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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is one of fourteen schools composing Yale University and the only one that awards the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, Master of Arts, and Master of Science. The work of the Graduate School is carried on in the divisions of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biological and Physical Sciences. Fifty-six departments and programs offer courses of study leading to the Ph.D. degree. There are nineteen programs that terminate with the master’s degree.

Yale began to offer graduate education in 1847, and in 1861 it conferred the first Ph.D. degrees in North America. In 1876 Yale became the first American university to award the Ph.D. to an African American. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was formally established in 1892, when the first dean was appointed. It was in that same year that women were first admitted as candidates for the doctorate.

The Graduate School community has grown vigorously since the early twentieth century; today it comprises more than 2,800 graduate students and a faculty of 999 who are among the world’s most distinguished teachers and scholars. Admission to the Graduate School is highly competitive; currently each entering class is made up of about 600 students.

The Graduate School’s purpose is to educate students in research, scholarship, and teaching in the arts and sciences. Under the guidance of the faculty, graduate students engage in advanced study of a discipline and then proceed to generate new knowledge and ideas through research. They learn to disseminate this knowledge in scholarly publications and teaching. Yale’s graduate students have built careers in colleges and universities, research laboratories, government, the nonprofit sector, and private industry. Their education equips them for leadership roles in all these callings.

Yale’s standing as a great international research university is based on the strength and attractiveness of its graduate programs. The pursuit of advanced learning and new knowledge takes place in the departments and programs of the Graduate School. Thus it is the Graduate School that makes Yale a university. Furthermore, graduate students as scholars in training and apprentice teachers engage with undergraduates and the faculty. A shared sense of common purpose makes Yale a community of scholars, and a place for an unusually intimate exchange of ideas.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is to seek students of the highest intellectual promise and achievement of all backgrounds, from across the nation and around the world, and to educate them to be scholars, teachers, and leaders for many sectors of society. The larger aim of this enterprise is to prepare and stimulate each new generation to perpetuate and advance human knowledge and to contribute to the health and development of the human community.

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Yale and the World

The Yale Graduate School has always comprised an international community, but it recognizes as well that now, more than ever, advanced scholarship must occur on trans­national grounds. It is increasingly important that we prepare our students to participate in a global economy of research and knowledge and that we create institutional channels through which such participation can flourish. In addition to formal student exchanges that enable graduate students to perform research and fieldwork abroad, individual faculty members, departments, and the School participate in collaborative efforts with international partners.

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 nondegree students in the Division of Special Registration (DSR). DSR students may undertake course work and/or research for periods of one term or one year. When appropriate the period may extend for a second year. These students are subject to the usual admissions procedure, are admitted to a department, and often work with a specific faculty member. See International Student Life for additional information regarding international student life at Yale.

A Global University

The University’s engagement beyond the United States dates from its earliest years. Yale has drawn students from outside the United States for nearly two centuries, and international issues have been represented in its curriculum for the past hundred years and more. Today, Yale continues to evolve as a global university, educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge not simply for the United States, but for the entire world.

In 2005, following a full year of consultation with deans and faculty, the president and vice president published “The Internationalization of Yale, 2005–2008: The Emerging Framework.” Activity accelerated further with the publication of the “International Framework: Yale’s Agenda for 2009 to 2012.” Both are available online at www.world.yale.edu/framework. Three overarching goals were enunciated in these documents: prepare students for leadership and service in an increasingly interdependent world, attract the most talented students and scholars to Yale from around the world, and position Yale as a global university of consequence.

International activity is coordinated by several University-wide organizations in addition to the efforts within the individual schools and programs.

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies is the University’s principal agency for encouraging and coordinating teaching and research on international affairs, societies, and cultures. See www.yale.edu/macmillan.

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs seeks to institutionalize the teaching of global affairs throughout the University and to inspire and prepare Yale students for global citizenship and leadership. See http://jackson.yale.edu.

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) supports the international activities of all schools, departments, offices, centers, and organizations at Yale; promotes Yale and its faculty to international audiences; and works to increase the visibility of Yale’s international activities around the globe. See http://world.yale.edu/oia.

