Residential College Seminar Program: Information for Prospective Instructors

Thank you for your interest in the College Seminar Program. Applications to teach in the program for the spring term 2018 will be due on Friday, August 25, 2017. Please see the Application Information page for procedures and forms. Additional information about the program is below.

Purpose and Goals

The Residential College Seminar program, instituted in 1968, is devoted to the development of innovative courses that fall outside departmental structures. Courses arise through the joint initiative of students and members of the faculty who are fellows of the residential colleges. The instructors for the seminar program are drawn from the University community and from the region, including individuals outside academic life, such as writers, artists, participants in government and the public sector, and experts from the arts and the media.

Number of Seminars Offered and Meeting Times

The Residential College Seminar Program currently funds at least 24 seminars each academic year (12 per term). College Seminars meet weekly for 2 hours in the afternoon or evening for 13 weeks. Please see Standard Time Patterns for more information.


Enrollment is limited to 18 undergraduates (15 for creative writing seminars). In cases where applications exceed the enrollment maximum, 6 students are admitted from the sponsoring college and 12 from all other colleges combined.

Seminar Selection

The Residential College Seminar Program educates undergraduates both inside and outside the classroom by involving them in the seminar selection process. Undergraduates in the residential colleges are actively encouraged to generate new seminar ideas and solicit course proposals from prospective instructors. They are given the further opportunity to help shape the Yale College curriculum by serving on their residential college’s seminar committee, which evaluates seminar proposals, interviews the candidates, and selects the courses that their college sponsors. Once students have chosen their college’s seminars, the selected proposals undergo three levels of faculty review, following the normal channels of approval for all Yale College courses. This process takes almost the entire term to complete and instructors are notified of final approval in early May (for fall courses) or early December (for spring courses). Instructors are appointed Lecturers in Yale College (or in the case of registered graduate students, Part-Time Acting Instructors).

Contact Information

Yale College Seminar Office
Mailing address:P.O. Box 208241
New Haven, CT 06520-8241

Campus address:
1 Prospect St 
New Haven, CT 06511

Contact: Residential College Seminar Office;