Scholars Intensive Certificate

The Fall 2023 application cycle has closed. Applications for the Scholars Intensive Certificate will reopen in Fall 2024. 

Yale students can apply to join the Education Studies Scholars Intensive Certificate in the fall of their sophomore and junior year. The Scholars Intensive is capped at a seminar size to facilitate advising and community learning, and it is ideal for students with extensive curricular, practice, and research interests in education who want to commit a substantial amount of their time at Yale towards this focus, culminating in a senior capstone. 

Each cohort of Education Studies Scholars consists of 20-25 students from majors across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences with a range of educational interests.

Community engagement, through the summer or year-long field experience, coordinated with an Education Studies mentor, Dwight Hall, or the Office of Career Strategy, offers students greater purpose, perspective, and humility in their academic studies. This field experience can take place before or after acceptance to the Scholars Intensive Certificate. 

Though the Scholars Intensive Certificate does not provide teacher certification, completion of the program is recognized on Yale transcripts. After graduation, 90% of Education Studies Scholars go into education immediately after graduation. They become preK-12 teachers in a variety of school settings; they also enter PhD programs or law school, work in think tanks, education or political consulting, educational technology, journalism, non-profits, and government, among other fields.

Following Yale guidelines about combining programs, Yale students may participate in a total of 3 academic programs including majors and certificates. 

Scholars Structure: 6 course credits, including

  • EDST 110 Foundations in Education Studies
  • EDST 261 seminar for new scholars
  • one EDST elective each in Social Contexts & Policy & Individuals and Society (see a list of courses by category) 
  • the two-semester senior capstone

Up to two courses may be counted for both Education Studies and the students’ major.  One of the two elective courses may be taken Credit/D/Fail. EDST 110, 261, and the senior capstone seminars must all be taken for a letter grade.


In Yale Education Studies courses, students learn the historical, political, economic and social contexts of US education, practice a variety of research methods, and are knowledgeable about contemporary policy debates. Each Scholar develops a course plan within the Education Studies curriculum, taking a minimum of six courses in Education Studies including Foundations in Education Studies (EDST 110) in their freshman or sophomore year and culminating in a yearlong senior capstone project where students conduct original research, design curriculum, evaluate policy, create a creative project or design an educational innovation. 


Education Studies coursework includes discussion and data analysis on current education policies. Yale summer funding enables Education Studies Scholars to participate in unpaid internships, and scholars complete one or more field experiences to gain experience through a summer or academic-year educational opportunity. Education Studies Scholars have interned at the Brookings Institution, Teach for America’s Accelerate Social Impact fellowship, the Campaign for Educational Equity, the New York State Department of Education, Washington DC Public Schools and the West Virginia Department of Education. 


Field experiences in the classroom, as observers and teachers, give students an awareness of the challenging work of teaching or creating educational interventions. Practice field experiences include working as teaching assistants and teachers, curriculum designers, tech workers and more. Students direct the New Haven U.S. Grant summer program, work in school-based legal clinics, in New Haven Public Schools as Dwight Hall Public School Interns, serve as teaching fellows around the country for Breakthrough Collaborative, intern at Khan Academy and write high school Computer Science curricula for Harvard’s free online Introductory Computer Science course. They intern at the Musée de l’Illustration Jeunesse, a museum of children’s book illustration in Moulins, France and develop curriculum at the Hmong Preparatory Charter School in St. Paul, Minnesota and the Yale Prison Education Initiative.