• A picture of the Yale skyline

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 12:00pm Essential Library Research Skills Workshop
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 1:00pm Richard U. Light Fellowship Early Fall Competition Deadline
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 3:00pm Essential Library Research Skills Workshop
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 5:00pm Summer STEM Fellowship Opportunities Information Session
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 3:00pm Italian Department Info Session

Fall 2020 Announcements

► Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative

The  Yale Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative recently launched a  database that pairs Yale undergraduate  mentees with postdoctoral and graduate and professional student mentors from a wide range of fields. An experienced mentor can make all the difference, and GUMI aims to provide mentors who can impart valuable advice to undergraduates considering graduate or professional school.

► Virtual French Language Tables

French speakers at all levels from the Yale community are invited to join members of the French Department for a virtual lunch of snack conversation in French via Zoom on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the fall term.

Please contact the hosts via email for the Zoom information (constance.sherak@yale.edu, lauren.pinzka@yale.edu, or candace.skorupa@yale.edu).

Questions should be addressed to Prof. Ruth Koizim, Language Program Director, or Ms. Bethany Hayes, Registrar.

► Computer Science Advising Resources 

The Department of Computer Science has resources to advise students wanting to take a course in computer science and/or considering one of our majors (CS, CS + Econ, CS + Math, CS + Psych, or EECS).  Visit the Advice for First-Year Students Interested in Computer Science page for advice on course selection, descriptions of our majors, contacts who can answer your questions, and more.

► Certificate in Programming

The Certificate in Programming prepares undergraduates to program computers in support of work in any area of  study.  While the certificate does not provide the  same grounding in theory and systems that the computer science majors do, it does provide a short path to programming literacy that can be completed in a span of four terms.  Visit this webpage for more details.

► Economics Department Resources

Students can find pre-registration office hours for the Economics Department’s director of undergraduate studies (DUS), Prof. Ebonya Washington, here.
Students can find the office hours for Economics Department professors by course here [page still being populated]. 
The students who assisted in the Economics Department’s information sessions in August are also available for help throughout pre-registration and shopping period. They are

►Math Advising Resources for Fall 2020

The Math Department has advising resources to help with course selection in fall 2020. Click on the link or visit https://math.yale.edu/advising-resources-summer-2020 for advice on placement, FAQs, a list of email contacts for answers to quick questions not included in the FAQs, and information about live placement exam info sessions. Coming in early August: syllabi and videos with information about each course.

►Yale IEEE Big Sib/Little Sib Program

Concerned about student diversity in SEAS majors and eager to provide advising to first-years and sophomores, the Yale IEEE student group has started a Big Sib/Little Sib group to help address both issues and welcome students of all backgrounds into the SEAS family. For information, contact Will Sussman or Tamar Geller.


►*New* Sophomore Writing Seminars

New this year is a selection of writing seminars designed especially for sophomores. The purpose of these seminars is to teach students what constitutes inquiry and evidence in a given discipline and the conventions that govern writing within that discipline. Limited to 15 students each, they are aimed particularly at sophomores as they begin to think about majors. Each course carries the WR designation.

  • HIST 112J, Reconstruction: America’s Second Founding, James Shinn
  • HIST 206J, Medieval Minds and Brains, Amelia Kennedy,       
  • HIST 207J, Medieval Britain: History from Art, Archaeology, and Literature, Sebastian Bezerra
  • HIST 369J, Media, Technology, and the Production of Power in Modern Africa, Matthew Keaney
  • HSAR 404, Decolonizing the Middle Ages, Nicole Paxton-Sullo
  • HSAR 411, Art and Aesthetics in Germany, 1750 to the Present, Laura Phillips
  • HUMS 291, The Real and the Virtual in Literature and Film, Anna Alber
  • MUSI 172, Music in Words: Controversy, Critique, Invective,  Brian Miller
  • MUSI 145, Music in Japan, Liam Hynes-Tawa
  • SOCY 218, Space, Time, and the African City, Denise Lim

Check back during the fall term for spring 2021 sophomore seminars!

► Music: Theory Placement Exam Cancelled; Info about Lessons

The Department of Music will no longer require a placement exam for theory courses. For updated information, please go to   https://yalemusic.yale.edu/undergraduate/placement-exams or to the new COVID-19 FAQ page  https://yalemusic.yale.edu/covid-19-faq-fall-2020.

Students interested in fall 2020 music lessons information are invited to click here.

►Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry 2020-2021 “Quick Facts”

All students who desire information about the MB&B major, including faculty advising, the curriculum, working in a research lab, and MB&B activities are invited to click here for the MB&B “Quick Facts about Majoring in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry.”

►Ethics, Politics and Economics Becomes Open Major for Class of 2024

The Ethics, Politics and Economics major will become an open major beginning for the Class of 2024, while remaining a highly rigorous, largely seminar-based interdisciplinary major combining the three disciplines of philosophy, political science, and economics.  Rather than applying to the major in the sophomore year as before, students will complete seven required prerequisite courses before gaining entry to EPE seminars. Details available on the EPE Website.

