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Spouses & Partners

Yale University recognizes marriages (opposite- and same-sex) as well as civil unions or legal partnerships created by states, regardless of name. We welcome the participation of graduate student spouses or partners in many of our Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and McDougal Graduate Student Life (GSL) events.

Yale Student Affiliate ID Card

Legally married spouses or civil union partners of Yale graduate students are eligible for Yale Student Affiliate ID Card, which confers these and other Yale privileges:

To Get a Yale Student Affiliate ID Card

  1. Bring documents to the University Registrar. As a registered GSAS student, bring your valid Yale Student, ID and proof of marriage (copy of license) or civil union. You and your spouse must appear together. After the Registrar's Office approves your documentation, staff will give you a pass to have a Yale affiliate ID made.
  2. Go to the Yale ID Center to have photo ID made. *Note: the ID Center will not make IDs for newly arrived student spouses until after Sept. 15 each year. Yale Security does not activate affiliate cards for access to any Yale buildings.

Privileges for Non-Married Domestic Partners 

Yale offers specific resources, but does not issue Yale Affiliate ID cards, to non-married domestic partners of graduate and professional students. Your partner can contact the offices below to access certain services:

  • Yale Shuttle Bus: Member of the Yale community and their affiliated family members can use the free Yale shuttle system. For nighttime shuttle/safe ride, you need to know the student's Yale NetID when calling for a ride. Download the Transloc App to track shuttles in real time.
  • Athletic Facilities: Unmarried partners can purchase a Yale Gym membership at the same rate as student spouses. Visit the membership office with the student, show the Yale Student ID card and documentation indicating shared residence.
  • Yale Athletic events: Buy discount student guest tickets for football, hockey and other home games. 
  • Library Borrowing Privileges: Domestic partners of registered graduate and professional students may qualify for library borrowing privileges - please review the Library's guidelines.

LGBTQ Couples

Health & Dental Care

See Health and Wellness Page for detailed coverage information

All graduate students can enroll their legally married spouse, civil union partner and/or children to use the University’s high-quality, convenient Yale Health (YH) Coverage for Spouses/Partners. 

  • Eligible Ph.D. students also receive a GSAS Health Fellowship which covers the full cost of single-student Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage, half the cost of the spouse/partner two-person premium fee, and the full cost for family coverage, for 2 or 3+ person family plans with dependent children under 26. For Health Fellowship questions, contact the Graduate School’s Financial Aid office.

September 15th each year is the annual deadline to enroll a spouse/partner and/or dependent children. Submit the Yale Health Enrollment Forms for Dependents each year and pay the premium fee if applicable. 

  • Re-enroll & submit form annually - Unlike automatic student re-enrollment in Yale Health while registered, student spouse/partners & dependents MUST be re-enrolled and the YH form submitted annually to continue dependent coverage from year to year.

Optional Dental and Vision Plans (non-Yale Health providers) are available for spouses and partners. By September 15th each year, submit the form and fee to enroll in optional dental and vision coverage for graduate and professional school students and any family members. These are not covered by the GSAS Health Fellowship.

Housing & Dining

  • Housing Options for graduate students and their spouses/partners include on-campus graduate apartments, Yale owned but privately managed Elm Campus apartments, and traditional privately-owned off-campus apartments and houses. Graduate dormitory residence halls are only for single individuals. 

  • Yale Dining on Campus is open to students and their spouses/partners, children and guests. You can pay with graduate meal plans, Eli Buck (points), University charge, or credit card.

    • HGS Dining Hall offers varied lunch and dinner menus weekdays, with all-you-care-to-eat for one price. HGS has family dining options and hosts monthly theme dinners sponsored with McDougal GSL. Other residential dining halls and retails cafes welcome students & families.
  • New Haven dining, food shopping and farmers markets

Classes & Employment Options


As a spouse or partner of a full-time student, you may, without charge, audit or sit-in on courses in Yale College and the Graduate School.  

Other New Haven area Colleges and Universities have listings for classes or employment.

Employment options 

  • Yale Human Resources STARS application system is open to spouses and partners of graduate students. Each September, McDougal Graduate Student Life and Yale HR co-host a welcome and information session on Yale job searching for new graduate student spouses/partners. 
  • New Haven Works offers a jobs pipeline program people living in the City of New Haven. Registering with New Haven Works provides special access to area employers.
  • New Haven area job resources

Get Connected & Involved

Community Service & Volunteering