Quick Links to FAQ Sections

General Application Questions
Test Score Requirements
Letters of Recommendation 
Transcripts
Supporting Documents
Application Fee

General Application Questions

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Am I required to use an electronic application for admission?

We strongly prefer that you apply electronically. This method allows us to process your application immediately upon submission. Paper applications arrive in the mail and then must be data-entered into our system. Processing time for paper applications is significantly longer than the time needed for the processing of electronic applications.

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What are the minimum requirements for admission?
The requirements vary among programs. All candidates must submit an application form and application fee. The online application requires the candidate to include a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae/resume, and uploaded transcripts of academic work completed to date. All applicants must have obtained a Bachelor's degree or the international equivalent prior to matriculation. Additionally, the online application form will prompt the candidate to submit the names and contact information for recommenders (typically two or three), who will be sent a link to upload their letters of recommendation. Your program may also require standardized test score results, a writing sample, a portfolio, an audition, and/or an interview. Please visit your department to see specific requirements by program.
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If I tell you my test scores and grade-point average, can you tell me my chances for admission?
No, your chances for admission cannot be assessed without reviewing your entire file. Your statement of purpose and your letters of recommendation play a significant role in the application process.
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What are the minimum standardized test scores and GPA required for admission?

There are no GPA or standardized test score cutoffs. Applicants are considered holistically on the basis of a number of factors.

International students, however, must meet certain English-language requirements to be eligible for admission.

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Do I have to have an undergraduate major in the same area as the graduate program in which I wish to study?
In most cases, previous work as an undergraduate major or as a formal minor (18 credits or more) is desirable. However, a student should always check with the department of interest concerning the suitability of previous academic work as it pertains to the degree program in question.
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Must I have already earned a master's degree before applying to the PhD program?
Students may apply directly to a PhD program after completion of their baccalaureate degree. Matriculated students who have a master's degree may apply for transfer credit (of up to one year's worth of credit). The decision to accept any credit will be made after the first semester of enrollment in the Graduate School.
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May I apply to more than one program in an academic year?
No, you may only apply to one program per academic year.No, you may only apply to one program per academic year.
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How may I check on the status of my application submission?

Once you have submitted your complete application, you can check on the status of your application materials by logging into your account using the same credentials you used while applying.  Your account will provide you with a self-service portal, which will include a materials checklist.  The checklist will be updated as we receive the materials necessary to complete your application process.  In addition, you are able to upload additional documentation through the self-service portal.

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May I have a family member or friend call to ask questions about my application?

If you wish to authorize another person to inquire on your behalf about the status of your application, you must sign and submit an authorization form. The Graduate School will not release information about your application to anyone without your written consent.

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If I get supporting documents in late, will it negatively impact my application?

Be sure that you review the deadline submission date for your program of interest. It is your responsibility to apply and submit all of the required documents by the program’s deadline. If your program of interest has a rolling deadline, it is in your best interest to submit materials as early as possible, as the admission committees only review applications until the cohort is full.

Departments understand that some materials will arrive after the application deadline. 

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When will I receive an admission decision? How will I be notified of an admission decision?

Typically, applicants receive a decision approximately six to eight weeks after the program's deadline. We strive to notify applicants as soon as possible, but please note that the timeframe may vary by program. Our office cannot tell you when you will receive an admission decision. Departments are the best points of contact for this information. 

While individual programs may inform applicants that they have been recommended for admission, only decisions administered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are considered to be official. Admission letters are sent via e-mail. We are unable to release admission decisions via phone.

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What if I am unable to apply online?

Though we strongly suggest that you apply online because our electronic applications are processed more rapidly, you may apply via a paper application. The fee to apply via a paper application is $75.

Mailing Address (USPS):
Brandeis University
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
P.O. Box 9110, MS 031
Waltham, MA 02454

DHL, FedEx, UPS Address:
Brandeis University
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
415 South Street, Kutz 219
Waltham, MA 02454

Test Score Requirements

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Must I submit official standardized score reports?

You must submit official scores from the testing agencies in order for your application to be considered complete. 

You will enter your unofficial scores directly into the Test Score section of the application. You should not upload, email, or mail any copies of the score reports. The department will be able to view the scores that you have entered, until your official scores arrive. Please keep in mind that there is a delay from when you order your official scores to when they are matched with your application. Overall, this process can take up to three weeks.

