It’s the final countdown…

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Admissions, Yale Divinity School, Yale School of Music

…of Admissions season, that is!  With just a few weeks left before the February 1st divinity application deadline, a holiday break right around the corner, and finals in full swing on campus, things are definitely busy around the ISM!  Many of you may be in the midst of applying to one or more graduate programs, each with their own specific (and often complicated!) requirements.  Instead of contributing to this often hectic and stressful process, we here at the ISM want to make life a little easier for you, with a quick at-a-glance checklist of everything you should have on hand for your applications to the ISM and YDS*:


  1. Submit your completed online application, and its accompanying $50 application fee (nonrefundable).  Those who submit applications to both Yale Divinity School and the ISM (highly recommended!) will only need to submit one application fee.
  2. Mail in your official transcripts from each college or university you have attended, each in a sealed envelope, from the registrar or designated school records official.
  3. Compose personal statement not to exceed 700 words explaining reasons for your interest in theological study at the Institute and the Divinity School. Include your preparation for or interest in the academic programs in liturgical studies, in religion and the arts, or in preaching, and/or interest in and preparation for the ministry in common formation with musicians.
  4. Submit a writing sample of 5–6 pages representing the best of your academic writing and thinking. A portion of a senior thesis or term paper is acceptable.  For candidates applying to the MAR visual arts concentration, you may submit portfolio work in addition to your writing samples.
  5. Include three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should address your academic potential.
  6. Scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if English is not your first language (see required exams). TOEFL scores will not be accepted.
  7. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (optional; recommended for applicants to the M.A.R. concentrations and/or those considering an eventual Ph.D.).
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.  Good luck!

*A note of clarification:  Many applicants to the Divinity programs at the ISM choose to submit two separate, parallel applications: one to the Institute of Sacred Music and one to Yale Divinity School. Because the ISM cohort of divinity students is comparatively smaller than that of YDS, submitting two applications may increase your chances of being admitted.  However, you do not need to submit two application fees; simply contact the ISM Admissions office, and our staff will ensure that the ISM application fee is waived. 

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