The Graduate School stands at the very heart of Yale’s mission as a university. This website showcases the extraordinary breadth of opportunities for graduate study at Yale. As you peruse it, you will discover the intriguing ways in which graduate study differs from the undergraduate experience and the fulfillment brought by this intellectual progression. Graduate study begins with the exploration of a field in depth, mastery of an area of inquiry, and the dissemination of knowledge through classroom teaching. Graduate education culminates in a creative and original contribution in one’s field of study, representing the ability to participate in the advancement of human knowledge.
Fifty-six departments and programs offer courses of study leading to the Ph.D. degree. There are nineteen programs that offer terminal master’s degrees.
Yale first provided graduate education in 1847, and in 1861 it conferred the first Ph.D. degrees in North America. In 1876 Yale became the first American university to award the Ph.D. to an African American. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was formally established in 1892, when its first dean was appointed. It was in that same year that women were first admitted as candidates for the doctorate.
The Graduate School community has grown vigorously since the early twentieth century; today it comprises more than 2,800 graduate students and a faculty of 999 who are among the world’s most distinguished teachers and scholars. Admission to the Graduate School is highly competitive; currently each entering class is made up of about 600 students.