Special Programs

Directed Studies

Directed Studies is a selective freshman interdisciplinary program in Western civilization. One hundred twenty-five freshmen are admitted to the program each fall. The Literature, Philosophy, and History and Politics tracks of Directed Studies together comprise one coherent program of study, and students must enroll in all three tracks simultaneously. Successful completion of the fall-term Directed Studies courses is a prerequisite to enrolling in the spring-term courses.

The Freshman Web site describes the program and explains the application procedure. Additional information is available on the program’s Web site.

Freshman Seminar Program

The Freshman Seminar program offers first-year students the opportunity to enroll in small classes with some of Yale’s most eminent faculty members. Roughly fifty freshman seminars across a wide range of subjects are offered every year, in both fall and spring terms. Some seminars provide an introduction to a particular field of study; others take an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of topics. Whatever the subject and method of instruction, all seminars are designed with freshmen in mind and provide a context for developing relationships with faculty members and peers.

A description of the program and application procedures can be viewed on the program’s Web site.

Residential College Seminars

The Residential College Seminar program, instituted in 1968, is devoted to the development of innovative courses that fall outside traditional departmental structures. The instructors for the seminar program are drawn from the University community and from the region, including individuals outside academic life such as writers, artists, participants in government and the public sector, and experts from the arts and the media. The college seminar program encourages innovative courses, and student committees in the residential colleges play a significant role in selecting seminars, but all courses in the program must satisfy standard requirements for academic credit in Yale College and must be approved by the relevant faculty committees that oversee the curriculum.

Each residential college sponsors at least one seminar each term. Additional seminars are occasionally sponsored directly by the program and are equally open to students from all residential colleges. Descriptions of the seminars are found on the program’s Web site.

The DeVane Lectures

The DeVane Lectures are a special series of lectures that are open to the general public as well as to students and to other members of the Yale community. They were established in 1969 in honor of William Clyde DeVane, Dean of Yale College from 1939 to 1963. Details of the course are listed under DeVane Lecture Course in Subjects of Instruction. Supplementary meetings will be held for those students taking the lectures for credit.

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)

Yale hosts both Naval and Air Force ROTC units, which offer qualified Yale College students an opportunity to pursue their regular Yale degrees while also preparing for leadership positions in the United States Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps. Regardless of financial need, participating students may receive significant help in meeting the costs of a Yale education. Further information about the Air Force ROTC program can be found on the Yale AFROTC Web site or under Aerospace Studies in Subjects of Instruction. Further information about the Naval ROTC program (including the Marine Corps program) can be found on the Yale NROTC Web site or under Naval Science in Subjects of Instruction. Students not matriculated at Yale who are participating in the Air Force ROTC program as part of a cross-town arrangement are subject to Yale College’s Undergraduate Regulations.

Francis Writer-in-Residence

The Francis Writer-in-Residence in Yale College is a distinguished writer of nonfiction who teaches either one or two courses each academic year. He or she is actively engaged with undergraduate life and serves as an academic mentor through seminars, readings, meetings with students, and other activities. The Francis Writer-in-Residence for 2016–2017 is Anne Fadiman.

Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence

The Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence in Yale College is a distinguished professional writer, chosen from fiction writers, playwrights, critics, journalists, screenwriters, essayists, poets, and social commentators. Both as a fellow of a residential college and as an instructor of one or two courses in each academic year, the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence meets formally and informally with students through classes and through readings and extracurricular activities. The Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence for 2016–2017 is Louise Glück.

Yale Journalism Initiative

The Yale Journalism Initiative brings a distinguished writer to campus to teach an advanced journalism seminar, ENGL 467. The seminar is open to undergraduates and select graduate and professional students; application is required through the English department’s selection process for creative writing classes. Students who complete the seminar may apply to become Yale Journalism Scholars, a distinction that provides access to summer support for internships, career counseling with a journalism specialist in the Writing Center, and invitations to meet professional journalists at events both on and off campus. For more information on the initiative or on becoming a Journalism Scholar, see the Journalism Initiative Web site.