Academic Regulations


Only registered students may attend classes, receive financial aid, or use the facilities of the University. Students must register every term for the duration of their degree program (normally six years or fewer for Ph.D. programs and one or two years for students in M.A./M.S. programs). This regulation applies to all students, whether engaged in course work, preparation for qualifying examinations, or dissertation research, and, in the case of students in Ph.D. programs, whether study is in residence or in absentia. Students who do not register for any term for which they have not been granted a leave of absence (see Leaves of Absence, under Registration Status and Leaves of Absence, below) will be considered to have withdrawn from the Graduate School. Privileges associated with registered status (i.e., library privileges, health care coverage, and email accounts) will likewise be withdrawn.

Unless otherwise noted in the letter of admission, students are expected to register on a full-time basis. Part-time employment at the University or elsewhere should not conflict with the obligations of the degree program or interfere with academic progress. Part-time employment beyond an average of ten hours per week requires permission of a student’s director of graduate studies in consultation with the appropriate associate dean. Part-time employment includes teaching outside of the Graduate School’s Teaching Fellow Program. International students must consult OISS regarding their eligibility for employment while in the United States.

No student may register for any term unless the student is making satisfactory progress toward the degree and has been cleared by the Office of Student Financial Services to register. Students who are not compliant with Yale’s vaccination requirements will not be allowed to register; see Required Immunizations under Health Services in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services.

Satisfactory progress means that the student has met all Graduate School and departmental requirements normally expected for each stage of the student’s program. For Ph.D. students before admission to candidacy and for M.A./M.S. students, this includes satisfactory completion of courses from the preceding term(s). As indicated in the sections on Course and Honors Requirements and Admission to Candidacy, under Degree Requirements, students in Ph.D. programs must satisfy the Honors requirement before beginning the fifth term of study and must be admitted to candidacy by the appropriate time. In addition to satisfying these general Graduate School requirements, students must meet any additional requirements specified by their departments. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress may be placed on a probationary status pending satisfactory completion of requirements. Ph.D. students who have been admitted to candidacy must continue to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree in the annual Dissertation Progress Report (DPR). Students who fail to meet departmental or Graduate School requirements by the designated deadlines, and students who have been admitted to candidacy who fail to submit the annual DPR, will be administratively withdrawn.

Students must register each term until the dissertation is submitted or until six years (twelve terms) of study have been completed. Registered students who submit dissertations will remain registered until the end of the term (i.e., through December for those submitting during the fall term, through May for those submitting before the spring degree deadline, and through August for those submitting after the spring degree deadline) and will retain all privileges of registration (e.g., library privileges, health care coverage, and email accounts). Students who complete all Ph.D. requirements within four continuous years of full-time study in the Ph.D. program will be registered and charged full tuition only through the term in which the dissertation is submitted. Students who have registered part-time or taken a leave of absence must complete the four-year, full-tuition obligation, regardless of when they submit the dissertation.

Students are expected to complete the dissertation within six years of study or fewer. Students who have not submitted the dissertation by the end of the sixth year of study may do so subsequently, at the discretion of the department, without registering or may request a period of extended registration by petitioning for extended registration. Prior to petitioning, students must submit the standard DPR that is required annually by May 1 of all students admitted to candidacy. Before a seventh year of registration is approved, the student and the student’s adviser, as well as the director of graduate studies, must complete the DPR specifying the progress the student has made in writing the dissertation and present a detailed plan for completing the dissertation in the seventh year. Seventh-year registration petitions are decided on by departments and programs. Very rarely, students may request an eighth year of registration due to serious circumstances beyond their control that have prevented them from completing the dissertation by the end of the seventh year of study. Eighth-year registration petitions are approved by the Graduate School deans. Students who are approved for extended registration must register each term and are normally expected to be in residence.

Dissertation Completion status Alternatively, a doctoral student who is not eligible for full-time registration may request to enroll with the status “Dissertation Completion.” This part-time status enables advanced students to maintain an active NetID in order to access electronic library resources and their Yale email accounts while completing their dissertations under the supervision of a member of the Graduate School faculty. A student will be charged the Continuous Registration Fee (CRF) each term and may normally hold this status for a maximum of four consecutive terms. Students on this status are not eligible to teach in the Teaching Fellow Program or to purchase health coverage as Yale affiliates. Once a student enters this status, the student may not petition to register as a full-time student in a subsequent term.

Noncumulative registration In certain areas of study, it may be necessary for a registered doctoral student to acquire an academic or methodological skill, such as knowledge of a foreign language, that is essential for a degree requirement or for research in a particular field and for the overall progress of the dissertation, but is not an inherent part of the dissertation itself. A student may request up to one year of “noncumulative registration.” General study in a field related to or parallel with the topic of the dissertation is not appropriate for noncumulative registration.

