1. Yale University

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  5. About Yale University

    Yale University is a private university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and is a member of the Ivy League. Particularly well-known are its undergraduate school, Yale College, and the Yale Law School, each of which has produced a number of U.S. presidents and foreign heads of state. In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. school to award the Ph.D. Also notable is the Yale School of Drama, which has produced many prominent Hollywood and Broadway actors and writers, as well as the art, divinity, forestry and environment, music, medical, management, nursing and architecture schools, each of which is often cited as among the finest in its field.

    The university's assets include a $22.5 billion endowment (the second-largest of any academic institution) and more than a dozen libraries that hold a total of 12.5 million volumes (the second-largest university library system). Yale has 3,300 faculty members, who teach 5,300 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students. Yale is organized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

    Yale's 70 undergraduate majors are primarily focused on a liberal curriculum, and few of the undergraduate departments are pre-professional in nature. About 20% of Yale undergraduates major in the sciences, 35% in the social sciences, and 45% in the arts and humanities. All tenured professors teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually.

    Yale uses a
    residential college housing system modeled after those at Oxford and Cambridge. Each of 12 residential colleges houses a representative cross-section of the undergraduate student body, and features facilities, seminars, resident faculty, and support personnel.

    Yale's graduate programs include those in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — covering 53 disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, biology, physical sciences and engineering — and those in the Professional Schools of Architecture, Art, Divinity, Drama, Forestry & Environmental Sciences, Law, Management, Medicine, Music, Nursing, and Public Health.

    Yale and Harvard have been rivals in almost everything for most of their history, notably academics, rowing and American football.

    Yale president Rick Levin summarized the university's institutional priorities for its fourth century: "First, among the nation's finest research universities, Yale is distinctively committed to excellence in undergraduate education. Second, in our graduate and professional schools, as well as in Yale College, we are committed to the education of leaders."

    The nicknames "Elis" (after Elihu Yale) and "Yalies" are often used, both within and outside Yale, to refer to Yale students.

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