Skip to main content

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.

GSAS Family Support Policy - Doctoral Students

The Graduate School offers a flexible Family Support Policy to assist Ph.D. students with spousal health care, child care and child rearing costs. ​

Overview of PhD Family Support Policy

  • Continuation of the Graduate School’s outstanding health care coverage at Yale Health, which provides full coverage for all Ph.D. students and their children. Coverage will also continue to be available from the Graduate School for half the cost of the two-person plan when the Ph.D. student is enrolled with a spouse. See this summary table for full details.
  • An annual subsidy of $4,500 to Ph.D. students with a child of any age. Parents can decide how best to use this funding – they can cover the remaining cost of their spouse at Yale Health, or, if they have other options for spousal health care, they can use the money for childcare or any other family needs.
  • For additional children under the age of six, an annual subsidy of $1,000 per child.
  • See FAQs

Yale Health

Yale Health enrollment for student partners and children - All graduate students can enroll their legally married spouse, civil union partner and/or children up to age 26 to use the University’s high-quality, convenient Yale Health (YH) Coverage. See GSAS Health and Wellness Page for detailed coverage information. There are associated fees for enrolling a spouse and/or children, but we offer the GSAS Family Support Policy and Health Awards for GSAS Doctoral Students to help cover these costs.

Enrollment - 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. Registered students are automatically enrolled annually.

  • Enrollment due to life-changing event - For Yale Health, annual spouse & child enrollment deadlines are fixed, as noted earlier in this section. A change in your status, however, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth or adoption of a child, is a life event for which Yale Health allows you to submit a “Yale Health Student enrollment change application” to add or remove a “dependent” - a spouse and/or children up to age 26.

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

Yale Graduate Student Spouse ID Badge (Access Card)

Legally married spouses or civil union partners of Yale graduate students are eligible for a Yale Sponsored Identity (SI) Access Card ID Badge, formerly called a Yale Affiliate or Spouse ID card, which confers these and other Yale privileges:

  • A Yale Photo Access badge as a graduate student spouse, which may have building access privileges to certain Yale buildings (apartments, student centers, etc) as needed
  • Yale Gym membership for a fee and access to athletic facilities and fitness classes
  • Yale library privileges
  • Peabody Museum free admission
  • Yale Repertory Theatre discount student tickets/passes - as low as $10 per ticket!
  • A special Yale NetID may be available if needed for access to certain Yale systems as a spouse member of the Yale graduate community - request a NetID when asking for SI.

To Get a Yale Graduate Student Spouse Access Card (new process in 2017)

  1. See if you are eligible to get a Yale Sponsored ID (SI) “Access Card” as a Student Spouse. Only legally married or civil union student spouses are eligible.
  2. GSAS Student and spouse visit the Registrar’s Office, 246 Church Street, and request spousal ID. The student shows a valid Student ID, the spouse shows a valid identification of some type (driver’s license, passport, other?), and they show a marriage certificate.
  3. Registrar’s Office uses the SI application to complete a request for SI type Spouses: Graduate Student.
  4. Request goes to the Strategic Business Partner/Business Partner of the Supervisory Organization on the SI request, for approval.
  5. After the request is approved, the Strategic Business Partner/Business Partner will notify the Registrar’s Office, and the Registrar’s Office will notify the student.  Currently, the approval will not be immediate, and the spouse will not be able to go directly to the ID Center after submitting the request. It can take 3-4 days.
  6. Once notified by the Registrar’s Office, the spouse goes to Yale ID Center at 57 Lock Street (next to Yale Health), shows a valid ID, and is issued an access card.
  7. Once the Sponsored ID is approved, a NetID is generated within 4-8 hours.
  8. A Pin may be requested for a NetID - ask for this to access Yale resources online like libraries and Yale Connect event listings (orgsync).
  9. Once a GSAS Student spouse has a Prox ID and NETID, use this form to request access to McDougal Center and McDougal GSL online.

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

Vision & Dental Care

See Health and Wellness Page for detailed coverage information, including Family Support Policy and Health Awards for GSAS Doctoral Students.

Optional Dental and Vision Plans (non-Yale Health providers) are available for students and their spouses and partners. By September 15th each year, submit the online form and pay fees 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 Fellowships or Family Support programs.

Housing & Dining

Classes & Employment Options

Auditing Yale Classes

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. 

  • Audit Yale College classes
  • Audit Graduate School classes. Ask permission from the instructor and the relevant academic department. Ask them for “guest access” to Canvas, the online course information system.
    • To receive a transcript for any courses audited you must complete an application for non-degree study and, if admitted, pay tuition fees per course.

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