A student who wishes to have a specific period of study designated as “noncumulative” must discuss the reasons for such a period of study with and secure prior approval from the appropriate associate dean. If prior authorization has been given by the Graduate School, the period of time spent in acquiring the necessary academic skill will not be counted as part of the student’s six-year period of registration. Noncumulative registration does not affect the four-year full-tuition obligation. The tuition charge and any University stipend will be postponed if a student registers noncumulatively before the four-year full-tuition obligation has been satisfied. While registered noncumulatively, students pay the CRF. Doctoral students who register noncumulatively will receive a fellowship to cover the cost of the CRF and will continue to receive a Health Award from the Graduate School.

Part-time study Students in Ph.D. programs are expected to register for full-time study. In extraordinary circumstances a student may petition the Graduate School for permission to register as a half-time student for a limited period. Students may not register for half-time study for more than three of the first four academic years they are enrolled. Thereafter they must register full-time until the four-year tuition obligation has been satisfied. Any Ph.D. student who registers half-time at any point in the graduate program must fulfill the four-year tuition obligation to receive the Ph.D. (See below.) Ph.D. students may not register less than half-time.

Students who wish to study part-time should consult with their director of graduate studies and the appropriate associate dean to develop a proposed plan of study, so that both the student and the Graduate School have a common understanding about the time by which the requirements leading to admission to candidacy must be completed. Such a plan of study may be modified with the consent of the director of graduate studies and the associate dean.

Course Enrollment

Any student who wishes to enroll in courses during a term must register through the online course selection process. Students will register for a subsequent term in the term immediately preceding through Yale Course Search. The deadlines for registration each term are listed in the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines. Students who submit course enrollment forms after the appropriate deadline will be assessed a fee.

No student may attend any class unless officially registered in the course. No credit will be given for work done in any course for which a student is not officially registered, even if the student entered the course with the approval of the instructor and the director of graduate studies. Graduate students who wish to register for courses that are offered on both the graduate and undergraduate levels must register with the graduate-level course number (i.e., 500 or higher) in order to receive credit toward their degrees. In rare instances, a graduate student may be granted permission to register for an undergraduate course that will count toward the fulfillment of course requirements for the student’s graduate degree. In such cases, the student must file an approved Graduate Credit Request form ( with the Registrar’s Office by the end of the registration period. Graduate students may not utilize the “Credit/D/Fail” option within the Yale College grading scale. Students enrolling in courses offered by a Yale professional school are subject to all policies and deadlines of both the professional school and the Graduate School. Graduate students taking a course at the SOM register through the SOM registration site. Graduate students registering for courses through the Law School must submit a Law School Permission Form. Permission must be obtained within two weeks of the close of the add/drop period at the Graduate School.

A student who wishes to audit a course must receive permission from the instructor (as not all faculty permit auditors in their classes) and register for the course as an auditor. The minimum general requirement for auditing is attendance in two-thirds of the class sessions; instructors may set additional requirements for auditing their classes. Audited courses appear on the student’s transcript.

Course Changes

Once the registration or add/drop process has closed for a given term, all subsequent changes must be made using the Course Schedule Change Notification Form, approved by the student’s director of graduate studies, and filed with the registrar. At or near the beginning each term, the registration system will open for an add/drop period for all students to adjust and finalize their schedules. Registration deadlines are published in the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines. If a student is enrolled in a professional school course, all changes in enrollment status must be reported to the registrar of that school as well as to the Graduate School. Forms for reporting changes to the Graduate School are available online at

The dates for changing enrollment in a course from Credit to Audit or Audit to Credit and for withdrawing from a course are listed in the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines. If a student officially withdraws from a course by the stated deadline, the course will be removed from the student’s transcript. If a student ceases to participate in a course without officially withdrawing from that course by the stated deadline, it is at the instructor’s discretion to assign an appropriate qualitative grade or a grade of “Incomplete.”


The grades assigned in the Graduate School are:

H Honors
HP High Pass
P Pass
F Fail
TI Temporary Incomplete
I Incomplete

A mark of “Y” is assigned as the grade for the first term of a full-year course and will be converted to a standard grade once both terms are completed, depending on the number of credits the course fulfills.

Marks of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may be assigned only when the department sponsoring the course has designated such marks. In such cases, the grading mode is the same for all students enrolled in the course.

The Graduate School does not calculate grade-point averages, nor does it assign numerical or letter equivalents to Graduate School grades. Grades assigned according to grading scales other than those described above will be returned to the instructor for conversion. If a student retakes a course, both grades remain on the transcript, but only the higher grade is counted toward the program requirements. Students do not receive credit for courses in which they receive a grade of Failure (F).

The Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines indicates the dates on which grades are due for the current year. Instructors have the responsibility for assigning dates for submitting course work in order to meet grade deadlines. If a student and instructor have agreed that an extension is appropriate, the student must submit to the Registrar’s Office a request for the Temporary Incomplete (TI) (See with the intended completion date, signed by the instructor and the director of graduate studies. Only one TI in a single term is permitted. Temporary Incompletes received in an academic year must be converted to final grades normally by October 1 of the following academic year. If a grade is not received by the registrar by this date, the TI will be converted to a permanent Incomplete (I) or Failure (F) on the student’s record, as indicated in advance by the instructor on the TI form.

