Master’s Admissions FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the admissions process for YSE master’s degrees.

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    What Master’s degrees are offered?

    The Yale School of the Environment (YSE) offers four 2-year Masters degrees: Master of Environmental Management (MEM), Master of Environmental Science (MESc), Master of Forestry (MF) and Master of Forest Science (MFS). 

    What are the general areas of study at the Yale School of the Environment?

    Areas of study include, but are not limited to:  Ecosystem Conservation and Management; Forestry, Forest Science and Forest Management; Business and the Environment; Climate Science, Adaptation and Mitigation; Energy and the Environment; Environmental Policy Analysis; Human Dimensions of Environmental Management; Sustainable Land Management; Sustainable Urban and Industrial Systems; and Water Resources Management. Students are not limited to a declared focal area in choosing their classes.

    Are joint programs available?

    Joint degree programs are offered with the Yale Schools of Management, Law, Divinity, Public Health, Architecture, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (International Development Economics and Global Affairs), as well as the Vermont Law School and Pace Law School.

    What are the Master’s degree requirements?

    For more information on the courses required to complete each degree, please see the Masters Degrees page, which details each program’s curriculum.

    How do I apply to the Master’s program?

    Applicants to the Yale School of the Environment master’s program are required to use the online application system. The application deadline is December 8. All application materials, including test scores (sent officially by the test center), should be submitted to the Yale School of the Environment by this date. Late applications and materials may be submitted, but these application files will be considered on a space-available basis. More information is available on the Masters Admissions website.

    What is the mailing address for Master’s application materials?

    Please note that admission materials should be submitted online. If you must send materials through the mail, please use the following address:

    Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Office
    Yale School of the Environment
    300 Prospect Street
    New Haven, CT 06511

    How do I know if the Yale School of the Environment has received my application and supplemental materials?

    You can check your application status through the online application system. We will contact you if we have any questions about your materials. Please note that all communications are sent to the email address you include on your application form, so please be sure to provide a current email address that will be active through the summer.

    Do I need to take the GRE?

    The submission of the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT score is optional at this time.  All parts of an application are evaluated to determine the candidate’s qualifications for our program.

    Do I need to take the TOEFL?

    The iBT version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all applicants for whom English is not the official language of instruction at the institution where they received their bachelor’s degree. Applicants should contact the Office of Admissions if the TOEFL is unavailable in a specific country or region. The International English Language Test System (IELTS) may be submitted in this situation. Additional information about TOEFL or IELTS can be found by visiting or respectively. Please note that we require a minimum score of 100 on the iBT version of the TOEFL and a 7.0 on the IELTS examination.

    Can I apply if I have not taken undergraduate science or math classes?

    Yale School of the Environment welcomes individuals from a variety of undergraduate and professional backgrounds. While undergraduate science and/or math courses are not a prerequisite for admission, they are highly recommended. Coursework work (at least two courses each) in ecological patterns and processes (such as general ecology, biodiversity science, population or community ecology, ecosystem science or ecosystems ecology) physical sciences (such as earth science covering geosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere, environmental chemistry, climate science), the social sciences (such as environmental governance, environmental anthropology, environmental history, environmental justice, environmental sociology, human geography, political ecology, religion and ecology), and microeconomics prepare students to take greater advantage of courses at the graduate level. For this reason, the Committee on Admissions favors applicants who have successfully completed a combination of these courses.

    Does YSE accept transfer credits?

    YSE does not accept transfer credits from other institutions.

    What happens after my application is complete?

    If your application is completed by the Application Deadline, it will be forwarded to the Committee on Admissions for a thorough review. This consists of a two-tiered, individualized, and random evaluation conducted by 2-4 committee members. Applications are not categorized by degree type or area of interest. The review process occurs between January and March. Applications received or completed after the December deadline may still be accepted, but there is no guarantee that they will be forwarded to the Committee. For this reason, we encourage applicants to have all materials, including test scores, submitted by mid-December.

    What are the criteria for admission to the Yale School of the Environment?

