Morse took courses in math, religious philosophy and, somewhat bizarrely to modern eyes, horse science. But he also attended lectures on electricity, a subject that would be of increasing importance to him in later years. He graduated from Yale in 1810.
Morse had persevered with early artistic promise, but his father was keen that he should have a more conventional career. He arranged an apprenticeship for his son after Yale at a bookseller and publisher in Boston. But this seems not to have suited the young Morse, and his father eventually agreed to support his artistic aspirations.
An established American artist, Washington Allston, invited Morse to travel to England with him in 1811. The 20-year-old Morse was to spend three years in Britain studying and refining his art. Accompanied by Allston, Morse embarked on the Libya in July 1811, bound for England.