The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is a resource on immigration matters and hosts orientation programs and social activities for the University’s international community. See description in this bulletin and www.yale.edu/oiss.

The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization draws on the intellectual resources of the Yale community, scholars from other universities, and experts from around the world to support teaching and research on the many facets of globalization, and to enrich debate through workshops, conferences, and public programs. See www.ycsg.yale.edu.

The Yale World Fellows Program hosts fifteen emerging leaders from outside the United States each year for an intensive semester of individualized research, weekly seminars, leadership training, and regular interactions with the Yale community. See www.yale.edu/worldfellows.

Additional information may be found on the “Yale and the World” Web site, including links to the international initiatives across the University and resources for faculty, students, and staff conducting international activities, whether abroad or on campus. See www.world.yale.edu.

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The Dean

Lynn Cooley, grad.dean@yale.edu

The dean of the Graduate School is appointed by the president of the University and is responsible for the educational mission of the Graduate School, the quality of its programs, and the welfare of graduate students.

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Associate and Assistant Deans for Academic Affairs

  • Pamela Schirmeister, Associate Dean, pamela.schirmeister@yale.edu
  • Richard G. Sleight, Associate Dean, richard.sleight@yale.edu
  • Allegra di Bonaventura, Assistant Dean, allegra.dibonaventura@yale.edu
  • Robert Harper-Mangels, Assistant Dean, robert.harper-mangels@yale.edu
  • Carl Hashimoto, Assistant Dean, carl.hashimoto@yale.edu
  • Robin Ladouceur, Assistant Dean, robin.ladouceur@yale.edu

The academic deans of the Graduate School are responsible for the administration of graduate programs, normally in consultation with the directors of graduate studies, and for the academic and personal well-being of students. They participate in decisions regarding admissions, financial aid, academic performance, and the application of the regulations and policies of the Graduate School.

Dean Schirmeister, Dean di Bonaventura, and Dean Ladouceur oversee Ph.D. and terminal master’s programs in African American Studies; African Studies; American Studies; Archaeological Studies; Architecture; Classics; Comparative Literature; East Asian Languages and Literatures; East Asian Studies; Economics; English Language and Literature; European and Russian Studies; Film and Media Studies; French; Germanic Languages and Literatures; Global Affairs; History; History of Art; History of Science and Medicine; International and Development Economics; Italian Language and Literature; Law; Management; Medieval Studies; Music; Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; Philosophy; Political Science; Religious Studies; Renaissance Studies; Slavic Languages and Literatures; Sociology; and Spanish and Portuguese.

Dean Sleight, Dean Harper-Mangels, and Dean Hashimoto oversee Ph.D. and terminal master’s programs in Anthropology; Applied Mathematics; Applied Physics; Astronomy; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Biomedical Engineering; Cell Biology; Cellular and Molecular Physiology; Chemical & Environmental Engineering; Chemistry; Computational Biology and Bioinformatics; Computer Science; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Electrical Engineering; Experimental Pathology; Forestry & Environmental Studies; Genetics; Geology and Geophysics; Immunobiology; Investigative Medicine; Linguistics; Mathematics; M.D./Ph.D. Program; Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science; Microbiology; Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Neurobiology; Neuroscience; Nursing; Pharmacology; Physics; Psychology; Public Health; and Statistics.

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Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS)

A senior faculty member, appointed by the dean, serves as director of graduate studies (DGS) for each department or program. The directors of graduate studies are responsible for the satisfactory administration of the programs of graduate study and function as advisers and guides to all graduate students in their respective departments and programs. They help graduate students to plan an appropriate course of study and research, and advise on and approve course schedules. The DGS acts as the liaison between each student in the department or program and the Office of the Dean.

