Yale University is a private Ivy League research university, located in New Haven Connecticut. Established in 1701, Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. In 1718, the school was renamed in honor of Elihu Yale, the governor of the British East India Company, for his generous donation of the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods, along with 417 books and a portrait of King George I. Today a globally recognized institution with alumni that include United States Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, foreign heads of states, hundreds of members of Congress, and several high-level U.S. diplomats; Yale was originally established for the purpose of training up Congregationalist ministers in theology and biblical languages. It was not until 1777 that a shift in focus began to take place as the school’s curriculum began to incorporate the study humanities and sciences.
Widely recognized for its dedication to the expansion of knowledge, innovation, and the preservation of cultural and scientific information for future generations, Yale University offers a wide array of academic programs through its 140+ departments. Degrees are still granted through the original undergraduate college and the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as through Yale’s 12 professional schools – the School of Architecture; School of Art; Divinity School; School of Drama; School of Engineering & Applied Science; School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Law School; School of Management; School of Medicine; School of Music; School of Nursing; and School of Public Health.
Yale also offers online courses for students who desire the quality and prestige of a Yale degree, but whose schedules or locations require the flexibility of online learning. Yale’s online courses are offered on a variety of platforms, including iTunes U, Youtube, and through Open Yale Courses. Yale is also partnered with Coursera, a MOOC platform, which allows for free access to high-quality educational materials which have a social, interactive approach that is designed to assess learning.
Over 12,000 students are enrolled at Yale, more than 5,000 of whom are undergraduate students. Over 80% of undergraduates choose to live on campus in university housing, creating a diverse student environment. Women have studied at Yale at a graduate-level as early as 1892 however it was not until 1969 that the school became officially co-educational.
Yale University is known for its many vibrant traditions – the most iconic being Yale’s bulldog mascot, “Handsome Dan”. This tradition was established by Andrew B. Graves, a student from Victorian England in 1889 who purchased the dog from a New Haven blacksmith for $5 after he saw him sitting outside of the shop. Other Yale traditions include the age-old Commencement Ceremony, held on the Old Campus where university degrees are formally conferred; and the new tradition of Founders Day which began in 2014 and is held as close as possible to the anniversary of the 1701 founding. As an NCC Division I-AA school, athletic traditions hold a special place on campus as well. Football games have been a tradition for “Yalies” since the mid-1800’s and the school recently celebrated 150 years of baseball in 2015. Yale athletes have excelled around the globe in a variety of international competitions including the Olympics.