Visiting Assistants in Research

Students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program at another university and who wish to pursue full time dissertation research at Yale may be admitted as a Visiting Assistant in Research (VAR). VARs may not enroll in classes at Yale and are limited to a maximum of two years of study.

Applicants have to identify a faculty member affiliated with one of the councils or programs at the MacMillan Center who agrees to supervise/mentor them while at Yale. For the comprehensive list of faculty affiliates, please visit

VAR’s with the MacMillan Center must be approved by the MacMillan Center and admitted by the Graduate School via a web-based application process.  Please review carefully the website.

Important Information:

  • Dates: Your period of study at Yale is flexible and should be discussed with your Yale advisor prior to submitting your application. Your start date should always begin on first of the month. If the first falls on a weekend or holiday, your enrollment will begin the next business day. Tuition is charged for any portion of a month, at a rate of $425 per month (as of 2022, subject to change). 
  • Lead time for application: Domestic/US applicants must submit no later than thirty (30) days prior to the proposed starting date. International applicants must submit no later than ninety days (90) prior to your proposed starting date. 
  • Funding: International applicants must also provide: Proof of sufficient funding to cover living expense and tuition costs while at Yale and proof of English Language proficiency. Yale will sponsor accepted international students for J-1 visa status. To be eligible for a J-1 student visa, 50% of the student’s financial support toward tuition $450 per month (as of 2022, subject to change) and living expenses of $3,309 per month (as of 2024, subject to change) must be from an external (non-personal, non-family) scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship.
  • Health Insurance:  During the appointment at Yale students are required to have health insurance.  International students must purchase coverage to apply for a visa. For options, see the OISS website.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency: Every VAR applicant whose native language is NOT English and who did not graduate, at the baccalaureate degree level, from an institution where English was the primary language of instruction will have to provide recent TOEFL/IELTS scores. If those are not available, then their Faculty Advisor will be asked to attest to your English language proficiency when they complete the letter of recommendation form on your behalf. No separate form or letter is necessary.

You should start application only after you receive “green light” from the MacMillan Center. For any questions regarding affiliation with the MacMillan Center, please reach out to">Julia Muravnik, Assistant Director for Fellowships and Exchanges.

Application Steps: 

  •  Create an account and select Application Type (Non-Degree Visiting Assistant in Research (VAR). 
  • Submit the online application on the website.  Make sure to choose the appropriate department (or program) at the MacMillan Center to be affiliated with.  The MacMillan Center and Graduate School will review the application to ensure it fulfills all requirements. 
  • A formal offer letter will be mailed to you from the Graduate School registrar’s office. Please make sure to fill out the acceptance form right away. 
  • If you require a US visa, once the acceptance letter is sent by the Graduate School, you will be contacted by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) with information and procedures on how to apply for the necessary visa. 

Once you arrive in New Haven:

  • Office Space:  Due to office space shortage campus-wide, the MacMillan Center cannot provide you with an office, personal computer, or phone.  You will have a Yale email address, NetId, and University ID and access to libraries and study spaces and pay-as-you-go printing and copying facilities available to students across the Yale campus. 
  • Housing:   You will be responsible for finding and paying for your own housing and other living arrangements.  Below is information on how to go about looking for housing.  

A good campus map is available at: MacMillan Center is located at 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511.

Long term Housing options:

  • Yale Off-Campus Housing website Yale maintains an off-campus housing website, allowing you to search for housing by neighborhood. New Haven’s Science Hill or East Rock areas are close to campus. If you plan to have a car during your stay and/or do not mind commuting by train or bus, you may broaden your search to include towns such as Hamden, Branford, Milford, or other nearby towns. 
  • Airbnb:
  • Vrbo:
  • Craig’s List: . Search under the Housing heading and check the sublets/temporary tab.

Upper-end apartments for longer-term stays. Some of these accommodations provide furnished units:

Short-term stay:

Both provide furnished guest rooms, some with private baths and some shared. These do not include full kitchen facilities but do provide shared kitchenettes, an in-room microwave, and a small fridge.

  • Alston House Bed and Breakfast, 59 Alston Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515. 3-4 miles from campus. Not on the Yale Shuttle line. For information, call Jane Snaider at 203-397-1276 or email