Ph.D. Research Scholar Program


The Ph.D. Research Scholar Program enables a graduate student who is enrolled in a doctoral program at another university to conduct research for a study for a limited period at Yale Divinity School. Students may apply for nondegree status for one semester or one academic year to conduct research and/or work with a professor in a specific academic area. Students will be eligible to be a research Scholar only after they have completed one full academic year in residence in a graduate degree program at their home institution. Ph.D. Research Scholars are not eligible to enroll in or take classes.

Research scholars will be accorded all the benefits of the institution’s resident students. Accepted students will receive a student ID card which permits access to the host institutions libraries, health facilities, athletic facilities, and the like. Where these services entail fees in addition to tuition, the host institution will charge Research Scholars the same fees it charges its own graduate students.


  • Faculty Sponsorship – Students are required to have a full-time Yale Divinity School faculty member serve as their sponsor. A letter of confirmation of that agreement must accompany the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to identify and contact the faculty member. Students will not be admitted to the program without a faculty sponsor. When a faculty member has agreed to serve as your sponsor, the applicant may start the application process by notifying the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid,

Important information before starting your application.

Application Considerations:

  • All documents submitted to Yale Divinity School must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.
  • A minimum of one term of study and a maximum of one academic year will be permitted in the program. Course enrollment or taking classes is not permitted. This program is not available in the summer semester.
  • All admissions decisions are communicated in writing by the Associate Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid. Only letters sent directly from the Admissions Office may be considered official notification of acceptance

Citizenship and Visa Considerations (International Applicants only)

  • Type of Visa. International students are understood to be under the continuing sponsorship of their home institution. Yale will sponsor accepted international students for J-1 visa status. All international applicants requesting J-1 visa status must be able to meet the financial ability requirement to show that they have adequate funding to cover their cost of attendance (tuition, living/personal expenses) while at Yale. Students are required to provide documentation of scholarship sources to cover their tuition and estimated living expenses while at Yale before documents for a J-1 visa can be issued.

  • English Language Proficiency. All J-1 visa applicants are required by the U.S. Department of State to have sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in their academic program and to function on a day-to-day basis in the United States. As such, the IELTS/TOEFL test is required of all applicants whose native language is not English and who have not graduated at the baccalaureate degree level from an institution where English is the primary level of instruction. Alternatively, your Yale Divinity School Faculty Sponsor will be asked to attest to your English language ability through an interview process. o Upon acceptance to the program and receipt of all necessary accompanying documents, including evidence of funding to cover the cost of attendance, the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will issue documentation to assist with obtaining a visa to non-US citizens. Please consult the Office of International Students and Scholars website for more information.

Financial Considerations:

  • No financial aid is available from Yale Divinity School for participants in the PhD Research Scholar Program.
  • Participants are charged and billed a tuition fee of $1,500 per semester.
  • Upon acceptance to the program, international applicants must present evidence of scholarship or grant to cover their tuition and living/personal expenses while at YDS. Such funds may come from the student’s home university, a government or nongovernment agencies or other organizations.

Other Considerations:

  • Proof of health insurance or intention to obtain health insurance. J-I scholars and/or their J-2 family members are required by federal regulations to maintain specific health coverage during their entire stay in the United States. Non-degree student status is not eligible for the Yale Health Plan. You may be eligible to purchase the Yale Health Billed Associates Plan or may use Yale Health on a fee-for-service basis. Please contact the Yale Health Member Services Department, for eligibility guidelines and rates.

Application Requirements

To apply, please provide the following:

  • A brief statement of purpose describing your proposed research, how it relates to your academic work and why Yale Divinity School is a specifically appropriate affiliation for your work.
  • Letter of recommendation from your current academic advisor at your home institution.
  • Letter of recommendation from your proposed YDS faculty sponsor.
  • Official transcript(s) from your current graduate program. (International students, transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation).
  • J-1 visa applicants are required to provide documentation of English language proficiency. Documentation must be in the form of test results from IELTS/TOEFL or in special circumstances an interview must be conducted with the applicant’s faculty sponsor or the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.
  • (International Applicants) - Copy of passport. Please use your name exactly as it appears on your passport for all parts of your application.
  • Proof of health insurance or letter stating intention to obtain health insurance.
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $75 (USD); see payment options below

Application Payment Options

Payment by check or money order:
Payment may be made in U.S. dollars by a U.S. postal money order, traveler’s check, or check drawn on a bank with a U.S. branch indicated on the check. Make checks payable to Yale Divinity School. Please write the student’s full name and the phrase “PhD Researcher Application Fee” on the check for correct processing.

Mailing address:
Yale Divinity School
Office of Financial Aid
409 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Attention: Shalane Hansen-Rodriguez
Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Payment by wire transfer or ACH using the following information:
Bank name: Bank of America
Bank address: 100 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001
ABA number: 026009593
Account title: Div Deposit
Account number: 0050296726
Reference*: Student’s full name, date of birth, and the phrase “PhD Researcher Application Fee”
(International only) Swift number: BOFAUS3N
ACH number: 011900254

*It is VERY IMPORTANT for the sender to include the “Reference” information for correct processing. Please indicate name as it appears on your passport and include a copy of your passport.

For an application and further information on the Ph.D. Research Program, please contact the Associate Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid at