The requirements set forth in the pages that follow are the minimum Graduate School degree requirements and apply to all degree candidates. Students should consult the listings of individual departments and programs for additional specific departmental requirements.
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Length of Study
In most fields of study, six years should normally be sufficient for the completion of the Ph.D. Departments and programs make every effort to design a course of study and to provide advice and guidance to make it possible for students to complete their work within six years. Normally three, or at most three and one-half, years are devoted to the completion of predissertation requirements (courses, examinations, selection of a dissertation topic). The remaining time, typically two to three years, is devoted to conducting research and writing the dissertation.
Students seeking the Ph.D. degree are required to be in residence in the New Haven area during at least three academic years. This is an academic requirement, distinct from and independent of the tuition requirement described below. The residence requirement must normally be met within the first four years of study. Any exception to the residence requirement must be approved by the department and by the appropriate associate dean.
Tuition Requirement and the Continuous Registration Fee
All Ph.D. candidates are charged four years (eight terms) of full tuition, or proportionately less if all degree requirements, including submission of the dissertation, are completed in less than four continuous years of full-time study from the date of matriculation in the Ph.D. program.
Once the full-tuition obligation has been completed, registered students are charged the Continuous Registration Fee (CRF).
Transfer Credit/Course Waivers
The Graduate School does not award transfer credit for graduate work completed before matriculation at Yale.
Non-Yale courses A department may, with the approval of the Graduate School, waive a portion of the Ph.D. course requirement (normally a maximum of three courses) in recognition of previous non-Yale graduate-level work completed after receipt of the bachelor’s or bachelor’s-equivalent degree. Such a waiver does not affect the tuition requirement. Courses taken prior to matriculation at Yale will not appear on the student’s Graduate School transcript. The Yale courses waived will be recorded on the student’s transcript as waived.
Yale courses With the approval of the department, a doctoral student who is currently enrolled may petition to count up to one year of relevant course work completed in a Yale master’s or professional doctoral program as partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. course requirements. This petition must be received by the appropriate associate dean in the Graduate School before the end of the student’s first year of study in the Ph.D. program. The dean may reduce the four-year tuition requirement by either one or two terms, based on the number of courses accepted. The courses accepted will be listed on the student’s transcript.
Waived courses are not counted in determining a student’s eligibility for either terminal or en route master's degrees.
Foreign Language Requirement
Language requirements are set by individual departments and programs. Specific language requirements are explained in the individual department listings. All departmental requirements are subject to initial approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School and are monitored by the Degree Committee. A department cannot make exceptions to its own requirements without authorization by the Degree Committee.
Graduate students taking undergraduate language courses will be graded according to the Yale College grading scale. Where applicable, language courses may count toward graduate degree requirements in some programs (see program descriptions). Undergraduate language courses may not count toward the Honors requirement.
The required level of proficiency in foreign languages, and the method for demonstrating it, are determined by the individual departments. Students are urged to be prepared to meet language requirements at the beginning of their first year of study.
Course and Honors Requirements
The course requirements for the Ph.D. degree are set individually by each department or program. Each course offered in the Graduate School counts for a single credit or, in rare cases, one-half credit. Only courses offered by the Graduate School and officially numbered on the graduate level (i.e., 500 or higher), and receiving a qualitative grade of Honors, High Pass, or Pass, can fulfill requirements for the doctoral degree, with the exception of certain undergraduate language courses or where specified in advance by the department or program. Although departments may set more stringent requirements, to meet the minimum Graduate School quality requirement for the Ph.D., students must achieve the grade of Honors in at least one full-year or two full-term graduate courses taken after matriculation in the Graduate School and during the nine-month academic year. The Honors requirement must be met in courses other than those concerned exclusively with dissertation research and preparation.
A student who has not met the Honors requirement at the end of the fourth term of full-time study will not be permitted to register for the fifth term. A student who is not in academic good standing with regard to course work or research, as defined by the minimum standards established by the Graduate School and the expectations outlined by the student’s department or program, may be dismissed from the Graduate School. Such dismissal will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
Each Ph.D. student must pass a general examination, separate from course examinations, in the major subject offered and in such subordinate subjects as may be required by the department. Such examinations are described in the individual department listings. Students should consult with their director of graduate studies for further information about this requirement.
