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Admissions: Master’s Degree Programs

The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies offers four two-year master’s degrees: the professionally oriented Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) and Master of Forestry (M.F.), and the research-oriented Master of Environmental Science (M.E.Sc.) and Master of Forest Science (M.F.S.). For individuals with seven or more years of professional experience related to the environment or forestry, a one-year midcareer option is available for the Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry degrees.

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Learning about F&ES

The best way to learn about the School is to visit New Haven before submitting an application. Two on-campus open houses for prospective students will be held in the fall (October 17 and December 5, 2014), and an open house for admitted students will be held on April 10, 2015. Participants will meet faculty, students, and staff to become familiar with the mission and goals, degree requirements and courses, opportunities for research and applied projects, career development, and life at Yale. F&ES faculty and staff also conduct outreach events around the United States and abroad, including attending graduate school fairs, hosting off-campus information sessions, and visiting schools and universities. To learn whether a representative will be coming to your area, please visit the admissions event schedule at http://environment.yale.edu/admissions.

The Office of Admissions offers a formal campus visit program throughout the year, and we encourage prospective students to visit during one of these events for the most comprehensive view of F&ES. Individual appointments are also available based on staff availability. Please note that it is best to visit Monday through Thursday, as few classes are held on Fridays, which are generally reserved for field trips and research. Weekend visits are not available. Visitors are welcome to sit in on classes of interest with no advance notice; the class schedule each term is posted at http://environment.yale.edu/courses. Feel free to contact directly any faculty member whose work is of interest to you; e-mail is best. We do not conduct formal interviews. To schedule a visit, please contact us at fesinfo@yale.edu.

The Admissions Web site, http://environment.yale.edu/admissions, has extensive information about the School. Should you have additional questions, we are pleased to correspond with you by e-mail, or you may schedule a telephone conversation with our Admissions staff. The Admissions office can be reached by e-mail at fesinfo@yale.edu or telephone at 800.825.0330.

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Application Procedures

The application form for admission to the F&ES professional and research master’s degrees (M.E.M., M.E.Sc., M.F., or M.F.S.) may be acquired online at https://apply.environment.yale.edu/apply. This form includes complete instructions for the application requirements.

Questions concerning admission or the application process should be directed to fesinfo@yale.edu, or 800.825.0330.

Admissions to F&ES is for a fall-term only start date. The priority deadline for master’s application consideration is December 15. Completed individual admissions files submitted by midnight EST on this date are guaranteed to receive a review by the Admissions Committee. Application materials may be submitted after this date until mid-January, but there is no guarantee that they will be acted upon this year. Therefore we encourage serious applicants to submit all required items to the Office of Admissions prior to the December 15 deadline.

Previous applicants planning to reapply to F&ES must submit a new application form and current application fee, an updated résumé/curriculum vitae, and transcripts depicting all academic work not included in the previous application. We also recommend that applicants consider submitting an updated personal statement. Admissions records including application forms and supplemental materials are held for two years by the Office of Admissions. Provided reapplication occurs within two admissions cycles, all required materials previously submitted to the Office of Admissions will be incorporated into the new application as requested. Documents submitted prior to the admissions cycle for a fall 2013 entry are no longer available.

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Preparation for Admission

The School welcomes individuals from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds including the biological and physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, or interdisciplinary programs. A disciplinary focus with some interdisciplinary breadth is valuable. Introductory course work in the biological and physical sciences, the social sciences, and college mathematics allows students to take greater advantage of courses at the graduate level. Students with adequate undergraduate breadth also have better access to graduate course offerings in other professional schools and departments of the University.

Experience has demonstrated the special value of a short list of selected courses that provide a good foundation for all master’s programs in the School. Therefore the Admissions Committee favors applicants who have successfully completed a combination of the courses listed below prior to beginning a degree program at the School. For this reason, it is highly recommended that applicants have at least (a) two college courses in mathematics, (b) two college courses in the biological sciences, (c) two college courses in the physical sciences, and (d) two college courses in the social sciences.

The specific courses listed under each distribution area are judged to be most suitable for helping students gain the maximum benefit from Yale course offerings. Students wishing to fulfill these recommendations can take courses at any accredited institution and must have been awarded a final grade of C or better (courses taken pass/fail do not count in this review). Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are not considered during our transcript review process. Courses listed below can serve as a guide; however, this list is not comprehensive.

