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Applying to Yale as an International Student

International students follow essentially the same procedure and use the same application forms as all other students applying to Yale. For a list of these forms, and instructions for applying to Yale, please visit Application Instructions and Required Application Components. Since some of these forms may be unfamiliar to you, we will provide additional information about them here. Click on an item in the list below to read more about that topic.

Please note that if your application materials include any documents that are not in English, you must provide us with an official English translation in addition to the original documents.

Common Application and Yale-Specific Questions

The Common Application and Yale-specific questions include space for you to tell us more about your background, activities, interests, and motivation in your own voice. You should tell us about your extracurricular activities in the space provided and write two essays on topics of your choice.

We encourage you to write openly and candidly about activities, interests, or experiences that have been meaningful to you. What is most important is that you write in your own voice about topics that you are passionate about. If an essay does not sound like the person who writes it, it will not work well as a personal statement. We read essays very carefully and try to get a full sense of the human being behind them. Concise writing is often the best writing, so please try to limit your essays to the stated limit of 250-650 words for the Common Application essay, and 500 words for the Yale-specific essay. We will accept but do not encourage additional resumes or essays.

You will be asked to list your current year courses, and the credit value of these courses, on the Common Application. Generally speaking, you should enter 1 credit for year-long courses and .5 credit for half-year courses.

Note: If you have trouble submitting your Common Application, please go to Common Application Help. You will find a “Most Common Questions” list, maintained by the Common Application. If you do not find an answer to your question, you may click on “Submit a Ticket” and send a question to the Common Application tech support. You can expect a prompt response. Please do not contact the Yale Admissions Office for help if you have technical difficulties with the Common Application. We do not have control over the Common Application website.

$80 Application Fee or Fee Waiver

Applicants should pay the $80 application fee by credit card, debit card, electronic check, or PayPal via the payments form on the Common Application website. The Common Application website requires that you pay your fee online using one of the methods provided. You may not submit a personal check or money order to pay an application fee.

You may request that your application fee be waived. Qualifications for a fee waiver include the following:

  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You live in a federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or are homeless.
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
  • You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.

If you feel that your college application and financial aid application fees present a severe hardship for your family, but you are not sure if you meet the Common Application’s qualifications as outlined above, please consider the final bullet point carefully. Is there an adult in your community (a teacher, counselor, clergy member, administrator, town official, QuestBridge staff member, EducationUSA staff member, etc.) who could attest to your family’s economic situation and your need for a fee waiver? If the answer is yes, please do not hesitate to request a fee waiver. You will not need to submit supporting documentation, unless specifically asked to do so. Please read more about the guidelines that Yale has historically used to determine if students qualify for fee waivers on our Fee Waiver page. The fee waiver qualification scale is based on family size and income in US dollars, but is applicable to all international students as well as US residents.

Secondary School Report including Transcript and Counselor Recommendation

All international applicants must submit a complete Secondary School Report. That form gives Yale vital information about your studies and academic performance over the past four years. The form should include all grades you have received as well as predicted grades if applicable. Part of the form must be filled out by your secondary school counselor. If you do not have a counselor, you may ask a tutor, house master, principal, academic advisor, or other comparable school official to complete the form and recommendation.

GPA and School Rank

The Common Application Secondary School Report form has designated spaces for your GPA (Grade Point Average) and class rank. If you do not have a GPA or a rank, leave that space blank. You may report your GPA on any scale (4.0, 5.0, 12.0, 18.0, 100, etc.)

Mid-Year Report

Yale only requires applicants to submit this form if they receive new grades in the middle of the school year (by February 1). If you have already finished high school, you do not need to submit this form. If you do not receive new grades by February 1, you do not need to submit this form. Many international students do not need to send us this form.

Final Report

Yale only requires this form from students it admits. The form provides us with your final school grades and examination marks when you finish high school.

Teacher Evaluations

Your application must include recommendations from two of your teachers. Your recommendations should come from recent teachers in academic subjects. As with all documents, if the teacher evaluations are not written in English, you must provide us with an official English translation.

Standardized Testing Requirements: SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE

All applicants for freshman admission should submit either the SAT Reasoning Test and two SAT Subject Tests, or the ACT Plus Writing. For more information on Yale’s standardized test policy and our policy on Score Choice, please visit our Standardized Testing page. Yale understands that standardized tests are just one component of an application to Yale. We will look at your test scores within the context of your entire file.

There is no minimum score required for admission, nor is there a score that will guarantee admission. Average test score ranges (twenty-fifth to seventy-fifth percentiles) for enrolled freshman are as follows:

  • SAT-Verbal: 700-800
  • SAT-Math: 700-780
  • SAT-Writing: 700-790
  • ACT: 30-34

You have two ways to complete Yale’s standardized testing requirement. We have no preference between these options. You may choose to take either:

  • The SAT Reasoning Test and any combination of two SAT Subject Tests

OR

  • The ACT Plus Writing

There are two exceptions:

  1. Students whose home country of schooling (for example, mainland China) do not have an SAT or ACT testing center are exempt from these testing requirements, but must take either the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE instead.
  2. Students enrolled in A-level programs may use two completed A-level results as a substitute for the two SAT Subject Tests, provided official test results arrive at Yale by February. You must still take either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Plus Writing. Predicted A-level results may not be used in place of the SAT Subject Tests.

