Yale has a system of 12 residential colleges, instituted
in the early 1930s through a grant by Yale graduate Edward S.
Harkness, who admired the college system at Oxford and Cambridge. Undergraduate students are accepted by the university as a
whole, and assigned to residential colleges at random. (A special dispensation, though, is made for "legacy" students or students
with siblings currently enrolled in Yale College; they may request to be placed in the same college or to be placed in a
different college.) Each college has a carefully constructed support structure for students, including a Dean, Master, affiliated
faculty, and resident Fellows. Each college also features distinctive architecture, secluded courtyards, and rich facilities
ranging from libraries to squash courts to darkrooms. While each college at Yale offers its own seminars, social events, and
Master's Teas with luminaries from the outside world, Yale students also take part in academic and social programs across the
university, and all of Yale's 2,000 courses are open to undergraduates from any college.Residential colleges are named for important figures or places in university history or notable alumni; they are deliberately
not named for benefactors.After complaints arose during the renovation in the late 1980s of early residential colleges, a swing dormitory was built in
1998 to facilitate housing students during the massive overhaul of buildings that had seen only intermediate improvements in
plumbing, heating, electrical and network wiring, and general maintenance over their 30-to-60-year existence. The earliest
buildings were splashed with acid
Residential Colleges of Yale University (official list
- Berkeley College 
- Branford College 
- named for Branford, Connecticut, where Yale was
- Calhoun College  -
named for John C. Calhoun, vice-president of the United States.
- Davenport College 
- Ezra Stiles College 
- Jonathan Edwards College 
- Morse College  - named for
Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code. Also designed by Eero Saarinen.
- Pierson College  -
named for Yale's first rector, Abraham Pierson.
- Saybrook College 
- named for Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the town
in which Yale was founded.
- Silliman College  - named
for noted scientist and Yale professor Benjamin Silliman.
Approximately half of its structures were originally part of the Sheffield Scientific School,
- Timothy Dwight College 
- Trumbull College