Berkeley FAQ

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 “LDub.” Most students live in quads, with four students sharing a two-bedroom suite. There is also a smattering of triples (three students sharing a two-bedroom suite) and doubles (two students sharing one large bedroom) in LDub.  Most suites would be best described as compact, with a common room that is approximately 12’ x 16’ and bedrooms that are roughly 7’ x 11’. Given the typical bedroom size, most rooms contain bunkbeds. Closet and drawer space also is limited, so you should pack carefully, concentrating on the bare essentials. Bedrooms are assigned, but bunks aren’t, so the first mission for roommates 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.  While every effort is made to make suitable matches between suitemates, following the Berkeley ethos of a healthy, congenial balance between differences and affinities, there unfortunately is no foolproof formula that can be followed when it comes to housing assignments. The ultimate success of the system 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 the Dean and the First-Year Counselors (“FroCos”). Don’t be afraid to ask them all your questions, from the small and routine 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 Thunderfloq program, which is a mentorship and community-oriented initiative that spans all BK class years. You will receive an email with more information about this program in July.

How should I read the Blue Book? Should I arrive with my schedule all planned out?
You should visit Yale Course Search and think about courses you would like to take. Don’t decide on a particular schedule immediately, but do consider some options and talk through them with your FroCo if you need some advice prior to coming to campus. 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?
Additional move-in day logistical information will be sent to you via email.  Check your email for messages from First-Year Affairs.

Until then, 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 the Head of College, Dean, Staff, FROCOs and Berkeley College Aides will be there to welcome you, and to help you navigate the day.

Where can I send packages ahead of time?
Check out the Student Package Center website for the most current information regarding packages.

I’m trying to arrange vacation plans for Winter Break – what do I need to know?
Check out the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines.

I have another question not answered above. Whom should I ask?
During the summer, any questions about the college can be addressed to the Berkeley College Office; please email Questions about academic matters can be directed to the Dean’s Office; please email 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