►Peer Mentoring and Peer Advising

Information about peer mentoring and peer advising, and links to some campus offices, departments, and majors that offer such resources, is available on the Peer Mentoring and Peer Advising page (under Your Adviser and Advising).

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURES)

CURES are courses that offer opportunities for first-years and sophomores to get involved in STEM research  (no prior research experience required).  First-years and sophomores who seek additional information about CURES are advised to contact Prof. Paul E. Turner, Interim Dean of Science and Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Course descriptions are available here.

►Major Roadmaps

The Yale College Deans Office in consultation with the Directors of Undergraduate Studies has undertaken a project to create a series of “roadmaps,” or visual representations, indicating

  • how students go through that major
  • a typical course sequence, in some cases

Many majors offer multiple paths, and the maps are designed to facilitate comparison. The roadmaps and typical course sequences are visually uniform so that students may easily compare one major with another at a glance. 

There are currently over two dozen roadmaps; more are on the way.

More detailed descriptions of the requirements for each major can be found under Subjects of Instruction in the Yale College Programs of Study.

►Yale Undergraduate Research Association Database

The Yale Undergraduate Research Association (YURA)  released a new version of the Research Database (RDB), a cross-disciplinary, searchable, integrated database of 1400+ professors across all undergraduate departments and fields of study. It was built to help fellow undergraduates find potential mentors for research and beyond, and learn more about their professors.

The database can be found at https://yura.yale.edu/database.

Questions or inquiries can be addressed to yura@yale.edu.

► Applications Accepted for Environmental Studies Major

 Students interested in joining either the BA or BS Programs must complete a short application. Details can be found here. If you have questions, please email studies.environment@yale.edu.

EVST offers rolling admission to the major, and applications may be submitted at any time.

The Yale Environmental Humanities Newsletter also circulates every Monday to help students and faculty learn about public events happening across the campus. Undergraduates interested in finding out about Yale events in environmental history, politics, ethics, culture and the arts can sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

Email: environmentalhumanities@yale.edu

► As a Freshman, You Can’t Avoid Reinvention

Meera Navlakha writes in her The New York Times Opinion piece, “Before I went to college, I thought of change as something I could control.” As a Freshman, You Can’t Avoid Reinvention

►Women in Economics Study Hall

These weekly study halls, held every Sunday from 7-9pm EDT, are open to all students, especially first years and sophomores. The aim of these study halls is for women and other underrepresented minorities to work together and find community in the major. There will also be a tutor at each session to answer any questions students may have about problem sets or general concepts.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://yale.zoom.us/j/565622067

If you have any trouble joining, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Alice (alice.yan@yale.edu), and hope to see you there!


Center for Teaching and Learning

Read a Guide to CTL Academic Support Services:

  • Academic Strategies
  • Humanities and Social Science
  • Science and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Writing

Additional information is available at the tutoring web page and the advising tutoring page.


►What Influences International STEM Students’ Decisions? 

British Council survey of 1,348 international undergraduate and graduate students studying in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States asked about factors affecting their decision making in choosing a country and course of study. The report found that undergraduates tend to choose U.S. universities with the goal of increasing their career prospects globally. Graduate students are drawn by perceptions of rigorous education and high-quality research, and affordability.

“The U.S. perhaps has the most well-rounded value proposition to international STEM students: it is a country where students perceive they can engage in high-quality education and gain skills and research experience to apply to work either there or in their home countries; post-study work experience in the U.S. has expanded and STEM students can now spend 29 months working – though there remains debate about the future sustainability of this policy,” the survey report states.

The survey found that while significant numbers of international students hope to stay in their destination countries to work after graduation, a comparatively small proportion (15 percent) hope to migrate permanently.

Inside Higher Ed Quick Take.

►Goals for All Yale College Majors

The Yale College Dean’s Office launched the “Intensive Majors Project” with, as its top priority, the goal of helping to advise students about their courses of study.  Other goals centered on the faculty, the departments, and Yale’s national accreditation requirements.

It is expected that roughly fifteen majors will conduct self-reviews each year, allowing all majors to undergo review in a four- to five-year cycle, at which point — because major requirements and goals change over time — the self-reviews will begin anew.

You can now read the goals for each Yale College major, as approved by undergraduate departments and programs. 

Sophomores on Sophomore Year

“Sophomore year, and especially the summer after that, should be a time to explore different fields.”

“Look ahead to junior and senior years because there are some provisions like studying abroad and class load in senior year that should be taken into account.”

“You can still join extracurricular groups in sophomore year. It’s a great time to try something new.”

“It’s OK if you don’t have your entire life planned by now. Most will change their minds anyway.”

“The best advice I can give about ‘sophomore slump’ is just to stick it out. Don’t drop anything you’ve previously liked just because you’re feeling down. Chances are, when your situation improves, you’ll appreciate it even more. Be careful about making major decisions (changing a major, quitting an activity, etc.) when you know you’re not really at your best.”

“Don’t be afraid to have fun! People get stressed out, but you should have a few nights when you just stay up watching movies with your friends. Make sure that you leave time for yourself in addition to all of your commitments. Also, sleep is good.”