Yale Slang: A User’s Guide

Like all communities, Yale has its own shorthand. Before you find yourself lost in a conversation about sharing a Mory’s Cup after The Game, check out this list of popular Yale slang, abbreviations, and initialisms.

AACC: Asian American Cultural Center

Af-Am House: Afro-American Cultural Center 

BBS: Biological and Biomedical Sciences

La Casa: Latino Cultural Center 

CEID: Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design

As a center for design and engineering, CEID is open to graduate students, faculty, and undergraduates from across the university. A large variety of tools and resources are available here to help you chase your innovation dreams. 

CTF: Conference Travel Fund

Offered by the GSA, the CTF is a resource available for graduate students traveling to a conference for the purpose of presenting original work. Awards vary, with the maximum amount being $750. Don’t forget to apply!

CTL: The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning

Frequently referred to as simply “the CTL,” the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning is located within Sterling Memorial Library on Cross Campus. The Center provides consultations, workshops, and peer assistance for both undergraduate and graduate students. Interested in brushing up on new teaching techniques? The CTL offers a wide range of learning opportunities for new and experienced graduate teachers.

DGS: Director of Graduate Studies

The DGS is a vital part of every department, overseeing graduate student curriculum and serving as a resource for any department-related concerns you may have. Your DGS will approve your course schedules, coordinate your teaching assignments, and help make sure your route from matriculation to graduation is as smooth as possible.

DPR: Dissertation Progress Report

The Dissertation Progress Report is a form that is periodically completed after a PhD student reaches candidacy. It is designed to capture what you have done and what you plan to do, with an eye toward keeping you on track to finish your dissertation and to keep you on the same page as your advisor or PI.

G&P: Graduate and Professional Schools

G&P refers to all the graduate and professional schools and programs (Law, Medicine, Music, Drama, etc.) at Yale.

GPSS: G&P Senate

The G&P Senate represents students from all of the graduate and professional schools at Yale- 13 in all. The Senate works on broad issues that affect the entire graduate and professional student community, particularly focusing on ways to bring students across all schools together both to work and to socialize. They also provide funding for student groups and activities that are G&P inclusive.

The Game

The annual Harvard-Yale Football game. The Game takes place every fall on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Harvard and Yale take turns hosting, and Yalies will travel by busload to Cambridge to watch (and perhaps more importantly, tailgate) The Game.

Gryphon’s Pub

The Graduate and Professional Student Club at Yale with Gryphon’s Pub, the G&P student bar, in the basement. You can pay a small fee up-front to gain a year’s pass to the Gryphon, or you can elect to pay a small cover each time you go. The Pub is CASH ONLY.

GSA: Graduate Student Assembly

The GSA is elected by the graduate student body, and every department in the GSAS has at least one representative. The GSA identifies needs and concerns of graduate students, and then works with the administration to address them.

GSAS: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

If you are reading this, you are most likely a student enrolled in GSAS. Not to be confused with G&P, which is the GSAS plus the Professional Schools.

GUMI: Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative

GUMI is associated with YURA (Yale Undergraduate Research Association) and seeks to build fulfilling mentorship relationships between graduate students and undergraduate students.

GWL: Graduate Writing Lab

Need an outside opinion on that abstract? Interested in learning more about nailing your next poster presentation? The Graduate Writing Laboratory offers a number of different services and workshops to help you meet your writing goals. 

KBT: Kline Biology Tower

A tall, brick building on science hill. Home to the Marx Social Sciences Library (formerly the Center for Science and Social Science Information).

LC: Linsly-Chittenden Hall

Located on Old Campus, LC is the home of the English department and a popular location for many humanities lectures open to the broader community. 

MB&B: Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Mory’s Cup

A very large drink served in a large, silver trophy cup, available at Mory’s on York Street. Cups are ordered by drink color, and are almost always alcoholic.

NACC: Native American Cultural Center

OCS: Office of Career Strategy

For those who are curious about non-academic career options available to someone with an advanced degree from Yale, OCS is a terrific resource. OCS offers walk-in sessions, workshops, and meetings by appointment, and is a balanced alternative to your departmental resources that often tend to focus more on the academic job market.

OISS: Office of International Student & Scholars

OISS is the premier hub for all things concerning international study at Yale. The office provides resources on everything from receiving a social security number or ITIN to filing taxes as a non-resident to free events for building community and getting to know other students and their families at Yale.

PI: Principal Investigator

Students in the sciences almost always have a PI, or a professor in whose lab they work or to whom they report. The PI is generally that person’s primary advisor.

PWG: Payne Whitney Gymnasium

Located just to the west of Cross Campus, the Payne Whitney Gymnasium offers a wide range of physical activity options, including a large variety of classes and intramural sports.

Safe Rides

This shuttle will pick you up wherever you are and take you wherever you want to go within the confines of the shuttle boundaries. It runs from 6pm to 6am. You can request a shuttle through the TapRide App

SIS: Student Information Systems

From accessing any e-bills, to registering for classes, to updating your emergency contact information, most anything you need to do can be done through SIS.

TF: Teaching Fellow

While some universities refer to graduate teaching assistants as TAs, here at Yale, the common terminology is “TF” or “teaching fellow”. “TF” encompasses a wide range of teaching experiences and practices and responsibilities can vary across departments, disciplines, and teaching assignments. 

WHC: Whitney Humanities Center

Formerly located at 23 Wall Street, the Whitney Humanities Center is now located within the Humanities Quadrangle on York Street. The WHC promotes and supports a wide variety of talks and series that broaden and deepen our understanding of the humanities and their value.

WGSS: Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

YAA: Yale Alumni Association

The YAA frequently holds events that allow students to connect with both current peers and alumni from around the world. 

YCBA: Yale Center for British Art

The YCBA, located at 1080 Chapel Street, houses paintings, sculptures, photographs, rare books, and more, all of which fall under the category of British Art. This elegant museum is a wonderful place to examine art old and new and is free and open to the public.

YDN: Yale Daily News

Yale’s daily undergraduate newspaper. Print copies of it are available throughout campus– look in the entryways of academic buildings for stacks of the paper. 

YUAG: Yale University Art Gallery

Sprawling over several floors and displaying art from around the world and across time periods, the YUAG is a wonderful place to soak up visual culture, bask in all manner of aesthetic creation, and to learn something new about art and object production around the world. Located at 1111 Chapel Street, the Yale University Art Gallery is free to all visitors.