Does Yale Offer Double Majors or Minors?

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Yale University is the third-oldest institution of higher-education in the U.S., comprising one undergraduate college, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and twelve professional schools. Among the most prestigious colleges in the country, Yale emphasizes an education that is neither too narrowly focused nor spread too thin, with the purpose of cultivating an informed and disciplined intellect that is not strapped into a particular professional application. 

 

So what potential majors can a student pursue at Yale, and can the extra-ambitious double major? Read on to find out. 

 

Overview of Yale Academics

 

All undergraduates attend Yale College, Yale University’s only school granting bachelor degrees. Despite being housed within a larger research university, Yale College is a liberal arts college, which focuses on developing broad and applicable knowledge, critical thinking, and general intellectual ability and inquiry as opposed to gaining a specific skill set for a specific career. 

 

Yale offers more than eighty possible majors. Most students need to declare a major no later than the start of their junior year; students majoring in math, any science, or engineering are required to declare in their sophomore year, preferably in the fall semester. See the complete list of majors at Yale for more info. 

 

At Yale, diversity of study is as important as the depth of concentration, so students, in addition to declaring and fulfilling major requirements, are expected to complete distributional requirements. These distributional requirements include at least two course credits in the following subject areas: humanities and arts, sciences, social sciences, writing, and quantitative reasoning; and at least one course in the study of a language. 

 

Are There Double Majors at Yale?

 

So what if you want to double major? 

 

Although it’s rare, it is possible to pursue two majors during undergraduate studies at Yale. Double majoring at Yale comes with a particularly heavy course load, because the two majors must be completed independently of each other, with only two courses counting towards both majors. In addition to the twelve courses requirement for most majors, each major also includes a senior requirement, usually a senior essay, senior project, or a departmental examination. Students wishing to double major need to talk to their residential college dean as well as petition for permission to double-major. 

 

Yale also offers four Multidisciplinary Academic Programs for undergraduates: Education Studies, Energy Studies, Global Health Studies, and Human Rights Studies. These programs are what they sound like: they provide opportunities for students to draw upon skills and knowledge in a variety of disciplines to examine pressing social issues. Though each program focuses on a distinct set of issues, they all share a core curriculum and offer students opportunities for practical experience alongside other students and faculty with shared interests. 

 

Are There Dual Degree Programs at Yale?

 

Dual degree programs differ from double majors in that students receive two different degrees at the end of their studies. Yale offers a five-year B.A./B.S. and Master’s program in Music, Public Health, and Forestry & Environmental Studies. Graduates of these programs will receive both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. 

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Are There Minors at Yale?

 

At Yale, there are no minors. Majors ensure a rigorous academic experience, and the distributional requirements allows students to explore other areas. Of course, students can pursue additional coursework in fields of interest outside of their subject of concentration; Yale just won’t give you the certification for it. 

 

What Are Your Chances of Getting into Yale?

 

With an acceptance rate of just 6.5% (2020), Yale University is one of most selective schools in the country. Along with the rest of the Ivy League and other highly-selective colleges in the U.S., Yale uses the Academic Index to assess a student’s overall academic qualifications for admissions before considering other factors like essays and extracurriculars. 

 

Colleges take into account a variety of factors, many of which can’t be narrowed down to numbers, and it can be difficult to gauge where your profile sits in terms of chances of admissions. Our admissions chances calculator takes the guesswork out: it calculates your chances at admissions to Yale and any other school by taking into account your extracurriculars, grades, and demographics. We’ll also give you tips on how to improve your chances of acceptance. 

 

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Short Bio
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.

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