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Ph.D./Master's Application Process

Who is Eligible to Apply? 

If you have completed your undergraduate degree (bachelor's or equivalent) or will have completed it prior to your intended matriculation date at Yale, you may apply to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

A master's degree is not required to apply for a Ph.D. at Yale, although some programs give preference to applicants with post-baccalaureate training. Consult your program of interest directly for information on how it evaluates applications.

We value diversity of all kinds at the Graduate School, and we encourage students from all backgrounds to apply if Yale is a good fit for your intellectual and professional goals. All are welcome to apply, without regard to citizenship or immigration status, socioeconomic level, race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

Requirements for All Ph.D. and Master's Degree Applicants

You will need to provide the following with your application for admission:

  • A statement of purpose. You will find the prompt for the statement of purpose in our Application Question FAQs
  • A list of all the prior colleges or universities you have attended, accompanied by unofficial transcripts from each school. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded with your application. Official or paper transcripts are not needed at this time. 
  • Three letters of recommendation. Enter the names of your recommenders directly in the application, and they will receive a link to upload a letter on your behalf. 
  • $105 application fee or fee waiver. 
  • Standardized tests. GRE requirements vary by program. TOEFL or IELTS are necessary for most non-native English speakers. 
  • Some programs have additional requirements, such as a writing sample or résumé. You can find information about any specific requirements on the program's website. 

We encourage you to check out some of the Virtual Information Session webinars held in the past.

Where Do I Begin?

  1. Identify the program and degree you want.

    Decide if you will apply for a Ph.D. or a terminal Master’s (M.S., M.A., M.A.S.) in one of the programs available at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. (Note that you will earn one or more Master's degrees en route to a Ph.D.) Learn about the program: its faculty, course offerings, and resources. Read the faculty's research publications. If you can identify and articulate why the program is a good fit for you and show how your preparation and interests align well with it, you will have a strong application.

    A note to students applying to one of Yale’s professional schools or programs:

    • If you are applying for a Ph.D. in Architecture, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Investigative Medicine, Law, Management, Music, Nursing, or Public Health, or for an M.S. in Public Health, or an M.A. in Music, be sure to use the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D./Master's application.
    • If you are applying for any other degree at one of the University’s professional schools (Art, Architecture, Divinity, Drama, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Medicine, Music, Nursing, and Public Health), visit that school’s website for further instructions. Those programs have separate admissions policies and processes that are administered by the professional schools, not GSAS.
  2. Verify the application deadline for your program.

    Application deadlines vary by program, so please see Dates and Deadlines for information about your program of interest. All new students enroll in the fall, and the admissions process begins nearly a year in advance of matriculation.

  3. Determine what standardized tests you need to take. Register early.

    Some Ph.D. and Master’s degree programs require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Check your program's standardized testing requirement before you apply. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English may need to take an English Language test (TOEFL or IELTS).

What Happens After I Submit My Application?

The faculty admissions committee in each department and program begins reviewing applications shortly after their application deadline. Led by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Director of Graduate Admissions (DGA), the committee will recommend students for admission to the Graduate School. Once confirmed by the deans of the Graduate School, the admissions office will release final decisions to applicants. 

Unlike undergraduate admissions, the admissions office and staff of the Graduate School maintain the application, the application process, and other administrative transactions, but the admissions staff does not review applications or make admissions decisions. That responsibility is handled by the faculty of each department or program.

Most admissions decisions are provided between February and early March. You will receive an email notification when your admissions decision is available. 

If you are accepted for admission, you will need to decide if you wish to accept our offer by April 15. We abide by Council of Graduate School's April 15 Resolution, regarding graduate financial support.