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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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

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

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

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

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

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Mission Statement

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

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Yale and the World

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

Approximately one-third of full-time graduate students at Yale come from outside the United States. In addition, many international students come to the Graduate School as nondegree students in the Division of Special Registration (DSR). DSR students may undertake course work and/or research for periods of one term or one year. When appropriate the period may extend for a second year. These students are subject to the usual admissions procedure, are admitted to a department, and often work with a specific faculty member. See International Student Life for additional information regarding international student life at Yale.

A Global University

Yale continues to evolve as a global university, educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge across the entire world. The University’s engagement beyond the United States dates from its earliest years. Yale has drawn students from abroad for nearly two centuries, and international topics have been represented in its curriculum for the past hundred years and more.

This year, Yale welcomed the largest number of international students and scholars in its history. The current enrollment of approximately 2,500 international students from more than 115 countries comprises 20 percent of the student body. Yale is committed to attracting the best and brightest from around the world by offering generous international financial aid packages, conducting programs that introduce and acclimate international students to Yale, and fostering a vibrant campus community. The number of international scholars (visiting faculty, researchers, and postdoctoral fellows) has also grown to nearly 2,500 each year.

Yale’s globalization is guided by three overarching goals: prepare students for leadership and service in an increasingly interdependent world, attract the most talented students and scholars to Yale from around the world, and position Yale as a global university of consequence. These efforts are coordinated by several University-wide organizations, in addition to the work being done within the individual schools and programs.

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies (http://macmillan.yale.edu) is the University’s focal point for teaching and research on international affairs, societies, and cultures.

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

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

The Office of International Students and Scholars (http://oiss.yale.edu) hosts orientation programs and social activities for the University’s international community and is a resource for international students and scholars on immigration matters and other aspects of acclimating to life at Yale.

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

The Association of Yale Alumni (http://aya.yale.edu) provides a channel for communication between the alumni and the University and supports alumni organizations and programs around the world.

Additional information may be found on the “Yale and the World” Web site (http://world.yale.edu), including resources for those conducting international activities abroad and links to international initiatives across the University.

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The Dean

Lynn Cooley, grad.dean@yale.edu

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

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Associate and Assistant Deans for Academic Affairs

  • Pamela Schirmeister, Dean for Strategic Initiatives, the Graduate School and Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Dean of Undergraduate Education, Yale College; Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School, pamela.schirmeister@yale.edu
  • Allegra di Bonaventura, Associate Dean, allegra.dibonaventura@yale.edu
  • Richard G. Sleight, Associate Dean, richard.sleight@yale.edu
  • Michelle Nearon, Associate Dean for Graduate Student Development and Diversity; Director, Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity (OGSDD), michelle.nearon@yale.edu
  • Jasmina Besirevic Regan, Assistant Dean, jasmina.besirevic@yale.edu
  • Robert Harper-Mangels, Assistant Dean, robert.harper-mangels@yale.edu
  • Carl Hashimoto, Assistant Dean, carl.hashimoto@yale.edu

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

Dean Schirmeister oversees initiatives linking the schools in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including the Teaching Fellow Program.

Deans di Bonaventura, Besirevic Regan, and Harper-Mangels oversee graduate education at the programmatic level, as well as the distribution of admissions resources.

Dean Sleight oversees individual student progress and academic support services.

Dean Nearon oversees initiatives to build and maintain a diverse and supportive campus community.

Dean Hashimoto works on special projects and serves as the school’s Title IX coordinator.

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Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS)

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

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Graduate Student Development and Diversity

  • Michelle Nearon, Associate Dean for Graduate Student Development and Diversity; Director, OGSDD, 206 Warner House, 1 Hillhouse Ave., 203.436.1301


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

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McDougal Graduate Student Center

Hall of Graduate Studies, 203.432.BLUE (2583)


A generous gift from Mr. Alfred McDougal ’53, a Yale alumnus, and his wife, Ms. Nancy Lauter, enabled Yale to create the McDougal Graduate Student Center in 1997. The McDougal Center provides space and programs for building intellectual, cultural, and social community, as well as facilitating professional development activities across the departments of the Graduate School. The McDougal Center endowment supports the facilities of the center and the appointment of more than fifty McDougal Fellows in five offices who create programs and services for the graduate community.

