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McDougal Graduate Student Center

The McDougal Graduate Student Center is where you can find support resources, attend events, build community, and connect with your fellow graduate students.

Located on the upper floor of Founders Hall, at 135 Prospect St., near Ingalls Rink and Science Hill, the McDougal Graduate Student Center is accessible on the blue, red, and orange lines of the Yale Shuttle.
In addition to Founders Hall, the McDougal Center includes space in nearby Watson Hall and several outdoor areas.

Building Access

If you are a student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), you can enter the building and the McDougal Center with your Yale ID card. Your ID card will work at the Prospect St. and Sachem St. entrances, and via the courtyard behind the building. An elevator is available near the Prospect St. parking lot entrance, through the double doors. 
Your spouse, partner, and children are also welcome in the McDougal Center. Spouses with a Yale Access Card may request ID card access to the McDougal Center by submitting the Spouse Access Request Form on Yale Connect. 

McDougal Center Facilities

  • The McDougal Common Room & Coffee Lounge is a good place to hang out, study, eat, and socialize with other graduate students. The Common Room is furnished with comfortable couches, tables and chairs, numerous electrical outlets and wifi. See below for McDougal Common Room & Coffee Lounge Use Rules.
    • Bring your own mug (BYOM) for free coffee, tea, and water. 
    • Bring your own food from home or buy something from the food trucks parked outside. The Common Room has a microwave oven for your use.
    • Magazines and large screens are available when you want to relax.
    • The Common Room has lots of windows to let in natural light. It’s cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • Caulkins Courtyard is located behind the McDougal Center (135 Prospect) and Watson Center. It is the location for many GSAS events, from Orientation to Commencement receptions. Picnic tables, chairs, and benches are available. There is an accessible entrance via the walkway off the parking lot at 135 Prospect street.The courtyard is intended for informal student use, and may only be booked for events sponsored by McDougal GSL & GSAS offices, LGBTQ, OGCC and AODRI. Contact McDougal GSL staff if you have questions.
  • Swenson Terrace is a large outdoor terrace behind the McDougal Center, on the upper level of Founder’s Hall. It’s a great place to hang out, study, eat or meet with friends. Tables, chairs, benches, and lighting are available. There is no elevator access, but Swenson Terrace is only six steps up from the Common Room.
  • Beinecke Patio is a large outdoor patio at the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets where you can sit outside to eat lunch, study, or socialize in nice weather. Tables, chairs, benches, and bike racks are available on the patio. 
  • Offices for staff and fellows of McDougal Graduate Student Life are located in the McDougal Center, along with satellite offices of the Office of Career Strategy (OCS) and the Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity (OGSDD) 
  • The McDougal Program Room is located in Room B60 of the adjoining Watson Center.
  • The GSA Assembly Meeting room is located in Room A74 of the Watson Center.
  • A lactation room is available in Room B63 of the Watson Center (take the elevator down to B level). For ID access, email

McDougal Common Room & Coffee Lounge Use Rules

Only registered GSAS students can access the McDougal Common Room & Lounge using the Yale ID card. Other professional school students, postdocs, and visitors may enter as a guest of a GSAS student. GSAS student spouses can request their own access.
  • Graduate School students and their family members are welcome to study, meet informally, and socialize in the McDougal Common Room & Lounge during operating hours. After hours access is not permitted.
  • Informal groups of six or fewer students, such as study groups, may use the Common Room or Lounge if space is available and the meeting does not disrupt other users.
  • The McDougal Common Room s a public space for informal use by all members of the GSAS graduate student community whenever the Center is open. It may not be reserved for any function or event, even those organized by a graduate student organization, university department or private group.
  • The McDougal Common Room is occasionally used for events sponsored by the Dean of the Graduate School, McDougal Center offices, and McDougal Graduate Student Life (GSL) programs open to all graduate students. Notices will be posted in the room when these events 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 you have questions.

Pet & Tobacco Free

No pets are allowed in the McDougal Center indoor or outdoor spaces, which include the courtyard, terrace, and patio. Service animals registered with the Yale Office of Disabilities are always welcome with their Yale-affiliated owner. 
All indoor and outdoor spaces at the McDougal Center, Founders Hall, and Watson Center are Tobacco-Free. Vaping and e-cigarettes are also prohibited.