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Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Michelle Nearon, Assistant Dean, Director, 140 HGS, 203.436.1301


The Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity’s mission is to expand the diversity of the student body and to enhance the intellectual experience of the entire scholarly community. The office coordinates efforts to recruit and retain students of color, women, and other diverse groups at Yale Graduate School. The assistant dean works collaboratively with departments and programs to support the needs of these students as they pursue graduate study. The assistant dean advises prospective and current minority graduate students, directs the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, oversees Diversity Recruitment Days, writes and administers grants, and provides reports on the Graduate School’s progress in recruiting and retaining diverse students. Graduate Diversity Fellows within the office are also appointed annually to assist the office in the development and implementation of a wide array of programs, such as application seminars, mentoring programs, discussions and lectures presented by diverse scholars, and social and cultural events. An Advisory Committee, appointed by the dean, meets regularly to discuss and review the office’s programmatic efforts.

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McDougal Graduate Student Center

Hall of Graduate Studies, 203.432.BLUE (2583)


A generous gift from Mr. Alfred McDougal ’53, a Yale alumnus, and his wife, Ms. Nancy Lauter, enabled Yale to create the McDougal Graduate Student Center in 1997. The McDougal Center provides space and programs for building intellectual, cultural, and social community, as well as facilitating professional development activities across the departments of the Graduate School.

Graduate Career Services

  • mcdougal.careers@yale.edu


Graduate Career Services (GCS) assists currently enrolled students of the Graduate School and its recent alumni with career education, decision making, and job search planning. Offerings include individual advising, workshops and programs, guest speakers, employer visits and information sessions, interview practice, print resources, partnerships with external career partners such as New York Academy of Sciences and Versatile Ph.D., targeted job postings through eRecruiting, and career-related Web links. The assistant dean consults with directors of graduate studies to develop programs that supplement the department’s role in the professional development of students pursuing an academic career. For graduate students considering careers beyond the professoriate, the assistant dean and Career Services McDougal Fellows initiate programs and develop links with employers who seek graduate students’ skills. Dossier management is provided through Interfolio, an online credential management service. Students are encouraged to begin using the services of the office and attending career and professional development programs and events early in their graduate careers in order to increase their opportunities upon the completion of their degree. All Graduate School students receive regular communication and program updates from GCS. Students are encouraged to visit the Web site to view the calendar of events.

Graduate Student Life

  • Lisa Brandes, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director, 126 HGS, 203.432.2583, mcdougal.center@yale.edu
  • Jennifer Mendelsohn, Associate Director, 125 HGS, 203.432.2583, mcdougal.center@yale.edu


The Office of Graduate Student Life is responsible for student life programs in the McDougal Center and student services in the Graduate School. McDougal Graduate Fellows and staff produce a wide array of student life programs, including concerts; arts, literary, music, sports, and cultural events; health and wellness programs; outings; family activities and resources; international student events; religious and spiritual events; public service opportunities; and monthly happy hours, dances, and events for various student groups. Graduate Student Life provides advice and support to graduate student organizations, which may sponsor events at the center. Activities are announced in the weekly e-mail McDougal Life Notes, through specialized e-mail lists, and on the McDougal Center Student Life Web calendar at the site listed above. This office also oversees the facilities and general services of the McDougal Center, including meeting rooms and room requests, online ticket sales, and lockers.

The assistant dean for student affairs coordinates general campus services for graduate students, serving as the student advocate and departmental liaison for graduate housing, dining services, health services, athletics, security, chaplains, child care, and parking and transit. The assistant dean and staff are available to answer questions or help with any problems that students may have, including speaking individually about issues concerning their life at Yale and other personal matters and concerns. The Graduate Student Life office also organizes recruitment activities, new student orientation, and other events for the Graduate School community, including the Graduate School’s participation in the University’s Commencement exercises.