In certain extraordinary circumstances, such as serious illness or a family emergency, and on the recommendation of the student’s department, the associate dean may grant an additional extension. A written request for such an extension must be made by the director of graduate studies on the student’s behalf within two weeks of the grade submission deadline. The request should indicate the special circumstances and suggest a date by which the student will complete the work. If the request is approved, the associate dean will inform the student and instructor. If the grade is submitted to the registrar by the new deadline approved by the associate dean, it will replace the TI. If a grade is not received by the registrar by this date, a Temporary Incomplete (TI) will be converted to a permanent Incomplete (I) or Failure (F) on the student’s record, as indicated in advance by the instructor on the TI form.

“Provisional” or “temporary” grades (as opposed to Incompletes) are not permitted. Once submitted to the Registrar’s Office, a grade may be changed only in cases of arithmetical or clerical error on the part of the instructor and only with the approval of the appropriate associate dean. If the registrar has not received a given grade from an instructor within two weeks of the stated deadline for the submission of grades, the student will be assigned a grade of “Incomplete” for that course.

Students are reminded that the policies stated above are the Graduate School minimum general requirements. Departments or individual instructors may have more stringent policies, and students should consult their departmental handbooks and directors of graduate studies about such requirements.

Registration Status and Leaves of Absence

Registration in Residence

Students who are studying on campus, attending classes, and using University facilities are considered to be in residence. All M.A./M.S. and nondegree (DSR) students must register in residence each term, as do most students in Ph.D. programs (see also Registration in Absentia and CRF, below, and the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines). Students who will be in residence during any term are required to register by the beginning of that term. (See the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines.) Ph.D. students who are not registered in absentia to perform required fieldwork, research, or study are expected to register in residence.

A fee will be charged to students who register in residence after the add/drop period in each term. Late fees may be waived only if the registrar receives written notification from the student or director of graduate studies before the start of the registration period that the student will register late because of participation in an academic program, such as a summer language course or professional meeting that coincides with the registration period. A student who cannot register during the registration period because of a sudden serious illness or family emergency should contact the assistant university registrar at as soon as possible.

Registration in Absentia

Ph.D. students whose program of study requires full-time dissertation research, full-time fieldwork, or full-time study at another academic institution outside the New Haven area may request to be registered in absentia. Such registration requires the recommendation of the director of graduate studies. Forms for requesting registration in absentia can be found online at and should be filed at least one month before the beginning of the term during which the student expects to be studying away from New Haven. A student who has not completed the three-year residence requirement will be permitted to register in absentia for compelling academic reasons only, and normally only if the student has completed all other predissertation requirements. Registration in absentia does not reduce the four-year full-tuition or three-year residence requirements. For additional information, see Eligibility for Fellowships under Financing Graduate School.

Students who are enrolled in Yale Health and are registering in absentia should consult the staff of the Member Services Department at Yale Health about the policies governing coverage while they are away from New Haven. Yale University provides ISOS Travel Assistance at no cost to all current students ( ISOS provides international and domestic emergency medical, security, and travel assistance services anywhere in the world. Students traveling internationally should register their locations at to facilitate communication with the University in case of an emergency.

Continuous Registration Fee

Ph.D. students who have completed the tuition and residence requirements described above must continue to register each term through the sixth year whether in residence or in absentia, or until they submit the dissertation, whichever occurs first. Students who have met the tuition requirement are charged a Continuous Registration Fee (CRF) for each term in which they remain registered. Students who are granted permission to register beyond the sixth year are also charged the CRF. The Graduate School will provide a fellowship to cover the cost of the CRF for Ph.D. students registered full-time in year seven and beyond in any term in which they serve as Teaching Fellows in the TFP.

Summer Registration

Ph.D. students receive funding and are expected to continue full-time study or research during the summer. Continuing students who were registered during the preceding spring term remain registered through August 31. Ph.D. students who wish to interrupt their studies during the summer (e.g., to accept an internship) must notify the associate dean prior to May 1.

Many M.A./M.S. students continue full- or half-time independent study or research during the summer. Continuing students who were registered during the preceding spring term remain registered through August 31.

