Best Majors at Yale: What You Need To Know

Yale University entrance
November 9, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/23


If you are applying to Yale, this guide to the best Yale majors will help you narrow down your choices. Keep reading to find out the Top 10 Best Majors at Yale.


If you are hoping to attend Yale University, it’s good to know a bit about the programs they can offer you. This article will outline the best Yale majors so that you can have a heads-up on the type of options you’ll have. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the top ten best majors at Yale University.

What Is Yale Known For?

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is one of the oldest institutions in the United States. Since it was founded in 1701, the institution has been dedicated to shaping the minds of many great leaders, such as former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Yale University is known to have a wide variety of programs; the university is on the leading edge of research in science and boasts one of the country’s best-performing arts and literature programs. Yale is also home to some of the best graduate programs in the world.

Top 10 Best Majors at Yale

The top ten best majors at Yale University reflect their wide range of expertise. 

1. Economics

Economics is one of Yale’s most popular programs. Students learn how tax credits can create incentives for the labor market and human behavior. It is this well-rounded look at the world of finance that makes the economics program one of the best majors at Yale.

Students are taught about how current events play a role in the world economy. They are then able to use this knowledge to predict future economic states and successfully build careers in leading organizations as financial advisors, investment bankers, and economic consultants. 

By focusing on real-world issues, the economics program has become the top major at Yale.

2. Political Science

As number two on our list of the best Yale majors, Political Science will teach students the basic principles of how individuals and groups organize and make collective decisions.

Students are asked to critically evaluate government institutions and can study subfields such as American government, comparative politics, or international relations. Yale’s political science program allows students to go on to many different careers, whether it be becoming a lawyer, politician, journalist, or diplomat. 

No matter your career path, you’ll be given the knowledge and skills you’ll need to be successful as a political science major!  

3. History

Another one of the best majors at Yale is History, which comes in just under political science in popularity. Guided by the idea that shaping the future requires knowing the past, Yale’s history department tries to teach students the history of human experimentation and ingenuity.

Placing emphasis on learning how to be effective storytellers and analysts, majoring in history can teach students to craft impactful arguments that speak to wide audiences. The history department also emphasizes that students can learn histories from all over the world, giving them the ability to think in a broadly humanistic way.

Taking history can also lead students down many different paths, including teaching, political science, or journalism, which is why it has become one of the best Yale majors.

4. Computer Science

The computer science department at Yale offers a B.A. or B.Sc., depending on which route you take. There are four combined majors with other departments: 

  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Computer Science and Economics
  • Computer Science and Mathematics 
  • Computer Science and Psychology.

Though each computer science major has to take the same core courses, students can opt to take combined major programs to pursue their areas of interest. Students can pick from a variety of jobs after graduating, which also makes it one of the best majors at Yale.

5. Psychology

One of the best majors at Yale is Psychology which offers students a B.A. or B.Sc. program, depending on the courses you take. 

The psychology department hopes to teach students how to understand human behavior and why we do the things we do. Each student is required to take two courses in social science and two in natural science, giving students a well-rounded education and making this one of the best majors at Yale.

Those graduating with a degree in psychology can look forward to a career in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, or neuroscientific psychology, just to name a few.

6. Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Students in the molecular, cellular, and developmental biology program can take a variety of courses that will teach them how to look at the world differently.

They can learn about molecules, cells, and tissues or study the evolutionary history and the process of evolution. After graduating, students can look forward to careers in medicine, pharmacology, scientific research, or biotechnology. 

These exciting career paths are just a few reasons why molecular, cellular, and developmental biology is one of the best majors at Yale.

7. Global Affairs

Global affairs is one of the best Yale majors as they focus on teaching students global citizenship by enhancing the world around them. Students studying global affairs can take courses in economic development, international relations, global health, or global climate policy.

By giving their students flexibility in what they study, the global affairs program has become one of the best majors at Yale University. Students who graduate from this field can go on to work at world-renowned NGOs such as Oxfam or UNICEF. 

For those with different ambitions, a degree in global affairs could also allow them to go into national security, foreign policy, or diplomacy. Having so many choices after graduation is what makes this program popular and one of the best Yale majors.

8. English

The next best Yale major is English, which teaches students to explore literature across multiple genres and periods. They focus on cultivating the students’ powers of argument and analysis by teaching them about perspectives and how they change depending on the time period and location of the literature.

The English department also has a robust creative writing program where students are taught by renowned authors. This can draw students to study English at Yale as it can be a great stepping stone for a future author.

By creating these types of opportunities, English has become one of the best Yale majors and should be considered by anyone hoping to study the topic after high school.

9. Statistics and Data Science

Students who take statistics and data science at Yale University will study both mathematical and practical foundations. Statistics and data science is one of the best majors at Yale; it teaches students to visualize and explore data in order to make future predictions.

The knowledge and skills gained in this program can be used in business as an actuary, which is a very lucrative and popular job. It can also be used in positions such as data analysis and marketing. Being able to gain a career in this field makes statistics and data science the best Yale major, as it has immediate applications in the real world.

10. Cognitive Science

As its name suggests, Cognitive science studies the nature of cognitive processes such as perception, reasoning, memory, attention, language, decision-making, and problem-solving. When studying cognitive science, students can receive either a B.A. or a B.Sc., making this one of the best Yale majors. 

Being able to combine cognitive science with psychology, philosophy, or neuroscience also makes this a very popular major. Students can go on to have careers in behavioral science, psychology, or scientific research.

Now that you know more about the top ten best majors at Yale, you will have a better understanding of the options you might be seeing when attending Yale.

Find the Major That Suits You Best at Yale

Take our interactive quiz below to find out what you should study at Yale.

FAQs: Best Majors at Yale

Still have questions about the best majors at Yale University? Take a look at our answers to a few common questions about the best Yale majors.

1. What Majors Are Yale Known For?

Other than the top majors at Yale listed above, Yale is known for their performing arts major as it produced such talents as Meryl Streep and Edward Norton. They also have had notoriety more recently for their psychology course on happiness which was their most popular course for a few years running.

2. What Are the Top Five Majors at Yale University?

The top five majors at Yale are: 

  1. Economics
  2. Political Science
  3. History
  4. Computer Science
  5. Psychology

[QUIZ] Discover What You Should Study in College

[QUIZ] Discover What You Should Study in College


Final Thoughts

No matter what you study at Yale University, rest assured that you will be getting one of the best educations. Hopefully, our guide on the top ten Yale majors will help you decide what you might like to study at Yale.

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