• The deadline for applications for Fall Semester programs is March 1st.
  • The deadline for applications for Spring Semester programs is October 15th.

What DILS is

Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) gives you the opportunity to study a language not currently taught in a Yale classroom. DILS is open to all registered Yale students (undergraduate, graduate and professional).

How DILS works

DILS is an independent language study program. While study through DILS does not provide Yale course credit, the program supports you in your language study through the following components:

  • Language Partner – DILS students work with a Language Partner, a native speaker of the target language, in one-hour sessions, twice a week. The sessions aim to develop linguistic and cultural competence through active conversation, with limited instruction and correction (language partners are not formal instructors).
  • Instructional Materials – Together with the language partner and student, DILS program staff will assist in identifying appropriate instructional materials. DILS students are responsible for the purchase of materials for independent study.
  • Consultation – Staff at the Center for Language Study are available to provide guidance and advice on learning strategies and techniques, and to direct you to study abroad opportunities and resources to support ongoing independent language study.

Contingent upon funding and provided that satisfactory progress is made, students may be supported for up to four semesters.

The DILS Experience

Participation in the DILS program requires time and dedication. As a DILS student, you must be self-motivated and willing to assume full responsibility for your learning. You will be expected to:

  • commit to a regular schedule of independent study created with your coach and Language Partner
  • attend two weekly language sessions with your Language Partner
  • participate in oral and/or written proficiency assessments (informal and formal)

Participation in the program helps you:

  • shape your academic and career goals
  • prepare for study abroad, internships and other field experiences
  • encourage rewarding intercultural and international relationships at Yale and around the world

To see the list of languages that have been studied by DILS students in the past, go to Languages Studied.

How to Apply

DILS is open to all students of Yale University. To apply you must be in good academic standing; undergraduates must have the approval of your Residential College Dean. Applications are accepted for any language level, from beginner to advanced. To learn more about the application process and eligibility criteria, read DILS Application Process.

More Information

For further information about the DILS program, please contact dils@yale.edu.