Visiting Researcher Program

Visiting Researchers

Each year, Yale Law School welcomes a few Visiting Researchers, who are usually faculty or fellows at other universities, to engage in non-degree research. The Visiting Researcher Program is administered by the Graduate Programs Office.  Visitors invited through this program must arrive in January or August to attend during the Yale Law School academic calendar.

Visiting Researchers may audit one or two courses per term, with the consent of individual instructors, and make use of library facilities for their work. For the 2024-2025 academic year, the registration fee is $4,000 per term or $8,000 per academic year. No financial aid is available from the Law School for participants in this program.

The application deadlines are March 15 for the fall term and September 1 for the spring term. The fall term runs from August to December; the spring term runs from January to May.

To apply to be a Visiting Researcher, applicants must submit:

  • the Visiting Researcher application form
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • a description of the applicant's proposed research
  • a statement explaining why Yale Law School is a particularly appropriate affiliation for the applicant's work
  • two confidential letters of recommendation; letters of recommendation must either be mailed directly by the letter writers to the below address, or sent to the applicant in a recommender-sealed envelope for submission by the applicant
  • official transcript(s) of the applicant's academic record
  • the proposed length and dates of the applicant's stay at Yale Law School
  • an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report, unless the applicant's native language is English, or their undergraduate education or first law degree was completed at an institution where the language of instruction is English.  (Please be sure to specify Yale Law School's institution code (3997). We require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test.)
  • $75 (USD) nonrefundable application fee (see below)

Application Fee Information

Payment by check or money order
Payment may be made by a U.S. postal money order, traveler's check, or check drawn on a bank with a U.S. branch indicated on the check. Make checks payable to Yale Law School. If the payment is mailed separately from the application documents, it should be sent to the same address as below. We cannot accept cash payments.

Payment by wire transfer
Bank of America, New York, NY
ABA Number 026009593
Credit to Yale University Account Number 0050296726

For international bank transfers, please use the SWIFT number BOFAUS3N.

The payment must be directed to the attention of Graduate Programs, Yale Law School. All bank fees are the responsibility of the applicant. Be sure that your name is referenced for proper credit. We cannot accept Western Union transfers; we also cannot accept direct deposits into our account.

Note that overpayment of application fees cannot be refunded. The application fee is nonrefundable and will not be credited to the registration fee in the event of admission. The Graduate Programs Office is not responsible for misdirected checks or transfers.

Official Transcripts

Final official transcripts may be certified electronic transcripts or traditional paper transcripts. Please include official paper transcripts as part of your document upload with your application materials. It is preferable that the documents come directly from the issuing institution or its authorized agent. All documents must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. All requirements are further described on the application form. 

Application documents (form, CV, research proposal, transcript and application statement) may be submitted by email to

Visa Sponsorship and Proof of Funding

Admitted visiting researchers who require a visa sponsorship will work with Yale University’s Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to complete the application for a J-1 visa which includes proof of financials. U.S. immigration regulations require that Yale verify and document adequate funding arrangements for all incoming scholars on J-1 visas. This includes program costs as well as living expenses for the duration of the program. Documents submitted to OISS should in all instances meet the minimum level of funding before a visa document/DS-2019 can be issued. To see the total minimum funding, click here and review the “All other J-1 appointments” calculation. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Programs Office.