Universities of the World: Yale

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Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is a private, Ivy League university that was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest institution of higher-learning in the United States.

Yale, like many Ivy League schools, is split into three major academic divisions: Yale College, which is the undergraduate program; the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; and the professional schools, including a medical school, a school of architecture, and a divinity school.

Yale Law School, one of Yale’s professional schools, is the most selective law school in the world.

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Yale’s main campus, in downtown New Haven, is largely populated with collegiate gothic buildings, an architectural style that simulates the look and age of structures built during the middle ages. Built during the 20th century, these buildings exhibit medieval exterior features like stained glass and gargoyles, but were constructed with modern (for the 1930’s, anyway) steel frame interior construction.

Harkness tower, a stone tower reaching 216 ft. (66 m), is a prominent example of the style.

Yale is currently ranked seventh in the QS world-university-rankings, a bit of a fall from it’s position of fourth just last year.

As mentioned previously, Yale ranks second in the graduation of U.S. Presidents, falling behind only Harvard. Frustratingly enough (for Yale), the university also comes in second in the number of Supreme Court Justices produced by its law school, once again, lagging behind Harvard.

At least Yale can take comfort in its literature faculty being the forefathers of the deconstructionist movement, which is now the leading school of thought when it comes to literary theory, right?


Notable Alumni:

U.S. Presidents:

  • William Howard Taft
  • Gerald Ford
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush

Supreme Court Justices:

  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Samuel Alito
  • Clarence Thomas

U.S. Secretaries of State (aka “almost presidents”)

  • John Kerry
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Cyrus Vance
  • Dean Acheson


  • Paul Newman
  • Vincent Price
  • Meryl Streep
  • Jodie Foster
  • Angela Bassett
  • Courtney Vance
  • Frances McDormand
  • Elia Kazan
  • Oliver Stone
  • Sam Waterson
  • Michael Cimino


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Universities of the World: Yale
Universities of the World: Northwestern
Universities of the World: Cambridge
Universities of the World: Stanford
Universities of the World: Harvard
Universities of the World: Princeton