Summer Internships

Normally, full-time students who take time off from their studies to work full time must take a leave of absence for the term or terms in which they are employed. However, certain summer internship opportunities may be beneficial to a student’s academic development and career prospects. Therefore, under certain circumstances students may be permitted to remain registered at Yale while engaged in summer internships. To be eligible, the internship must meet several requirements:

  • Continuous registration while participating in an internship requires the permission of the director of graduate studies.
  • The internship should serve one of two functions: either the student is learning and developing techniques or acquiring data that will be used in the dissertation, or the internship is exposing the student to a potential field of employment following completion of the degree.
  • The internship must start after the end of the spring term and be completed before the start of the fall term. If an internship opportunity overlaps with the fall or spring term, students must request a leave of absence.
  • Doctoral students participating in a summer internship normally forgo their summer stipendiary funding from Yale. The sole exception is if the internship is unpaid and the student is generating data that will be used in the dissertation or obtaining technical or methodological skills necessary for the dissertation. In this case, the student may request to receive summer support from Yale. In most cases, doctoral funding will terminate at the end of May and resume on September 1.
  • Students will be limited to two summer internship opportunities. If a student wishes to pursue additional internships, the student must normally apply for a leave of absence.
  • Students on internships who remain registered full-time will continue to receive a Health Award and other benefits of registration. Internships do not stop a student’s “academic clock.”
  • Doctoral students wishing to pursue internships undertaken primarily for exposure to potential fields of employment are eligible to do so only after they have advanced to candidacy.

To apply for a summer internship:

  1. Complete the Request for Summer Internship form (available online at Submit this form with a letter to the director of graduate studies describing the nature of the internship and work to be done. Include the name of the employer, location and dates of employment, contact information, and salary or benefits provided by the internship. If the internship restricts the student’s rights to use and publish information produced during the experience, a copy of the employer’s intellectual property rights agreement or proprietary data agreement should also be submitted. Explain the goals of the internship and how the experience will advance the dissertation research or promote career goals.
  2. With the form and letter, students should submit a research plan for the coming year that describes their goals, steps for achieving those goals, and the role of the internship in their plans. Students who have been admitted to candidacy and who have included the internship in their annual Dissertation Progress Report (DPR) may refer to the DPR instead of submitting a new research plan.
  3. The student’s adviser must include a letter of support explaining how the student will benefit from this internship.
  4. The director of graduate studies should recommend or disapprove the plan. Recommended plans should be forwarded to the associate dean for final review. The director of graduate studies should certify that the type of experience gained is consistent with the educational goals of the department.
  5. Students on U.S. visas wishing to pursue internships should contact OISS at least eight to ten weeks prior to the start of the proposed internship, as they will require permission for “practical training” from the U.S. government.

Leaves of Absence

Students who wish or need to interrupt their study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

  1. All leaves of absence must be approved by the appropriate associate dean on the recommendation of the department. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a Yale Health medical director or their designee, as described below.
  2. Students in Ph.D. programs may be granted a leave for one term or one academic year. A leave extends the eligibility for fellowship aid by a time equal to the duration of the leave, but not for partial terms. The expected last date of registration will be adjusted by one term for each term of the leave.

    Students in one-year M.A./M.S. programs may be on leave for a maximum of one term. Students in two-year M.A./M.S. programs may be on leave for a maximum total of one year.

    In exceptional circumstances, renewal of a one-term or one-year leave, to a cumulative maximum total of two years of personal and medical leave, may be granted for students in Ph.D. programs. Ph.D. students completing a degree program at another institution may petition for an exceptional third year of leave, subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies and the appropriate associate dean. Leaves of absence for students in M.A./M.S. programs are not renewable. The duration of a parental leave is typically one term or one year, renewable for each birth or adoption event.
  3. Students on U.S. visas who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their immigration status.
  4. While on leave, students are not expected to participate in the academic life of their program. Students on leave may complete outstanding work in courses for which they have been granted approved Temporary Incompletes. They may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave. (Students who intend to work toward the degree while away from the University must request registration in absentia.) Students who make progress toward the degree while on leave will have their registration changed retroactively to in absentia for the period of the leave.
  5. A leave of absence does not exempt the student from meeting the tuition requirement (payment of eight terms of full tuition in Ph.D. programs, or the appropriate established tuition requirement in M.A./M.S. programs) or from paying the CRF (if appropriate), but merely postpones the required charges.
  6. A student on leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of non-enrollment.
  7. A student on leave of absence is not eligible for the use of any University facilities available to enrolled students.
  8. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. To secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave or, if the leave commences during the term, within thirty days of the date the registrar was notified of the leave. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services Department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.
  9. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related policies of the Graduate Housing Office before applying to the Graduate School for a leave of absence.
  10. Students on leave of absence do not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, they must notify the associate dean for academic support in writing of their intention to return. Such notification should be provided at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave.
  11. Students who fail to register for the term following the end of the approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from the Graduate School.

Personal leave of absence A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is current with degree requirements is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Normally, students in Ph.D. programs are not eligible for personal leaves after the fourth year of study. In certain exceptional cases, however, personal leaves may be granted to students beyond the fourth year of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must complete the appropriate form (available online at before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the dean finds the student to be eligible and the department approves, the leave will be granted. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. Students who do not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a personal leave is denied, and who do not register for any term, will be administratively withdrawn from the Graduate School.

