If you accelerate at Yale, you do not skip your first year; you take fewer courses in order to graduate sooner. Yale does not grant sophomore status to any entering first-year student.
There are two reasons for this acceleration policy. First, most courses are open to qualified first-year students, so there is no typical first-year program. First-year students take courses at varying levels depending on interest and preparation. Second—and more important—Yale’s acceleration policy allows you to spend at least one year at college before you decide whether or not you want to accelerate. This policy helps you make an informed decision about acceleration once you know Yale’s resources and have a clearer view of your capacities and your academic and personal goals. You may petition to accelerate by one term during your sophomore or junior year; you may petition to accelerate by two terms during your sophomore year or the first half of your junior year. In each case, you must meet the deadline given in the Academic Regulations section of the Yale College Programs of Study.