Vision for the Future

In 1900, Gifford Pinchot and Henry Graves were motivated by a passionate commitment to the conservation of forests in the United States when they founded the first American school of forestry here at Yale. Today, we are driven by a wider vision: to build a school with a global mission, educating global leaders to conserve and manage the world’s natural resources.
— Richard C. Levin
 President, Yale University
As a Professional School, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies seeks to provide unequalled education and training in the multiple dimensions of contemporary environmental issues toward developing solutions for a more sustainable future. 
Our overriding objective is to provide the next generation of national and international leaders with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to advance environmental decision making, formulate effective solutions to enhance environmental goals, and meet the challenges and opportunities of environmental management, in ways that provide broad, sustainable, resilient and equitable advances for human well-being in a complex and interdependent world.
  • In our Doctoral Program we provide opportunities for our students to conduct outstanding scholarly research that generates new knowledge and understanding that is relevant to major problems and opportunities in environmental management and sustainable development.
  • In our Masters Programs we provide broad-based training in environmental science, management and policy tailored to the needs of individual students built on a sound foundation of fundamental concepts and skills.
  • In Yale College we provide opportunities for all undergraduates to develop their understanding of environmental concepts, issues and challenges.  In the Environmental Studies major, we offer students a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary program that will enable them to comprehend the dimensions of environmental issues and how current environmental challenges can best be addressed.
In order for our programs to remain preeminent our four key goals are to:
  • Sustain and develop world-class research capacity in the natural, physical and social sciences across a broad front of environmental issues, because research allows us to speak with authority and because it is important for our students at all levels to understand not only what we know, but also how we come to know it.
  • Recruit the best students into our programs nationally and internationally, as well as from undergraduates of Yale College, because we wish to identify students who will have the greatest influence and impact in their lives after Yale.
  • Develop, continually refine and deliver the best environmental curriculum anywhere, and deliver it at the highest possible standard, because the broader Yale community, our peers and others who look to us for leadership will expect us to continue to improve.
  • Strengthen our capacity to place our graduates in professional positions that will maximize their influence over environmental issues of local, national, and international importance.
In addition, through our diverse activities and programs we encourage environmental responsibility by providing leadership, facilitating public discourse, and working with others.
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