Gametogenesis requires the successful coordination of two key processes, meiotic nuclear division and gamete morphogenesis. A central regulatory step in progression through gametogenesis occurs at the pachytene stage of meiotic prophase. We find that Ndt80 functions at pachytene of yeast gametogenesis (sporulation) to activate transcription of a set of genes required for both meiotic division (e.g., B-type cyclins) and gamete formation (e.g., SPS1). Ectopic synthesis of Ndt80 in vegetative cells induces transcription of these genes, and recombinant Ndt80 protein binds to a conserved sequence in their upstream region. Transcription of NDT80 itself is dependent on Ime1, which activates expression of early sporulation genes. Transcription of the Ndt80-regulated gene CLB1 is mediated by the checkpoint gene RAD17. Thus Ndt80 is a pivotal component of a transcriptional cascade programming yeast gametogenesis and may also be a target of meiotic checkpoint control.