Graduate Program | Admissions
Applicants to the Ph.D. program are expected to have a strong undergraduate preparation in physics and mathematics. Some training in astronomy is desirable but not essential-many entering students have had no prior formal background in astronomy. Applicants should take and have ETS submit directly to Yale scores for the Graduate Record Examination Physics Subject Test (GRE-Physics). While these scores are necessary, we have found that a student's undergraduate record, letters of recommendation, and possible research experience are better predictors of graduate success than test scores. Through a combination of teaching and research fellowships, we are generally able to provide full-time funding for all students over the course of their entire Ph.D. program. Those interested in applying to the Astronomy Department should use the application available on the Graduate School's webpage.
Yale aims to enroll 3 new students in the graduate program in astronomy per year; in the past 10 years, 8 women and 20 men have matriculated. Since 1999 we have two additional places reserved in each class for students in the Yale/Chile Joint Ph.D. Program. Of the 28 students who have enrolled since 1990, 21 have either received the Ph.D. or are still in the program, 3 transferred to other Ph.D. programs in astronomy, and 5 dropped out of astronomy prior to receiving the Ph.D. Average length of completion for the Ph.D. has been just under 6 years, almost one year below the national average.
Students are supported by the University for the first two years, and by Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships thereafter. Funding is guaranteed for students in good standing for 6 years. Entering students can expect to teach for a total of no more than 4 semesters during their graduate careers.
Image Credits: (header) Carolin Cardamone; (left) Michelle Buxton