Prospective Students

Fall 2021 Application Information

We appreciate your interest in pursuing doctoral studies in Chemistry at Yale University. Below, please find information regarding application deadlines and requirements.

Program Information

Please see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Programs and Policies webpage for more information on the Chemistry graduate program.

Application Requirements

The 2021 application for graduate admission to the Department of Chemistry is electronic. The application is available from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. The deadline for submitting the application is December 1, 2020. The deadline for supplemental information (transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores, three letters of recommendation, personal statement of purpose) is also December 1, 2020.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation (minimum) are required. These letters should be from individuals who can evaluate your academic work, intellectual ability, or academic potential for graduate work. The letters should address your motivation for conducting research in this field; your ability to take initiative, think critically, and engage in experimental design, data acquisition and/or analysis (if applicable); and your perseverance in working towards an academic or research goal. The most effective letters originate from faculty members of the last institution you attended as full-time student, from research advisors in laboratories, or from supervisors in working environments. It is generally most beneficial to choose recommenders who know you well, and can speak about your performance and approach with concrete examples. For other information, please review the FAQs on the Letters of Recommendation.

Personal Statement

This statement of 500-1,000 words explains why you are applying to Yale for graduate study. Describe your research interests and preparation for your intended field(s) of study, including prior research and other relevant experiences. This statement gives the admissions committee an idea of who you are, what motivates you for chemistry graduate study, and how the faculty, research, and resources at Yale would contribute to your future goals. A successful personal statement puts background into context, indicates your enthusiasm for research at Yale Chemistry, and shows how you would enrich the intellectual community at Yale. Concrete and specific statements are more useful than broad generalities, though of course you do not need to know your future career plans in detail.

Diversity Statement

At Yale Chemistry, we are dedicated to attracting qualified students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In 300 words or less, we ask that you briefly describe your own perspectives on diversity, why it is important, and how you have contributed to or will contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

For this year’s application, the GRE General and Chemistry subject tests are recommended but not required. Scores for these examinations must be officially released to the Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, institution code 3987. These scores are used as components of our holistic evaluation of an applicant’s qualifications, with due consideration of the limitations of the GRE score. More information is available at Students from the USA with financial need can apply for the GRE Fee Reduction Program or request a Fee Reduction Voucher from the Graduate Registrar at


A record of your academic performance is required for each institution you list in the Prior Study section of the application. This academic record (a scanned copy of a transcript from the institution’s Student Information System Portal, an “issued to student” transcript, or a certified electronic transcript in PDF form) must be uploaded to your online application.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Scores from this examination must be officially released to Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (ETS code 3987). Paper copies are not acceptable and scores released to other schools of Yale University cannot be transferred to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The requirement for the TOEFL can be waived only for applicants who will have received a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction. Applicants must have studied in residence at the baccalaureate institution for at least three years to receive the waiver.

Admissions Decisions and Campus Visit

Applicants are typically notified of decisions regarding their applications during the months of February and March. Official notification that a decision has been made is by email from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences only. Actual decisions are posted within the online application only. Official campus visits for accepted students are held in March. An invitation to attend one of our Visiting Days will be sent to all accepted students.