Committee Constitution Requirement
Each Ph.D. student must have a dissertation committee, satisfactory to the student’s department and in accordance with Graduate School requirements, in order to register for the fourth year of study. Students without an approved committee will normally be withdrawn from their program.
The dissertation topic, in the form of a prospectus, must be approved by the department. Certification of this approval, together with a copy of the prospectus, must be filed with the Graduate School registrar at least six months prior to the submission of the dissertation. By the time a prospectus is submitted, the department must approve a member of the graduate faculty to serve as the primary adviser for the dissertation. Students who plan to submit the dissertation before the end of the fourth year of study should be sure to reserve time to satisfy this requirement.
The prospectus should be viewed as a preliminary statement of what the student proposes to do in the dissertation and not as an unalterable commitment. However, substantive deviation from the dissertation project outlined in a prospectus (as determined by the director of graduate studies and associate dean) will require that the student draft a new prospectus to be approved by the dissertation committee at least six months prior to the submission of the dissertation.
In consultation with their faculty advisers and directors of graduate studies, students should give serious thought to the scale of proposed dissertation topics. There should be a reasonable expectation that the project can be completed during the stipulated duration of the degree program.
The appropriate form and typical content of a prospectus inevitably vary from field to field. In most cases, however, a prospectus should contain the following information:
- The name of the dissertation adviser.
- A statement of the topic of the dissertation and an explanation of its importance. What in general might one expect to learn from the dissertation that is not now known, understood, or appreciated?
- A concise review of what has been done on the topic in the past. Specifically, how will the proposed dissertation differ from or expand upon previous work? A basic bibliography should normally be appended to this section.
- A statement of where most of the work will be carried out—for example, in the Yale library or another library or archive, in the laboratory of a particular faculty member, or as part of a program of fieldwork at specific sites in the United States or abroad.
- If the subject matter permits, a tentative proposal for the internal organization of the dissertation—for example, major sections, subsections, sequence of chapters.
- A provisional timetable for completion of the dissertation.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to candidacy indicates that the department and the Graduate School consider the student prepared to do original and independent research. Students will be admitted to candidacy when they have completed all predissertation requirements, including the dissertation prospectus and excluding any required teaching. Admission to candidacy will normally take place by the end of the third year of study. Any programmatic variations from this pattern that have been approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School are described in the individual department statements. Training in teaching can occur both before and after a student is admitted to candidacy. A student who has not been admitted to candidacy at the expected time will not be permitted to register for the following term. At the time of advancement to candidacy, students who have not petitioned for or received en route degrees (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.Phil.) will automatically be considered for such degrees. If a student advances to candidacy after the deadline to submit a petition for the degree in that term, the student will be considered for a degree in the following term.
Training in Teaching
The Teaching Fellow Program (TFP) 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. Teaching is required in many departments and is an expectation for all doctoral students. All graduate students teaching for the first time at Yale are required to attend a “Teaching @ Yale Day” (T@YD) orientation. The TFP 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 appointments are encouraged to meet with their associate dean. A student must be registered in the Graduate School, at least half-time, to be appointed as a teaching fellow (TF) or as a part-time acting instructor (PTAI). TFs assist faculty in teaching relatively large undergraduate courses. PTAIs are responsible for small undergraduate courses, subject to guidance and advice by department faculty. For a more detailed description of these types of appointments, see Teaching Fellow Levels under Financing Graduate School.
Faculty should clearly communicate to students and teaching fellows their expectations about evaluation of work, feedback to students, and grading policies. Faculty are expected to prepare course syllabi, assignments, and examinations. Typically, they should not ask teaching fellows to give lectures when they are unable to attend class, although they are encouraged to offer occasional opportunities for student lectures when they can attend and advise. While on rare occasions teaching fellows may be asked to assist with administrative activities (such as placing course material on library reserve or online, making photocopies for class, ensuring that audiovisual resources are available and working, and the like), in general such activities should not be done by students.
