Yale College offers a liberal education that aims to:

  • Educate talented students of diverse backgrounds to lead and serve in a complex and changing society.
  • Provide a supportive residential community of learning in which social experience and the free exchange of ideas underpin the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Cultivate both the broad intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities and the more specialized skills that will allow students to thrive beyond the college gates.
  • Draw on the distinctive strengths and traditions of Yale University as a globally recognized leader across the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, and the professions.

We seek to educate students who are broad-minded and autonomous, capable of making judgments and taking responsibility for their decisions. We believe that a liberal education should encourage students to become curious, engaged citizens. It should also prepare them well for their professional lives and further educational opportunities and help them develop as active learners who thrive in complex environments. 


In 1701, the Connecticut legislature passed an act to establish “a collegiate school” in which “Youth may be instructed in the Arts & Sciences” and “fitted for Publick employment.” The collegiate school became Yale College in 1718. For more than three centuries, Yale has provided leadership in undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. In its fourth century, the College remains a recognized leader worldwide. While the university eventually grew to incorporate graduate and professional education, all undergraduate education at Yale continues to be provided through the College.

Yale University

Yale College forms part of a great university dedicated to the pursuit of light and truth. We encourage our students to participate in the conversation of a scholarly community that defines the pursuit of knowledge in such a university. While the College’s goal of educating talented young people for future leadership has not changed since its founding, Yale has continually expanded in the range of subjects it teaches, the excellence of its curriculum, pedagogy, and research, and the diversity of its student body. For almost a century, the residential colleges have created enduring communities that are an essential part of the broader Yale ecosystem. As a distinctive community of learning, Yale College also seeks to instill an ethos of service—a sense of belonging on campus and a call to contribute beyond the college gates. To continue the search for truth by the light of learning requires respect and tolerance and a willingness to listen to one another. Most of all, it requires an openness on the part of each member of the Yale community—an openness to learn and a humility about how little we actually know.