Yale’s Directed Studies (DS) is an elective program within the Humanities Program offering first-year students a comprehensive interdisciplinary education in philosophy, literature, history, and political thought. In three integrated, full-year courses, students progress through classical and biblical literature, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and the twentieth century.
Created in the 1940s as an experiment in liberal education, DS offers students a single, coordinated plan of study. Today, the program engages more than forty faculty members and one hundred students each year. A jewel of Yale’s Humanities Program, DS is showcased by the Admissions Office in its outreach to prospective students.
Students learn to analyze challenging material, participate meaningfully in seminar discussions, and write clear and persuasive essays. Not surprisingly, DS students earn a disproportionately large number of Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. Alumni of the program are well-represented among the nation’s most respected writers, journalists, researchers, and business leaders, and they are quick to attest that Directed Studies played a crucial role in forming their intellectual lives.
To support the Humanities Program and Directed Studies teaching, programming, outreach, and other key activities, please contribute to the Humanities Program Endowment Fund – fund designation number 37673 or the Humanities Program Spendable Fund – fund designation 38179 by sending a check payable to Yale University to the address below with the fund name and designation number in the memo line.
Yale University Office of Development Contribution Processing
P.O. Box 2038
New Haven, CT 06521-2038
Or go to For Humanity: The Yale Campaign
Select “Strategic Initiatives,” click on “Other” and then select “Continue.” Type in “Humanities Program Endowment Fund, designation number 37673” or “Humanities Program Spendable Fund, designation number 38179” when asked to specify area of support.
If you have any questions, please contact the Dean of Humanities, Kathryn Lofton, with questions on support.