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Yale School of Drama Eliminates the GRE Test Requirement

Stage Directions • Industry News • November 19, 2019

Yale School of Drama’s Departments of Stage Management, Technical Design & Production, and Theater Management have all eliminated the GRE requirement for prospective applicants, effective immediately for the class admitted for Fall 2020 enrollment. Also, the December 6, 2019 Visitor Day will be livestreamed for prospective students to increase accessibility to as many potential applicants as possible. Here’s a welcome video from the Deans of Yale School of Drama:

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Each department’s chair cited similar reasons for eliminating the test as a requirement of their individual application processes. James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama, noted: “It has become clear that the GRE is not only an unreliable indicator of potential success in these disciplines of our artform, but also an unnecessary barrier for potential candidates who decide not to apply to Yale School of Drama. We are confident that the School will be a more effective and inclusive conservatory to the extent that we can reduce unconscious bias, unhelpful stressors, and burdensome costs in our application processes. As we dedicate ourselves to advancing leaders who will raise the standards of global theater practice, we see this change as an opportunity to improve our own work.”

Narda E. Alcorn, who was appointed Chair of Stage Management earlier this year, said, “I want to mark the beginning of my tenure by actively promoting inclusion. By removing the GRE requirement, which may be a financial burden, shows little correlation to success in graduate school, and is a deterrent to underrepresented groups, I hope to reinforce the School of Drama’s holistic approach to admissions.”

Shaminda Amarakoon, Chair of Technical Design & Production, added, “in recent years, we have heard from more and more prospective candidates that the exam was the only reason they didn’t apply to our program, due to either the cost of the exam or fears of their test-taking abilities. To support our effort to bring those candidates who could best be served by our training, we chose to eliminate this barrier. Included in this decision was also the elimination of the SAT and ACT requirement for our technical intern program.”

“We believe that some qualified people who would have been good candidates for the program have refrained from applying because of the GRE requirement, so we expect that this change will expand and deepen our applicant pool,” said Joan Channick, Chair of Theater Management. “This decision doesn’t mean that we are uninterested in assessing applicants’ verbal, analytical, and quantitative abilities. However, we believe that there are other and better ways to do so, particularly since we seek candidates with significant post-college professional experience.”

In a further effort to increase accessibility to as many potential applicants as possible, Yale School of Drama will livestream portions of the upcoming Visitor Day in New Haven on Friday, December 6, 12:30–3PM. Those potential applicants who cannot attend in person will have the opportunity to view the Dean’s welcome as well as sessions about the School’s financial aid policies, student life, and student-led affinity groups. Livestream visitors will be able to use the online platform to ask questions in real time. Registration for the livestream will be required and can be made by email at

Further information from the Yale School of Drama:

Yale School of Drama



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