No other substitutions are acceptable.

For more information on how to take the tests and to find testing centers, you may find the following websites helpful:

  • College Board: For information on the SAT and SAT Subject Tests.
  • ACT: For information on the ACT test.

It is important for all students — and particularly important for international students — to register for tests with the same name and same format that you use on your application. Our system will not link your record to your test scores if the names do not match. When reporting scores to Yale, please use Yale’s CEEB code: 3987 for College Board tests (SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests) or Yale’s ACT code: 0618 (for the ACT Plus Writing).    

Testing for Non-Native English Speakers:

Students at Yale must be able to express themselves fluently in spoken and written American English.  If you are not a native English speaker and you haven’t received at least two years of secondary education in an English-medium curriculum, Yale strongly recommends that you take any one of the following tests for non-native English speakers.

TOEFL

The following minimum scores are required:

  • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL
  • 250 on the computer-based TOEFL

Please note that testing done in November (for Single-Choice Early Action) and January (for Regular Decision) may not arrive in time for the committee’s consideration. Be sure to include Yale’s CEEB code (No. 3987) on all test registrations.

IELTS

You may submit the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum acceptable score is 7.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

You may submit the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum acceptable score is 70.

Interviews

Alumni interviews are conducted by the Yale Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) wherever there is a local association.  Interviews are an optional part of the application process at Yale.

If you live in a country with an active ASC, you may be contacted by a member of the committee for an interview once we have received and processed your application. Though we will offer alumni interviews when possible, we cannot offer interviews to every applicant.  There are some countries without an active ASC and in a few countries the volume of applications is such that our active ASCs are unable to interview the majority of applicants.

If you do not receive an interview offer, do not worry. It will not hurt your chances for admission and you should not take it as a signal regarding the status of your application.  If you are contacted for an interview, we encourage applicants to accept the opportunity to meet. More

Supplementary Materials

Please do not feel any pressure to submit supplementary materials. In fact, you should think carefully before submitting supplementary materials with your Yale College application. Most successful applicants submit only the items that we require. There are cases in which too many submissions, or submissions that do not reflect a high level of talent, can actually work against a candidate. Because the admissions committee gives greatest weight to the documents required of all applicants, we recommend that you focus your energy on those elements of the application.

Supplementary submissions may make sense for students with substantial and well-developed talent that cannot adequately be conveyed in the rest of the application. Due to the large number of applications that Yale College receives, we cannot evaluate all supplementary materials. Admissions officers and faculty members will be selective in choosing which submissions to review. We have considered, in past, audio recordings, musical scores, art samples, writing samples, scientific research papers, and links to personal websites. We encourage you not to submit additional letters of recommendation, resumes, or personal essays; these are less likely to shed a helpful light on your application. More

Supplementary Recommendations

If you feel the need to submit extra information, you may ask one additional recommender to write on your behalf. Please do not solicit this additional letter unless you feel it will add substantially to your application. The writer should know you well personally or have mentored you closely in some capacity.  Please ask that person to include the following at the top of their letter: your full, legal name as it appears in your application, the name and location of your high school, and your date of birth. The letter should be labeled "Supplementary" to avoid confusion.

Special Note to International Students Intending to Study Medicine

It is extremely difficult for international applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States to gain admission to U.S. medical schools. State-supported medical schools rarely consider international applicants for admission, and those private schools that do accept applications generally require that international students place in escrow an amount ranging from one to four years’ tuition and fees (USD 40,000–200,000). There are very few scholarships available for medical schools in the U.S., and to qualify for U.S. government-sponsored loans, the applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident. International applicants who are considering a career as a medical doctor and hope to receive their education at an American medical school should think carefully before applying for admission to an undergraduate program in the United States.

Financial Aid for International Students

Yale’s financial aid policies for foreign citizens are similar to those for U.S. citizens: need-blind admissions and need-based aid. “Need-blind” means that Yale College admits students on the basis of academic and personal promise, without regard to their ability to pay. “Need-based” means that financial aid packages are based on individual needs assessments, not based on merit (academic, athletic or otherwise). International students are evaluated using a needs analysis that takes into account the relative differences between the US economy and the economy of students’ home countries.

You can find international financial aid forms on the Financial Aid website. If you have any questions or if your family has special circumstances or expenses, we encourage you to contact Student Financial Services to help us understand your financial situation more completely.

A Note About Yale Events

All events held in collaboration with the Admissions Office are posted on our Events page.  If an event is not posted there, the admissions office is not directly involved and use of the Yale name or logo does not necessarily constitute support for the program. Please sign-up on our mailing list if you would like to receive information about future official Yale events.

 

Class Outside

Some classes meet outdoors when the weather is beautiful.

Photograph by Michael Marsland/Yale University