Yale is both a small college and a large research university. The College is surrounded by thirteen distinguished graduate and professional schools, and its students partake in the intellectual stimulation and excitement of a major international center of learning. The faculty is known for its special devotion to undergraduate teaching. Many of Yales most distinguished senior professors teach introductory courses as well as advanced seminars to undergraduates. Faculty members are accessible to students and take a great deal of interest in working closely with undergraduates. Yales curriculum allows students to achieve both breadth and specialization across several disciplines. In addition to probing a major field in depth, students are expected to explore three important areas of knowledge - the humanities and arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. While exploring several subject areas, students are also expected to sharpen their writing, quantitative, and foreign language skills. Yales unique residential college system organizes the student body into twelve small communities where students live, eat, socialize, and pursue academic and extracurricular activities. Before arriving as a freshman each student is randomly assigned to one of the colleges, giving students a built-in community from the moment they arrive. Most Yale students become convinced that their residential college is the best residential college. Each college is home to a microcosm of the undergraduate student body as a whole, and allows students to have the cohesiveness and intimacy of a small school while still enjoying the vibrancy and resources of a world-class university. Yale students are actively involved in the New Haven community, benefiting from and enhancing the citys many cultural, recreational, and political opportunities. New Haven boasts diverse and abundant resources in the arts. There is a vibrant cultural and artistic life in the city, a myriad of opportunities both academic and social, and a remarkable choice of places to eat. New Haven is part of a Yale education: the experience of contemporary urban life broadens students perspectives and helps prepare them for life after college. Yale students have a long tradition of intense involvement with extracurricular activity. There are more than 500 active organizations on campus, ranging from the Undergraduate Math Society to the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project, and including 50 performance groups and 60 cultural associations. This enormous range of opportunities endows Yale College with a palpable energy and spirit of commitment. But perhaps the first thing that students notice about their college is the caliber of their fellow students. There are extraordinary artists, student government leaders, star athletes, passionate activists, award-winning poets, prize-winning scientists, and people who are just simply "well-rounded." Because Yale students come from such a wide range of ethnic, religious, cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, there is a remarkable exchange of ideas. Yale is a major research university that focuses primarily on undergraduate education and encourages students to become leaders of their generation in whatever they wish to pursue.