Berkeley 2019 FAQ




Now and ongoing: Get to know your fellow Berkeley classmates and First-Year Counselor

By July 30, 2019: Complete the 5-minute Berkeley First-Year Survey

Friday, August 23, 2019: Move-In Begins at 9 am.  Family Reception is at 4 pm (Swensen House, 125 High St). Mandatory registration is at 8 pm.


What do I need to know about my room?

Berkeley first-year students live on Old Campus, directly across Elm Street, in Lanman-Wright Hall, fondly known as “L-Dub.”  Most students live in quads, with four students sharing a two-bedroom suite.  There is also a smattering of triples and doubles in L-Dub, as well as one quint.  The first thing you will notice about your L-Dub room is that it is very small.  Common rooms are approximately 12’ x 16’, and bedrooms are roughly 7’ x 11’;  just enough room for bunks.  Closet space is extremely limited, so you should pack carefully, concentrating on the bare essentials.  Bedrooms are assigned, but bunks aren’t, so your first mission is to decide who goes where.  We highly recommend that you talk with each other before staking your claim.


What is the best way to talk to my new suitemates?

First of all, please take the time over the summer to introduce yourselves, through whatever medium you prefer.  That said, we would like to remind you to take care to listen as well as to inform, starting from your very first encounter.  Please receive others’ introductions of themselves with grace, patience, and warmth.  This is simultaneously a moment of excitement and anxiety for all concerned, and – as we all know – excitement and anxiety can sometimes produce awkward first encounters (especially over email or Facebook).  Go easy, be compassionate and calm, and allow your new dynamic to establish itself.   We took great pains to make suitable matches between suitemates, following the Berkeley ethos of a healthy, congenial balance between differences and affinities.  The ultimate success of the system, however, depends on your willingness to learn how to get along with each other.  The good news is that you will find plenty of support here in Berkeley for this challenge and all the other tests of your first year.


What kind of support is available to me?

During the academic year, your first line of support is Dean Bilsky and the First-Year Counselors.  Don’t be afraid to ask them all your questions, from the small and picayune to the large and important, and everything in-between.  You will also be assigned a College Adviser (CA), whom you will meet at the end of August.  The CA is a professor, dean, or other learned member of the Yale Community chosen from the Berkeley College Fellowship.  We also recommend that you take advantage of Berkeley’s Big Sib program, which will match you to a sophomore who is here to welcome you and to share enthusiastically his or her hard-earned wisdom from last year.


How should I read the Blue Book?  Should I arrive with my schedule all planned out?

You should read the Blue Book (Yale College Programs of Study, or YCPS;, and think about courses you would like to take.  Don’t decide on a particular schedule immediately, but do consider some options.  Try different approaches – take away a Math course and substitute Philosophy, for example.  Drop a History course and consider Cultural Anthropology.  Pick one new field and develop a schedule around it: a new foreign language, or Linguistics, or Environmental Studies, or Computer Science, Political Science, Humanities or Geology (Rumor has it the last two are quite good choices).  Play around with your options, and know that it is only by experiencing classes and talking over your options that you will make your final decisions – enjoy the freedom that comes with these possibilities, explore your options, and embrace the act of questioning.  Plan to make changes, and to enjoy the intellectual smorgasbord that is Yale!


What should I know about Move-In Day?

There are really two things to think about here.  First is the logistical and physical information.  Upon arrival, you will immediately be surrounded by an army of Berkeley students who have volunteered to help you convey your boxes to your room.  Do not be alarmed by this outpouring of enthusiastic support.  You will soon see that your fellow Berkeleyites are delighted to meet you and eager to help: this is their way of showing their affection for you, and also repaying the debt they owe to those who performed the same service for them on their Move-In Day.  If you have any problems with your room (e.g., missing pegs for raising beds, etc.), there will be a help desk on Old Campus, or you can contact Georgetta Sheppard at 203-432-0147.  


Secondly, it is worth your while to take a few minutes and envision the day in its fullness, with the heady emotions that come with the first day of college.  For you, the day will rightly feel like the start of a great adventure; for a parent or guardian, the day can bring mixed emotions.  Unchecked, these feelings can sometimes produce some pretty serious weirdness in otherwise lovely people.  Small inconveniences – like a problem with a room key or a stuck dresser-drawer – can lead to disproportionately large reactions – and these responses can then take on an awkward life of their own.  The good news is that you can plan ahead.  This summer, make time to sit down with your family and discuss the reality of your departure for college.  Be sure both to discuss the details of Move-In Day, as well as to come up with a plan for the first semester.  Consider how and when you will be able to communicate with home, and how home will be able to communicate with you.  If, despite your best efforts this summer, your “support team” from home is still a little anxious on the big day, you can seek help from your First-Year Counselor, the Head of Berkeley College Office, or the Dean’s Office (contact information below).  Remember that HoC Evans and Dean Bilsky will be there to welcome you, and to help you navigate the day.


Where can I send packages ahead of time? 

We recommend that you bring with you your most important items.  Please be mindful that because of the logistics of all students moving onto campus, your packages may not be immediately available for pickup on Move-In Day.  In addition, please also note that there is no storage space on campus, and remember that there is limited space in your room.


Please be aware that you should not ship anything before Friday, August 9th.  The address for all UPS, DHL, and Fed

Ex packages is:


(Your Name)
Yale University
Berkeley College
250 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510


USPS mail (including magazines, bank statements, cards and letters) is NOT accepted at the Student Receiving center and is subject to be returned to sender.


Incoming new students, first-year students and transfers, must follow the mailing and shipping directions within the First-Year Student Handbook.


For additional information about shipping, please see:


I’m trying to arrange vacation plans for Winter Break – what do I need to know?

Because final exams cannot be rescheduled to accommodate travel plans, we encourage you to wait to purchase airplane or train tickets until you have finalized your classes and thus know your exam schedule.  The last scheduled final exam in the Fall Term ends at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, December 18.  Dormitories close the next day at noon, at which time you must leave campus until Wednesday, January 8, 2020, which is the earliest date on which you can return.  You must be sure to be back in time for our mandatory Spring Registration meeting, which begins at 9 pm (on the dot) on Sunday, January 12 – the night before classes start.  You can find the 2019-2020 academic calendar here.


I have another question not answered above.  Whom should I ask?

During the summer, any questions about the college can be addressed to the Head of Berkeley College Office; please call the senior administrative assistant at 203-432-0500. Questions about academic matters can be directed to the Dean’s Office; please call 203-432-0502 or email senior administrative assistant Damaris Cardona at  Your First-Year Counselor will also be in touch with you and will be able either to answer your question or to help you figure out who can.


Welcome once more to Berkeley: the college that is fairly and objectively regarded as the best at Yale!