Applying to Yale

Students are admitted to graduate study (only in the fall) by the Graduate School on the recommendation of the Department. Entering classes average five to ten students. Although the program is primarily intended for those who wish to complete the Ph.D., we may admit a few students each year who wish to pursue a terminal Master of Arts. (For further details on this alternative, please consult the Yale University Graduate School Programs and Policies.)

Special Admissions Requirements for English

Application should be accompanied by a personal statement of purpose, and a writing sample of up to twenty double-spaced pages. Selection is based on the applicant’s undergraduate record; evidence of motivation supplied in the personal statement; evidence of ability to do advanced work as expressed in a writing sample and supported by three letters of recommendation; and preparation in languages sufficient to satisfy the language requirement. The GRE is optional: you may submit GRE General Test results, if you wish. If you choose to submit scores, you must follow up any self-reported scores with official test results. The committee would like to see a sample of your best writing in a literary critical mode. If that sample is more than a few pages longer than the suggested 20-page limit (excluding works cited), you can submit an excerpt, with a brief explanation of how it fits into the larger paper at the top.

The application deadline is December 15. Note: The deadline for those applying for a combined program (e.g., African American Studies) is always the earlier deadline of the two individual programs. The application is available online through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Admissions page. All application materials, supporting credentials and recommendations, and application fee must be received by the deadline to be considered by Yale for admission. Admissions decisions are announced by early March.

Combined Programs

The Department of English offers combined Ph.D. with African American Studies, the Film and Media Studies, History of Art and Renaissance Studies.

Students pursuing a Ph.D. in English may also apply for transfer into the combined Ph.D. with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, starting in Fall 2021.

Due to the ongoing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yale African American Studies Department has decided to pause doctoral admissions for one year, and will not be accepting applications in Fall 2020. This pause includes admissions to the combined PhD program in English and African American Studies. 

The graduate program in English still warmly welcomes applications focused on Black literary studies during this current admissions season.

General New Student Information, Questions, and Referrals

The Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity is committed to building and maintaining a nurturing and caring community of scholars where students from diverse backgrounds and experiences are supported in their professional and intellectual goals and pursuits.

The McDougal Center serves as “information central” for incoming students. The Center can address new student questions about families, childcare, parking, travel, schedules, or other areas of life at Yale and in New Haven.

Living in New Haven is a Yale-wide web page for all prospective & current students, faculty & staff. Pictures, video testimonials, neighborhood profiles and information links on community, housing culture, shopping, transit and services in New Haven are posted on the site.

The Yale Visitor Center offers tours, exhibits, attractions, lodging, directions, and more.

Gateway for New Students provides information on Orientation and the New Student Checklist.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Programs and Policies. “The Blue Book,” listing policies, programs and courses, is available online in August each academic year.

Our Graduate Housing office begins to accept applications for on-campus dormitories and apartments on April 22, and Off-Campus and Yale University Properties begin leasing apartments now for summer. Apply promptly, as space is limited.