Admissions

YSE students do not think small. They want to make a bold impact.

Explore what YSE can offer you and what you can offer the world.

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    Master’s Degree Admissions

    Ready to have an impact? Whether it is at the local or global level, we help students develop the skills, knowledge, and perspective to navigate complex global environmental issues and help build a sustainable future. Learn more about the admissions process for two-year master’s degrees and joint degree programs with other schools at Yale and external institutions.

    Student sitting outside of Kroon Hall

    Doctoral Degree Admissions

    Our doctoral program offers scholars from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue a highly individualized area of inquiry under the mentorship of a YSE faculty member. The research conducted by YSE PhD candidates spans global and disciplinary boundaries — and what’s more, it is fully funded. Learn more about how to join this vibrant and dynamic intellectual community.

    Earn a Non-Degree Certificate at YSE

    Earn a Yale non-degree certificate in topics vital to the addressing the climate emergency and achieving a sustainable future. We offer two programs that will build your credibility as a highly skilled and well-connected professional. Learn more about admissions for our certificate programs in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy, and in Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration & Sustainable Use.

    Student and Alumni Impacts

    Rujanavech

    Eliminating Electronic Waste in the Tech Industry

    Charissa Rujanavech ’13 MEM is a tech industry innovator, developing novel ways to recycle and eliminate electronic waste. Shortly after graduating from YSE, she invented Liam, an automated disassembly system that can take apart more than 1 million iPhones a year so the components can be reused. She has continued her work in the circular economy, promoting a closed-loop supply chain for major retailers, including Amazon, and is now developing new technologies and partnerships to decarbonize refrigeration, retail operations, and food waste at Albertsons Companies.

    Pete Caligiuri in a forested area

    Fighting Fire with Fire

    As wildfires across the U.S. and Canada continue to endanger human health and wildlife, Pete Caligiuri ’10 MF, forest strategy director for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, is working on fire suppression.

    And these efforts include setting fires. “Frequent, extreme wildfires are a threat, but fire has to be part of the solution. Fire always has been a part of these landscapes. Beneficial fire — like prescribed burns and managed wildfires — is essential to the long-term resilience of these forest landscapes into the future,” Caligiuri says.

    Nenha Young

    Financing the Transition to Clean Energy

    Transitioning to clean energy is key to combating climate change. As director of policy and network at the Coalition for Green Capitol, Nenha Young ’20 MEM is targeting greenhouse gas reduction initiatives through investments in the environmental, social, and economic sectors and working to establish the National Green Bank.

    “I attended YSE because of its leadership in the clean energy field,” Young says. “Through coursework, internships, and independent studies, I was able to design a career at the intersection of clean energy and economic development.”

    Yufang Gao in the mountains

    Redefining Human-Wildlife Conflict

    In the Tibetan Plateau, Yufang Gao ’14 MESc, ’23 PhD interviews, observes, and travels with Tibetan herders and Buddhist monks. He sets up camera traps and collects scat to analyze the diet of snow leopards. And he has hiked a mountainside 15,000 feet above sea level — all in pursuit of data for his dissertation focused on the quest for harmonious coexistence between people and large carnivores. What is needed for human-wildlife coexistence is a different perspective about conflict, Gao says. “Conflict,” he has found, “is part of coexistence.”

    Ki’ila Salas

    Restoring Belize’s Landscapes

    Ki’ila Salas ’19 MF returned to her home country of Belize to participate in its first landscape restoration initiative, helping to develop its National Landscape Restoration Strategy for the Belize Forest Department. The project is part of the country’s national restoration commitment to the Bonn Challenge, which has a global goal to bring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2030.

    “The project gave me great pride and joy in guiding the process of how the restoration strategies should be accomplished,” Salas says.

    Irene Shi sitting in front of blue-green lake in the mountains

    Preserving China’s Biodiversity

    As the executive director of the Shan Shui Conservation Center in China, Irene Xiangying Shi ’13 MESC is helping conservation efforts in the Tibetan Plateau and southern regions. The Center focuses its work on urban ecosystems and endangered species, such as giant pandas and snow leopards. 

    “If we have the right incentives,” she says, “people will conserve nature in the best way." Her efforts have helped build a biodiversity conservation alliance, an information sharing platform on biodiversity, and long-term funding mechanisms to continue work on these issues.

    Cecilia Rogers in a forest glen

    Mapping Panama’s Sustainable Farmlands

    A researcher for the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative, Cecilia Rogers ’22 MFS is mapping the success of ELTI’s Panama program that helps cattle ranchers incorporate sustainable practices, such as the use of forested pastureland, into their land management.

    Working with fellow students, she found that the amount of sustainably managed farmland had significantly increased from 4% in 2011 to 66% in 2020.

    Hugh Brown under a canopy of bamboo

    Rehabilitating Ghana’s Forests

    After a decade as director of operations for Ghana’s Forestry Commission, overseeing the country’s commercial forest plantation development and land restoration, Hugh Brown ’10 MF was named executive director of the Commission's Forest Services Division in 2022.

    The Commission has begun the restoration of more than 450,000 hectares of degraded forests and planted millions of new trees under Brown's leadership — part of a major reforestation initiative by the Ghanaian government to contribute to global climate action.

    YSE knows we need everyone at the table to build a better world.”

    Liz Plascencia’22 MEM candidate, Los Angeleno, first-generation Mexican American, ocean conservationist, surfer

     

    Why choose the Yale School of the Environment?

    Students on a field trip at a water treatment facility

    Experiential Learning

    At YSE, education and training extend well beyond the classroom. Participate in our unique summer orientation program, MODs; travel widely for field research and internships; attend global conferences and climate talks such as the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 26).

    Professor Marian Chertow with a student at Commencement

    Acclaimed Faculty

    Working closely with some of the top experts in their fields is one of the advantages of a YSE graduate degree. Our faculty are committed to mentoring the next generation of environmental leaders to tackle the world’s most urgent problems.

    Three YSE graduates celebrating at commencement

    Our Commitment to Diversity

    YSE is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including increasing the diversity of our faculty, student body, and staff; increasing access and affordability for underrepresented students; and taking conscious steps to combat racism and other forms of discrimination.

    Learn More