Graduate Degrees

Ph.D. Degree

The online publication Qualification Procedure for the Ph.D. Degree in Engineering & Applied Science describes in detail all requirements in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science. The student is strongly encouraged to read it carefully; key requirements are briefly summarized below. See Computer Science's departmental entry in this bulletin for special requirements for the Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Students plan their course of study in consultation with faculty advisers (the student's advisory committee). A minimum of ten term courses is required, to be completed in the first two years. Well-prepared students may petition for course waivers based on courses taken in a previous graduate degree program. Similarly, students may place out of certain ENAS courses via an examination prepared by the course instructor. Placing out of the course will not reduce the total number of required courses. Core courses, as identified by each department/program, should be taken in the first year unless otherwise noted by the department. With the permission of the departmental director of graduate studies (DGS), students may substitute more advanced courses that cover the same topics. No more than two courses can be Special Investigations, and at least two must be outside the area of the dissertation. All students must complete a one-term course, Responsible Conduct of Research, in the first year of study. Information on graduate courses offered in ENAS can be found at

Each term, the faculty review the overall performance of the student and report their findings to the DGS who, in consultation with the associate dean, determines whether the student may continue toward the Ph.D. degree. By the end of the second term, it is expected that a faculty member has agreed to accept the student as a research assistant. By December 5 of the third year, an area examination must be passed and a written prospectus submitted before dissertation research is begun. These events result in the student's admission to candidacy. Subsequently, the student will report orally each year to the full advisory committee on progress. When the research is nearing completion, but before the thesis writing has commenced, the full advisory committee will advise the student on the thesis plan. A final oral presentation of the dissertation research is required to be given during term time. There is no foreign language requirement.

Teaching experience is regarded as an integral part of the graduate training program at Yale University, and all Engineering graduate students are required to serve as a Teaching Fellow for up to two terms, typically during year two. Teaching duties normally involve assisting in laboratories or discussion sections and grading papers and are not expected to require more than ten hours per week. Students are not permitted to teach during the first year of study.

If a student was admitted to the program having earned a score of less than 26 on the Speaking Section of the Internet-based TOEFL, the student will be required to take an English as a Second Language (ESL) course each term at Yale until the Graduate School's Oral English Proficiency standard has been met. This must be achieved by the end of the third year in order for the student to remain in good standing.

Doctoral students who are accepted to our program usually receive financial support (tuition and stipend) for their entire period of study, provided their performance is satisfactory.

A unique feature of our doctoral program is support during the first year from University Fellowships; this financial independence gives beginning graduate students the freedom to explore various topics with different faculty members. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the tuition plus stipend amounts to $80,500 (tuition: $44,500, stipend: $36,000). Exceptional students receive financial supplements from the School of Engineering & Applied Science in addition to their University Fellowship.

After their first year, students are usually appointed Assistants in Research, and their tuition support and stipend come from the grants and contracts of their faculty research advisors.

M.D./Ph.D. Degree

M.D./Ph.D. students affiliate with the Department of Biomedical Engineering via the Medical School. M.D./Ph.D. students officially affiliate with Biomedical Engineering after selecting a thesis adviser and consulting with the director of graduate studies (DGS).

The academic requirements for M.D./Ph.D. students entering Biomedical Engineering are modified from the normal requirements for Ph.D. students. Other than the modifications listed here, M.D./Ph.D. students in Biomedical Engineering are subject to all of the same requirements as the other graduate students in the department.

Courses: Seven graduate-level courses taken for a grade must be completed during the first two years of the Ph.D. program. (One Yale graduate-level course taken for a grade during medical school may be counted toward this requirement at the discretion of the DGS.) There are three required courses: ENAS 510 and two semesters of ENAS 990. All students are expected to present their Special Investigation work at a department symposium held on the last day of the reading period. In addition, there is a math requirement, which may be met by taking any one of the following courses: ENAS 500, ENAS 505, ENAS 549. Among the three electives, one must be in engineering or a closely related field. Students must obtain a grade of Honors in any two of these courses, excluding ENAS 990, and maintain an average of at least High Pass.

