Residential Colleges

The Residential College housing system is at the heart of the Yale College experience. Before arriving as a first-year, each student is randomly assigned to one of fourteen residential colleges, providing undergraduates a built-in community from the moment they arrive on campus. Each residential college features a close-knit community and stunning, state-of-the-art residences. The residential colleges serve as a microcosm of Yale’s diverse student population and offer our students the intimacy of a smaller college experience within a massive academic institution.

Residential colleges are more than simply examples of magnificent architecture. Their dining halls provide our students with chef-prepared meals including options for vegetarians and vegans. Students may spend time in their residential college’s gym, library, movie theaters, music rooms, recording studios, dance studios, visual art studios, and music rooms. Colleges are organized around a spacious, landscaped courtyard in which residents socialize and enjoy fine weather.

College Head and Dean: The Head of the College and Dean of the College are professors who live in the college, eat meals with students in the dining hall, and serve as the college’s leaders.

Dining

Each residential college features a dining hall, complete with a dedicated chef and staff. Students are welcome to take meals at residential colleges other than their own. Students may also dine at The Schwarzman Center (informally known as “Commons”), a large dining hall at the center of campus. The Schwarzman Center also includes an indoor/outdoor Bistro on its lower level.

Each residential college also offers its own buttery, a late-night café serving casual food late at night after the dining halls have closed. Yale Dining also offers a program called Eli Bucks for students who require additional flexibility with their meal options.

For students who desire a kosher meal, Undergraduate meal plan holders are invited to use a meal transfer at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life Center and all others are welcome to purchase single meals there as well.

Information about meal plans, as well as Eli Bucks and other dining options on campus, please see the Yale Hospitality website.

Student Organizations

Yale’s undergraduate student organizations are one of the most distinctive features of life on campus. Learning and engagement at Yale extend far beyond the classroom as our students participate in hundreds of campus organizations, including nearly 100 athletic teams, over 50 performance groups, and 60 cultural associations. To explore the richness of extracurricular activity at Yale, please see the complete list of registered student organizations.

Athletics and Intramurals 

Yale has over 30 men’s and women’s varsity teams; over 40 club sports (most co-ed); and Yale Intramural program.

The Yale Intramural program provides an opportunity for athletic competition within the Yale community. The program is designed to welcome participants of every athletic level. Teams are organized through the residential colleges, allowing any student to play any one of the 30 sports. While the goal of most athletes is to win the Tyng Cup, the award for excellence, the goals of the program stress the community of the residential colleges, the values of sportsmanship and fair play, and the lessons learned through competitive sports.

Cultural and Community Centers

Yale's four Cultural Houses (Afro-American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, the Latino Cultural Center, the Native American Cultural Center) nurture a sense of cultural identity among our students and offer an opportunity to strengthen a sense of community. The Cultural Centers also are home to dozens of affiliated organizations from fraternities and sororities to dance companies, publications, and social action and political groups.

Yale Women's Center is an inclusive space for women at Yale. The Center offers resources, support, activities, and a strong sense of community. The Center is a safe space for all genders and welcomes all Yale students.

Office of LGBTQ Resources The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ ) Resources helps of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students, faculty, and staff. At the Office, students connect to others in the community and to Yale's LGBTQ social, cultural, and academic programs and events. 

Arts

Yale College nurtures and encourages creativity in all its forms, whether it be music, visual arts, drama, writing, or dance. The Yale College Arts Calendar features hundreds of exhibits, readings, and performances throughout the academic year.

The arts have strong representation academically: visual arts, creative writing, film, theater, dance, and music studies. See Yale College Programs of Study to discover the wide variety of arts-related courses available.

The office of Yale College Undergraduate Production works with undergraduates as they produce all manner of performance, from drama to dance to comedy. Concerts, theatrical production

Yale University makes a significant contribution to the arts culture of New Haven through its outstanding museums & galleries, theaters, and performances.