Prospective Graduate Student FAQ


faculty (primary) 35
faculty (secondary) 16
faculty (total) 69

research scientist 25
Postdocs 31
grad students 133

Grad  students Enrolled Oct 2018 stats (124 students): 

26.6% female, 73.4% male
49.2% domestic non-URM, 43.5% international, 7.3% URM


Application Process

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.

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

The Physics PhD application is comprised of several parts -

  • Personal Background
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Recommendations (3)
  • Academic History/Detials
  • Test Scores (*GRE scores are not required for the 2021-22 application cycle. TOEFL scores are still required for non-english speakers)
  • Additional Questions/Submissions
  • Diversity Statement
  • Languages and Background
  • Certificate of Statement

Yale Physics will not be accepting the General GRE and Physics GRE scores for applications received by December 15, 2020. The use of GRE scores in future years is under evaluation.

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 by the Graduate School.

The required scores are determined by the Yale Graduate School so the applicant should seek information at the general Yale Graduate Studies site.  Typically, a total score TOEFL score of 100 or better with 27 SPEAK score are required (ILETS is also an acceptable test, recognizing that the scoring is different, 7 to 8 speaking score is needed). 

The exam must be taken no more than two years prior to the Yale application deadline.

In some limited cases, entirely at the admissions committee’s descretion, for applicants with low scores, we will conduct Skype or other direct interviews to assess speaking ability.

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.

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.

Fee waivers are available. Please see the Graduate Admissions page on Application Fees & Fee Waivers for more information.

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

Academic Life

6 courses (5 foundational + 1 elective).  4 in first year. + research project


Pay & Benefits

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.

Living in New Haven

It’s the same as in any larger city - crime does happen, but it tends to not be disruptive to the students here.  

With city living, it is important to take steps to stay safe, and Yale invests in significant public safety resources which you can access.

There are certain areas of the city that one may feel less safe in than others but there’s really no reason to go into these areas for most people.  

When the need is felt, Yale has safety services available such as safe rides, walking escorts and safety apps.