An investment in a master’s degree can enhance your skills in the workplace, make you more marketable, and increase your salary. For students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree, the master’s at Brandeis provides an important credential. With your goals in mind, our Office of Financial Aid will work with you to help you to realize the greatest return on your educational investment.

All awards are contingent on the conditions set out annually in the University Bulletin, including (but not limited to) satisfactory academic progress and changes in student status.

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Service-Based Scholarships

Brandeis University offers Service-Based Scholarships and application fee waivers to alumni/staff who apply to participating master's degree programs from the following Service Programs* (provided they meet eligibility requirements):  

*Peace Corps: Though we do not have a formalized agreement, we appreciate your service to the Peace Corps, and will consider your participation when packaging your financial award, in addition to offering an application fee waiver.

For all of the above awards, questions should be sent to Barbie Papalios at bpapalios@brandeis.edu. Please note that the service-based scholarships may not available in combination with each other and/or another Brandeis award (i.e. alumni scholarship, merit award, etc.). If you are eligible for a Brandeis award that is higher than the service award, we will award the higher amount at the discretion of GSAS. Awards are not final until issued through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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Merit Scholarships

Most of our master’s students receive generous scholarships in the form of merit- and need-based aid. Often awarded at the time of admission, these scholarships do not require a separate application unless noted for a particular program. These awards are made to both international students and U.S. citizens. Scholarships usually provide partial tuition and may be supplemented by low-interest government loans.

With a few exceptions, our master’s programs allow you to enroll part-time, thus giving you the ability to continue working and pay tuition on a course-by-course basis. Scholarships are typically available for part-time students as well, which can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Scholarship availability and amounts may vary by department. All awards are granted and accepted with the understanding that the student must maintain a superior level of academic progress. Ordinarily, no student may hold a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship for more than two years of study for the master's degree, or more than three years for the M.F.A. degree.

Brandeis alumni/seniors: We are proud to offer a $10,500 scholarship for Brandeis undergraduate alumni (or current Brandeis seniors who have their bachelor's degree by the time they start a master's program) who are admitted into most GSAS master's programs. 

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Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are available on a limited basis to qualifying students who are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits per semester). Students apply for a need-based scholarship by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Brandeis code is 002133. We encourage applicants to fill out the FAFSA at the same time they apply to their graduate program. The FAFSA may be used to consider students for both need-based scholarships and federal loans (see below). Award amount varies, but the maximum offer for master's students is $10,000; The maximum offer for MAT students is $6,120.

International students will need to complete the International Application for Financial Aid to apply. Please Note: The International Application and submission instructions are not displayed here, as they will be made available to applicants during the application process via your Applicant Status Page.

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Extended Master's Fee and Partial Fee Waivers

Students who have completed their program residency requirement, but not their degree requirements, are eligible for the Extended Master's fee (a very significantly reduced tuition) for as many semesters needed to complete the degree requirements within the degree completion requirement. There will be partial fee waivers for the extended master's fee under the following circumstances:

  1. Students completing a thesis or final paper only and not registered for any content course or independent study;
  2. Students finishing an incomplete and not registered for any content course or independent study;
  3. Students serving as Course Assistants for Arts and Sciences.

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Fellowships

A fellowship is an academic award of honor to outstanding students to help them in furthering advanced study, research, and training in teaching. A small number of master’s programs offer fellowships to their students (please check with your department of interest to see if they award fellowships). 

Often awarded at the time of admission, fellowships do not require a separate application unless noted for a particular program. Both international and U.S. applicants are considered for departmental fellowships. A fellowship recipient must pay tuition unless the award includes a scholarship in an amount covering tuition. Fellowships are paid to students every two weeks in the form of a stipend check.

All awards are granted and accepted with the understanding that the student must maintain a superior level of academic progress. Ordinarily, no student may hold a fellowship for more than two years of study for the master’s or more than three years for the MFA degree. Priority in making fellowship awards is given to full-time students.

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Assistantships

Research and/or course assistantships are available in several master’s programs, especially the sciences (please check with your department of interest to see if it awards assistantships and what the work component may entail). Often awarded at the time of admission, assistantships do not require a separate application unless noted for a particular program. Both international and U.S. applicants are considered for assistantships. Assistantships are paid to students biweekly in the form of a stipend check.

All awards are granted and accepted with the understanding that the student must maintain a superior level of academic progress. Ordinarily, no student may hold an assistantship for more than two years of study for the master’s or more than three years for the MFA degree.

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How to Apply for Loans

Learn more about how to apply for federal and other loans, including step-by-step instructions.