Who can apply to the program?

This is a national program open to students at any accredited college or university. The program is intended for undergraduates currently enrolled in college or university. To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, permanent resident, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA/DREAMers). International students are ineligible. All scholars must complete any remote components of the summer programming from the United States of America (including territories). International participation during the 9-week summer internship is not possible at this time but can be flexible for pre and post-program events. 

Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups, including first-generation college students, veterans, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or economically disadvantaged individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates of any identity and background are welcome to apply. 

Can Seniors graduating in December 2023 or May 2024 apply?

Yes, graduating seniors can apply to the program. 

If I did not have the opportunity to finish or attend high school, and instead have a GED, am I eligible to apply?

Yes, individuals with a GED absolutely can apply. For the name of the high school, put the state’s Department of Education, and enter the location you earned the GED. Follow this link to convert your test score to GPA: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/wp-content/uploads/GED_Conversion_GPA.pdf

Is there a grade point average (G.P.A.) requirement?

Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

Is the program in-person or remote? 

The program is hybrid. Most scholars will be in-person at internship sites throughout Southern New England and New York. Scholars are typically required to relocate for the summer. Many organizations are moving to hybrid work schedules, but some field-based internships will be entirely in-person. Fully remote internships are possible on a case-by-case basis but are not common. 

Can I choose my internship placement?

Accepted scholars receive a catalog of all internship projects available for the summer. The catalog will include details on the work schedule (in-person or hybrid) and location as well as a description of the work to be completed. Scholars rank their top choices. YCS-ELI staff will match the scholar with a host site from their list. 

I have not taken many science courses, but I am interested in the environment/conservation and am considering this as a career or for graduate school. Should I still apply?

Yes! We do hope that students have a basic understanding of ecological principles. This could come from the classroom, volunteer, or personal learning experiences. We are looking for students who are motivated to dive into research and investigate issues in conservation. At YCS-ELI, we explore connections between conservation and social justice, so any coursework that will allow you to contribute to such discussions positively is beneficial.

Do I need to have field (outdoor) experience to be accepted?

You do not need to have had extensive or direct time in the field; we hope to provide you with and prepare you for those experiences throughout the program. We expect applicants to be comfortable being outdoors in varying weather conditions and are excited about exploring the outdoors.

Are scholars allowed to take classes over the summer?

No. YCS-ELI is an intensive nine-week program with occasional mandatory evening and weekend activities. We expect scholars’ full-time commitment to the program. Scholars do not get academic credit for activities at Yale University nor at their home institutions.


Are scholars allowed to participate remotely from another country?

No, all scholars must participate from the United States. 

How long is the program?

YCS-ELI is a nine-week summer internship commitment with enrichment activities throughout the academic year. Each year, scholars participate remotely in the program during the spring for orientation. Scholars will live in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island during the summer, depending on their internship location. Scholars participate in program activities remotely through webinars or at conferences. YCS-ELI scholars are offered the opportunity to complete a second year with the program, but it is not required.

What do I need to bring with me? I don’t have any camping or hiking gear.

Upon acceptance, you will receive a detailed packing list to ensure you will be comfortable and prepared. During orientation, we will provide an opportunity for you to acquire items you might still need. There is no need for specialized camping equipment.

I understand that the program pays a stipend, but what are the costs that the students are directly responsible for?

YCS-ELI pays a stipend and discretionary funds of approximately $5,800 each year. In addition, the program provides up to a $1,500 supplement to cover the cost of travel, housing, and food. A discretionary fund of about $300 will be provided. Scholars will be responsible for ground transportation to and from their home airport, luggage fees, as well as the cost of incidentals, including toiletries, snacks, souvenirs, and other personal purchases. 

Does the program provide housing?

We provide a housing, food, and travel supplement of up to $1,500. Housing arrangements will be made independently. However, program staff are able to help you find housing and roommates. 

What are the important program dates?

2023 Program Dates

Two virtual orientation days in April dates to be determined 

Tuesday, May 30–  Friday, July 28, 2023

2023 Application Dates

Application Opens October 20, 2022

Application Closes January 10, 2023, 11:59 pm Eastern Time*

*Extended to Monday, January 16, 11:59 pm EST

My semester ends after the start of the program can I still apply?

Accepted students are expected to attend all program dates. Program start dates are not flexible.

Who can I talk to for more information?

You may contact us at ycs-eli@yale.edu

Do you know of any research opportunities for graduate students or recent grads?

If you are a graduate student interested in the environmental field, please look into these other programs: the Environmental Fellows Program.

Can I get academic credit for participating in YCS-ELI?

No, program participants cannot get academic credit for YCS-ELI activities.

Can I have a job while I am in the YCS-ELI Program?

The Yale Conservation Scholars is a full-time engagement. Participants are strongly discouraged from having other jobs during the program.

Is this the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP)?

Not anymore. We have rebranded with a new name and different support. Dr. Dorceta Taylor was the program director for DDCSP at the University of Michigan. The program was with Yale School of the Environment for one year while the last cohort finished their internships. In 2021, Dr. Taylor launched the Yale Conservation Scholars - Early Leadership Initiative, which is not tied to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program or the Doris Duke Foundation. 

I am an organization interested in hosting a scholar or donating to the program. How can I move forward?

Please email us at ycs-eli@yale.edu, and our program managers will assist you. You can also donate by navigating to the JEDSI website and selecting “support JEDSI” to link to our donation page. You can specify funds for YCS-ELI in the comments section