August 7, 2020

Dear sophomores and first-year students,

I would like to tell you about adjustments to current policies that I hope will give you some flexibility as you plan your summers and semesters ahead.

I announced on July 1 that if you are a sophomore or first-year student and enroll for both the fall and spring semester this year – at least one of them remotely – Yale is covering the cost of tuition for two summer courses in New Haven or online, with additional financial support available for on-campus room and board to eligible first-year students and sophomores who also receive financial aid. Those courses originally were available only for the summer 2021 [corrected from "2020" on August 13, 2020] semester; they are now available in any summer before your senior year, and they do not need to be taken in the same year. However, to apply financial aid toward room and board on campus, the two courses do need to be taken in the same summer session.

These courses do not apply to study abroad programs because most of them are not offered through Yale and because they include costs that exceed tuition. However, as an amendment, you may now apply the cost of tuition of these two courses toward the cost of tuition of two credits in a study abroad program led by a Yale faculty member. Please note that these study abroad programs have limited enrollment, so admission is not guaranteed, and demand is expected to rise when study abroad programs resume.

You may also apply the cost of tuition for the two summer session credits toward a directed research experience, earning a course credit for five weeks of research, when supervised by a Yale faculty member. If coupled with another Yale Summer Session course in New Haven or online, and if you receive financial aid, you can apply the cost of the two summer session credits toward room and board on campus. For more information, please search for "Independent Research in the Summer" in the YSS course catalog.

Separate from these summer session courses, students have asked if there can be more flexibility in the distributional requirement milestones that need to be fulfilled at the end of the first year and the end of the sophomore year. If you would like to request partial waivers of these requirements, you may do so; to find out more, see items 11 and 12 here.

If you would like to learn more about summer session and study abroad opportunities, please visit the linked pages. Any questions about summer programs can be submitted to this page; other questions or suggestions can be directed to

I thank members of the First-year Class Council and the leadership of the Yale College Council for productive discussions that led to these updates.

I hope that this information helps your planning.


Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science