The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences would like to extend a special welcome to all of our new matriculating students. Please review the checklist below, which is separated into items that need to be addressed prior to your arrival on campus and items that can be addressed afterwards. Please note that you must confirm your intention to enroll before addressing the items on this checklist. 

Prior to Arriving on Campus

Submit all Official Transcripts

Description: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences requires official transcripts for post-secondary education that occurred prior to matriculation at Brandeis University. The transcripts that were uploaded to your application are not considered official. For more information on how to submit your official transcripts, please view your Applicant Status Page.

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

When: Please submit your official transcripts for all levels of your post-secondary education as soon as possible. If you are still completing your bachelor’s degree, you will need to wait until you complete your studies in order for degree conferral information to be included on your transcript. If you very recently completed your studies, this information may not be available on your transcript yet. Prior to requesting your official transcript, please check with your Registrar’s Office to ensure that it will include the degree you were awarded and date it was conferred.

Set up your UNET Account

Description: Your UNET account will provide you access to Brandeis University’s electronic applications including the Brandeis email system. Once you have accessed this system, most of GSAS’ subsequent correspondence will be sent to your Brandeis email address.

When: Incoming summer and fall students who have confirmed their intention to enroll and have paid any required tuition deposit will receive UNET instructions by email in May. Students who enroll after May will receive these instructions two weeks after responding to their offer and making a tuition deposit payment (if applicable). Incoming spring students will receive these instructions in December.

Opt In or Opt Out of Health Insurance

Description: Information about the enrollment and waiver process, benefit information, and FAQs can be found at the UHP website.

Domestic Students (Full or 3/4 Time): You must enroll in or waive health insurance every year you are a student. You will not be officially enrolled in the health insurance plan unless you sign up at the UHP website. Failure to enroll in the university health plan by the deadline may result in an inability to actively utilize your insurance benefits until approximately one month into the semester. PhD students who receive a health credit as part of their financial aid package will not receive the credit unless they enroll through the UHP website.

International Students: You will be automatically enrolled in the health insurance plan every year and any health insurance credits that you received as part of your financial aid package will be added to your student account. No action is necessary.  

Part-time Students: Part-time students are not eligible to enroll in the graduate health insurance plan. Please note the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all citizens be enrolled in a state approved health insurance plan. Visit the Massachusetts Government website for more information on Massachusetts health insurance options.

When: Waiver and enrollment forms will be available on the University Health Plans website beginning in mid-May. GSAS will contact students in mid-May with information about deadlines and links to the forms once they are available. The deadline for enrolling in or waiving the insurance is typically June 1.

Complete Required Health Forms

Description: In accordance with Massachusetts state law, all full-time and ¾-time students (students registered for nine or more credits per semester) must submit documentation of all required immunizations before arriving on campus. These forms and any related questions should be addressed to the Health Center, not to GSAS.

 When: GSAS will contact incoming students in late May regarding the completion of the health forms. 

Secure Housing and Explore Commuting Options

Description: While on-campus graduate student housing is generally not available, students are able to find convenient rental housing that is walking distance to campus or a short shuttle, car, bus, or commuter rail ride away. For information about campus parking and/or commuter passes, please see the "Obtain a Campus Parking Permit" and "Obtain an MBTA Pass" sections below. 

International Students: Complete I-20/DS-2019 Process

Description: International students whose visas will be sponsored by Brandeis must complete the VIDOF (Visa Information / Declaration of Finances) form in order for our International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to issue a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. One of these forms will be required for the visa interview. For specific and detailed questions about immigration and your specific visa (including J-1 holders), please contact the ISSO at

When: GSAS will contact incoming summer and fall international students (who have confirmed their intention to enroll and have made a required tuition deposit, if  applicable) after March 15 to begin the process. If you are offered admission after March 15, you will receive this information shortly after confirming your intention to enroll and paying any applicable tuition deposit. If you will be beginning your studies in the spring semester, GSAS will contact you after October 15 to begin the process.

Upon Arriving on Campus

Attend Orientation Activities

Description: Matriculating students will be introduced to various campus resources, such as our Library and Technology Services, during their orientation. The activities include policy reviews, introductions to campus administrators, and campus tours highlighting locations important to graduate students.

When: Students matriculating in the fall should anticipate GSAS orientation activities during the week that classes begin. Incoming students will receive more detailed GSAS orientation information via email in August.

Students matriculating into the Master of Arts in Teaching programs over the summer will receive information regarding their unique orientation that takes place over the summer. Students matriculating in the fall should anticipate GSAS orientation activities during the week that classes begin. Incoming students will receive more detailed GSAS orientation information via email in August.

