Program Details

Yale University (Astronomy)

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

primary appointments in astronomy: 12 male, 4 female
including cross-appointments: 16 male, 5 female

How many graduate students-- male/female?

14 male, 15 female

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

13 male, 10 female

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

Yes. Graduate students may take a leave of absence for parental responsibility
for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care. For many students,
short-term arrangements, rather than a full leave of absence, are possible if
desired. Eligible PhD students can apply for and will receive a Health Award
from the Graduate School to cover the cost of the Student Affiliate Coverage
Plan for the remainder of the term in which the leave is started. Additional
options are described in the Bulletin of the Graduate School.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Yes. For single students, standard health insurance is paid by the Graduate
School. For couples and families, 50% of the health insurance cost is paid by
the Graduate School. The other 50% is paid by the student. Full details about
the Yale Health Plan can be found at:

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

We have a tradition of women in science that dates back to the 19th century - one of the first PhD's given anywhere in the country was awarded by Yale in Astronomy to Margarita Palmer in the 1880s. More recently, Beatrice Tinsley was a major force in the department in the 1970s, and this tradition continues today with our current faculty, particularly Meg Urry, who has been an outspoken advocate for women in science for many years. Over the past decade, well over half of our undergraduate majors have been women, and the proportion of women in the graduate program is about 1/3. Interestingly, significant increases in both the numbers occurred in the late 1990s, when our faculty was (temporarily) all male, which indicates that the male faculty members also are supportive of female students. Our small size helps us to treat individuals individually - we do not have a mold into which we expect students to fit themselves, and we are willing to make significant accomodations for individual situations. This benefits all students, but is of particular importance to those who might not fit some perceived "norm" of what a physicist should be. Further information can be obtained from our (female) Director of Graduate Studies, Sarbani Basu.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?

Information Unavailable

Updated: November 11, 2009

Back to list of institutions