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The Common Room at the McDougal Graduate Center

The McDougal Common Room & Lounge, 135 Prospect Street

Located on the upper floor of 135 Prospect Street (Founders Hall), the McDougal Common Room & Lounge is the Graduate School students’ own space for hanging out, studying or socializing. Whether you come for relaxation or work, the Common Room - with its own comfortable couches, many tables and chairs, and WIFI and outlets - is the perfect place to connect with other Yale’s graduate students, especially outside your program. It’s a “third place,” not work or home, useful for building your own community. Check out these other Resources available to you at the McDougal Center.

The new interim location of the McDougal Center on the upper floor at 135 Prospect Street (Founders Hall) offers renovated space with the following features:

  • Comfortable living room furniture, tables and chairs, cozy nooks and window seats
  • Lots of windows with natural light and lamps for task lighting
  • Table & chair area, microwave (BYO lunch!), filtered hot and cold water, coffee and tea
  • Many electrical outlets and USB plugs to charge and recharge devices
  • Large Screen monitors for E-bulletin Boards (coming soon)
  • Newspaper and Magazines (coming soon)
  • Air-conditioning!


McDougal Common Room Use Rules

  • Registered GSAS students can access to the McDougal Common Room & Lounge via Prox ID readers on entry doors; spouses and guests may accompany the GSAS student for informal use and for events.
  • Graduate School students and their family members can study, meet informally, socialize, nap, enjoy coffee and tea, or bring your own food and drinks, in the McDougal Common Room & Lounge during operating hours. After hours access is not permitted.
  • Graduate students can hold small informal meetings in the Common Room providing that there is space available and that the activities do not disrupt the other users of the Center. Informal groups of six or fewer GS student users, such as study groups, may use the space as available.
  • As “the graduate students’ living room,” the McDougal Common Room may not be reserved for any function or event organized by a graduate student organization or university department or for private social functions. It is a public space for informal use by all members of the GSAS graduate student community whenever the Center is open.
  • Very occasionally, the McDougal Common Room is used for events sponsored by the Dean of the Graduate School or for McDougal Center or GSL programs open to all graduate students. Notices will be posted in the room when such uses are scheduled.
  • Postering or leafletting in the Common Room is not permitted. 
  • The McDougal Common Room is operated by the staff of McDougal Graduate Student Life of GSAS. Contact us if questions.

The HGS Common Room - former home of the McDougal Center

The former McDougal Common Room at HGS, now called the HGS Common Room, will be open daytimes from September 2017-May 2018. It is overseen by the Operations staff at HGS and Yale Hospitality, who determine its operating hours. In Summer 2018, the entire HGS Building will close for full renovation to turn it into a Humanities Hub at Yale. We understand that the McDougal Center’s restored Common Room ceiling, wood panellng and other architecture will be preserved by the future users.   

As part of the 1997 renovations to create the first McDougal Graduate Student Center, the Common Room at HGS was restored and its painted ceiling painstakingly cleaned. Enjoy the carved wood paneling, painted plaster ceiling, elaborate carved stonework, and etched glass windows, all depicting knowledge and discovery. Read about the history and architecture of HGS and the Common Room, the former home of the Yale Graduate School and McDougal Center.  Browse the HGS window photo gallery and the HGS creature Compendium gallery online.