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Welcome to your First Year at Brandeis University!


Your first year at a liberal arts university is a chance to explore exciting new things and to delve deeper into subjects in which you already held an in interest in high school.  Many of you will enter Brandeis without a definite sense of academic direction, while others of you are embarking on the first big step of a life long goal of going on to medical school, law school or to beginning a career you've imagined having since childhood.  Either way, we feel that this unique time in your life presents an amazing opportunity not to be missed.  When else in life will you have a chance to study ancient Hittite, the role of chemistry in protecting our environment or global hip hop?  We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and enter Brandeis with a spirit of excitment and exploration.

As a first year student, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Try not to worry about university requirements.  You will need to complete a UWS this year, but you do not need to fulfill the rest of your university requirements until you graduate. Explore different areas that might be new for you.
  • Some majors have a more defined curriculum than other majors.  Students interested in studying biology, chemistry, computer science, music, or physics should make sure they are taking the appropriate introductory courses for their majors by checking with their faculty/staff mentor.  For other majors, you have more flexibility in which classes you take when.
  • Don't be afraid to change your mind.  There is nothing wrong with discovering that a subject you once loved in high school no longer interests you in college; or a subject that you once disliked now intrigues you.
  • Make connections.  As a first year student, you should have not only your academic classes but at least one extra curricular activity that interests you.   If you enjoyed dance, think about participating in Adagio.  If you are passionate about the environment, join Students for Environmental Action. If you love to sing, try out for an A Capella group. Brandeis has over 250 student clubs, so find your passion.
  • Ask questions and use resources.  Meet with your professors, visit your class advisors, attend a BUGS study session, talk to your Roosevelt Fellow and your Community Advisor. We are all here to make your first year of Brandeis interesting and enjoyable.

We wish you much success this year!

Office of Academic Services
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