Applicants to the program are strongly encouraged to have some experience with one or more of the languages relevant to their research. In order to advance to candidacy (following acceptance of the dissertation prospectus), students must be proficient in at least two languages.
Our field defines languages broadly, namely as modes of communication. Students may receive credit for this requirement not only in languages such as Spanish, Yiddish, Urdu, but also in computer programming or musicology.
The language requirement can be satisfied by (a) taking and passing a translation exam offered by the relevant department; (b) taking a Yale summer session reading course; (c) passing a translation exam set by a faculty member in Religious Studies; (d) achieving a grade of A or B in one of Yale’s intermediate language courses; (e) demonstrating proficiency in case of a non-linguistic mode of communication. Transfer credit for language work completed elsewhere is accepted on a case by case basis.