McDougal Program for Graduate Teaching, Yale Teaching Center

  • Risa Sodi, Interim Director, 120 HGS, 203.432.7702, risa.sodi@yale.edu, teaching@yale.edu


The McDougal Program for Graduate Teaching, part of the Yale Teaching Center (YTC), offers a full range of training, consultation, and teacher development services to teaching fellows and postdoctoral fellows at Yale. The director, assistant director, and staff of graduate teaching consultants are available throughout the year and in a variety of capacities to provide assistance and training in a wide array of topics and issues. For first-time teaching fellows, the center organizes Fundamentals of Teaching courses for specific departments, such as Chemistry, Engineering & Applied Science, History, Music, Political Science, and Physics. (Departments and programs seeking their own discipline-centered program should contact the YTC.) In addition, the center offers Fundamentals of Teaching courses in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and foreign languages. Some of these courses are offered in conjunction with our partners, the Center for Language Study and the Center for Scientific Teaching. For more advanced graduate teachers, the YTC offers workshops on topics such as classroom management, course design, grading, instructional technology, and leading discussions. We also offer upper-level programs to help graduate students prepare for the academic job market, including sessions on interview preparation, syllabus design, and developing a teaching portfolio, including writing a teaching statement. The YTC also offers an extensive program of individual consultations and coaching, which may include classroom visits and videotaping. As with all our offerings, these consultations are strictly confidential. Graduate students who avail themselves of these and other on-campus teaching programs can obtain a Certificate of College Teaching Preparation (CCTP). Through its Spring Teaching Forum, the YTC provides a venue for members of the Yale community to discuss issues in education and pedagogy. Its Associates in Teaching program allows graduate students to co-design and co-teach a course with a faculty mentor.

On the YTC Web site, graduate students will find a variety of online teaching resources, including a calendar of events, descriptions of our programs, a “Teaching How-To” for new and returning teachers, and modules on important teaching topics. The YTC connects with graduate students through its blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account, all of which are accessible at http://teaching.yale.edu. All graduate students also receive our occasional e-newsletter.

Graduate Writing Center

  • Elena D. Kallestinova, Assistant Dean and Director, 35 Broadway, Rm. 210, 203.432.7725, elena.kallestinova@yale.edu, grad.writing@yale.edu


The Graduate Writing Center (GWC) offers resources to all currently enrolled GSAS students who want to grow as successful academic writers. The center offers support through individual advising, academic writing workshops, writing groups, and online resources. Graduate students are encouraged to schedule individual writing consultations with Graduate Writing Advisers, available throughout the academic year and meeting in the GWC, the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI), and the Sterling Hall of Medicine Library. During these consultations, the students can receive feedback on their written course work, grant proposals, fellowship applications, conference presentations, research papers, prospectuses, and dissertation chapters. In addition, the center offers a comprehensive program of workshops, seminars, and discussion panels led by the director, Graduate Writing Fellows, and invited speakers. These workshops relate to topics of academic research, writing, and publishing and take place at different locations convenient for the graduate students. The center also organizes regular writing groups including peer-review groups, dissertation boot camps, and study halls. These groups help students with the process of writing and provide accountability and peer support. A complete list of programs, together with a variety of handouts and online resources, is available through the GWC Web site and the e-newsletter circulated among graduate students.

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  • Robert Colonna, Director, 117B HGS, 203.432.2771, graduate.admissions@yale.edu
  • Lisa Furino, Assistant Director, 117A HGS, 203.432.2771, graduate.admissions@yale.edu


The Office of Graduate Admissions coordinates and oversees all aspects of application to the Graduate School for individuals seeking master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as for nondegree study. The office also works with the associate deans and academic departments to provide relevant information and decisions to applicants.

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Business Operations

  • Jennifer Brinley, Interim Lead Administrator, 129 HGS, 203.432.7980, jennifer.brinley@yale.edu


The Office of Business Operations is responsible for all financial transactions in the Graduate School, overseeing both financial aid and operating activities. Working with the dean and others, the office develops and monitors all Graduate School budgets and expenditures, maintaining compliance with internal and external policies and regulations. The office provides support to the dean and Graduate School supervisory staff in hiring, training, and related human resources activities of the School. The office is a resource to Graduate School, University, and external organizations seeking interpretation of policies and regulations, providing guidance about procedures, reporting, and interactive systems.

