Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

New Students

International Students

Approximately one-third of full-time graduate students at Yale come from outside the United States. In addition, many international students come to the Graduate School as non-degree students in the Division of Special Registration. The Graduate School recognizes that international students and their families may face unique challenges as they adjust not only to life as graduate students, but also to life in a new country.

As part of its commitment to serving the global community, the University has established a variety of resources for international students, including the “Yale and the World” web site. Please take a moment as well to read the answers to these questions of frequent concern to international students and follow the links provided in order to obtain additional information.

The Graduate School enrolls approximately 2,300 students, with about 550 new students from around the globe entering each year.

Approximately 900 distinguished scholars and researchers teach, advise, and mentor graduate students.In addition to its academic resources, the Graduate School offers a variety of services to students. These include financial aid, career guidance, dossier service, teacher training, a social and cultural center, housing, health care, programs for international students, and more.

The Hall of Graduate Studies (HGS), located at 320 York Street, contains the offices of the Graduate School administration, several academic departments, the McDougal Student Center, a dining hall, and a residential tower for graduate students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an office exclusively dedicated to addressing the needs of international students, including immigration and visa concerns?

The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is responsible for the general welfare of international students at Yale University and will assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have. OISS serves as a resource on immigration matters for the Yale community and as Yale’s liaison to federal immigration agencies. In addition to resources and programming offered to international students by the Graduate School, the staff of OISS can also assist you with problems concerning your social adjustment to life in the United States and other personal matters. You should plan to bring your passport and immigration documents to OISS and introduce yourself when you arrive in New Haven.

What other resources are available to international graduate students in the Graduate School?

In addition to providing services, programs, and facilities for all graduate students, the McDougal Graduate Student Center has developed resources that are particularly helpful to international students in their adjustment to life in New Haven. The Center’s staff and graduate fellows provide special programs for international students throughout the year, including foreign language films; social events and outings; workshops on issues such as domestic violence, safety and tax preparation; and professional development seminars on writing, communicating with advisors and preparing the dissertation.

The Center co-sponsors and partially funds the activities of several graduate student nationality groups and an international choral group. Incoming international students are offered the opportunity to participate in an informal buddy system called the “international host student program,” which pairs them with current students for friendship and informal advising prior to and upon arrival. The Center provides several orientation sessions for international students in cooperation with the Office of International Students and Scholars during the Graduate School’s extensive, week-long orientation program for all new students.

Are there special admissions requirements for international students?

All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences must complete and submit an application for admission. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a required part of the application for all international applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived only for international applicants who have successfully attended for at least two years a university where English is the primary language of instruction. Official score reports must be submitted for all required examinations from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (code 3987). While not required, Test of Spoken English (TSE) scores are strongly encouraged prior to enrollment from all international applicants who accept offers of admission to Ph.D. programs and whose native language is not English.

What financial aid is available to international students who are admitted to the Graduate School?

All students who are admitted to a doctoral program at Yale are guaranteed a minimum level of stipend support and provided with full tuition fellowships and comprehensive health care coverage. The majority of students enrolled in terminal master's programs and the Division of Special Registration are self-supported. Please follow these links for additional information about the standard aid package, loans and other sources of financial aid and resources for identifying additional funding opportunities offered by both Yale and external funding agencies.

What housing options are available at Yale for international students?

Entering graduate students have a variety of housing options available to them both on-campus (dormitory and apartment units) and off-campus residences. Space in these facilities is limited, however, so if you are interested, please apply as soon as possible once you are certain that you will be coming to New Haven. On-campus housing is not guaranteed to graduate students.

What are the teaching requirements for international graduate students?

An integral part of the preparation Yale provides to graduate students for their professional lives in academe is the opportunity to become effective teachers in the classroom and to evaluate student work under the guidance of experienced faculty. Available in most departments, teaching fellowships typically provide two years of support (most often the third and fourth) within the standard aid package. The Graduate Teaching Center is an effective resource for international graduate students who wish to improve their performance as teachers.

Because a high level of proficiency in English is required for graduate students to serve as teaching fellows, students whose native language is not English will be asked to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English. They may do so in three ways: 1) by having received a baccalaureate degree, or its international equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university at which English is the primary language of instruction; 2) by satisfactorily completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is administered by ETS, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of 26 or higher on the oral component of the TOEFL is considered to be satisfactory; or 3) if neither conditions 1 nor 2 are met, the student must take theSPEAK assessment at Yale and score 50 or higher.

The Center for Language Study (CLS) and its English Language Program (ELP) offers the SPEAK (OPA1) three times a year in August, November and April. Students can register at SPEAK Assessment . If a student has scored 45 at least twice and has successfully completed an ELP course just prior to the test date, s/he is eligible to take the alternative English Proficiency assessment, Oral Performance assessment (OPA2) offered three times a year in August, January, and May. Students can find information at Oral Performance Assessment 2 (OPA2).

The ELP also offers academic English language courses in speaking, writing, vocabulary, as well as Teaching in the American Classroom and Professional Communication Skills. If needed, students are provided with a progression of strongly recommended courses to help achieve English proficiency based upon their SPEAK or TOEFL oral component score. The non-credit, twelve-week courses meet in the Center for Language Study in the fall and spring. In addition, the CLS provides workshops, and houses well-equipped multimedia facilities with specialized English language and pronunciation software and self-study material.

How do I get to Yale from the airport?

Since the region's major international airports are one to two hours away from New Haven, taxi service is an extremely expensive option. Please click here for recommended ground transportation options when planning your trip to New Haven, as the Graduate School does not provide transportation to campus from the airport. International students are advised to bring sufficient U.S. funds to cover transportation and unforeseen circumstances, such as delayed flights, and to accept rides only from reputable companies and service providers.

What resources are available to my spouse, partner and chlldren who are coming to Yale with me?

Yale University offers a variety of services and resources for spouses and families of graduate students. While graduate dormitories are for single students, on-campus graduate apartments offer units and community activities for spouses, partners and children. The family life page on the Graduate School website directs students to a variety of resources and services. The McDougal Family Fellows plan a variety of activities and informational workshops for parents and couples throughout the year, as detailed in the monthly McDougal Family E-Notes. Family members are welcome at orientation and many other Graduate School receptions and social events during the academic year.