Admitted Student FAQs
Admissions decisions have been released and we have been hearing some great questions. While there are many events coming up for both admitted and prospective students, I wanted to share some of the most common questions I have heard recently.
What is the difference between the old and new MEM curriculum?
The new curriculum places more emphasis on subject specialization while at the same time building common foundational skills and affording flexibility. Specializations have always been a part of the MEM program however students are now required to select a specialization and these areas of study have been revised and updated. The program includes a common perspectives course, and four half semester courses focused on interdisciplinary conversancy. Students will then take two core specialization classes and four electives within their specialization. The reminder of the coursework is made up of elective classes which provide students with the flexibility to tailor their studies to their personal interests. The new curriculum also introduces learning communities to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni, student interest groups and centers & programs based on similar areas of focus. This article on the F&ES website gives some great additional information about the curriculum and faculty perspectives on the changes.
What are the career prospects/outcomes for F&ES master’s students?
Yale F&ES students work across all sectors and all over the world. It is hard for us to pinpoint specific common outcomes because students have such varied interests and goals and the school is very successful at helping them achieve those goals. http://environment.yale.edu/careers/data/ is an amazing resource that details where students have completed their internships and where they are working 6 months out from graduation.
Where do students live?
The city of New Haven is very accustomed to graduate students and there are many options for housing. Many F&ES students live in shared apartments in the surrounding neighborhoods including Mansfield street, East Rock and Wooster Square. Admitted students are able to access a spreadsheet of housing openings posted by current students. Craigslist is also a pretty good resource. For those who would rather live on campus, Yale does also offer on campus housing. Getting around town is very easy and there is a great Yale shuttle system that runs through campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is also a very bike able town and we have uber and lyft available. For those with cars, street parking is generally not a problem in the residential neighborhoods.
What would my time outside of the classroom look like?
It really depends on your interests and the classes you are taking. In general, faculty will expect twice as many out of class hours on coursework as in class hours weekly. For extracurricular activities, we have over 30 student interest groups here and you can learn more about them at them at https://environment.yale.edu/sigs/. Many of our students do also work part time jobs on campus. Realistically, 5-10 hours a week in work study or research jobs is common. There is also quite a bit to do outside of F&ES. Keep any eye out for my next post which will be about life in New Haven.
What is the student culture like?
The culture here is very community oriented and collaborative. One of the benefits of having many specialization areas is that students generally have a variety of interests. This means that students have different goals and it is not a super competitive environment. Overall, the culture of the school is one of the qualities that students express as what made them most interested in F&ES. It is something that is very important to the whole community here. To help build the community, we have over 30 student interest groups as previously mentioned. In addition, there is the Forestry Club (the student life committee for all students) and the student affairs committee (student government). We also have the EQUID committee (equity, inclusion and diversity).
When do I register for classes and how do I pick my classes?
Registration for courses happens at the beginning on the school year and we will go over the process at Orientation in August. We have something called a shopping period where students visit courses when the semester begins before they need to register. This gives you the ability to feel out the best fit for you in terms of scheduling and workload.
How do most students fund their studies?
The first resource for funding is scholarships. Yale F&ES funded scholarship decisions have already been sent out to admitted students and these are primarily based on financial need. We also encourage students to utilize FESXFunds which is a database of funding sources outside of the university. As I mentioned, many students also do work on campus to help fund their studies. Work study positions are the most common and they pay a set hourly wage. This generally helps with living expenses but would not cover a large part of tuition. There are also teaching assistantships and all faculty hire their own TA’s both at F&ES and at Yale College. The last financing option would be loans. Our financial aid office is able to help with the federal loan process and Yale does also offer an international student loan.
I hope that this was able to help answer some questions about life at F&ES and I am happy to answer any other questions you have over email or the phone. Please do not hesitate to reach out at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org