Skyrim: How To Join The College Of Winterhold

If you want to learn magic in Skyrim, your best bet is the College of Winterhold. Unlike other prestigious universities, this place really has low standards. They’ll take anyone that can complete a quest or two, and they offer some nice benefits you’ll want to get your grubby hands on. Scroll dow and discover the secret to joining the College of Winterhold.

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How To Join The College of Winterhold

  1. Just walk to the College of Winterhold — located, naturally, in Winterhold. You’ll need to successfully cast a spell before the gates will open.
  2. If you don’t have any spells, talk to the Guardian of the Bridge, Faralda. They’ll sell magic for 30 gold.
  3. If your magicka is too low to cast the spell, try consuming Fortify Magicka Potions. Or you can tell Faralda that you are a Dragonborn. She’ll request to see a Dragon Shout, which you will obtain by completing some of the main quest.
  4. Find the Grand Teacher Tolfdir, he’ll offer the “First Lessons” quest.
  5. Complete his quest, and you’re in the college.

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33 Comments on Skyrim: How To Join The College Of Winterhold


On November 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Yup, same problem as Daniel…


On November 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Sorry for double post but i just figured it out…there should be a dark elf lady named Nirya right outside the college. i found her on the bridge walking toward the college.


On November 13, 2011 at 1:38 am

Yeah she leads you right to it didn’t ask for a key at all


On November 13, 2011 at 6:54 am

It’s not as simple as this website says it is, you have to pass the woman guarding the bridge’s test. It’s a simple test, but make sure to pick the discipline that you are actually there for, I suggest the fire/cold option because she supplies you with the necessary skill to pass her test, firebolt(for 30g). After you pass her test you follow to the door and she will open it for you.


On November 13, 2011 at 11:42 am

its easy to get in, when she asks u to perform a light spell on the little eyeball sun thing, and u dont know where to get it, talk to her and say u dont know the spell and she will sell it to u for 30 gold then use it on the weird symbol and ur in


On November 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

they lady on the bride told my to cast some fear spells, and she doesn’t seem to be acknowledging that i did, after i did… really annoying… can they patch game on consoles…. i hope so…


On November 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

What I did (which cost me excessive time) was coincidentally meet Tolfdir and forced him to leave for Saarthal without me. Check there if you are having trouble finding him.B


On November 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

you have to cast the spell at the insignia in the circle on the floor behind her and BOOM! COLLEGE TIME BABY!

Kevin Thielenhaus

On November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

To get inside the College, cast a spell! Faralda will sell you one, if you need it! Also, talk to Faralda and tell her you’re a Dragonborn, she’ll ask you to show off a Dragon Shout instead. You’ll get a Dragon Shout eventually if you play the main quests, that way you don’t even need to be good at magic!


On November 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

when i talk to her to show her she says “yes you were going to demonstrate your ability were you not?” but then my only option is to say nevermind……. help?


On November 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

I had the same problem, but its easy. All you do is back out of the dialogue box thing and fire the spell at the eye thing on the ground next to her. Then she says good job and your in.


On November 19, 2011 at 5:35 am

if i use the lesser ward spell nothin happen he do nothing and now im asking what i have to do or what is wrong


On November 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

I have the same problem as Miolon. I went through the dialogue until Tolfdir wants to demonstrate a ward. I get lesser ward ready and go stand where I’m supposed to and nothing happens. He just stands there. If I move I can talk to him, but I can go do anything and come back and they’re all still just standing there.


On November 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

same problem as Miolon and Drew…..i tried to cast all the ward spells i have on Tolfdir from the indicated point but nothing happens. Tried it from first and third view, from left, right and both hands, but nothing happens.
i foundend on youtube this video
and doing the samethings nothing happens…i think it is a very big bug!! ;)
any help?


On November 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

U cast ur magelight spell

i pour my heart out to u

i do everything u ask of me

and u just stand there, tolfdir

cold and indiffrent



On November 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

*i* cast ur magelight spell


On November 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm

You have to actually cast the ward spell by holding mouse button


On November 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

You have to cast LESSER WARD and stand on the circle on the floor to the right (facing the direction of the students where they first where). Then he will throw a fireball at you. Just cast lesser ward instead of any other ward spell.


On November 24, 2011 at 5:01 am

I casted the ward spell standing on the circle on the floor where quest arrow pointing to….facing the direction of teh students where they first where….but nothing happen :(
I hope that in the patch of 28 of november it will fixed it….if not i will leave that bugged game and go on the new battelfield of cod ;)


On November 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

a way to get around the bug is to get kicked out of the college i got pissed and started attacking people they kicked me out i then talked to the guy again and paid 250 gold to get back in and he bypasses the ward demostration and went right to saarthal


On November 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm


Thanks a lot!!


On November 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm

i tried to do like shadow-tail said paying 1000 gold to get back in the college after they kicked me out….but nothing changed…the bug remains :(

and foundend another big bug that dont let the player to continue an important quest… its in the NightCaller Temple where following Eandur, after he pass the door at the entrance….he disappear and u can’t continue the quest :(

i’m afraid but it’s the more bugged game i never played!!! :(

i hope in the next patch beacuse reading the 1.2 details update:
UPDATE 1.2 NOTES (all platforms unless specified)

Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long term play (PlayStation 3)
Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead
Dragon corpses now clean up properly
Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)

..nothing has done about the bugs we spoken about :(


On November 29, 2011 at 7:09 am

to fix the bug in the NightCaller temple….when u are inside the cript open the console (\) then type:

prid 0024280 (enter)
moveto player (enter)

and after some second the Erandur reappear!!!!!
then speak with him and go near the blocked door and he will do his job!



On November 30, 2011 at 10:26 am

to fix the bug of the first quest of the Mage College u have to open the console (\)
and type:

setstage Mg01 200 (enter)

and the quest will be completed and u will go to the next one!!! ;)

… and i can restart to play ;)


On December 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

Shoot The eyeball in the floor guys…Right behind her


On January 11, 2012 at 3:11 am

I went to the collage of winterhold and everybody there randomly started attacking me as if i had done something wrong. What is it that i have done wrong?


On January 11, 2012 at 3:12 am

ps i am on ps3


On January 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Mogzo it happened to me but in solitude, i was exploring the world and wen i got ther the guards started attking me i never did anything wrong


On January 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

If you kill a chicken in any town, it will make everyone hostile.


On January 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

*Everyone in that town hostile.


On January 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

I am only level 10 i cant beat the dragons at the begining of sovengarde I need help please.


On February 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Same problem joining the college, I cast the spell im asked to at the floor but she doesnt respond, luckily I saved just before, it worked second time I tried, ps3, ps the game stalls when duel casting for a few seconds and thats a long time to get killed in.


On December 7, 2012 at 12:43 am

everytime i go to the college of winterhold and try to enter i tell her i’ll take the test and then i cast fireball on the floor where the arrow shows up and the guards come after me. or.. as soon as i say i’ll take the test then the dialog says “nevermind i’m not interested” and i can’t do anything. can someone please help