International Students: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Rosengarten Dean Crane speaking to us on the first day FAQ
The Yale School of the Environment (YSE) is a global school of the environment. Our faculty, students and staff grapple with the world’s greatest environmental problems. Not focused solely on our region, or even on issues only relating to the United States, we believe that the makeup of our student body should be as diverse as the issues and regions we study.

We know that the prospect of applying to a school you may have never visited, and moving to a country you may not have ever been to for a graduate degree can be daunting. You are not alone. Our student population is made up of between 25-30% international students a year, which means that we an incredible international alumni network of well over 600 alums situated in positions around the world.

We have created a series of FAQs to help guide you as you prepare your application for YSE. If you have additional questions about the admissions process, our programs, and what it is like to be a student at Yale, please feel free to contact us at

Principles on Holistic Admission and Spring 2020 Grades

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost and Deans of Yale University adopted the following principle:

Yale’s admissions offices for graduate and professional schools evaluate applicants holistically and will take the significant disruptions of COVID-19 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials relating to Spring 2020. In particular, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Credit/Fail and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether they are made by institutions or by individual students.

Do I have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?

The TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam is required if your native language is not English or if English was not your primary language of instruction at your degree-granting undergraduate institution.

Do I have to submit a GRE/GMAT score?

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.

What if my transcripts come from a non-English speaking university or the university does not use the same grading system?

If your transcripts are not in English, you must provide a notarized translation of that transcript, as well as a copy of the transcript in the original language.There are several online resources for international students to use in order to evaluate and translate their college credentials for U.S. institutions, including: While using these or other evaluation services is not required, we strongly suggest that you submit a credential evaluation with your application.

Attention applicants from China:  Admitted students submitting transcripts and degree certificates from Chinese Universities MUST arrange for a degree & transcript verification report by WES (course by course). Do not request your verification report from WES until your degree has been awarded. The reports must be mailed directly to the Office of Admission by WES, rather than by you or another third party. Any document not mailed by WES will not be considered as a final official document.

Is there financial aid available for international students?

Yes! We award scholarships based on financial need, with some component of merit.  In other words, you must first demonstrate financial need first, and then we will consider your scholarship based on the strength of your application. Many international students successfully receive some form of scholarship from F&ES.

In addition, when you apply to F&ES, we will grant you access to our Outside Scholarship Database, which lists the scholarships that F&ES students are most commonly qualified for. Several of these scholarships are directed at international students, and can sometimes cover quite a lot of your financial needs. PLEASE NOTE: These scholarships are offered externally to Yale. You must submit a separate application for each directly to the organization. Do not send materials to Yale.

Finally, we also offer an international student loan for students who are not able to find funding for their entire cost of attendance. Information on this loan can be found here.

How do I apply for financial aid as an international student?

In order to be eligible for financial aid, you need to complete our application for financial aid. This is a separate form from our application for admission. You can find the form, as well as other frequently asked questions, on our financial aid website here.

When should I apply for financial aid?

As soon as possible! Our financial aid application deadline is February 15. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. This means that you should not wait until you are admitted to the school to apply for financial aid. If you miss the financial aid deadline, you will not be eligible for YSE scholarships at any time during your studies at YSE.

Does applying for financial aid affect my chances of getting admitted?

No, our admissions process is completely need-blind. The admissions selection committee only reviews your admissions materials and is not provided any financial information on applicants. Our goal is to admit the very best students regardless of socioeconomic status.

Will I be able to work while I am at YSE?

Yes! You are allowed to have one of our student assistantships without requiring additional documentation in regards to your student visa. In order to be eligible for a student assistantship, which is considered a form of financial aid, you must submit an application for financial aid and meet the February 15th deadline mentioned above.

Are the programs at YSE Stem eligible?

Our programs do qualify as STEM for OPT purposes. If you are asking as it relates to scholarships, we would encourage you to visit our website and/or program information and forward to the organization in which you are working with to ensure it qualifies based on their guidelines.

I’m really nervous about moving to the US. Will there be support for me when I arrive?

Yes!! We know that it is very hard to leave your home and go to a new country for graduate school. Once offered admission to YSE, you will receive a series of emails that will help you with your transition to the U.S. including: steps to receive your visa, how to set up banking, housing options, what types of things to bring with you, etc. We will also have an international student orientation session that begins a few days prior to our general orientation. This will allow you time to meet other international students, get your documentation completed and get settled in before meeting the rest of the incoming class.

Additionally, Yale’s long standing reputation and commitment to diversity has created a wonderful community for new students to become engaged in cultural events, trips and activities with current students, staff and faculty from all over the world. You will receive regular information on these and many other opportunities throughout your studies at YSE.

What other information can you give me?

Education USA offers a wealth of information for international students on how to navigate the confusing world of graduate school applications in the United States. If you have access to one of the EducationUSA offices, we would strongly recommend you contact them for assistance.

The Yale Office of International Student Services (OISS) also offers information to international students coming to Yale University, including travel to New Haven, how to find housing, and steps to obtaining your visa.

Lastly, we are always here to help. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We are happy to communicate with you via email, SKYPE, or telephone. Good luck on your application and we hope to see you here in the fall!
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