Teaching: Students are required to serve as a teaching fellow for up to two terms but are not permitted to teach during their first year of graduate study.

Prospectus and Qualifying exam: M.D./Ph.D. students must complete and submit their thesis prospectus by the end of the fifth semester as an affiliated graduate student. If the student affiliates at the customary point of year three, they must submit the approved prospectus before the end of the fall semester of the fifth year (at the beginning of year three as an affiliated Ph.D. student). After submitting the prospectus, students present their results to date and their proposed research to their thesis committee in an Area Examination. Students are given two opportunities to pass this exam.

Candidacy: M.D./Ph.D. students will be admitted to candidacy once they have completed their course requirements, passed their qualifying exam, and had their dissertation prospectus approved by their advisory committee.

Further requirements: M.D./Ph.D. students who are admitted to candidacy are required to have an annual Thesis Committee meeting. In the first year after admission to candidacy, students are expected to present their research work at a departmental seminar. Attendance at weekly Biomedical Engineering Seminars is mandatory. A final oral presentation of the dissertation research is required before students may submit to the Dissertation Office.

Master's Degrees

The Master of Philosophy is awarded en route to the Ph.D. in SEAS. The minimum general requirements for this degree are that a student shall have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except required teaching, the prospectus, and dissertation. Students will not generally have satisfied the requirements for the Master of Philosophy until after two years of study, except where graduate work done before admission to Yale has reduced the student's graduate course work at Yale. In no case will the degree be awarded for less than one year of residence in the Yale Graduate School.

M.S. (en route to the Ph.D.): To qualify for the M.S., the student must pass eight term courses; no more than two may be Special Investigations. An average grade of at least High Pass is required, with at least one grade of Honors.

Terminal Master's Degree Program: Students may also be admitted directly to a terminal master's degree program in Engineering & Applied Science. The requirements are the same as for the M.S. en route to the Ph.D., although there are no core course requirements for students in this program. This program is normally completed in one year, but a part-time program may be spread over as many as four years. Some courses are available in the evening, to suit the needs of students from local industry.

Joint Master's Degree Program (School of Engineering & Applied Science and School of the Environment): The joint master's degree program offered by the School of the Environment (YSE) and the School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) provides environmental engineers and environmental managers with the opportunity to develop knowledge and tools to address the complex relationship between technology and the environment. This joint-degree program will train graduate students to design and manage engineered and natural systems that address critical societal challenges, while considering the complex technical, economic, and sociopolitical systems relationships. Each joint program leads to the simultaneous award of two graduate professional degrees: either the Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) or the Master of Environmental Science (M.E.Sc.) from YSE, and a Master of Science (M.S.) from SEAS. Students can earn the two degrees concurrently in 2.5 years, less time than if they were pursued sequentially. Candidates spend the first year at YSE, the second year at SEAS, and their final term at YSE. Joint-degree students are guided in this process by advisers in both YSE and SEAS. Candidates must submit formal applications to both YSE and SEAS and be admitted separately to each School, i.e., each School makes its decision independently. It is highly recommended that students apply to and enter a joint-degree program from the outset, although it is possible to apply to the second program once matriculated at Yale. Prospective students to the joint-degree program apply to the YSE master's degree through YSE and to the SEAS master's degree in Chemical & Environmental Engineering through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The following six courses are required of all joint-degree YSE/SEAS master's students completing their M.S. in Environmental Engineering: ENAS 641, ENAS 642, ENAS 660, ENV 773, ENV 838, and either ENV 712 or ENV 724. Two additional Yale-wide technical electives approved by the DGS (or faculty in an equivalent role in Environmental Engineering) are required. These courses may be cross-listed with or administered by YSE with prior approval from the DGS. For the joint-degree requirements for completion of the M.E.M. or M.E.Sc. in YSE, see the bulletin of the Yale School of the Environment at