Graduate students may occasionally serve as graders for graduate-level courses, but only in highly quantitative courses with grading demands for frequent assignments. To avoid conflicts of interest, teaching fellows should not normally be assigned to evaluate the work of graduate student peers. However, in courses requiring extensive quantitative work, teaching fellows may score quantitative homework and exams submitted by graduate students, using nondiscretionary scoring keys approved by the faculty instructor. In these instances, the faculty member should review the teaching fellow’s scoring and must assign the final grade. In courses that are double-titled with both graduate and undergraduate numbers, the same guidelines hold for the grading of assignments; all other grading of graduate students should be done by the faculty member.
The Graduate School requires that all students who teach be in academic good standing. In addition, they must be fluent in English. Graduate students whose native language is not English are required to meet the oral English proficiency standard before they may begin teaching. This includes teaching in foreign language courses. The standard may be met by (1) passing the SPEAK test, (2) passing the Center for Language Study oral exam, (3) passing the speaking section of the iBT TOEFL, (4) passing the speaking portion of the IELTS exam, or (5) having received an undergraduate baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an institution where the principal language of instruction is English and the student was in residence for at least three years. In some instances, a student’s academic dean or director of graduate studies may require that students with an undergraduate degree from English-speaking institutions also pass an oral English exam to satisfy the language requirement. Doctoral students who have not met the oral English proficiency standard must enroll in at least one course offered by the Center for Language Study’s English Language Program each term.
Advancing or Deferring the Teaching Years
In the humanities and social sciences, students in a teaching year, normally years three and four, may defer a teaching year or term into the fifth or sixth year. Students in the humanities and social sciences may also request to teach earlier (in years two through four), if there are appropriate teaching opportunities available. Such requests are subject to approval by the director of graduate studies.
The dissertation should demonstrate the student’s mastery of relevant resources and methods and should make an original contribution to knowledge in the field. Normally, it is expected that a dissertation will have a single topic, however broadly defined, and that all parts of the dissertation will be interrelated, but can constitute essentially discrete units. Beyond this principle, the faculty will apply the prevailing intellectual standards and scholarly practices within their fields in advising students with regard to the suitable scope, length, and structure of the dissertation, including what constitutes an original contribution to that field.
In accord with the traditional scholarly ideal that the candidate for a doctorate must make a contribution to knowledge, all dissertations that have been accepted by the Graduate School are published on microfilm by University Microfilms International and then deposited in the Manuscripts and Archives section of the Sterling Memorial Library. As such, classified or restricted research is not acceptable as part of the dissertation. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the Degree Committee.
Dissertations must be written in and submitted in English except in some disciplines in which there are strong academic reasons for the submission of a dissertation in a foreign language. At the time of the submission of their prospectus, students must petition for permission to submit all or a portion of their dissertations in a foreign language. The petition should be submitted in the form of a letter explaining the academic reasons for using a foreign language and will be evaluated by the director of graduate studies and the appropriate associate dean. Petitions for writing and submitting a dissertation in a foreign language will not be accepted after students have advanced to candidacy. A dissertation may not be translated into English by someone other than the student.
Dissertations must be submitted to the Graduate School by the respective deadlines in the academic calendar to be considered for December or May degrees. No exceptions are made to these deadlines, which have been established to allow sufficient time for departments to receive evaluations from readers and recommend students to the Degree Committee. Once the adviser and committee have approved a dissertation for submission and the director of graduate studies has been notified, the student submits one unbound copy of the dissertation, softbound copies that will be distributed to each reader, a completed set of required forms (https://gsas.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files-forms/dissertation_2019.pdf), and any requisite fees to the Graduate School. The department must submit to the Graduate School a fully completed Notification of Readers form that has been approved by the director of graduate studies.
Registered doctoral candidates must have a principal adviser with an appointment on the Graduate School faculty. The Graduate School requires that each dissertation be read by at least three people but not more than five, at least two of whom hold faculty appointments in the Graduate School. All readers must hold the Ph.D. degree as well as a faculty position or be considered otherwise qualified to evaluate the dissertation. The process for assigning readers is determined by the department, which is responsible for confirming the qualifications, contact information, and willingness of all readers before notifying the Graduate School of these appointments. All appointments of readers are subject to review by the associate dean. The department is responsible for reassigning readers as necessary, and this process will not extend the deadline for readers’ reports to be returned to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will send each student a copy of the readers’ reports and place a copy in the student’s permanent academic record.
