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‘Gilmore Girls’: Could Rory Gilmore Really Have Graduated From Yale on Time?

Rory Gilmore left Yale after her sophomore year, citing concerns that she didn’t know what she wanted to be after Mitchum Huntzberger criticized her. Rory floundered for six months before she finally decided to return to school. Rory was committed to completing school on time, but would it have been that easy to make up for all the time she lost?

Rory Gilmore knew she wanted to attend Harvard University from the time she was a toddler. Still, Gilmore Girls fans were thrilled when she decided to attend Yale instead. A school closer to her mother and closer to Stars Hollow meant many more years of Hijinx. While they were happy with her school choice, they were horrified when she decided to take a break from Yale during the show’s fifth and sixth seasons. Eventually, Rory caught up and graduated from school on time. Would it have been possible to catch up at a school like Yale so easily, though?

Rory Gilmore took a break from Yale after stealing a boat

Rory’s decision to attend Yale excited her grandparents, and after some thinking, thrilled Lorelai Gilmore, too. Rory was happy with her pick, as well. That is, she was pleased with Yale until she got wrapped up with Logan Huntzberger and his family. After being criticized by Logan’s father, Mitchum Huntzberger, Rory took a weird course of action.

Rory Gilmore stands in front of Logan Huntzberger as he fixes his tie in 'Gilmore Girls: A Yeariin the Life'
Rory Gilmore and Logan Huntzberger | Netflix

Rory talked Logan into stealing a boat with her. The couple was stopped by the coast guard and taken directly to a local jail, where Police eventually released Rory to her mother. Upon reflection, Rory claimed she no longer wanted to be a journalist and took a break from Yale to sort things out. The break led to a massive fight with her mother.

How long was Rory’s break from school?

When Logan approached Lorelai for help with Rory, Lorelai told him that he appeared to be the catalyst for most of Rory’s troubles. He certainly didn’t help the rift between Rory and her mother. Lorelai noted that Rory didn’t speak to her for more than five months after her boat stealing incident. While it is true that the mother-daughter duo didn’t speak for half a year following their blow-up over dropping out, Rory wasn’t gone from Yale for that long.

Rory made the decision not to return to school in the Spring of her sophomore year. She completed her spring semester, then moved into Emily and Richard Gilmore’s pool house. She spent much of the summer working on her community service hours and much of the fall, too. The then 20-year-old Rory only actually missed one full semester of school. She returned to Yale for the Spring semester to begin her junior year of college.

Would Rory Gilmore have really graduated from Yale on time after her detour?

Considering her detour, Rory needed to make up the classes she would have completed during the fall semester to graduate on time. According to the Yale handbook, a student must earn 36 course credits to graduate with an undergraduate degree. Each couse is equivalent to one course credit. That means Rory would have needed to complete 4 to 5 classes per semester to graduate with her degree in four years.

Yale's oLD Campus is seen during a movie shoot for 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2'  on June 27, 2007
Yale Univerisity | Bobby Bank/WireImage

‘Gilmore Girls’: Was Logan Huntzberger the Most Realistic Character?

Rory completed two full years before taking a break. That one-semester break means she needed to add four or five courses over three semesters to graduate on time. While it would have been challenging to add additional classes to her already heavy workload, it wouldn’t have been impossible. If she took six courses during the spring semester, six during the fall semester of her senior year, and five courses during her final semester at Yale, she would have made up any ground she lost. While six classes is a heavy class load, it is not considered completely out of the norm.