Environment School apps up 5 percent

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies saw a 5 percent increase in applicants for the 2010-’11 academic year, Director of Admissions Emly McDiarmid FES ’78 said Thursday.

The school received 669 applications, up from 635 last year, McDiarmid said. Environment School spokesman David DeFusco and McDiarmid attributed the rise — part of a steady increase in applicants over the past decade — to increased environmental awareness among the general population.

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“There is more awareness that critical environmental issues, such as climate change, require immediate attention,” Defusco said. “Young people see [the Environment School] as the place to find solutions.”

DeFusco cited the growth of the school’s faculty as another reason for the increase in applications. Since 2000, the number of resident faculty at the Environment School has grown from 29 to 44 full-time positions, he said.

McDiarmid said she does not think the increases in applicants this year and last year were not caused by the recession.

In 2009, 200 students out of the 635 who applied were admitted for an acceptance rate of 31 percent and with an eventual class size of 122, McDiarmid said. While she said the admissions committee has not yet decided how many applicants to accept this year, it aims to have about 115 to 120 students matriculate.

More women than men applied to the school this year, which McDiarmid said has been a trend over the past decade. The number of female students in each class has varied from year to year but has been as high as 65 percent, McDiarmid said.

In addition, the school has also worked to increase diversity and the presence of international students, McDiarmid said. One-third of the student population is currently international, she added.

The Environment School is not the only school of its kind that has seen an increasing number of applicants. Two peer institutions, the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, have also seen an increase in applicants over the past decade, for example, McDiarmid said, again attributing the rise to increased environmental awareness among the public.

Sondra Auerbach, the academic programs director for the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, said the number of applicants to the school has increased about 35 percent over the past several years.

A call to the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences was not returned.

The Environment School’s decisions will be mailed out to applicants in mid-March, McDiarmid said.

Correction: March 16, 2010

A graph of applicants by year to the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies incorrectly listed the year 2007 twice. In 2007, the school received 522 applications; in 2008, it received 557.

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