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Financial Aid

Jennifer Brinley, Director, 129 HGS, 203.432.7980, gradfinaid@yale.edu


The Office of Financial Aid is a resource to graduate students, departments, and non-Yale organizations needing guidance or assistance regarding financial aid policies and the administration of fellowships and student loan programs. The office oversees and maintains financial and data management systems and disburses all graduate student financial aid.

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Registrar’s Office

  • Shonna Marshall, Associate University Registrar for Student Support, 246 Church Street, 203.436.8036, registrar@yale.edu
  • Claudia Schiavone, Assistant University Registrar, 246 Church Street, 203.432.2743, registrar@yale.edu

The Office of the Registrar maintains the academic records of all students in the Graduate School. In addition, the office develops course and classroom schedules and oversees registration, tuition charges, academic holds, dissertation submission, final clearance at graduation, and release of diplomas for Commencement. Students should consult this office to report changes in name or Social Security number, to request transcripts, or to certify their enrollment in the Graduate School. Students can change their address listing at www.yale.edu/sis.

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Teaching Fellow Program

  • Judith Dozier Hackman, Director, 139 HGS, 203.432.2757, judith.hackman@yale.edu
  • Howard el-Yasin, Assistant Director, 139 HGS, 203.432.2757, howard.el-yasin@yale.edu


The Teaching Fellow Program is the principal framework at Yale in which graduate students learn to become effective teachers. Learning to teach and to evaluate student work is fundamental to the education of graduate students. The Teaching Fellow Program provides opportunities for graduate students to develop teaching skills, under faculty guidance, through active participation in the teaching of Yale undergraduates. Teaching fellows who encounter problems or difficulties related to their teaching roles are encouraged to meet with the director of the Teaching Fellow Program or their associate dean.

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Currently four standing committees are concerned with the policies and procedures of the Graduate School; as with all standing committees, their deliberations are confidential. Student members of these committees are selected by the Graduate Student Assembly.

The Executive Committee A committee of faculty members and graduate students, chaired by the dean, advises the dean on broad matters of policy and procedure and makes recommendations to the faculty of the Graduate School.

The Degree Committees There are three degree committees, serving the divisions of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biological and Physical Sciences. The degree committees, composed of members of the division’s faculty and chaired by the dean, meet twice a year and are responsible to the faculty of the Graduate School for maintaining standards of graduate education in the School and for recommending candidates for degrees. They review special academic problems of individual students and, when appropriate, the educational programs of the departments.

Dean’s Advisory Committee on Student Grievances Composed of three graduate students, three faculty members, normally one from each division, and one administrator of the Graduate School, the committee reviews complaints brought by graduate students against a member of the faculty or administration of the Graduate School (see Grievance Procedures, under Policies and Regulations).

The Committee on Regulations and Discipline Composed of three graduate students, three faculty members, normally one from each division, and an associate dean, the committee reviews violations of the regulations governing academic and personal conduct (see Personal Conduct, under Policies and Regulations).

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Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)

B43 HGS, 203.432.8893, gsa@yale.edu


Students in the Graduate School are represented collectively by the Graduate Student Assembly, which provides a forum for students to address issues across the Graduate School and University. It consults with the dean and other administrators on proposed changes in Graduate School policy, raises concerns expressed by the student body, nominates the student members of all Graduate School standing committees, and administers a conference travel fund for graduate students. Representatives to the assembly are elected by students in individual departments and degree programs. Each department or program has at least one student representative, with additional representatives allotted proportionally by size of the student population.

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Graduate-Professional Student Senate (GPSS)



The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS or “Yale Senate”) is composed of elected representatives from each of the thirteen graduate and professional schools at Yale. Any student in these schools is eligible to run for a senate seat during fall elections. As a governing body, the GPSS advocates for student concerns and advancement within Yale, represents all graduate and professional students to the outside world, and facilitates interaction and collaboration among the schools through social gatherings, academic or professional events, and community service. GPSS meetings occur on alternating Thursdays and are open to the entire graduate and professional school community, as well as representatives from the Yale administration. GPSS also oversees the management of the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale (GPSCY), located at 204 York Street. GPSCY provides office and event space for GPSS and other student organizations and houses Gryphon’s Pub.

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