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What if I have not taken the required test yet?

In the test score section of the application, there is a link to add new test scores. Simply click on the link, select the appropriate test, and then enter your future test date. This will allow you to submit the application without scores for that specific test.

When you take the test, enter the appropriate Brandeis institution code (see below) at the testing center. When the official scores arrive, we will be able to associate them with your application. In the interim, you can email us at gradschool@brandeis.edu with your unofficial scores and our office can enter them into your application. 

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How do I send official scores to GSAS? What are the institutional codes for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences?
  • 3261 for official TOEFL scores; no department code is necessary.

  • 3092 for official GRE scores; no department code is necessary.

  • 1197 for official Miller Analogy Test scores.

  • 3FD-1Z-75 for official GMAT scores.

  • PTE Academic does not have institutional codes. You will need to arrange delivery via Pearson

  • Email your TRF number to gradschool@brandeis.edu for official IELTS scores. 
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Will Brandeis accept score reports for the older version of the GRE?
No, scores from the older version of the GRE (pre-August 1, 2011) are no longer considered valid. 

Letters of Recommendation

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How many letters of recommendation do I need?

The required number of letters of recommendation varies among programs. Please visit your department to see specific requirements by program.

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How do my recommenders submit their letters to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences?

The electronic application will ask you to list the names and email addresses of your recommenders.  Once you enter their contact information on your application and press “send to recommender,” your recommender will be notified via email and directed to a secure website to upload a document to your application. Once a letter has been submitted, it will be added to your application materials and marked as received on your application checklist.  You will receive a confirmation email each time your recommender submits a letter online.

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Can a reminder be sent to me recommendations?
In most cases, you will also have the ability to request that a reminder email be sent to any of your recommenders who have not yet submitted their letters.  You may request this yourself using the link below the materials checklist in your self-service portal.
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My recommender misplaced the email with the information on submitting a letter of recommendation

In most cases, you are able to send a reminder email to your recommender through your self-service portal. Click on the “recommendations page” link and then “edit” and you have the option to send a reminder to your recommender.  

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My recommender is not receiving the emails with instructions to upload their letter. What can I do?

Please be aware that if your recommender does not see the email in their inbox, it could be due to spam-blocking software being used to filter messages.  If any of your recommenders report that they have not received the email, they may try disabling the software or looking in their spam folders.

Alternatively, you are welcome to have your recommender email their letter as a PDF or Doc attachment to gradschool@brandeis.edu. The email will need to be sent from their professional email address. Our office will then attach the letter to your application. 

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I entered the wrong email address for my recommender. What can I do?
You are welcome to have your recommender email their letter as a PDF or Doc attachment to gradschool@brandeis.edu. The email will need to be sent from their professional email address. Our office will then attach the letter to your application.
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Will you still accept hard-copy letters of recommendation?

Yes, although electronic submission is strongly preferred and the submission of hard-copy letters may delay the processing of your application. You or your recommender can submit a signed letter on official letterhead with the recommender's signature over the envelope seal to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MS 031 Brandeis University
P.O. Box 9110
Waltham, MA 02454

If you are sending your documents via a carrier who does not ship to P.O. Box addresses (many international carriers) you may use the following address:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Brandeis University
415 South Street, Kutz 219
Waltham, MA 02454

Transcripts

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Do I upload my transcripts with my application?

Yes, you are required to upload your transcripts with your application on the Educational Record page in order for your application to be considered complete. You may upload your institution’s print version or web version of your transcript. Many institutions in the United States allow students and alumni to access their grade report online; these reports are sufficient for application file review. Please note that transcripts must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation.

Please follow these guidelines when uploading your transcripts:

  1. Upload each transcript individually if you have attended more than one institution.

  2. If your transcript is double sided, please include both sides and be sure to include the transcript legend.

  3. Make sure that your upload is legible and clearly identifies the school from which the transcript originated.

  4. If the scanned file is too large, first make a photocopy (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size), then scan the photocopy.

  5. Make certain that its size is less then 2000kb (2 MB). For best results, scan at the lowest DPI in black and white or grayscale that results in a legible document.

Please note that is you upload a password protected transcript, the admissions committees will not be able to view it in the system. You will need to print it, scan it, and upload it for it to be visible.

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Does my transcript have to be in English?

Yes. All transcripts must be in English, or if you are submitting an official transcript that is not in English, you must include a certified English translation of the transcript.