Medical leave of absence A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the appropriate associate dean, on the written recommendation of a Yale Health medical director or their designee. A student who wishes to take a medical leave of absence may request it from a clinician at Yale Health and from the office of the associate dean for academic support. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the appropriate associate dean. To return from an approved medical leave, at least six weeks prior to the proposed return, students must (1) complete an academic assignment tailored to the student’s stage of study as assigned by the associate dean for academic support in consultation with the student's DGS, and (2) receive approval from an appropriate medical director or their designee at Yale Health.

The Graduate School reserves the right to place a student on a mandatory medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of the School determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations. Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden University resources. An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the School no later than seven days from the effective date of the leave. An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory leave of absence may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.

A student who is placed on medical leave during any term will have tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals. (See Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines). Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health director or their designee.

Eligible Ph.D. students will receive a Health Award from the Graduate School to cover the cost of the Student Affiliate Coverage plan for the remainder of the coverage period in which the medical leave is started, if they apply for this coverage through Yale Health within thirty days of the start of their leave. Yale Health’s fall coverage ends January 31 and spring coverage ends July 31. Ph.D. students on a medical leave in the fall term who are cleared to register for the following fall term will receive a Graduate School Health Award for the month of August once their fall return has been officially approved. Ph.D. students may apply for and receive the Graduate School Family Support Subsidy during the term in which a medical leave begins, but not beyond.

Parental leave of absence A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily to care for a child or children may be granted a parental leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for parental leave any time after matriculation.

Eligible Ph.D. students will receive a Health Award from the Graduate School to cover the cost of the Student Affiliate Coverage plan for the remainder of the coverage period in which the parental leave begins, if they apply for affiliate coverage through Yale Health within thirty days of the start of their leave. Yale Health’s fall coverage ends January 31 and spring coverage ends July 31. Ph.D. students on a parental leave in the fall term who are cleared to register for the following fall term will receive a Graduate School Health Award for the month of August once their fall return has been officially approved. Ph.D. students may apply for and receive the Graduate School Family Support Subsidy during the term in which a parental leave begins, but not beyond.

Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing for the remainder of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.

Parental Support and Relief

Registered Ph.D. students who wish to modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child may request parental support and relief during or following the term in which a birth or adoption occurs. Ph.D. students who become foster parents and are in the process of adopting a foster child are also eligible for parental relief in the term in which the prospective adoption relationship begins or the term that immediately follows. For the whole of the term in which the support and relief are granted, the student’s academic clock stops, effectively adding an additional term to the total time to degree. During this period students remain registered full-time, receive a standard financial aid stipend and Health Award, and receive modified departmental academic expectations that best suit the specific situation. The precise nature of the academic responsibilities undertaken or suspended during this period should be a matter of consultation between the adviser and the student, with the understanding that students are entitled to full relief from responsibilities for at least an eight-week period. Parental relief may not be combined with other funding. To request parental relief, a student should contact the relevant associate dean prior to the term of a birth or adoption. This benefit is limited to two birth or adoption events. If both parents are Ph.D. students at Yale, both may receive this benefit per birth or adoption event.

Graduate students in terminal M.A./M.S. programs may modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child. They should contact the associate dean for academic support the term before the planned modifications would occur.

Withdrawal and Readmission

A student may withdraw from a program of study voluntarily or may be administratively withdrawn for cause. A student who wishes to terminate a program of study should confer with their director of graduate studies and the appropriate associate dean regarding withdrawal; their signatures are required on an official withdrawal form. (See Upon consultation with the department, the associate dean will determine the effective date of the withdrawal. The student’s University identification card must be submitted with the approved withdrawal form in order for their withdrawal to be recorded.

Students who are not in academic good standing will be withdrawn for cause, unless an extension or exception has been granted by the appropriate dean or the Degree Committee. Such withdrawals are noted on the student’s transcript.

Students who do not register for any fall or spring term, and for whom a leave of absence has not been approved by the appropriate associate dean, will be administratively withdrawn from the Graduate School.

A student who discontinues a program of study during the academic year without submitting an approved withdrawal form and University identification card will be liable for the tuition charge (or CRF) for the term in which the withdrawal occurs. Tuition charges for students who withdraw will be adjusted as described in the Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines. The CRF for the term is not canceled if a student withdraws after the fourteenth day of the term. Health service policies related to withdrawal and readmission are described under Health Services, below.

Only students who have withdrawn from the Graduate School in good standing may apply for readmission. Normally, students seeking readmission must do so within three years of the original withdrawal. Neither readmission nor financial aid is guaranteed to students who withdraw. The deadline for making application for readmission is January 2 of the year in which the student wishes to return to the Graduate School. The student’s application will be considered by the department, which will make a recommendation for review by the appropriate associate dean. The student’s remaining tuition obligation will be determined at the time of readmission. Students may seek readmission only once. If subsequent to a readmission they must again withdraw, they are ineligible for readmission.

