Yale Daily News

Last Thursday, Yale’s graduating class of student-athletes learned that the Ivy League had granted a waiver permitting seniors to compete in their sport next season as graduate students, but with one caveat: they must have been admitted to a degree-granting graduate program.

The announcement’s timing left some athletes confused, as it came after final deadlines for graduate school applications — the latest of which was Jan. 2.

In an email to the News, Lynn Cooley, dean of Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, reiterated that the latest application deadline, Jan. 2, had already passed and that “admissions decisions are nearly complete.” She pointed the News to a page listing various accommodations for prospective students listed on the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. The website lists “global pandemic (e.g. COVID-19)” as an extreme circumstance case for flexibility in admissions. Cooley declined to comment on whether senior athletes specifically might be able to submit applications past the deadline due to the pandemic.

The website indicates that individual programs have discretion in considering applicants who wish to apply after Jan. 2.

The News interviewed directors of graduate studies from three different programs — English Language and Literature, Political Science and Statistics and Data Science — who expressed varying levels of willingness to pursue application extensions for athletes who wished to apply to graduate school at Yale after hearing of the exception.

Both DGS for Political Science Alexandre Debs and DGS for English Language and Literature Catherine Nicholson told the News that deadlines for their programs have passed. Debs said he was not aware of the new Ivy League eligibility exception for 2021-22.

“My guess is that this decision would really only be meaningful for students who have already applied and who get accepted in the usual way,” Nicholson said. 

However, Co-DGS for Statistics and Data Science John Emerson wrote in an email to the News that, while no students have yet asked him to extend the deadline, he “would certainly be willing to consider it,” especially for their MA/MS program “that might be suitable for some students.”

Yale’s Associate Athletic Director of Compliance Jason Strong, who originally notified senior athletes of the Ivy League waiver in an email last Thursday, told the News that Yale Athletics will assist seniors with the necessary waivers for utilizing their eligibility.

However, Strong noted that the graduate admissions process is “under the purview of each graduate school.” Furthermore, students wanting to pursue this option are “responsible for their own application and admissions process.”

According to the Graduate School’s accommodations page, students who are interested in applying to graduate school after the Jan. 2 deadline should contact the DGS and registrar of the program in which they are interested. The DGS and registrar would then need to contact the Graduate School if they want to consider the request.

Most students who are accepted into the Graduate School’s programs must accept their offers by April 15. 

Madison Hahamy | madison.hahamy@yale.edu 

James Richardson | james.richardson@yale.edu 

Madison Hahamy is a junior from Chicago, Illinois majoring in English and in Human Rights. She previously wrote for the Yale Daily News and served as Senior Editor for The New Journal.
James Richardson is a former staff reporter. He previously covered athletic administration, men's basketball and squash.