Best Majors at Yale: What You Need To Know

Top majors at Yale
April 26, 2024
6 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24


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 set yourself up with a successful career path right from the start. 

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.

Source: Yale University

Yale University is known to have a wide variety of programs; the university is on the leading edge of science research 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.

To help you decide which major you might like to pursue, keep reading as we weave our way through the top ten best Yale majors.

Program No. of Graduates Acceptance Rate
Economics 188 7%
History 100 13%
Political Science and Government 97 11%
Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology 83 6.2%
Statistics and Data Science 64 17%
Research and Experimental Psychology 53 6%
International Relations 46 16%
Mathematics 46 21%
English 41 11%
Cognitive Science 38 6.2%

Top 10 Best Majors at Yale

The top ten best majors at Yale University reflect their wide range of expertise. Here is what we’ve gathered as the best majors you can study at Yale.

Yale University

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. 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.

Emphasizing 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 their leading programs.

3. Political Science and Government

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!

4. Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology

One of the best majors at Yale is their Cellular Biology program. In this expansive field of study, students engage with cutting-edge top-of-the-line technology to help them apply their learning in the field of science. This program is especially engaging for those interested in the cellular processes and their impact on health and disease.

For students wanting to make change in the scientific field, this major would be a great field of study. The program emphasizes practical, hands-on experience, preparing students for real-world challenges in the field of cellular biology. Graduates can pursue jobs such as Cellular Biologists once completing this highly esteemed program.

5. Statistics and Data Science

Yale's Statistics and Data Science program shows how much the university values teaching students to think critically and analyze things in depth. The program is well-known for mixing statistical theory with real-world practice, which is excellent for students who want to keep up with today's fast-moving industries and research areas. 

In the program, students get to dive into both classic stats methods and newer data analysis stuff. This way, they're ready to handle all sorts of problems in different career paths. Graduates from this program can expect to land jobs as a Data Scientist, Statistician, Market Research Analyst, and more! 

6. Research and Experimental Psychology

Yale University's Research and Experimental Psychology program stands out for its arduous and advanced curriculum, equipping students with a broad spectrum of professional opportunities. 

Graduates from this program are particularly adept at pursuing academic research and teaching roles at the collegiate level, as well as engaging in pioneering psychological studies. They are also well-prepared for roles in healthcare as clinical research coordinators, in corporate environments as industrial-organizational psychologists, and within government and non-profit sectors, contributing to policy analysis and program assessment. 

The program's focus on research methodologies and a deep comprehension of human behavior renders its alumni highly desirable in both the public and private sectors, owing to their ability to apply psychological principles to real-world challenges.

7. International Relations

Yale University's International Relations program is recognized for its comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, preparing students for a wide array of career paths in the global arena. Graduates from this program are equipped to excel in diplomatic roles, international policy analysis, and global consultancy. 

Students often find opportunities post-graduation in government agencies, working in foreign affairs or national security. Additionally, many pursue careers in international organizations like the United Nations or the World Bank, contributing to global development and policy-making. 

The private sector also offers roles in multinational corporations, where knowledge of international markets and geopolitical dynamics is crucial. The program's emphasis on understanding complex global issues, coupled with training in negotiation and cross-cultural communication, positions its alumni as highly marketable in the world of international relations.

8. Mathematics

Yale University's Mathematics program is celebrated for its depth and breadth, building a strong foundation in both theoretical and applied mathematics. Graduates from this program are well-prepared for a diverse range of careers that demand high-level quantitative and analytical skills. 

Many find themselves in academia, continuing to research and teach mathematics. Others venture into the finance sector, taking up roles as quantitative analysts, risk managers, or algorithmic traders. 

The tech industry also attracts a significant number of graduates, where they excel in roles like data scientists or software engineers, applying mathematical models to solve complex problems. In addition, government and research organizations offer opportunities for mathematicians to contribute to public policy development, economic forecasting, and national security projects. 

The program's robust training in abstract reasoning and problem-solving equips graduates to tackle challenging and dynamic problems across many different industries.

9. English

For students wanting an academic background in English literature, sentence structure, and grammar, the English program at Yale is a leading program. This field allows students to apply their learning to a plethora of different writing pieces such as essays, articles, books, and other scholarly papers. 

Graduates from the highly esteemed English program at Yale can expect to find jobs in a variety of different fields such as writing, communications, or even digital marketing. With so many options, the English program is undoubtedly one of the best majors at Yale.

10. Cognitive Science

Yale University's Cognitive Science program is known for its interdisciplinary approach, blending elements from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and computer science. Graduates from this program are exceptionally well-prepared for diverse career paths that require a deep understanding of the human mind and its processes. 

Many alumni find their niche in academic research or teaching, diving deeper into cognitive science theory and experimentation. In the tech industry, graduates are highly sought after for roles in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and user experience design, where they apply their knowledge to enhance technology's alignment with human cognition. 

Healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors also offer roles in neuropsychological research and therapy development. The program's comprehensive focus on the cognitive processes equips its graduates with the versatility to impact a range of fields where understanding human cognition is paramount.

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. History 
  3. Political Science and Government 
  4. Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  5. Statistics and Data Science

3. What Does Yale Specialize In?

Yale specializes in many programs including Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Mathematics and Statistics, Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, History, Engineering, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies, Psychology, and Visual and Performing Arts.

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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