  • 1.
  • College mathematics—two courses selected from:
  • a. calculus
  • c. linear algebra
  • b. statistics
  • d. discrete mathematics
  • 2.
  • Biological science—two courses selected from:
  • a. evolutionary biology
  • c. botany
  • b. ecology
  • d. zoology
  • 3.
  • Physical science—two courses selected from:
  • a. general chemistry
  • c. geology/earth science
  • b. general physics
  • d. hydrology/soil science
  • 4.
  • Social science—two courses selected from:
  • a. anthropology
  • c. political science
  • b. economics (micro and macro)
  • d. sociology

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Application Requirements

Candidates for admission must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent international degree, and are required to provide the following materials:

  • 1. A completed online application form.
  • 2. A résumé/curriculum vitae. Indicate full- or part-time for each job/internship/volunteer position.
  • 3. A personal statement discussing career plans and the reasons for applying to F&ES (600-word maximum).
  • 4. One transcript or mark sheet from each college and/or university attended. Official transcripts are not required; however, all transcripts submitted must include the applicant’s name and institution (not to be added by the applicant). Applicants who have completed a degree outside of the United States or Canada are strongly encouraged to submit a transcript evaluation. If submitting a transcript evaluation, applicants should use EducationUSA advisers (https://www.educationusa.info/centers.php), World Education Services (www.wes.org), or Educational Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org) for course-by-course or ICAP evaluation of all transcripts (undergraduate and graduate). Those who secure WES or ECE evaluations should submit their official transcripts directly to WES or ECE, not to the Office of Admissions. An additional copy of the transcript beyond the official evaluation is not required. Evaluations must be received in the Office of Admissions by the December 15 deadline for an application to be considered complete. The applicant is strongly encouraged to begin this process early, as evaluations can take more than a month to complete.
  • 5. Three letters of reference (academic and/or professional). Submission of the recommendation form and a one- to two-page letter is expected. Please note that we are unable to accept any additional recommendations beyond the required three. It is strongly recommended that the applicant submit at least one academic letter of reference.
  • 6. An official GRE, GMAT, or LSAT score report. Applicants must complete the exam by the December 15 deadline. We only accept LSAT scores for those applicants currently applying to the joint law programs with Pace, Vermont, or Yale Law Schools. If submitting LSAT scores, please contact the Office of Admissions for instructions. We do not accept unofficial copies of score reports or other test formats such as MCAT or MAT.
  • 7. An official TOEFL or IELTS score report if English is not a native or customary language of instruction (copies will not be accepted). Applicants must achieve at least a 100 on the iBT version of the TOEFL or a 7.0 on the IELTS examination to be given full consideration for admission.
  • 8. The $80 application fee.
  • 9. If applying to the M.E.Sc. or M.F.S. program, please be sure to include a list of three potential advisers on the application form. Please also attach as an addendum to the personal statement a short paragraph for each of the listed advisers describing why you would like them to serve as your adviser on your intended research. Please be sure to link your research interests with theirs to help connect how they may be able to best advise you on your project.
  • 10. An optional supplemental statement on your “Contribution to the F&ES Community” (no more than 300 words). The Yale F&ES mission includes commitments to “build a truly global school of the environment” and “find strength in our collegiality, diversity, independence.” How do your life experiences/background enhance F&ES’s commitment to a diverse set of perspectives and to training individuals in an increasingly varied society?
  • Note: Additional documents beyond those listed above will not be reviewed and may be discarded at the end of the admissions cycle.

All application materials should be uploaded to the electronic application form. Materials cannot be returned, copied, or forwarded to third parties.

All applicants must hold a bachelor’s-level degree and demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement, but there are no arbitrary standards or cutoffs for test scores or grade-point averages, with the exception of English language ability (TOEFL and IELTS). Letters of reference from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s scholarship, professional activities, leadership skills, and career goals are especially valuable. Letters from undergraduate professors and/or professional supervisors are preferred. The School looks for students capable of making effective contributions to scientific knowledge or to professional service in addressing environmental problems. Special weight is given to relevant experiences obtained subsequent to graduation from college. Clarity regarding professional career goals is a critically important part of the applicant’s personal statement. Faculty review teams read the applications submitted to the master’s degree programs. Final admissions decisions rest on an integrated assessment of the components described above.

When taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), applicants should indicate the School’s Institution Code Number 3996 or 3TJ-WT-45; no department code is necessary. Applicants taking the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) must contact the Office of Admissions for special instructions. For further information, please visit the following Web sites: www.ets.org/gre, www.mba.com, or www.lsac.org. Official GRE and GMAT test results will be sent directly to the School by the testing services and generally arrive two to three weeks after the examination date. Please plan ahead so that you are able to take the exam by the December 15, 2014, application deadline.

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English as a Second Language Training Requirement

Applicants for whom English is not a native or customary language of university instruction must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). We require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet test. A minimum score of band 7.0 is required for the IELTS. Please note that we will only accept the iBT version of the TOEFL examination. When taking either test, applicants should indicate the School’s Institution Code Number 3996; no department code is necessary. Additional information about TOEFL can be found at www.ets.org/toefl. Information about IELTS can be found at www.ielts.org. Official test results will be sent directly to the School by the testing service and generally take two to three weeks to arrive.

Applicants who are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS must also submit a supplemental essay (300 words maximum) detailing all educational, research, and/or work and internship experience related to the English language. The Admissions Committee may follow up with a phone interview to assist in determining English proficiency. As a condition of acceptance, it may be required that applicants for whom English is a second language, whose undergraduate degree work has not been conducted in English, or whose application suggests such a need, complete a six-week instructional program in written and spoken English conducted by Yale Summer Session. More information will be provided to those students who may qualify for this requirement.

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