Yale University Requirements and Campus Guide

School Name: Yale University

School Location: New Haven, CT

School Type: Ivy League / Research University

Class of 2025

  • Early Applications: 7,939
  • Early Admitted: 837
  • Early Acceptance Rate: 10.5%
  • Regular Applications: 46,905
  • Regular Admitted: 2,169
  • Regular Acceptance Rate: 4.6%

General Info

Historical SAT/ACT Score (Test Optional)

  • SAT ERW: 720-770
  • SAT Math: 730-790
  • ACT Composite: 33-35


  • High Reach


  • Single Choice Early Action: November 1
  • Early Results: Mid-December
  • Regular Deadline: January 2
  • Regular Results: April 1

School Info

  • Schedule: Semester
  • Curriculum Type: General Education
  • Greek Life: Yes
  • Athletics: D1 – Ivy League

Yale Admission Requirements and Guide to Campus Life

Yale is a school whose rich history can be dated back to the 1640s in the colonial town of New Haven. It was officially founded in 1701 but wasn’t called “Yale College” until 1718. Since, then, it’s come to be recognized as one of the greatest universities in the world, and its campus houses world-class museums, research facilities, and libraries. Here are a few things to know about this Ivy League university.

What is Yale’s acceptance rate?

Yale’s acceptance rate is 6.54%—making it an ultra-competitive college. Out of 35,220 first-year applicants (Single Choice Early Action: 5,777; Regular Decision: 29,443, there were 2,304 acceptances for most recently admitted Class of 2024. Scorewise, 86.7% of admitted applicants for the Class of 2023 scored between a 32-36 on the ACT, 45.6% scored a 760+ on the Reading/Writing section of the SAT and 70.3% scored a 760+ on the Math section. 92% of students were in the top 10% of their class. Therefore, it is a Yale requirement to have an excellent application in order to be admitted. 

What are the academic requirements at Yale?

Students are required to take no fewer than two course credits in the humanities and arts, two course credits in the sciences, and two course credits in the social sciences. In addition to completing courses in these disciplinary areas, students must fulfill skills requirements by taking two course credits in quantitative reasoning, two course credits in writing, and courses to further their foreign language proficiency. These are known as the “distributional requirements” Depending on their level of accomplishment in foreign languages at matriculation, students may fulfill this last requirement with one, two, or three courses or by a combination of course work and approved study abroad. By the end of their sophomore year, students are required to settle on their major or double major. Yale does not offer minors.

Where is Yale located?

Yale is located in the eclectic city of New Haven, which has been described as “large enough to be interesting yet small enough to be friendly.” The history of the Elm City and the school has been inextricably tied for over three hundred years, and Yale students spend much time being active in the New Haven community. Many undergraduates participate in community service, especially in New Haven’s public schools.

New Haven is certainly known as a “foodie” town — the small town offers a dizzying array of cuisines, and is even where the first-ever hamburger was sold in 1895. According to Thrillist, “you’re not legally allowed to love pizza until you’ve eaten it in New Haven, Connecticut.” Food trucks are also a big part of food culture here — at Ingalls Rink, commonly referred to as “the Whale,” undergraduates and graduates flock to the food trucks stationed outside the rink for lunch, where they have their pick of Bengali to Ethipioan to Mediterranean cuisines.

Why Yale?

Yale is the third highest ranking university in the U.S. You’ve probably heard the name Yale mentioned a million times in movies, on the news, or on TV. But what makes Yale so special? Yale is known for its excellent arts programs, most notably its drama and music programs. The arts are heavily integrated into Yale’s culture, especially in its a cappella scene. The recently co-ed Whiffenpoofs are a world-famous group — they even do a global tour! Yale’s drama scene is also famous, with alumni such as Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Lupita Nyong’o. Besides the arts, Yale’s secret societies have also been much talked about. The most well-known society, Skull and Bones, counted George W. Bush and John Kerry among its alumni.

How diverse is the student body at Yale?

Based on information published by Yale on its Class of 2023, 49.3% of students identify as white, 11.8% as African American, 25.9% as Asian American, 3% as Native American, and 9.5% as international. 63% of students attended public school, 23% attended an independent day school, 6.3% attended a boarding school, and 7.4% attended a religious school. Geographically within the U.S., 31.4% hailed from the Northeast, 10% from the Middle Atlantic, 13.1% from the South, 10.4% from the Midwest, 5.9% from the Southwest, 16% from the West, and 13.2% from “other” including international. 17% of freshmen were first-generation college students.

How do I get into Yale?

        To apply, you are required to submit:
  • Common Application (Complete with additional Yale questions)
  • $80 non-refundable application fee (or fee waiver)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation from Teachers
  • High School Transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendation from a School Counselor
  • Official SAT scores or official ACT scores (applicants for the 2020-2021 cycle should be aware that Yale is not considering SAT subject test scores for admission due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Mid-Year Report detailing first-semester grades


Can I afford Yale’s tuition?

Yale’s tuition and fees in 2019 cost $53,430. There is no difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at Yale. Fortunately, Yale is committed to a generous financial aid policy. According to Yale’s financial aid website, all of Yale’s undergraduate financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Yale does not offer any merit-based scholarships. Yale meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students regardless of citizenship or immigration status. This includes undocumented students living in the US, with or without DACA status. More than 50% of Yale students receive need-based aid from Yale and 64% receive financial assistance from Yale or an outside source. Yale financial aid awards are based on the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, room, board, books, and personal expenses. Yale does not expect students to take out loans. Instead, Yale financial aid awards includes a Yale Scholarship, a parent contribution, and a small student contribution. The average Yale Scholarship was approximately $52,800 for the 2018-2019 school year. Families whose total gross income is less than $65,000 (with typical assets) are not expected to make a financial contribution towards their child’s Yale education. Families earning between $65,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) contribute a percentage of their yearly income towards their child’s Yale education, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% and moves toward 20%. There is no income cutoff for financial aid awards. Some families with over $200,000 in annual income receive need-based aid from Yale.

Does Yale have a good athletic department?

Yale has over 30 men’s and women’s varsity teams; over 40 club sports (most co-ed); and undergraduate and graduate intramural programs. Yale’s athletic facilities include a golf course and centers for tennis, polo, sailing, ice hockey, and more. The school also has a wealth of sports and recreation facilities where students can golf, sail, skate, swim, jog, play tennis, and more. Many students are also active participants in club sports. According to information published by Yale on its Sports and Recreation page, although some clubs remain solely recreational, most are highly competitive. National collegiate championships have been won by men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, croquet, fishing, polo, rugby, sailing, and skeet shooting. Additionally, numerous individual national collegiate championships have been won by a variety of club athletes. In 1976, Brad Simmons, captain of the Yale Skeet and Trap Club, was the first civilian shooter in twenty years to make the U.S. Olympic Skeet Team!