Award of the Ph.D. will be considered by the Degree Committee only if all readers’ evaluations have been received by the Graduate School and are positive, all other degree requirements have been met, and the department has recommended the awarding of the degree. Should a reader indicate that a dissertation contains significant errors in typing, grammar, spelling, reference citations, or other textual matters, the student will be required to revise the dissertation by a date provided by the registrar. Corrected pages or a new unbound copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School, as well as a letter from the director of graduate studies indicating that the student has addressed the readers’ concerns, before the dissertation can be recommended for a degree. In the event that a dissertation is evaluated as failing, departmental practice determines the number of reevaluations normally permitted.
The Graduate School does not require departments to evaluate the dissertations of degree candidates who are no longer registered. The decision to review such dissertations rests with the department.
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy
The Master of Philosophy is awarded en route to the Ph.D. in many departments. The minimum general requirements for this degree are that a student shall have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except required teaching, the prospectus, and dissertation. Students will not generally have satisfied the requirements for the Master of Philosophy until after two years of study, except where graduate work done before admission to Yale has reduced the student’s graduate course work at Yale. In no case will the degree be awarded for less than one year of residence in the Yale Graduate School.
Not all departments offer the M.Phil. degree. Information regarding special departmental requirements for the degree, if any, are stated in the individual department listings.
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts or Master of Science
Except in the case of programs listed below under Terminal M.A.S./M.A./M.S. Degrees, students are not admitted as candidates for the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree. However, students in most doctoral departments may be awarded the M.A. or M.S. en route to the Ph.D. degree.
Although departments may set more stringent requirements, the minimum general requirements must comply with the credit hour standards set by the U.S. Department of Education and include the (1) completion of a minimum of seven courses leading to the Ph.D. or the equivalent of such courses, with grades that satisfy the departmental requirements; (2) completion of one academic year in full-time residence, or the equivalent, at Yale; (3) recommendation by the department for award of the degree, subject to final review and approval by the Degree Committee. In no case may courses taken prior to matriculation in the Graduate School, or in Yale College or other summer programs, be applied toward the requirements for the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree.
Some departments do not offer the M.A. or M.S. en route to the Ph.D., or award it only to students who are withdrawing from the Ph.D. program. For information about this or any special departmental requirements additional to the general requirements stated above, see the department listings.
Students enrolled in a Ph.D. program may receive a master’s degree from another department provided that it is in a related field of study and deemed necessary for the completion of the proposed dissertation research. The student’s proposed program of study must receive formal approval in writing from the director of graduate studies in both departments and the appropriate associate dean prior to enrollment in courses that will fulfill master’s degree requirements in another department. Courses taken toward a master’s degree in another department must be part of the student’s course requirement for the Ph.D., as approved by the director of graduate studies in both departments. However, such course work cannot also be counted toward a master’s degree in the department to which the student was admitted. A student may not advance to candidacy until all requirements have been completed for both the en route master’s degree in the program to which the student was admitted and the proposed master’s degree in a related field. Students who wish to obtain a master’s degree in a field that is not directly related to the doctoral degree must apply for a personal leave from the Ph.D. program and submit an application for admission to the master’s program. Any financial aid offered to the student for a Ph.D. program may not be transferred to a master’s degree course of study. Students enrolled in combined programs normally receive combined en route degrees as well.
Terminal M.A.S./M.A./M.S. Degrees
The M.A.S./M.A./M.S. degrees are offered as terminal degrees in eighteen departments and programs: African Studies, American Studies, Applied Physics, Archaeological Studies, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Computer Science, East Asian Studies, Engineering and Applied Science, English, European and Russian Studies, Global Affairs, History, History of Science and Medicine, International and Development Economics (IDE), Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Public Health, and Statistics.
The residence and tuition requirements for a terminal M.A.S./M.A./M.S. degree are a minimum of one year of full tuition and course work in residence in one-year programs, or a minimum of two years of full tuition and course work in residence in two-year programs. For information about which departments offer one-year programs and which offer two-year programs, see the department listings.
With the approval of the department and the appropriate associate dean, a student may be admitted for part-time study toward the master’s degree. In that case, tuition will be charged on a per-course basis. Part-time study does not change the one- or two-year full-tuition obligation described above. Part-time students must complete all degree requirements within five years of matriculation.