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I uploaded my transcripts to my application; do I still need to mail copies to your office?

No, official copies of your transcripts are only required if you are admitted and have confirmed your intention to enroll. Transcripts mailed to our office prior to an acceptance of an offer of admission will be destroyed.

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I am having difficulty uploading my transcripts, what should I do?

Please follow these suggestions if you are having trouble uploading your transcript(s):

  1. Make sure that you are scanning your transcripts one school at a time and not all of your transcripts as one large document. The document size must be less than 2000kb (2MB).

  2. Scan at a lower DPI (try using under 300 DPI) only if the transcript is still legible.

  3. If the scanned file is still too large, try making a photocopy to adjust the size and then scan the photocopy.

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Do I need to transcripts for all courses taken? What about a summer course or study-abroad programs?

You should upload transcripts for all institutions where you enrolled in post-secondary coursework with the exception of those where the courses and/or credits are listed on another institution's transcript that you are uploading (e.g. study abroad, coursework credits that transferred to your bachelor's transcript). Remember, you only need to submit official copies of your transcripts after you are admitted and decide to enroll.

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Where do I send my official transcript(s)? What transcripts are required?

Explanations of required transcripts are:

Official Undergraduate Transcripts

  1. Official, final transcript must indicate the degree earned and the date it was conferred

  2. Official transcripts for any coursework at additional institutions for which the grades or transfer credits do not appear on your final transcript. 

Official Graduate Transcripts

Official transcript from any institution where you took graduate-level courses. These transcripts do not need to indicate that a degree or certificate was earned. 

Paper versions of your transcripts can be sent to the addresses found below. These transcripts need to arrive in unopened envelopes that were sealed by your university. 

Electronic versions of your transcripts can be sent directly from your institutions or from third party transcript providers to gradschool@brandeis.edu. Electronic transcripts send directly from students cannot be considered official. 

Upon confirming your intention to enroll, transcripts should be mailed as follows: 

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MS 031 Brandeis University
P.O. Box 9110
Waltham, MA 02454

If you are sending your documents via a carrier who does not ship to P.O. Box addresses (many international carriers) you may use the following address:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Brandeis University
415 South Street, Kutz 219
Waltham, MA 02454

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My admission letter states that I must submit my final official transcripts, but I already uploaded them.
No transcripts uploaded to your application are considered official. You will need to submit official transcripts as per the definition in the preceding question.
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When do I need to provide official transcripts?

All incoming students must submit official post-secondary transcript(s) – including the final undergraduate transcript indicating successful completion of a bachelor’s degree – prior to their first semester.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences reserves the right to revoke admission of anyone who does not provide official transcripts.

Supporting Documents

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How long should my statement of purpose be?

The statement of purpose should be one to three pages, unless otherwise directed by your program of interest. It should clearly state your reasons for applying to graduate school and your specific interests in the graduate program at Brandeis. You should consult your program of interest for specific details on its contents. Please remember to include your name and proposed program on all pages of the statement. The statement must be submitted electronically when you complete the application for admission online. 

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Where should I send my printed documents? What documents should I send?
The documents should be uploaded to your application. Please do not email us or mail to us a copy of your uploaded documents. All documents mailed during the application process--with the exception of official score reports and letters of recommendation--will be destroyed. 
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How long should my writing sample be?

Writing sample requirements vary by department. Please visit your program of interest to see specific requirements by program. If you are unable to upload documents in PDF format, you may also use .doc, .docx, and .rtf. Other file types may be unreadable.  You may upload a writing sample during the application process (if your program requires it) or after submission via the self-service portal.

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I'm applying to the Music: Composition and Theory program. Can I send you a URL/link to my score file or audio file?

You may specify a URL where your score file or audio file is located (i.e., on YouTube or Vimeo), but you must make sure that the link is active and as specific as possible so that your work may be easily reviewed without searching a website.

Application Fee

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What is the application fee?

See Application Fees for information about the application fee.

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How can I pay the application fee?

Application fees can be paid by electronic check or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express). You will be prompted to pay the fee upon application submission. If you submit a paper application, then our office will notify you regarding when to make a payment. 

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What happens if I don't pay my application fee or get approved for a fee waiver?

Your application will not be reviewed for admission until the fee is received or waived. There will be an alert on your self-service portal if your application fee payment is outstanding. This alert will contain a link that will take you to the payment page.