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Yale School of Drama Acceptance Rate, Application and Overview

Yale School of Drama Overview

The Yale School of Drama (also known as YSD) is a graduate vocational school from Yale University located in New Haven, Connecticut. The school was founded in 1924 under the name of Dramatic Art Department of the School of Fine Arts, the school offers training in all the disciplines of theatre: acting, design (set design, costume design, lighting design, projection design, and sound design), directing, dramaturgy and dramatic criticism, playwriting, stage management, technical design and production, and theatre management.

School Facilities

A variety of locations on the Yale University campus serve the School of Drama. The university theatre is a front stage theatre which is shared with the Undergraduate Dramatic Association and also houses the main administrative offices of the school.

The Yale Repertory Theater is located in the old building of the Calvary Baptist Church and contains an auditorium opposite a modified platform, as well as the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater box office. Other facilities include the Iseman Theater at Holcombe T. Green, the Jr. Hall, the Theater School Annex and the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library.

Yale School of Drama

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Yale School of Drama Admission Rate

Yale School of Drama offers graduate training programs in every theatrical discipline. Please visit their training pages for detailed information about each department’s program of study and admission requirements.

Admission to Yale School of Drama is only for full-time graduate study beginning in the fall term. Transfer or part-time students are not accepted.

Yale School of Drama Acceptance Rate

Admission to the Yale School of Drama is highly competitive. According to the report from Yale Herald, the school received 1,270 applications for the class of 1999 and admitted 68 applicants for an acceptance rate of 5.4%.

Yale School of Drama Application

Application Deadlines

Applications for admission must be received by the following dates:

  • December 1, 2020: Directing, Playwriting
  • January 2, 2021: Acting, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism
  • February 1, 2021: Design, Sound Design, Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, Theater Management, Technical Internship Certificate and Special Research Fellow
  • March 15, 2021: Financial Aid applications for U.S. citizens and international applicants.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test

  • Must be taken by December 31, 2020 by applicants to Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism
  • School code: 3988

NOTE: The GRE is no longer required for the following departments: Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, and Theater Management. The GRE will not be considered if submitted as part of the Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, or Theater Management application.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Must be taken by December 31, 2020 by applicants to programs with December 2019 or January 2020 application deadlines
  • Must be taken by January 15, 2021 by applicants to programs with February 2021 application deadline
  • Required of an applicant whose first language is not English
  • IELTS scores are NOT accepted
  • School code: 3988

Application Fees

  • $110 – All departments; 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.

Yale School of Drama Courses

The School of Drama offers a Master of Fine Arts in acting, design, sound design, directing, dramaturgy and dramatic criticism, playwriting, stage management, technical design and production, and theatre management.

Students must hold an undergraduate degree and complete their program of study with distinction, which requires three years in residence. The school also offers a Doctor of Fine Arts to students who hold an M.F.A. degree in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism and have written a dissertation approved by the D.F.A. committee.

Yale School of Drama Tuition and General Expenses

The tuition fee for 2019–2020 is $32,800.* Yale School of Drama Tuition covers less than 30 per cent of the University’s costs for training, and most expenses of the School are underwritten by philanthropy.
A reasonable estimate of costs to be incurred by a student attending Yale School of Drama and living off-campus in the 2019–2020 academic year is between $50,480 and $52,855. It includes:

Books and supplies (estimated)**$300-$2,675
Estimated living expenses (includes Yale Health hospitalization fee)$17,380

*Tuition for Special Students is $32,800. Tuition for Technical Interns and for Special Research Fellows is $16,400. Tuition for D.F.A. candidates in residence is $1,000.

All students enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program receive Yale Health Basic Coverage services free of charge. They are also automatically enrolled and billed for hospital/speciality coverage from Yale Health. Students may waive Yale Health’s hospital/speciality coverage due to evidence that they have valid and sufficient alternative hospital coverage.

The estimate of living expenses is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics moderate budget standard for this area. The Yale School of Drama also reviews actual budgets each year to verify that the current spending budget is reasonable. Actual costs may vary from individual to individual. Spending has increased steadily in recent years, and it is safe to assume that tuition and living expenses for the 2020-2021 academic year will be higher.

Yale School of Drama Financial Aid

Yale School of Drama’s financial aid policy has been designed to ensure that, within the School of Drama’s resources, all qualified students with demonstrated financial need will have the opportunity to attend Yale.* Each year, the School awards a substantial amount of financial aid, totalling more than $7 million in 2019–2020.

Financial aid at the School of Drama is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Financial need is calculated as the difference between the cost of attendance and assessed student and parental contributions. The financial aid award consists of a combination of work-study employment, educational loan, tuition scholarship, and living expense scholarships.

As of 2019, the average student with demonstrated high financial need receives from the School work-study employment, scholarship grants, and living expense scholarships, providing 90 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated moderate financial need receives from the School work-study employment and scholarship grants, providing 71 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated low financial need receives work-study employment and scholarship grants, providing 51 percent of the cost of attendance over three years.

Students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid may be able to receive assistance through work-study employment and various supplemental loan programs.

*All information in this section is typical of the 2019–2020 academic year. It may differ from year to year depending on changes in federal regulations, the cost of living, and available financial resources. Applicants offered admission are typically notified of their financial aid award at the time of their acceptance if they have met the financial aid application deadline of March 15 (for all programs). 

Who are some of the notable people who graduated from Yale School of drama

  • Sorrell Booke
  • David Clennon
  • Jeff Donnell
  • Willie Garson
  • Warren Keith
  • C. S. Lee
  • Richard Masur
  • Edward Cornell
  • Wendy Wasserstein

This is to mention but just a few. Yale school of drama has a good number of notable Alumni

How much is Yale drama school?

Yale drama school has a tuition fee of $32,800 for both normal and special students.

But paying your tuition fee is not the only expense you will have to make. If you want to know more about how much Yale school of drama is, then read the Yale School of Drama Tuition and General Expenses.

If you can’t afford the tuition and general expenses, then you can seek financial aid.

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Yale School of Drama 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 School of Drama.  Applicants seeking undergraduate studies should visit Yale College admissions at


Application for admission to Yale School of Drama is an online process (there is no paper application). You may create an account and access the online application by visiting: Applications open annually on September 1.


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


Decisions are made by early April. Each department 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.


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

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