U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy

Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the Graduate School to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:

  1. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days.
  2. The student must give advance written or oral notice of such service to the appropriate dean. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate an intent to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
  3. The student must not be away from the Graduate School to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the Graduate School to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the appropriate dean to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.
  4. The student must notify the Graduate School within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of the intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify the Graduate School of the intent to return.
  5. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

Upon returning to the Graduate School, the student will resume education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume studies with the same academic status at the same point at which the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, the Graduate School will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, the Graduate School determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or after the Graduate School determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, the Graduate School may deny the student readmission.

Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity Standards

Yale Graduate School is an academic community dedicated to the advancement of learning. Its members freely associate themselves with the University and in doing so affirm their commitment to cultivating an environment of tolerance and respect for all members of the community. They pledge to help sustain the intellectual integrity of the University and to uphold its standards of honesty, free expression, and inquiry. They are expected to abide by the regulations of the University, including these Graduate School Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity Standards. Because students are expected to show good judgment and use common sense at all times, not all kinds of misconduct or behavioral standards are codified here. Students are also expected to obey local, state, and federal laws, and violations of these may be cause for discipline by the Graduate School. Students are required to report misdemeanor and felony charges to their associate dean.

Personal Conduct Standards

The Graduate School specifically prohibits the following forms of behavior by graduate students:

  1. Physical restriction, assault, or any other act of violence or use of physical force against any member of the community, or any act that threatens the use of violence or physical force.
  2. Acts of harassment, intimidation, or coercion, including the harassment of a University community member on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, status as a veteran, disability, or national or ethnic origin.
  3. Any sexual activity for which positive, unambiguous, and voluntary consent has not been given in advance; any sexual activity with someone who is incapable of giving valid consent because, for example, that individual is sleeping or otherwise incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs; any act of sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking. Sexual misconduct includes nonphysical actions such as digital media stalking, cyberbullying, and nonconsensual recording of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment consists of nonconsensual sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. For a fuller description of sexual misconduct, sexual consent, and sexual harassment see the Title IX website ( Sexual misconduct violations shall be addressed by the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) and governed by its procedures.
  4. Engaging in a relationship with a student while serving as the student’s teaching fellow or in any other direct supervisory role over the student (as outlined in the University’s policy prohibiting Teacher-Student Consensual Relations).
  5. Disruption of a legitimate function or activity of the University community, including disrupting classes and meetings, blocking entrances and exits to University buildings, unauthorized occupation of any space on the Yale campus, or preventing the free expression or dissemination of ideas.
  6. Refusal to comply with the direction of a University police officer or other University official, including a member of the faculty, acting in the performance of their duties.
  7. Misuse, alteration, or fabrication of University credentials or documents, such as an identification card or transcript, including grade lists submitted by teaching fellows.
  8. Misrepresentation or lying to University officials, including during a formal inquiry.
  9. Misrepresentation in applying for admission or financial aid.
  10. Recording course lectures without explicit permission of the instructor, or selling or distributing for commercial purposes notes, transcriptions, or outlines of class lectures, or any course materials, in any course of instruction.
  11. The misuse of University funds, or willful damage of University property.
  12. Misuse of the materials or facilities of the University libraries.
  13. Unauthorized use of University services, equipment, or facilities, such as telephones and photocopying equipment.
  14. Violation of University rules for using information technology services and facilities, including computers, the University network, software systems, and electronic mail.
  15. Trespassing on University property to which access is prohibited.
  16. Possession or use of explosives, incendiary devices, or weapons on or about the campus.
  17. Interference with the proper operation of safety or security devices, including fire alarms, electronic doors or gates, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.
  18. Unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of drugs or alcohol, including serving underage minors, on University property or as part of any University activity. Yale is a drug-free campus.
  19. Use of tobacco products on any location on campus, including outdoor spaces. Yale is a tobacco-free institution.
  20. Violation of University policies for the safeguarding of children and youth on campus whereby minors are put at risk due to action or inaction.

Academic Integrity Standards

The Graduate School prohibits academic dishonesty, a term that encompasses making any claim within or about your research or scholarship that is untrue. The following are some forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, that is, the failure to acknowledge ideas, research, or language taken from others, whether intentional or unintentional. The Graduate School requires citations whenever students either directly quote or indirectly draw upon and benefit from the work or scholarship of others. This requirement applies equally to all academic work by students, including a paper or an examination for a course, a presentation in class or at a conference, a prospectus or dissertation, or a manuscript for publication.
  2. The unauthorized collaboration with others on graded course work (including problem sets, lab reports, take-home examination questions, and papers) without express permission from the instructor.
  3. Cheating on examinations, problem sets, or any other form of assessment.
  4. The falsification, fabrication, or misuse of data.
  5. Submitting work from one course for a grade or credit in another, without first obtaining express written permission from both course instructors.

Sanctions for Violations

Alleged violations of any of the above Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity Standards will be referred to the Graduate School Committee on Regulations and Discipline, composed of three graduate students, three faculty members, normally one from each division, and an associate dean. Procedures of the Committee on Regulations and Discipline may be obtained from the office of the associate dean for academic support or on the Graduate School website ( Any of the associate deans of the Graduate School may be consulted for further information and advice. A copy of the procedures is sent automatically to any student who is charged with a violation of the Graduate School’s standards.

