitted. Over half of undergraduates receive scholarships on need-based system, with an average annual grant amount of over $49,000. More than 84% of the Yale College Class of 2017 graduated debt-free.


Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut. The university and the city have grown up around each other over their nearly 300 year history, making Yale and New Haven inextricably linked. The university’s buildings are woven though New Haven and the Yale is the city’s largest employer. New Haven, nick named the Emerald City, has also billed itself as the cultural capital of Connecticut, with many museums, music venues and theatres – many stemming from Yale.

Q: How much money will I make with a degree from Yale University?A: 10 years after graduation, the median Yale graduate earns $66,000 annually. That is nearly twice the median reported income for US students 10 years after graduating from college. That number was obtained based on students who received Federal Financial Aid, which is a comparatively small number, based on Yale’s own need-based scholarship program. Based on that fact, the true earnings of those who attended Yale could be much higher. Q: How does the accreditation process work?A: As with all US universities and colleges, Yale is accredited by one of 6 independent accreditation agencies. Yale is under the preview of the New England Commission of Higher Education, or NECHE. NECHE evaluates institutions of higher education every 10 years against nine standards: Mission and Purposes, Planning and Evaluation, Organization and Governance, The Academic Program, Students, Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Institutional Resources, Educational Effectiveness, Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure.

Similar schools

University Of Southern California

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 81.75

There is no place to study quite like the University of Southern California. Located in sunny southern Los Angeles, the school is known for producing top-tier talent while providing a fun, thought-provoking academic environment. Here is a review of everyth

Wharton Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania was founded by one of America’s Founding Fathers in Benjamin Franklin.

University Of Michigan Ross

University of Michigan

  • Ann Harbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 with the official name of “Catholepistemiad of Detroit,” and located in the Northwest Territory was the first university there.

University Of Virginia

University of Virginia

  • Charlottesville, Virginia

Founded in 1819 by one of the fathers of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia (UVA) was established amid the creative tumult surrounding the birth of the United States.