Programs of Study

Full-Time Degree Candidacy

Most students enrolled in the Graduate School are registered for full-time study as they pursue a Ph.D. or master’s degree program. These students devote their full effort to course work, preparation for qualifying examinations, gaining teaching experience, and the research and writing leading to the completion of the dissertation.

Part-Time Study

In rare circumstances, qualified individuals who are unable to devote their full time to graduate study may apply and be admitted as part-time students in either doctoral or terminal master’s programs. For more complete information, see Part-Time Study under Academic Regulations.

Nondegree Study

Qualified individuals who wish to study at the graduate level as nondegree candidates may be admitted to the Division of Special Registration (DSR). Admission to the DSR is for one term or for one year only and carries with it no commitment by the Graduate School for further study. Students admitted for the academic year must demonstrate satisfactory academic performance in the first term in order to register for the second term. Students in the DSR may obtain transcripts indicating the appropriate credit for work completed.

DSR students engaged in course work or a combination of course work and research are identified as Visiting Students. Although normally admitted for full-time study, Visiting Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may be admitted for part-time study and are charged tuition on a per-course basis, whether for credit or audit. Please refer to Financing Graduate School for a schedule of tuition and fee charges. Students admitted to the DSR as Visiting Students are not eligible for financial aid, including federal and most nonfederal student loans.

Advanced graduate students who are degree candidates (at the master’s or Ph.D. level) at another university and who have made arrangements with a specific Graduate School faculty member for a research project under that faculty member’s direct supervision may be admitted to the DSR as Visiting Assistants in Research. Undergraduate students in combined or simultaneous B.S./M.S., B.A./M.A., or similar programs are not considered advanced graduate students. Student research conducted at Yale must be part of the visiting student’s thesis or dissertation. The extent and location of the research completed at Yale must be cited in the completed thesis or dissertation. The Graduate School does not provide financial support to Visiting Assistants in Research. Such students either hold standard graduate student Assistantship in Research appointments that are funded by the faculty adviser, or provide their own funding through external awards or personal resources. Please refer to Financing Graduate School for a schedule of tuition and fee charges.

Detailed information, requirements, and access to the online DSR application are available at DSR applicants must provide evidence of health care for the duration of their studies at Yale at the time of application.

Some departments at Yale have formal exchange agreements with universities in other countries that have been approved by the Graduate School. Graduate students who are admitted to Yale under such approved exchange agreements may be registered as Exchange Scholars. Exchange Scholars normally are not charged tuition.

In rare circumstances, students may apply for a second year of registration in the DSR; however, cumulative enrollment is limited to two years. Students enrolled in the DSR who are subsequently admitted to degree programs in the Graduate School may receive academic and tuition credit for no more than four courses completed while enrolled in the DSR, provided that the department recommends such credit and the appropriate associate dean approves.

Interdisciplinary Study

All graduate students are formally associated with one department or program, and in the case of students in combined-degree programs, with two. Students may, however, be encouraged to take one or more courses in related departments. Students are often advised by faculty members from more than one department during their dissertation research. Students in the Graduate School, with permission of the director of graduate studies and the relevant school, may take advantage of particular course or research opportunities in Yale College and in Yale’s professional schools.

Combined- and Joint-Degree Programs

Students interested in African American Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Renaissance Studies pursue a combined Ph.D. with departments in related fields. In addition to these academic programs, there are several formal interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in the Graduate School listed under the appropriate departmental entries of this bulletin. Ad hoc programs may also be approved. A student who is interested in an ad hoc program should prepare a written proposal for review and approval by the relevant departments and associate deans before the student has advanced to candidacy.

Students are encouraged to contact the appropriate directors of graduate studies about specific opportunities for interdisciplinary study throughout the Graduate School and the University.

The Graduate School also participates in formal joint-degree programs with the professional schools, including the J.D./M.A. and J.D./Ph.D. programs in cooperation with the Law School; the M.D./Ph.D. program in cooperation with the School of Medicine; and the Ph.D./M.B.A. program in cooperation with the School of Management. In addition, joint-degree programs with professional schools have been approved for master’s students in European and Russian Studies, Global Affairs, and International and Development Economics, and for doctoral students in Nursing. These programs are described in the individual departmental listings.

For all joint-degree programs except the M.D./Ph.D., students are required to submit formal applications to both the professional school and the Graduate School indicating their interest in enrolling in the joint program. Individuals interested in the M.D./Ph.D. program apply directly to the M.D./Ph.D. program (see Requirements for Joint-Degree Programs, under Degree Requirements).

Exchange Scholar Program

Graduate students in Yale Ph.D. programs may petition to enroll full- or part-time for a term or for an academic year as exchange scholars at the University of California at Berkeley, Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Stanford. The Exchange Scholars Program enables students to take advantage of special educational opportunities not available at their home institutions. Applications are available at the website listed above. Please direct questions to Associate Dean Jasmina Besirevic Regan ( Applications must be received at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the term for which the student is applying.

International Graduate Student Exchange Agreements

The Graduate School has established and continues to develop formal exchanges with a number of institutions internationally in cases where there are reciprocal academic benefits for faculty and graduate students. Yale doctoral students may participate in the international exchanges listed below. Most of them last one term or a full academic year, and a small number of exchanges are available for summers only.

All international exchange agreements must be approved in advance by the Graduate School to ensure that they meet University policies and Graduate School guidelines. Departments interested in establishing an exchange program must prepare a statement that demonstrates that there is a clear academic and reciprocal need for such a program, and that the program will conform to the established guidelines for all such exchange agreements. Students and faculty interested in pursuing these exchanges should contact Associate Dean Jasmina Besirevic Regan (

International Exchange Programs

Masarykova Univerzita, Brno, Czech Republic

Universität Göttingen, Germany

Council on East Asian Studies
Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan; Universität Heidelberg, Germany; University of Tokyo, Japan

Economic Growth Center
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, Japan

Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris [“Sciences Po”], France; Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy; Universität Bonn, Germany; Universität Mannheim, Germany

École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France; Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris [“Sciences Po”], France

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Geology & Geophysics
University of Helsinki, Finland

Graduate School
Baden-Württemberg Exchange, Germany; Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland; German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel; Royal Holloway College, University of London, England; University College London, England; Universität Konstanz, Germany

Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris [“Sciences Po”], France; Universität Heidelberg, Germany

Political Science
Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, France [“Sciences Po”]; Nuffield College, University of Oxford, England

Religious Studies
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris [“Sciences Po”], France; University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Summer Study

Doctoral students are funded year-round and are expected to make progress toward the completion of their degrees during the summer months (see Summer Registration under Registration Status and Leaves of Absence, under Academic Regulations). See individual departmental policies in this bulletin regarding specific expectations for degree programs during the summer. Although the Graduate School does not offer courses in the summer, intensive language instruction is available through the Yale Summer Session, and graduate students may wish to take advantage of those programs while in New Haven. For further details on summer offerings at Yale, please consult the Yale Summer Session website at and a relevant dean in the Graduate School.