Individual departments often hold department-specific orientations; you can connect with your respective department administrator directly for more information.

Review the GSAS Student Guide

Description: The GSAS Student Guide contains useful information ranging from course registration and workshops offered to student billing and rights and responsibilities. Please note that the GSAS Student Guide supplements the University’s Rights and Responsibilities and the Office of the University Registrar’s Bulletin.

When: You should review the student guide prior to the start of classes.

Get your Student ID Card

Description: Student ID cards are printed in the Campus Card Office located on the bottom floor of Kutz Hall. Your student ID card can be used at campus libraries, dining services, and marked vending machines, as well as for printing/copying, and entry to various campus facilities.

When: The Campus Card Office is open from 9:00 am—4:00 pm Monday through Friday. The Campus Card Office allows students to obtain their IDs no earlier than the week before the start of the semester in which they are first enrolling.

Explore the Graduate Centers

Description: The Office of Graduate Student Affairs maintains two Graduate Student Centers on campus. The primary Center is located across from the Registrar's office in Kutz Hall. This Center has computers and a printer, as well as a kitchenette and a lounge with a television. Students looking to do group work or quiet study can also reserve the adjacent conference room. The other Center is the Graduate Study Lounge, located in Gerstenzang above the Science Library. It is a quiet study space, perfect for when you really need to focus.

When: Students will be shown the Graduate Student Centers during Orientation activities. Alternatively, you are welcome to visit the centers when you have some downtime.

Obtain a Campus Parking Permit

Description: If you intend to drive to campus, then you will need to obtain a campus parking permit for the academic year. The permit allows you to park in the Athletics and Theater parking lots.

When: The week prior to the start of classes, you can submit an application for a campus parking permit. You are welcome to stop in at the Office of Public Safety to pick up your permit two business days after you submit the application. The cost of the permit will be charged to your Sage account approximately one month into the semester.

Obtain An MBTA Pass

Description: If you intend to take the commuter rail to campus, then you should consider obtaining a discounted MBTA pass through the Graduate Student Affairs Office.

When: Each pass covers a four-month period (October through January or February through May). Applications are due a couple of weeks prior to the first month of the pass (October or February). For more information, stop by the Graduate Student Center in Kutz Hall or contact Robin Mancini at

Complete Your I-9

Description: In order to obtain a job on campus or receive your stipend, you must be able to present original identification to the University that satisfies the requirements of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). Students receiving a stipend or who have been hired as a Course Assistant will receive an email from the HireRight system containing instructions for completion of their I-9. Students are to complete Section 1 on their own and must bring the appropriate documentation to the GSAS office in Kutz to complete Section 2. International students without a Social Security Number (SSN) can complete all other portions of the I-9 prior to receiving the SSN. Instructions for obtaining a SSN can be found on the ISSO website.

When: You will receive an email from the HireRight system by the end of the second week in August. Within a week of receiving the HireRight email, you will receive an additional email from GSAS providing details about available times to stop by the GSAS office to complete Section 2. Your I-9 must be completed by the first day of classes at the absolute latest. International students without a SSN must complete everything on their I-9s except the SSN by the first day of classes.

Establish Direct Deposit and Complete Tax Forms

Description: After completing Sections 1 and 2 of your I-9 (including your SSN) at GSAS, we will send your paperwork to the Payroll Office and they will set you up in the Brandeis University "Self Service" (BUSS) system. Once set up, you will be able to log in and establish your direct deposit and W-4 information. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, your tax liability is dependent upon any treaties that exist between the U.S. and your country, among other factors. In order to claim a tax exemption you must complete a Foreign Information Form if you have not previously done so. This form is available online or in the Payroll Office. 

When: Following your completion of your I-9, please allow Payroll approximately 2-3 weeks to set you up in the Brandeis University "Self Service" (BUSS) system.

International students may complete the Foreign Information Form prior to completing an I-9 or immediately after completing an I-9. Forms completed prior to I-9 completion will be processed by Payroll once they receive your payroll paperwork from GSAS.

Check Out Dining Services Options

Description: Brandeis University’s Dining Services division runs several locations on campus, each outfitted with different menu items and hours of operation. Interested students are able to sign up for a dining services plan.

When: Incoming students are welcome to visit the dining services locations upon their arrival to campus. Please note that there might be special hours of operation at the beginning of the semester. If interested in a meal plan, students are welcome to sign up during the week prior to the start of classes.