undergraduate liberal arts college of Yale University
Yale College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Yale University. Founded in 1701, it is the original school of the university. Although other schools of the university were founded as early as 1810, all of Yale was officially known as Yale College until 1887, when its schools were confederated and the institution was renamed Yale University.
Originally established to train Congregationalist ministers, the college began teaching humanities and natural sciences by the late 18th century. At the same time, students began organizing extracurricular organizations, first literary societies, and later publications, sports teams, and singing groups. By the mid-19th century, it was the largest college in the United States. In 1847, it was joined by another undergraduate degree-granting school at Yale, the Sheffield Scientific School, which was absorbed into the college in the mid-20th century. These merged curricula became the basis of the modern-day liberal arts curriculum, which requires students to take courses in a broad range of subjects, including foreign language, composition, sciences, and quantitative reasoning, in addition to electing a departmental major in their sophomore year.
The most distinctive feature of undergraduate life is the school's system of residential colleges, established in 1932 and modeled after constituent schools of English universities. All undergraduates live in these colleges after their freshman year, when most live on the school's Old Campus.
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