Yale Greets Its Newest Graduate Students

Yale University today welcomed 426 of the world's outstanding future scholars to its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which begins its 152nd year this week.

Yale University today welcomed 426 of the world’s outstanding future scholars to its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which begins its 152nd year this week.

Chosen from a talented pool of more than 4,000 applicants, the newest graduate students at Yale are alumni of distinguished colleges and universities across the country and around the world, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, Duke, Columbia, Amherst, Bennington, Wellesley, University of Tubingen (Germany), Oxford and Cambridge. Incoming students hail from 37 states and 36 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Finland, Greece, India, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Korea and Russia.

“Graduate education is central to the life of a great research university like Yale,” said neurobiology professor Susan Hockfield, who began her first year as dean of the Graduate School on July 1, 1998. “The unparalleled strength of our faculty and the exceptional abilities of our students make the intellectual environment of the Graduate School extraordinarily rich and vibrant. I am looking forward to joining these different generations of scholars in their efforts to explore the traditions of teaching and learning, and to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.”

University President Richard C. Levin, a former dean of the Graduate School, and Hockfield welcomed the new students with remarks at a formal convocation. Students also heard a talk titled “Transformations: the Yale Graduate School in the 20th Century,” by Gaddis Smith, the Larned Professor of History. Smith is writing a history of the University to be published as part of the University’s celebration of its tercentennial in 2001.

Of the new graduate students, 345 are enrolled in doctoral programs and will pursue Ph.D. degrees in their chosen fields of study. The work of the Graduate School is carried on in the divisions of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biological and Physical Sciences. The three divisions encompass 65 departments and programs, 49 of which offer courses leading to the Ph.D. degree.

To attract the finest graduate students to Yale and to support their studies, the University provides generous and stable financial aid. The University has budgeted $36 million for aid in the Graduate School for the 1998-99 academic year. Upon admission, the typical doctoral student receives a commitment from Yale of four years of financial aid that will pay the student’s tuition of $21,760 and provide an annual stipend ranging from $10,500 to $16,720, depending on the student’s field of study. Students in the humanities and social sciences are also eligible for a dissertation fellowship of $9,500 in the fifth or sixth year of study, while students in the sciences receive dissertation support through faculty research grants. The effect of the University’s commitment to financial aid is that more than 90 percent of doctoral students pay no tuition to Yale and receive five years of fellowship support to help with living expenses.

Beginning with the 1998-99 academic year, Yale is also expanding its health care coverage for doctoral students in the Graduate School. In addition to the excellent basic health care provided at no charge to graduate students by Yale University Health Services, Yale will fund the cost of doctoral students’ hospitalization and specialty care through the Yale Health Plan. The University will also pay half the cost of coverage under the Yale Health Plan for the dependents of doctoral students. The Yale Health Plan is the health care option of choice for the majority of Yale faculty members and administrative staff, as well as a large majority of the University’s graduate and professional students.

In announcing the new support, Hockfield noted that the cost of health care was a major concern of the many students with whom she has consulted since becoming dean, including members of the Graduate Student Assembly. “It is clear that even reasonably priced coverage constitutes a burdensome expense for many of our graduate students,” she said.

Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences considers teaching to be an essential element of the professional preparation of all graduate students, and Yale provides doctoral students with opportunities to teach, usually in the third and fourth year of study. Teaching responsibilities may include grading exams, leading discussion sessions, overseeing laboratory exercises and presenting lectures.

Statistics on the overall 1998-99 graduate student population will be available later in the fall. During the 1997-98 academic year, 2,115 students were enrolled in doctoral degree programs at the Graduate School, including 897 in the sciences, 468 in the social sciences and 750 in the humanities.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325