“What are you going to major in?”

“What are you going to do after you graduate?”

Likely you are already being bombarded with these and similar questions. What follows is a rundown on what to expect after your freshman year.


Yale offers a dizzying array of majors, but you don’t have to declare a major until October of your junior year. The most popular majors include history, biology, economics, political science and English, but students also major in subjects ranging from Renaissance Studies to History of Science. One thing almost all majors have in common is that they require a senior essay or senior project.

Every year some students double-major, so it certainly is a possible alternative, but requirements are fairly strict and two majors often means two senior projects.


All Yale students are required to live on-campus for their first two years, so after freshman year you will choose a group of students in your college to live with. The specifics of how many students live in each sophomore suite vary widely from college to college.

If you really want to live with friends in another college, you can petition to transfer to another college.

After sophomore year, you have the option to live off-campus in nearby apartment buildings or other houses. Juniors in many colleges get moved to annex housing outside of their residential colleges, and sometimes this consideration sends students off campus, but the majority of students remain in their colleges.

Study abroad

There are many opportunities for Yalies, often during junior year, to study abroad for a semester or a year. But only 110 Yalies studied abroad last year, and contentment with the academic and social life at Yale is often cited as the reason for remaining in New Haven.

For students with more of a wanderlust, however, the International Education and Fellowships Program is an alternative. The only overseas Yale campus is the venerable Yale-in-London Program, but students study all around the world through other programs.

After Yale

The main assistant in the job search is Undergraduate Career Services, which can also help set up summer internships and other jobs throughout your time at Yale.

While you may resent the first freshman you meet who knows she’s a law school-bound Latin American studies major who will study for a semester in Tanzania her junior year before coming back to live off-campus in the Taft Hotel, remember you still have time.

–YDN Staff