Admissions

Please contact the Admissions Office with any specific questions you may have as you complete your application. (dgsd.admissions@yale.edu or 203.432.1507)

University Theatre, 222 York St

Frequently Asked Questions

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale is a graduate professional conservatory offering advanced training in every theatrical discipline of the art form. High school seniors are not eligible to apply for admission to the Geffen School of Drama. Applicants seeking undergraduate studies should visit Yale College admissions at www.yale.edu/admissions.

Applications for admission must be received by the following dates at 11:59pm E.S.T.:

  • November 24, 2021: Playwriting
  • December 1, 2021: Directing
  • January 3, 2022: Acting, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism
  • February 1, 2022: Design, Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, Theater Management, Technical Internship Certificate and Special Research Fellow
  • February 15, 2022: Financial Aid applications for U.S. citizens and international applicants.  Please refer to Financial Aid Policy and Procedures.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test

NOTE: The David Geffen School of Drama has eliminated the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement for prospective applicants. The GRE test will not be considered.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Must be taken by January 15, 2022 by applicants to all programs
  • Required of an applicant whose first language is not English
  • IELTS scores are NOT accepted
  • School code: 3988

Application for admission to David Geffen School of Drama is an online process (there is no paper application). You may create an account and access the online application by visiting: apply.drama.yale.edu. Applications open on October 4.

You may enter and exit as often as you need in order to complete your application. When you are ready to submit your completed application, you will be prompted to pay the application fee with a credit card.

You may submit your application before your recommenders submit their letters of recommendation.  You will NOT receive an error message.

After submitting your application, you may print a PDF copy for your records.

  • $110 - All programs; Special Student status; Special Research Fellow
  • $50 - Technical Internship Certificate

The nonrefundable application fee can be paid online by Master Card, Visa, American Express, or Discover.

To request a financial need based application fee waiver please download a Request for Application Fee Waiver form.  All fee waiver applications must be completed, signed/notarized and original copy received by the Admissions Office ten (10) business days prior to your program deadline.  We will do our best to review and respond to your fee waiver application within a week of receiving it.

Yes, please complete this online form to request updates on application deadlines, open house events, or School of Drama productions.

An application can be made to only one program for fall admission.

Application Files are retained by Admissions office:

Acting program – three years; all other programs – two years

Previously submitted application including supporting documents (i.e., recommendation letters, transcripts, etc.) become part of your 2022 application.

Reapplicants may import prior recommendations to their 2022 application.

All Reapplicants Submit: online application for 2022; application fee, current resumé, transcript if different from prior year; one (1) new letter of recommendation. Statement of Purpose may be amended.

Acting program reapplicants need to present two (2) new audition monologues.

Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism program reapplicants: one (1) new writing sample.

Playwriting program reapplicants: one (1) new play.

Please provide a statement of purpose with 12 point font; 1.5 or double-line spacing; and 1-inch margins.

APPLICANTS TO MOST DEPARTMENTS: Please provide a statement of purpose that does not exceed three (3) pages (not more than 1,000 words). You may address why you are pursuing a life in the theater, why you wish to attend David Geffen School of Drama, your current training and skills, or what this program of study offers in terms of developing your artistry and craft.

APPLICANTS TO DRAMATURGY AND DRAMATIC CRITICISM ONLY: A personal statement of purpose of not more than 1,000 words. Please tell us what your professional goals are and why you are applying to this program (as opposed to other disciplines and degrees). How have your experiences in the field led you to consider an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism? You should also identify your particular areas of interest in contemporary theater and critical influences on your work to date.

APPLICANTS TO TECHNICAL DESIGN & PRODUCTION AND TECHNICAL INTERNSHIP ONLY: In one (1) page, the statement of purpose should describe your career goals and how David Geffen School of Drama and the Technical Design and Production department can help you to achieve them.

Once an acting applicant submits an application and pays the application fee, the application should review their application status page. On the Application Status page go to the “Forms” section and click the hyperlink "Acting Audition Location Selection." This is the web form to self-schedule an acting audition in Chicago, New Haven, or San Francisco. Follow the additional system prompts to select date and time. The Admissions Office emails a confirmation of audition city, date and time to each scheduled acting applicant as the audition dates approach.

Geffen School of Drama is not a member of U/RTA. The Committee does not audition in New York City.