A separate process and procedures apply to reports pertaining to sexual misconduct and violations of the Teacher-Student Consensual Relations Policy—the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures. Another policy also applies to reports pertaining to discrimination and/or harassment, as defined on the Yale University website ( Incidents of discrimination and harassment should be reported to either a Graduate School discrimination and harassment resource coordinator ( or the Office of Institutional Equity and Access ( for support, investigation, and resolution ( In some cases, conduct reported as discrimination and harassment may violate the Personal Conduct Standards, and students will be referred to the Committee on Regulations and Discipline. Students found responsible for violating the Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity Standards may be subject to penalties, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following: reprimand, probation, suspension, dismissal, fines, restitution, and restriction.

Penalties of suspension or dismissal will be noted on the student’s transcript. Pending disciplinary charges will be noted on a student’s transcript if the student withdraws from the Graduate School after being formally charged but before such charges have been resolved. A student who has petitioned for a degree will not receive the degree while charges are pending or while serving a suspension. A student who has been dismissed for a disciplinary violation may petition for a degree, to be awarded at the discretion of the Degree Committee, based on work completed before the infraction occurred.

A student dismissed for academic misconduct will not receive a degree from the Graduate School regardless of requirements fulfilled before the infraction occurred. The Graduate School reserves the right to impose fines as appropriate, in addition to requiring payment for costs resulting from or associated with the offenses. In addition to imposing these penalties for offenses subject to disciplinary action, the University may refer students for prosecution, and students found guilty of unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol on University property or as part of any University activity may be required to complete an appropriate rehabilitation program.


A suspension is a separation from all programs and activities of the University for a stated period of time. A suspended student forfeits all privileges of enrollment, including on-campus residence, eligibility for health coverage and financial aid, attendance at classes, student visa sponsorship, participation in any Yale-sponsored activities or groups, access to Yale IT resources, and use of University libraries as well as of athletic and other facilities. A suspension is recorded on a student’s academic transcript. A suspended student is specifically prohibited from:

  1. making academic progress towards a Yale degree, including
    a. enrolling in any University courses or completing University coursework;
    b. using non-Yale course credits earned during the period of suspension towards a Yale degree;
    c. preparing for qualifying examinations;
    d. researching or writing a prospectus;
    e. conducting dissertation or thesis research; and
    f. writing a dissertation or thesis;
  2. returning to Yale's campus during the period of suspension for any reason;
  3. accessing all Yale IT systems (intranet, shared drives, Yale-hosted databases, etc.) except for a email account; and
  4. representing themself as a Yale graduate student.

Emergency Suspension

The dean of the Graduate School, or a delegate of the dean, may place a student on an emergency suspension from residence or academic status when (1) the student has been arrested for or charged with serious criminal behavior by law enforcement authorities; or (2) the student allegedly violated a disciplinary rule of the Graduate School and the student’s presence on campus poses a significant risk to the safety or security of members of the community. Following an individualized risk and safety analysis, the student will be notified in writing of the emergency suspension. A student who is notified of an emergency suspension will have 24 hours to respond to the notice. The emergency suspension will not be imposed prior to an opportunity for the student to respond unless circumstances warrant immediate action for the safety and security of members of the community. In such cases, the student will have an opportunity to respond after the emergency suspension has been imposed.

When a student in the Graduate School is placed on an emergency suspension, the matter will be referred for disciplinary action in accordance with school policy. Such a suspension may remain in effect until disciplinary action has been taken with regard to the student; however, it may be lifted earlier by action of the dean or dean’s delegate, or by the disciplinary committee after a preliminary review.

Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility

Students who believe that a student, faculty member, or staff member has engaged in discrimination or harassment other than gender discrimination or sexual misconduct may report their concerns to the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility, a University-wide office that assists with dispute resolution and investigates reports of discrimination and harassment. For additional information, see Complaints of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault, may be brought to a Title IX coordinator or to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC). For more information on the University’s Title IX coordinators or the UWC, please see Resources to Address Discrimination and Harassment Concerns, Including Sexual Misconduct under Yale University Resources and Services.

Freedom of Expression

The Yale Graduate School is committed to the protection of free inquiry and expression in the classroom and throughout the school community. In this, the School reflects the University's commitment to and policy on freedom of expression as eloquently stated in the Woodward Report (Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at Yale, 1974), which states, in part:

The primary function of a university is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching. To fulfill this function a free interchange of ideas is necessary not only within its walls but with the world beyond as well. It follows that the university must do everything possible to ensure within it the fullest degree of intellectual freedom. The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable. To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views.

We take a chance, as the First Amendment takes a chance, when we commit ourselves to the idea that the results of free expression are to the general benefit in the long run, however unpleasant they may appear at the time. The validity of such a belief cannot be demonstrated conclusively. It is a belief of recent historical development, even within universities, one embodied in American constitutional doctrine but not widely shared outside the academic world, and denied in theory and in practice by much of the world most of the time.