Individual departments establish the specific course and language requirements for these degrees. Although departments may set more stringent requirements, the minimum Graduate School requirement for students admitted for M.A.S./M.A./M.S. degrees is an overall grade average of High Pass, including a grade of Honors in at least one full-term graduate course (for students enrolled in one-year programs), or in at least two full-term graduate courses (for students enrolled in two-year programs). In order to maintain the minimum average of High Pass, each grade of Pass on the student’s transcript must be balanced by one grade of Honors. Each grade of Fail must be balanced by two grades of Honors. If a student retakes a course in which the student has received a failing grade, only the newer grade will be considered in calculating this average. The initial grade of Fail, however, will remain on the student’s transcript. A grade awarded at the conclusion of a full-year course in which no grade is awarded at the end of the first term would be counted twice in calculating this average.
Each course offered in the Graduate School counts for one or one-half credit. Only courses offered by the Graduate School and officially numbered on the graduate level can fulfill requirements for the master’s degree, with the exception of certain language courses or when specified in advance by the department or program. A student who has not fulfilled the course requirements for the degree at the conclusion of the standard duration of the program can, at the discretion of the department and associate dean, be granted one additional term to fulfill degree requirements. If the student has not taken the requisite number of courses but has fulfilled the tuition requirement, the student will be charged the Continuous Registration Fee. If the student must take additional courses beyond the number required, the student will be charged tuition on a per-course basis.
No credit will be awarded toward the M.A.S./M.A./M.S. degree for courses taken prior to matriculation in the Graduate School, or taken in Yale or other summer programs. Students in one of Yale’s professional schools who matriculate in the Graduate School to complete a joint master’s degree may, however, with the permission of their director of graduate studies, count courses already completed in their professional school program toward the joint degree. See the individual program or department listings.
The master’s degree may also be earned jointly with the B.A./B.S. in certain departments by students enrolled in Yale College. For further information, see Yale College Programs of Study, available from the Office of the Dean of Yale College.
Requirements for Joint-Degree Programs
Students who are candidates for degrees in any of the joint programs sponsored by the Graduate School and Yale’s professional schools must meet the requirements established by each school for the degree they are seeking. Degree requirements in the Graduate School include both the Graduate School’s general requirements and any special requirements set by the relevant department or program. In all cases the Honors requirement must be fulfilled in non-research courses offered primarily for Graduate School students, taken after matriculation in the Graduate School.
In addition to the J.D./Ph.D., J.D./M.A., M.D./Ph.D., and Ph.D./M.B.A. programs described below, joint-degree programs with other professional schools have been approved for students in European and Russian Studies, Global Affairs, International and Development Economics, and Nursing. These programs are described in the individual department listings.
J.D./Ph.D. and J.D./M.A. Programs
Admission to the Graduate School joint-degree programs with the Law School, described below, requires separate admission to both schools as well as approval by the appropriate associate dean in each school, and by the director of graduate studies in the student’s Graduate School department. Students must apply for admission to a joint program no later than their first year of study in a J.D., Ph.D., or two-year M.A. program, and must matriculate in the joint program no later than the beginning of their second year. Students wishing to pursue a J.D./M.A. in a one-year M.A. program must apply for admission no later than their first year of study in the J.D. program and must matriculate in the M.A. program as a joint-degree candidate.
In the J.D./Ph.D. program, the first year of study is spent principally in the Law School. The second and third years are combined according to the interest of the student. As many as six term courses, designated by the student at the beginning of the term, may be counted toward both degrees. During this time all course work and language requirements for the Ph.D. program are normally completed. The J.D. should be completed by the end of the fourth year. During the fifth year the student is expected to complete all remaining predissertation requirements and be admitted to candidacy. The teaching requirement for the Ph.D. will normally be completed by this time. Any exception to this pattern of study must be approved by the appropriate associate dean.
The minimum residence requirement in the J.D./Ph.D. program is four years. The tuition requirement is two and one-half years in the Law School and three and one-half years in the Graduate School. Financial aid is provided by each school according to its own criteria, typically for two and one-half years in the Law School and three and one-half years in the Graduate School, and is awarded by each school during the terms in which the student pays tuition in that school. Students are not eligible for financial aid from the Graduate School during terms in which they are registered at another school.
