Your relationship with your advisor is one of the most important relationships of your graduate education, and potentially of your academic career. You should start thinking now about what you want your relationship with your advisor to look like, and how you can achieve that. Keep in mind that different disciplines and people will need and want different mentorship relationships. Try and have a conversation with your advisor reasonably early on during your time at Yale, to get a feeling for their style and establish expectations about things like how often you will meet, and how often you will provide updates on your progress to them. If you have any issues with your student-advisor relationship, Yale has a number of resources available to provide advice and support.

Activities with a Faculty Mentor 

After identifying potential faculty advisors, consider participating in one of the following programs, designed to give grad students opportunities to spend time with, and learn from, faculty mentors.

Meals for Mentoring

GSAS will provide meal tickets for use for a full meal with a faculty member at several campus dining locations. Students and faculty can both request two dining cards in this program per term. More information, including eligible locations and how to obtain M4M cards, can be found here on the GSAS website.


The FEAST Program allows teaching fellows and course supervisors to meet over lunch to discuss teaching issues once a month. More information, including eligible locations and how to request meals, can be found here on the GSAS website. 

Additional Mentoring Opportunities

Not all mentoring in graduate school needs to come from your adviser, and each student has unique mentorship needs. These needs can be met by faculty within and outside your department, administrators in GSAS and its associated offices, postdocs, and fellow graduate students. Think about what mentorship needs you may have for your studies, your career, and your personal development, and seek out the right people to support your growth at Yale. The following programs provide alternative sources of mentorship to graduate students.

4-Tiered Mentoring Program

This program, run by the OGSDD, provides an opportunity for graduate students to receive mentorship from advanced graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members, and form bonds with other people in their field. In addition, the programme allows graduate students to become mentors for undergraduates and fellow graduate students. More information on the program can be found here on the OGSDD website.

Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative

The Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative (GUMI) aims to connect graduate and professional students (as well as post docs) with undergraduate as mentors of shared career goals/interests. Yale post-docs, or graduate/professional students of any course of study interested in advising Yale undergraduates through their academic journey may submit a mentor listing through which they are expected to keep updated (including their availability, field of study, and graduation year, if applicable). Interested undergraduates will reach out to mentors through the contact information in their listing, and mentors may (and should) indicate unavailability through an update to their listing after they have taken on mentees. While the specifics of mentorship relationships are at the liberty of mentor/mentees to decide, guidelines can be found in the GUMI Code of Conduct. Become a mentor here!

Women in Science at Yale Mentoring Program

The Women in Scient at Yale (WISAY) Mentoring Program matches women in science and engineering with women at more advanced stages of their career to receive advising, mentorship, and support. Graduate students can receive mentorship from a postdoc, mentor an undergraduate, or both. More information can be found here on the WISAY website. 

Residential College Graduate Affiliate Program

The Graduate Affiliate (GA) program pairs eligible graduate and professional students with one of the undergraduate Residential Colleges. GAs are granted swipe access to the residential college’s common spaces as well as a limited number of weekly meals. In exchange, GAs plan various types of social and academic activities for the College’s undergraduates, and are invited to participate in other facets of life in the college as well.

Yale’s BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC) Mentoring Program

YBDIC matches current Yale graduate student volunteers with minority recruits in order to share insight about the recruitment process, Yale, and New Haven, and to improve student minority yield and retention into the biological sciences at Yale. 

Cientifico Latino’s Mentoring Program

Cientifico Latino matches current graduate student volunteers with undergraduates interested in pursuing PhDs in science.