The online self-scheduling feature is closed at least five days before the actual audition dates in each city. Acting applicants who need to reschedule after the close must contact the Admissions Office at dgsd.admissions@yale.edu to inquire about the possibility of rescheduling your audition slot. Please refer to Acting FAQ's for additional information.

Visit our Acting: Frequently Asked Questions page for all FAQs related to the Acting program.

Applicants to projection and set design should contact the Design program directly at203.432.1579 or kate.begley@yale.edu to self-schedule an in person portfolio review with the faculty.  The application must be complete at the time of the interview.  Interviews are scheduled only at the Geffen School of Drama in January, February, and March.

Applicants to the costume, lighting, projection, set, and sound design programs submit a digital portfolio through the online application.

A set design applicant who has scheduled an in-person review in New Haven must bring their portfolio to their self-scheduled interview.

Please refer to the Application Requirements page for instructions on preparing your design portfolio.

You must create an online application account.  First, you must enter basic biographical information as well as your department of proposed study.

Select RECOMMENDATION  from the navigational bar on your left.  Select ADD Recommender.

Enter your recommender's information including his/her own email address and indicate: To be submitted electronically, by the recommender.

If your recommender is absolutely unable to submit a letter electronically, you may print the recommendation form to be mailed.

When you identify a recommendation provider within your online application, and indicate they are submitting a recommendation online, an email is initiated from the online application system. The email is not sent by the David Geffen School of Drama Admissions Office.

If a recommender has any spam blocking or other software intended to filter out certain email, they may not even see this email. Use your recommender's institutional or corporate email address, if available. Submissions from anonymous email addresses (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) may be subject to additional review.

This is the body of the email that the online system sends directly to your recommender:

Dear [Recommender Name]:

[Your name] has requested that you write a letter of recommendation to David Geffen School of Drama at Yale on their behalf. We would greatly appreciate your appraisal of the applicant on the basis of their past performance in a professional and/or academic setting, your perception of their talent, experience, potential for a career in theatre, commitment to their craft, and how the applicant can benefit from a concentrated or intensive training program. Any other relevant information you care to include is welcome.

In an effort to make this process as easy as possible for you, we offer the ability to complete your recommendation online through our secure website. To submit your recommendation, please use the link below. This link is unique to this recommendation and should not be shared or forwarded.

Submit Recommendation: {{unique secure link}}

Thank you for time and consideration.

Your recommender receives an electronic acknowledgement through the online system. Your online application status page is updated when a recommender submits their letter.

The Admissions Committee appreciates reviewing only three letters.

Two samples of critical writing (excluding fiction, poetry, plays, and translations) about theater or drama must be submitted. The combined length of these essays should not exceed 10 pages (2,500 words.) One of the two writing samples must be a critical piece of no more than 1,000 words in length written especially for this application. The subject of this short essay can be a play, production, or theater artist — director, playwright, actor, or designer.

Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism applicants submit two critical essays digitally through the online application system. Applicants do not mail originals to the School of Drama Admissions Office.

If an applicant experiences difficulties uploading their essays, please contact Admissions Administrator (203.432.1507) or ysd.admissions@yale.edu.

Applicants to the Playwriting department submit one original full-length play or two original one acts digitally through the online application. The length of the full-length play should not exceed 100 pages. The combined total of two original one acts should not exceed 100 pages.

If an applicant experiences difficulties uploading his/her script, please contact Admissions Administrator (203.432.1507) or dgsd.admissions@yale.edu.

Please note the school requires the TOEFL iBT for applicants whose first language is not English; the IELTS is not accepted. The school code for the TOEFL iBT is: 3988. We do not have a minimum TOEFL score but we expect candidates to be fluent in English.

If you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution where English was the primary language of instruction, you do not need to take the TOEFL. Otherwise, yes, you are required to take the TOEFL. In addition, the application materials you submit must be in English, and you must demonstrate a fluent command of English during your audition and/or interview.

Once you begin the process of preparing your online application you can log on at any time to check the status of electronically submitted documents. Receipt of materials submitted by mail is posted to your online application status page. Please allow the Admissions Office ample amount of time when checking the receipt of mailed materials.

Decisions are made by early April. Each program chair contacts those who are offered admission. Letters regarding admission status are released through the online application.  The applicant receives an email announcing that an update has been made to their application.

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale does not grant admission deferments for any of the programs because of the nature of the advanced conservatory training program.