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Monday, July 27, 2009

Program Description

The Graduate and Professional Affiliate Program, sponsored by Yale’s residential colleges, allows graduate students to play a more active role in the larger Yale community. Currently, eleven undergraduate residential colleges are inviting graduate students to participate in college life by becoming graduate affiliates.

These positions are non-residential, that is, they do not allow grad/professional students to live in the colleges. Rather, the program facilitates interaction with undergraduates by providing affiliates with access to a particular college, a few meals a week in the college’s dining hall, and use of its facilities. In return, affiliates contribute to the social and intellectual life of the college in both casual and structured ways. Affiliates have been involved in many aspects of residential college life, from cultural and social events to photography, pottery, art and drama, poetry readings, music, language tables, science groups, and career advising. Read more about the colleges to learn about what kinds of activities affiliates might be involved in.

If selected, you will be joining a lively group of returning affiliates who were selected last spring or in previous years. As noted earlier, these G&P affiliate positions do not involve living in the colleges.

If you would like to apply for consideration as a graduate/professional affiliate of a residential college, please see How to Apply.

NOTE: Despite the similar name, we are a separate program from The Graduate Fellowship Affiliate Program, in which former fellowship winners advise Yale undergraduates.

The Graduate and Professional Affiliate program is administered by the Office of Graduate Student Life at the McDougal Center, and the Council of Masters office. The program is funded though the generous support of the Yale President’s Office, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Yale Council of Masters, and the Yale residential colleges. Please refer any questions to gradaffiliateprogram@gmail.com.

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How to Apply- & Application Form Link

Each year, we accept applications in two rounds, one in mid-spring for continuing students, and another in the early fall for incoming, first-year grad/professional students. Applicants must be full-time graduate or professional students at Yale when the position begins. Only students in degree programs are eligible for this affiliate program. Visiting students and scholars are not eligible. The number of positions is limited. In recent years, about one third of our applicants have become graduate affiliates.

FALL (Incoming students):
All full-time first-year graduate and professional students are invited to apply in the Fall draft. The online application will be available beginning in the first few weeks of September of each year; completed applications are generally due in mid- or late-September. Please note that late applications will NOT be considered. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection by early October.

The dean of the graduate school will email first-year students when applications become available.

When available, the online application can be found here next fall. We recommend applicants read the FAQs before submitting an application.

SPRING (Continuing students): 

All continuing graduate and professional students are invited to apply in the Spring draft. Spring applications will be available in early or mid April; completed applications are generally 10 days - 2 weeks after the announcement of the draft. Please note that late applications will NOT be considered. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection in May.

All continuing graduate affiliates must reapply.

The dean of the graduate school will email all graduate students when applications become available.

When available, the online application can be found here.  We recommend applicants read the FAQs before submitting an application.

We sincerely look forward to your application.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a residential college?
All Yale undergraduates are randomly assigned to one of twelve residential colleges. Most students live in their college and eat their meals there, and most consider their college to be their home at Yale. All colleges have the facilities of a typical dorm (laundry, exercise and activity rooms, snack bars, etc.) as well as a selection of specialized facilities (performance and exhibition spaces; pottery, woodworking, or art studios; print-making or digital media labs) that vary by college. Each college has a Master, who is in charge of residential and social life, and a Dean, who oversees the academic lives of the students. For more information about the eleven participating colleges, click here.

Who is eligible? 
Only graduate students in degree-seeking programs. Please note that only first-year students are eligible to apply in the fall draft. All continuing students must apply in spring.

I'm a student in a joint degree program, can I qualify for the fall draft if I just began one of my joint programs but already have been a graduate student the year before? 
G&P students in joint or combined degree grad programs (MBA/MA, MD/PHD, etc) are eligible for the Fall draft ONLY in the first or entering year at Yale. Combined Yale BA/MA students in their final year/first year of graduate study at Yale are eligible for the Fall draft (5-year BA-YSPH program, for example). Seniors at Yale, who plan to continue their studies at Yale at the graduate level as part of the 5-year program or a stand-alone Yale graduate degree program, must apply in the Fall draft when they actually attain the graduate student status.

Can I be an affiliate if I wasn’t a Yale undergraduate?
Of course. The residential colleges welcome all graduate and professional students to apply.

Can I specify the college(s) where I would like to be an affiliate?
Yes. The application asks you to indicate your first and second choices. However, if your choices are unavailable, you can be considered by other colleges, if you answer "yes" to the relevant question on the form. Be sure to do your research on participating colleges, read the information on this blog and visit colleges' own websites.

What are the benefits of being a graduate affiliate?
The primary benefits of being an affiliate are getting to know the community in a residential college and becoming more involved in Yale’s undergraduate campus life. In order to facilitate this interaction, the program gives affiliates key card access to their college, allows them to use its facilities, invites them to eat two meals per week in its dining hall, and gives them opportunities to participate in its activities and trips.

Do affiliates live in the colleges?
No. Graduate affiliate positions are non-residential. Some of the colleges have, in addition to graduate affiliates, one or more resident graduate fellows who live in the college and contribute in some more involved way to college life. Those positions are not available through the applications on this website. If you are only interested in becoming resident graduate fellow, you should contact the relevant Master.

What are the responsibilities of a graduate affiliate?
The responsibilities of affiliates vary among colleges, and even within each college. Most affiliates are expected to attend some meals and activities in the college. Many are asked to organize or coordinate college events. Some take on recurring jobs, like running a wood-working studio, coordinating a performance space, offering a yoga classes, or hosting a monthly cooking clinic.

All affiliates are expected to follow a few basic rules in their interactions with the undergraduate community. Affiliates are not allowed to date, drink with, or drive undergraduates in their college.

Who will read my application?
Applications are distributed to the graduate affiliate coordinators of the participating colleges. The coordinators review the applications, and, often together with the college Master, select affiliates they think are a good match for their college. At their discretion, coordinators and college Masters may invite applicants for an interview before final selection.

What criteria are used to select graduate affiliates?
It's nearly impossible to list a set of criteria since the selections are made by different Masters and their local coordinators for a wide variety of reasons, which can change each year. Most colleges try to choose affiliates from across the disciplines. In addition, they may prefer affiliates who are interested in overseeing a facility or group in the college (pottery, darkroom, wood shop, poetry group, etc.), who propose interesting and novel activities, or who appeal for less defined reasons. Unfortunately, there are always fewer spots available than there are qualified applicants. Every year the colleges turn down dozens of talented people who would have made great affiliates.

I am already a graduate affiliate in a residential college and would like to continue next year. Do I need to fill out an application again?

Yes. The graduate affiliates who wish to continue their participation must reapply in spring. Please fill out the application form and follow directions listed on the form.

How competitive is the application process?
The application process is very competitive. The program receives 150-200 applications during each draft for 20-40 spots (the number varies greatly based on colleges' needs). To be competitive, be sure to spend some time on your application, tailor your application to the needs of the college (you can get information about each GA program here on the blog as well as on the GA programs' individual webpages, located on the colleges' websites), and try to think of how YOU can contribute to the residential life of the college (innovative events, unique expertise, experience running various spaces and facilities).

Is this program the same as the Graduate Fellowship Affiliate program?
No. That’s a separate program with a similar name. If you have been the recipient of a prestigious or competitive fellowship, you may be interested in becoming a Graduate Fellowship Affiliate.

I have another question. Whom should I contact?
If you have a question about a particular college or its program, please contact the grad-affiliate coordinator of that college, or that college's Master's office. If you have questions about the program as a whole or the application process, please email the Graduate Affiliate Program Coordinator (gradaffiliateprogram@gmail.com).

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