Because few other institutions in our society have the same central function, few assign such high priority to freedom of expression. Few are expected to. Because no other kind of institution combines the discovery and dissemination of basic knowledge with teaching, none confronts quite the same problems as a university.

For if a university is a place for knowledge, it is also a special kind of small society. Yet it is not primarily a fellowship, a club, a circle of friends, a replica of the civil society outside it. Without sacrificing its central purpose, it cannot make its primary and dominant value the fostering of friendship, solidarity, harmony, civility, or mutual respect. To be sure, these are important values; other institutions may properly assign them the highest, and not merely a subordinate, priority; and a good university will seek and may in some significant measure attain these ends. But it will never let these values, important as they are, override its central purpose. We value freedom of expression precisely because it provides a forum for the new, the provocative, the disturbing, and the unorthodox. Free speech is a barrier to the tyranny of authoritarian or even majority opinion as to the rightness or wrongness of particular doctrines or thoughts.

If the priority assigned to free expression by the nature of a university is to be maintained in practice, clearly the responsibility for maintaining that priority rests with its members. By voluntarily taking up membership in a university and thereby asserting a claim to its rights and privileges, members also acknowledge the existence of certain obligations upon themselves and their fellows. Above all, every member of the university has an obligation to permit free expression in the university. No member has a right to prevent such expression. Every official of the university, moreover, has a special obligation to foster free expression and to ensure that it is not obstructed.

The strength of these obligations, and the willingness to respect and comply with them, probably depend less on the expectation of punishment for violation than they do on the presence of a widely shared belief in the primacy of free expression. Nonetheless, we believe that the positive obligation to protect and respect free expression shared by all members of the university should be enforced by appropriate formal sanctions, because obstruction of such expression threatens the central function of the university. We further believe that such sanctions should be made explicit, so that potential violators will be aware of the consequences of their intended acts.

In addition to the university’s primary obligation to protect free expression there are also ethical responsibilities assumed by each member of the university community, along with the right to enjoy free expression. Though these are much more difficult to state clearly, they are of great importance. If freedom of expression is to serve its purpose and thus the purpose of the university, it should seek to enhance understanding. Shock, hurt, and anger are not consequences to be weighed lightly. No member of the community with a decent respect for others should use, or encourage others to use, slurs and epithets intended to discredit another’s race, ethnic group, religion, or sex. It may sometimes be necessary in a university for civility and mutual respect to be superseded by the need to guarantee free expression. The values superseded are nevertheless important, and every member of the university community should consider them in exercising the fundamental right to free expression.

We have considered the opposing argument that behavior which violates these social and ethical considerations should be made subject to formal sanctions, and the argument that such behavior entitles others to prevent speech they might regard as offensive. Our conviction that the central purpose of the university is to foster the free access of knowledge compels us to reject both of these arguments. They assert a right to prevent free expression. They rest upon the assumption that speech can be suppressed by anyone who deems it false or offensive. They deny what Justice Holmes termed “freedom for the thought that we hate.” They make the majority, or any willful minority, the arbiters of truth for all. If expression may be prevented, censored, or punished, because of its content or because of the motives attributed to those who promote it, then it is no longer free. It will be subordinated to other values that we believe to be of lower priority in a university.

The conclusions we draw, then, are these: even when some members of the university community fail to meet their social and ethical responsibilities, the paramount obligation of the university is to protect their right to free expression. This obligation can and should be enforced by appropriate formal sanctions. If the university’s overriding commitment to free expression is to be sustained, secondary social and ethical responsibilities must be left to the informal processes of suasion, example, and argument.

See also

Recordings by Faculty, Staff, Students, and Invited Guests

The purpose of this policy is to foster a spirit of trust, to promote the open exchange of viewpoints and ideas within the Graduate School, and to protect the privacy of community members. 

Prohibition on Surreptitious Recordings

It is expected that faculty, staff, students, and invited guests of the Graduate School will engage openly and forthrightly with others in educational settings and in the workplace. To that end, this policy prohibits all forms of recording that are illegal under Connecticut law. In addition, this policy prohibits the surreptitious recording of meetings and activities within the Graduate School and its programs and departments, whether by telephone, audio, video, Zoom, or another virtual platform technology or other recording device. Recording devices may only be used in an overt and conspicuous manner so that it readily is apparent to all parties that a recording or record of an event is being made. Recording for research purposes is subject to requirements, approval, and consent in accordance with University research policies.

Recording of Classes

Students may not record Yale University course content, such as lectures, discussions, presentations, critiques, or performances, unless they obtain the instructor’s written permission before recording. In the event a faculty member gives permission, recordings must not be transmitted or distributed without the written consent of all participants who are recorded. Recordings of a class made by Yale University and provided to a student by the University are for private study use only and are not to be shared, altered, or posted.