How YDS Evaluates Applicants

Applicants to Yale Divinity School programs are evaluated on the basis of academic ability and potential; leadership qualities; spiritual maturity; emotional stability; interpersonal communication skills; seriousness of purpose; personal initiative; academic and vocational clarity; and creativity.

The Admissions Committee will make its determinations based upon each applicant’s completed application, any supplemental materials submitted by the applicant, and (if applicable) prior conversations or interviews with a member of the admissions staff or a representative.

All applicants must supply the following in order to complete the file that is submitted to the Admissions Committee:

1. Completed application form, which may be accessed online at (available starting in September).

2. Official transcripts from each college, university, and professional school attended.

3. A personal essay (2 pages maximum/double spaced) should help the Admissions Committee evaluate one’s application.  It should address one’s academic and vocational goals; how a Divinity School education can assist the applicant in meeting these goals; and what gifts and experiences a candidate can contribute to his or her theological education.

4. A writing sample (5 pages maximum/double spaced) that illustrates the applicant’s ability to analyze and argue on a particular subject of his or her choice (a portion of a senior thesis or term paper is acceptable).

5. Three letters of recommendation, two of which should address academic potential.  Letters are submitted by your letter writers through our online system once you have designated them.

6. A nonrefundable fee payable by credit card at the time of submission.  The fee structure is: $50 for applications submitted on or before the priority deadline of January 15th, or $75 for applications submitted after the priority deadline of January 15th. 

7. Scores of the IELTS (minimum 7.0) is required for applicants from countries where English is not the primary language of instruction.*  For more information please visit  Scores from the TOEFL are NOT accepted. 

*Scores of the IELTS may be waived if the applicant received a degree from a foreign or domestic institution where English is the primary language of instruction.