We hope that you are all safe and healthy during these uncertain times. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to provide a brief update regarding the plans for our upcoming YSDP this summer. 


The program is still scheduled to take place from Monday, August 24th to Friday, August 28th. While we would ideally prefer to run the program in-person on Yale’s campus, we may alter our plans if the public health situation deems it necessary to do so. 


We have determined that the decision regarding the nature of our programming rests with Yale. If the Yale administration welcomes students back to campus in August for the fall semester as planned, we will proceed with the debate program in-person.


In the event that the fall semester dates are postponed, we look forward to moving our programming online. While this is not ideal, we hope to offer an experience that is enjoyable and educational at a reduced cost. We are already brainstorming ways to best make use of the technology available to us.

A week-long day camp held on Yale's campus for students of all skill levels, grades 7-12

We are currently accepting applications for this year's debate program. Apply here!

Dear Future Debater!

Welcome to the Yale Summer Debate Program! We return this year from August 24th to the 28th to offer talented high school students a rigorous, rewarding (and fun!) camp experience. Our program is built on the philosophy that debate is not just an activity but a set of skills students can use to critically engage with the world, no matter their interests, helping them to become better speakers, students, and most importantly, thinkers.

We train in the parliamentary debate style, the most popular in the world and the one used by top Connecticut tournaments like the Yale Invitational and Yale Osterweis tournaments. Our program is open to all students entering grades 6-12, of all levels—students with no prior experience to advanced debaters should all find the program tailored but challenging.


This summer, we’re proud to offer:

  • World-class staff of Yale debaters and UDL coaches

  • Typical instructor to student ratio of 1:10 or better, including small-group and individualized instruction (and plenty of practice debates!)

  • Customized skills curriculum to improve speaking style and argument construction and refutation

  • Focused discussion of essential knowledge, including topics in international relations, moral philosophy, education, and criminal justice

  • The opportunity to work on the campus of Yale University in a secure and academically rigorous environment

By the end of the program, students should leave with more confidence in public speaking and better command of the style and strategy of parliamentary debate.

Every experience I have had at debate camp, as a student and as an instructor, has been beyond inspiring. Because of camp, I’ve met incredible mentors, made amazing friends, and learned much more than I thought I would. I’m really hoping we can give you a similarly amazing experience, so I hope we will see you this summer!

(The full cost of the program is $350 for non-UDL students. If this poses a large problem to you, please email yalesummerdebateprogram@gmail.com. You can either submit a PayPal payment below for $360 or bring a check for $350 the first day of camp. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis).


Students get to know an experienced Yale debater and meet with them daily. Depending on skill level, the coach teaches parliamentary debate format, good tactics for winning a round, and how to succeed.


Students have the choice of ten electives everyday. These electives help them grow skills in areas like "How to salvage a round" and help them explore topics like "Women's rights."


On the last day of the camp, we run a day-long tournament where students compete in 3 rounds and the top 2 teams run a demo debate in front of everyone.

©2019 by New Haven Urban Debate League.