How To Join College of Winterhold in Skyrim

The College of Winterhold is a school of Arcane Arts, one of the five Mage Schools in Skyrim. It functions like Guilds but has a complete independent establishment. To join the College of Winterhold, you will have to follow the Mage’s College and then complete the following quest in Winterhold.

For more help on Skyrim, you can read our Console Commands, Dragons Locations, and Leveling Guide.

Join the College of Winterhold in Skyrim

If you wish to join College of Winterhold you can do so, but you will get here by following the storyline(Mage’s College). This starts when you find the College in Winterhold in the northeast mountainous snowcapped section of the map.

Once you are at the gate to the College, which is at the end of the city atop a plateau, you will find Faralda, the Guardian of the bridge leading to the college. She will test your mage abilities and then allow you to pass.

The test is that she will ask you to cast a spell according to your level. This you can do by bringing out ‘Magic’ from the in-game menu and cast the required spell. If, however, you have not acquired the spell that she asks for, she will also offer to sell them to you.

Once you’ve proven your magic skills to Faralda, she’ll allow you to enter the college and be an apprentice at the College of Winterhold. This allows you to participate in all the activities going on inside the college

Activities at Winterhold

You will meet new recruits at the Hall of Elements including Tolfdir. The scholar will also teach you some more lessons which will increase your abilities.

The lesson would be the basic defense spell known as Lesser Ward, the task is very simple. Just use your ward and block the teacher’s attacks.

Now move towards the south-west side of the college where the ruins of Saarthal can be found. Get inside and you’ll be given a lecture by Tolfdir. Once he’s done, go to the upper levels.

Meet Arniel Gane, you’ll be asked to find and collect the lost artifacts. The locations of these artifacts are shown on your HUD though. Make use of a torch, as some of the artifacts are in dark places.

The last is the Saarthal Amulet – once you collect it you’ll be trapped inside a cage. The amulet is helpful here, it now allows you to break the back wall by any destruction spell, even using the basic Flame will get you free.

Go to the Western Side and let Tolfdir join you. A vision will come to you right before a couple of Draugrs engage you – don’t worry, these are basic enemies. Your rookie magic and attacking skills will be able to defeat them.

A plus point, you have the great Tolfdir on your side too. Once the fight is over, meet your master and ask him about the vision you had then move forward into the dungeon.

You will fight another group of enemies on your way, once you are done, pull both of the chains to the north, which will open an area. When you get inside, there are few more undead enemies that are not hard to be fought with.

Go to the 2nd floor and enter the door on the eastern side. There is a weird puzzle (snake,bird and a whale). Their solutions are right behind their pillars, but you may have to use a Torch because it can be too dark for a proper vision.

Solve the puzzle and move forward, go upstairs and fight the Dragur Scourge. It’s just like the Undead, but with a little more health. Your follower will be of great help here.

Get rid of the Dragur Scourge and move into the next area which has a couple of magical traps. The best way to get through these traps is to either let your followers go first or use the Whirlwind Sprint and run madly. After crossing the traps you’ll get to another Puzzle which can be solved as:

  • Top Left Pillar – Whale
  • Bottom Left Pillar – Snake
  • Top Right Pillar – Bird
  • Bottom Right Pillar – Fish

Now move forward and attack the Jyrik Gauldurson. He is not affected by your attacks, so your follower/ Tolfdir will have to take care of him. Search for the orb after he is dead and meet your teacher.

You can take the word of power “Ice Storm” after, it’s located near the end wall or just go to Mage’s College and explain about Arch Mage.