In the J.D./M.A. program, the J.D. and M.A. degrees are awarded simultaneously at the end of the fourth year of study in one-year M.A. programs and at the end of four and one-half years of study in two-year M.A. programs. The Graduate School tuition requirement for J.D./M.A. students in one-year M.A. programs is one year of tuition; students in two-year M.A. programs have a one and one-half year tuition requirement in the Graduate School. In all cases students pay three years of tuition in the Law School. Students in J.D./M.A. programs, like other students in M.A. programs, are not ordinarily eligible for University Fellowship aid through the Graduate School. Students usually enroll in the Law School during the first year of study. The pattern of enrollment in subsequent years depends on whether the M.A. program is a one-year or a two-year program.
This program is sponsored jointly by the Graduate School and the School of Medicine. Applications for admission to the joint program are reviewed by a committee composed of faculty members and deans from both schools. Normally, admission to the program includes simultaneous admission to both schools. However, students may apply to the joint program by October 15 of their second year of study in either the M.D. or Ph.D. program, and they must matriculate in the joint program no later than the beginning of the following year.
Students request affiliation with a particular department or program in the Graduate School by the beginning of their third year of study in the joint program, after their course and research interests have been defined. Although students usually pursue their research in one of the biological sciences, those interested in earning the Ph.D. through work in another department may do so under certain circumstances, with the approval of the M.D./Ph.D. committee and of the relevant department or program. At the time of the student’s affiliation with a non-biological/biomedical science department or program, permission for any adjustment to the teaching requirement must be obtained from the Graduate School. Requests for adjustments to the program’s teaching requirement should be submitted by the director of graduate studies and by the director of the M.D./Ph.D. program, as part of a student’s proposed plan of study, to the associate dean for graduate student advising and academic support.
The residence requirement in this program is seven years. The full-tuition requirement is three and one-half years in the School of Medicine and two and one-half years in the Graduate School. To qualify for the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, students must satisfy all degree requirements of both schools. Normally, a student admitted to this joint program must satisfy the Graduate School Honors requirement and all predissertation requirements within four terms of affiliation with the Ph.D. department. This schedule may be adjusted for students who have been enrolled in either the School of Medicine or the Graduate School before admission to the M.D./Ph.D. program.
The joint degree combines the two-year M.B.A. degree from the School of Management (SOM) with the six-year Ph.D. It would allow its students to complete requirements for both degrees in roughly seven years rather than the eight or more years that would be required if the degrees were pursued separately. Both degrees will be awarded simultaneously once the student has fulfilled the degree requirements of both programs. Like all graduate students, joint-degree students will receive a full financial aid package from the Graduate School during the terms registered there. For students in the humanities and social sciences, this includes four years of tuition, five years of stipend, and health insurance for each term registered. Funding for students in the sciences will mirror standard, departmental packages. Students will pay one and one-half years of tuition for the three terms registered at SOM.
The School of Management and the Graduate School will use independent admissions processes and make independent admissions decisions. Applicants must take both the GRE tests and the GMAT. Prospective students who are currently enrolled neither in the Graduate School nor in SOM may apply to both schools simultaneously. Students already enrolled in the Graduate School normally apply to SOM after taking one course at SOM for matriculation any time after they have passed their Ph.D. qualifying examinations at the Graduate School but prior to beginning the fifth year of study. This pattern, however, is flexible, and students interested in the joint degree should consult the websites of their departments or programs for further information. Students registered in SOM may apply to the Graduate School during the first year of study at SOM. Following admission to both programs, each student must complete a form requesting joint-degree status. The form must be signed by the appropriate associate dean at the Graduate School and at SOM and the student’s director of graduate studies.
