Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the “Collegiate School” was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers. It moved to New Haven in 1716 and shortly after was renamed Yale College in recognition of a gift from British East India Company governor Elihu Yale.
Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first Ph.D. in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Its faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.
Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs.
In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut and forest and nature preserves throughout New England.
The university’s assets include an endowment valued at $30.3 billion as of September 2019, the second largest endowment of any educational institution in North America. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States.
The U.S. News & World Report ranked Yale 3rd among U.S. national universities for 2016, as it has for each of the past sixteen years.
In the international sphere, it was ranked 11th in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, 10th in the 2016-17 Nature Index for quality of scientific research output, and 10th in the 2016 CWUR World University Rankings.
The university was also ranked 6th in the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) Global University Employability Rankings and 8th in the THE Academic World Reputation Rankings. In 2019, it ranked 25th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings.
Yale seniors at graduation smash clay pipes underfoot to symbolize passage from their “bright college years,” though in recent history the pipes have been replaced with “bubble pipes”. (“Bright College Years,” the University’s alma mater, was penned in 1881 by Henry Durand, Class of 1881, to the tune of Die Wacht am Rhein.) Yale’s student tour guides tell visitors that students consider it good luck to rub the toe of the statue of Theodore Dwight Woolsey on Old Campus.
Actual students rarely do so. In the second half of the 20th century Bladderball, a campus-wide game played with a large inflatable ball, became a popular tradition but was banned by administration due to safety concerns. In spite of administration opposition, students revived the game in 2009, 2011, and 2014, but its future remains uncertain.