    • Completion of an undergraduate degree. Whatever your major, introductory coursework in the biological, physical, and social sciences, plus college mathematics, is preferred.
    • Achievement and integrity in your academic and/or professional career.
    • Established commitment to professional and/or scholarly engagement in environmental issues, whether at the local, national, or global scale; two or more years of experience post-baccalaureate is a plus.
    • Promise of a future career as an environmental leader.
    • Demonstrated capacity for critical, creative, entrepreneurial, and strategic thinking.

    How do I apply for a scholarship or financial aid?

    Individuals interested in receiving a scholarship from the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) must submit the YSE Financial Aid and Family Support application forms by February 1. U.S. citizens and permanent residents must also submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 1. Please note that financial aid applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. Visit the Financial Aid website for more information.

    Do I need to identify a research advisor before I apply?

    MESc and MFS applicants must identify up to three faculty members as potential research advisors at the time of application. Within the application, you will be asked to submit a short explanation as to why you would like to work with each potential advisor (one short paragraph per faculty member). This is because the research degree programs require a more in-depth thesis project, and these potential advisors are given the opportunity to review your application file before they accept you as a research student. For this reason, applicants are encouraged to contact prospective advisors when they apply to the Yale School of the Environment.

    For the MEM and MF degrees, no selection of a faculty advisor is needed during the application process. These students are assigned an advisor once they arrive on campus in order to help design a course of study, but we also encourage you to collaborate with many faculty members to put together a program that best suits your interests. Of course, if there is a faculty member whose research is of particular interest, prospective students are welcome to ask that person to be their advisor.

    When will decision letters be mailed?

    Decision letters are electronically posted to your online application account on or around March 15. No materials will be sent by hard copy.

    How much does it cost to attend the Yale School of the Environment?

    Tuition rates are the same for all students, whether you are a CT resident, U.S. citizen, or an international student. For more information on the cost of attendance, please see the Financial Aid website.

    What courses can I take?

    Yale School of the Environment (YSE) offers more than 120 courses a year. In addition, Master’s students can take up to 50% of their courses at other Yale schools. This means that you have the entire Yale University campus at your disposal to create the program of your desire. Many students choose to take courses in law, business/management, international studies, public health, or languages. The School website lists all courses at YSE and their descriptions.

    Will I have a job after graduation/What can I do with my degree?

    Yale School of the Environment (YSE) graduates find jobs in the non-profit, private, public, and academic sectors. The Office of Career and Professional Development at YSE offers a number of services to help you find your internship, a job after graduation, and positions later in your career. Among other things, the CPD website contains extensive employment data on past internship organizations and places of employment immediately following graduation.

    Does the Yale School of the Environment hold any off-campus sessions if I am unable to travel to New Haven?

    Yale School of the Environment representatives spend much of the months of September, October and November traveling to cities around the country to meet with prospective students. Information sessions are open to all prospective students and are excellent ways to learn about the Yale School of the Environment if you are unable to travel to New Haven to meet with representatives on campus. In addition, representatives attend a number of Idealist, conference, and college/university graduate school fairs, where you can also meet with an admissions representative. To see if a representative will be in your area and to sign up for an event, please see our Admission Events website.

    Can I request an Admission Deposit deferral?

    Deposit Extension Policy

    Students who are offered admissions into the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) must submit a non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit by 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on the deposit date for the application round. As a policy, YSE does not offer deposit extensions.

    Please note: Students who are offered admission from the waitlist will be expected to submit a deposit by the corresponding waitlist deposit deadline.

    Can I defer my attendance to the Yale School of the Environment?

    Deferral Policy

    As a policy, the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) does not typically grant enrollment deferral requests that will allow you to defer admission to a later year and instead asks you to reapply. (i.e. Requests for financial reasons, educational reasons, professional opportunities, etc.).

    The Yale School of the Environment will only consider enrollment deferral requests for the following reasons:

    • Fulbright Scholarship (Reserved for students who are engaging in a Fulbright opportunity during the year of deferral)
    • Extenuating serious Medical Emergency (directly affecting student's health only - supporting documentation required)
    • Yale or Yale NUS Gap Year Request

    In the event a deferral request is approved, the deferral will only be granted for a one year time period. Requests for deferral must be submitted in writing via the YSE Official Deferral Request Form with relevant supporting documentation. Please contact the admissions for more information:

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