Graduate Student Life

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



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

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

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  • Robert Colonna, Director, 307 Warner House, 1 Hillhouse Ave., 203.432.2771, graduate.admissions@yale.edu
  • Lisa Furino, Assistant Director, 302 Warner House, 1 Hillhouse Ave., 203.432.2771, graduate.admissions@yale.edu


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

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Business Operations

  • Mary Magri, Lead Administrator for the Dean’s Administration, Warner House, 1 Hillhouse Ave., 203.432.7980, mary.magri@yale.edu

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

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Financial Aid

  • Jennifer Brinley, Director, 106 Warner House, 1 Hillhouse Ave., 203.432.7980, gradfinaid@yale.edu


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

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Registrar’s Office

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

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

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Teaching Fellow Program

  • teaching.fellows@yale.edu


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

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Affiliated Offices

Office of Career Strategy

  • Hyun Ja Shin, Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services, careerstrategy@yale.edu
  • Brian Frenette, Senior Associate Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services, careerstrategy@yale.edu

55 Whitney Ave., 3rd Floor


The Office of Career Strategy assists currently enrolled degree students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and recent alumni with career advising, nonacademic employment opportunities, and career development resources. Offerings include individual advising appointments and daily walk-in hours; workshops, programs, and online webinars; employer recruiting events, information sessions, and an on-campus interview program; alumni networking events; an employer database with more than 10,000 registered employers and an online job posting resource with current opportunities; an interactive mock interview system; partnerships with external career partners; and the Office of Career Strategy McDougal Fellows, who plan programming unique to graduate students and offer peer advising. All degree students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences receive regular communication and program updates from the Office of Career Strategy via its weekly e-newsletter. In addition, degree students can view its calendar of events and make appointments with a career adviser via Symplicity, the office’s career services management system.

Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Jennifer Frederick, Executive Director, jennifer.frederick@yale.edu

113 HGS


The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) supports teaching excellence and innovation campuswide and unites Yale’s work in online education with the University’s other pedagogical initiatives. Several units within the CTL are focused exclusively on professional development and skill-based training for graduate and professional school students.

McDougal Program for Graduate Teaching
  • 120 HGS


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

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

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


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

Center for Language Study
  • Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl, Director; Associate Dean, Yale College; 203.432.6456, nelleke.vandeusen-scholl@yale.edu
  • Suzanne Young, Associate Director, 203.432.0168, suzanne.young@yale.edu
  • James Tierney, Director, English Language Program, james.tierney@yale.edu
  • Dow Hall, 370 Temple St.


The Center for Language Study (CLS), a unit of the CTL, supports language teaching and learning across the university. For graduate students in language and literature programs, it offers a Certificate in Second Language Acquisition that includes pedagogy workshops, a capstone course in SLA, and a series of professional development workshops that, taken together, give graduate students grounding in the theory and practice of language teaching. Graduate students have found the SLA Certificate helpful in preparing for the job market, in part because the teaching ePortfolio they prepare as they exit the program is attractive to hiring committees. For international graduate students, the CLS offers the English Language Program (ELP), which includes a Summer Program for incoming students, a series of courses that focus on academic English and teaching in the American classroom, workshops on a range of topics such as pronunciation and public speaking, and a final assessment that certifies graduate students for teaching at Yale. The goal of ELP is to prepare international graduate students for success in their academic and professional lives here at Yale and beyond. For more information, contact James Tierney at james.tierney@yale.edu. Finally, the CLS offers two programs for independent language learning, Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) and Fields, both of which are available to graduate students. DILS matches students who want to study languages not taught at Yale with an educated native speaker of that language. Fields matches advanced students of any language (including those taught at Yale) with a language partner to study a language and a field together (e.g., Chinese and Economics). Although neither DILS nor Fields carries course credit, graduate students often use these programs to prepare for field study and research, and for fellowship applications. For more information, contact Angela Gleason at angela.gleason@yale.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)

B43 HGS, 203.432.8893, gsa@yale.edu


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

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Graduate-Professional Student Senate (GPSS)



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

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