A student in the Graduate School who wishes to pursue the joint degree will normally be required to take one course in SOM before applying there. The student will need to obtain the permission of the SOM instructor and state the intention to apply to the joint-degree program. The Graduate School will waive one course during the term in which the student takes this preliminary course at SOM. For students in some disciplines, this prerequisite to admission will be waived. The student is expected to complete the qualifying exams and prospectus according to the standard schedule set by the Graduate School. The student will normally begin study at SOM after completing the departmental Ph.D. qualifying examinations at the Graduate School, but there are exceptions to this pattern described on the departmental websites. Upon admission to SOM, the joint-degree student will register at SOM for the first-year core of courses. Students may not fulfill any Graduate School requirements during this time, nor may they serve as teaching fellows in the Graduate School in any capacity. The student must register for a third term at SOM and complete four additional courses, normally prior to the beginning of the sixth year of study at the Graduate School. Depending on the schedule of individual students, they may or may not complete all four of these remaining courses within a single term at SOM. If they do not, they may complete outstanding courses while registered at the Graduate School, but in all circumstances, students are required to pay a third term of tuition to SOM.
A student who has been admitted to the Graduate School while completing the first-year core at SOM may begin course work in the Graduate School the following year. Once a joint-degree student has matriculated at the Graduate School, it is expected that the student remain registered continuously until completing the qualifying exams. During this time, the student may undertake limited course work at SOM, but may not register there for the third and final term until the student has passed the departmental exams at the Graduate School. Prospective students who apply simultaneously may start the joint degree at either school and follow the schedules outlined above.
All joint-degree students are subject to the codes of conduct published in the bulletins of their respective programs. Joint-degree students will receive separate transcripts from SOM and the Graduate School. Each transcript will list the courses required for the respective school’s portion of the joint degree. Each course taken may be counted toward one degree only. The transcripts will reflect the joint-degree status. A joint-degree student who decides not to complete both degrees may petition both schools to receive a single degree if the requirements for the single degree, including the two-year tuition requirement at SOM, are met.
Professional Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research
Professional Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) training is intended to establish a basis of understanding among graduate students concerning their rights and obligations as scholars and researchers, as noted below.
Master’s and Ph.D. Students
At the start of their first year of study, all master’s and Ph.D. students are required to attend a small-group discussion of professional ethics, including academic integrity, prevention of sexual misconduct, and discrimination and harassment reporting. Students must also complete an approved online training module in professional ethics before they can register for the spring term of their first year.
Additional requirements: (1) Students in the natural sciences must complete a department-based RCR course by the end of their first year of study. Master’s students in the natural sciences will not be charged tuition for this course; (2) Students in the humanities and social sciences who receive funding from a U.S. government grant or fellowship are required to complete an online RCR course offered by CITI within one month of the start of the funding.
Students in the Division of Special Registration (DSR)
All DSR students in the natural sciences, and DSR students in the humanities and social sciences who receive funding from a U.S. government grant or fellowship, are required to complete an online RCR course offered by CITI. This requirement must be fulfilled within one month of receiving a Yale NetID and even if RCR training was completed at another university.
Additional requirements: (1) All DSR students registered in the fall term must complete an approved online training module in professional ethics before they can register for the spring term; (2) DSR students in the natural sciences who intend to study at Yale for one year or more are required to complete, at no charge, the department-based RCR course taken by degree-seeking students.
Petitioning for Degrees
Graduate School degrees are awarded twice each year, at Commencement in May and in the fall (normally in December, depending on the schedule of the Yale Corporation). Degrees are not granted automatically. Students must file a petition for each degree by the appropriate date (see Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines). Petitions that have received favorable recommendations from the student’s department are reviewed by the Degree Committee. When the degree committee has given its approval, the petition is forwarded to the faculty of the Graduate School and then to the Yale Corporation. If the petition is successful, the student will be notified in writing by the dean of the Graduate School.
Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs should not petition for M.A./M.S. and M.Phil. degrees until the end of the term in which requirements for the degree are completed (e.g., students completing degree requirements during the spring term should petition for award of the degree the following fall). Students who have not petitioned for or received en route degrees (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.Phil.) will automatically be considered for such degrees in the term following advancement to candidacy. Students in terminal M.A.S./M.A./M.S. programs may petition for their degrees in the term in which they expect to complete them.
There is only one University Commencement ceremony each year, in May. All degrees awarded for both December and May of each academic year are presented at the May ceremony. Graduating students must complete the Commencement form found at the site listed above by mid-April each year in order to attend the GSAS diploma ceremony in person, or, alternatively, to receive the diploma by mail.