Graduate Studies - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a way to apply by mail rather than submitting an on-line application?

A: All applications are now to be submitted on-line. Applying on-line offers many benefits to applicants such as real-time application status, the ability to request recommendations electronically, attach additional documents, and check the status of the receipt of credentials. It also provides multiple fee-payment options.

Q: Do all admitted students receive financial aid?

A: Yes. A University stipend, Teaching Fellowship and full tuition are provided by Yale (typically for the first 3 or 4 semesters). After that time, you will join a research group and be supported on a Research Fellowship. In addition, students are provided a fellowship for health coverage.

Q: How do I send my GRE and TOEFL scores to Yale?

A. To prevent delay, the best method is to specify the Yale University Graduate School (code 3987) and have your scores electronically transmitted to the Graduate School. If you didn’t list Yale Graduate School as one of the schools to receive your scores, you will need to make that request. Unofficial scores will not be accepted.

Q: What are the minimum GRE scores that I need to be admitted?

A: Applicants are not required to obtain certain minimum scores to be admitted. The range of scores for applicants who were offered admission for Fall 2008 is shown below:

GRE General:

Verbal 310-800
Quantitative 670-800
Analytic Writing 3-6

GRE Physics Subject:

660 / 49% to 990 / 97%

Q. What is the minimum TOEFL score that I need to be admitted?

A. Typically, entering students receive a score of 250 or better on the computer based TOEFL. The exam must be taken no more than two years prior to the Yale application deadline.

Q. I am an international student who has studied in the United States. Am I still required to submit TOEFL scores?

A. The TOEFL is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. If you qualify (on the basis of your answers to specific questions in the application), no waiver form is necessary. If you do not qualify for a waiver but have taken the TOEFL within the last two years you will need to have your TOEFL scores released to us (code 3987). If your scores can no longer be released, you will need to take the test. The test should be taken as early as possible to ensure that your scores are received in time to be incorporated in your file. Normally TOEFL scores will not be released if they are older then two years. If you took the TOEFL before and ETS will release those scores then you should not have to retake the examination.

International English Language Test System (IELTS). You may substitute IELTS for TOEFL.

Q. I was not able to take the GRE Physics Subject test. Can I still be admitted?

A. The GRE Subject Test in Physics is required.

Q. I can’t take the GRE test until December and the score won’t be reported until
mid-January. Will my application still be reviewed?

A. Yes, but only if you ask ETS to officially report your score to Yale University Graduate School (code 3987). This will ensure that your scores will arrive in time for our review.

Q: I cannot afford to pay the application fee. Can I ask for a fee waiver?

A: It is the policy of the Graduate School that U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent resident visa holders with valid alien registration numbers are eligible to request fee waivers. The requests can be on the basis of significant financial hardship or participation in a number of sponsored programs.

International students (non-U.S. citizens) are not eligible for a waiver or deferral of the application fee and should not submit a fee waiver request form. Visit the web site for complete eligibility requirements and detailed instructions.

Q. Can I apply as a transfer student?

A. The Graduate School does not award transfer credit for graduate work completed before matriculation at Yale. You would need to apply as an incoming first year student and be in the regular applicant pool. However, the Director of Graduate Studies in Physics can, with the approval of the Graduate School Dean, waive a portion of the Ph.D. course requirements in recognition of previous graduate level work done elsewhere in a graduate level program.

Q. Should I mail my supporting documents directly to the Physics Department?

A.No, this will only delay your application. All supporting documentation should be submitted online.

Q. Who do I contact if I have additional questions that are not answered here?

A. Please visit the Admissions web site for additional FAQ’s - If you still have unanswered questions, please e-mail the Physics Department at