Proposal Guidelines

Program Structure

The goal is to create innovative programs that will profoundly impact the lives of our students.  In a successful JBS program, the students would develop close working relationships with each other and with the faculty member(s) over the summer. Ideally, the curriculum reinforces their academic growth by helping to integrate their classroom learning and providing applications of their new understandings to real-world problems. 

Each JBS program will consist of an integrated set of courses addressing a common theme. Ideally the courses are interconnected, creating a seamless overall program. Students are required to take all courses in the program. JBS should be an immersive program meaning that the students meet four or five days each week for several hours in experiential, real-world contexts as well as in seminar settings.

Each JBS program will consist of at least 12 credits (e.g., three 4-credit courses, or two 6-credit Experiential Learning courses). Each JBS 4-credit course will meet for a minimum of 39 contact hours. Each 6-credit JBS course will meet for a minimum of 47 contact hours, with an additional 24-39 practicum hours. These contact hours may include “out-of-classroom” instruction, when the instructor is present. 

The JBS follows the regular summer school calendar start date and ends either eight or ten weeks later.

The JBS Program is expected to be offered multiple summers and take place mostly on the Waltham campus and in the United States. Proposals that take place overseas for the majority of the program will be considered under the Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program Development & Approval Process as outlined at: and will not follow the JBS model.


JBS programs are expected to each enroll 12 to 15 students. The minimum number of students expected for viable programs will be 10. Most will not enroll more than 20 students. Non-Brandeis students may apply as well.

Students who enroll in a JBS program must take all of the courses offered within the program; they may not enroll in a subset or portion (that is, only 4 credits or only 6 credits) of a Justice Brandeis Semester curriculum. Courses that have been offered through the Brandeis Summer School program may be repurposed for inclusion in a JBS program, but a JBS curriculum may not include current Summer School offerings, and Summer School students may not enroll in a subset of summer JBS program courses. 

Brandeis Masters students may enroll in JBS programs at the discretion of the respective program, provided that the student meets admissions criteria, and provided that space is available. Admissions preference will be given to undergraduate students.

All courses in a JBS program  must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of already approved credit/no-credit courses. 


JBS will be billed at $12,500.

The range of expenses to be covered by JBS tuition, excluding faculty salaries, average at $5,000.  This amount is subject to the number of students enrolled and is offered as a suggested as an average. In addition to achieving its pedagogical goals, the JBS program is an attempt to meet financial challenges facing the university, and thus expenses associated with proposals should be kept to the minimum level possible.

Transportation (e.g., air/train travel) and housing expenses for out of state JBS programs will be billed separately.  Some local travel may be provided by the program, through the Experiential Learning program van or a van rental.

Proposal Format

Please answer all of the following in your narrative proposal: 

1. What is the title of your proposed Justice Brandeis Semester?

2. Please include a four paragraph description of your program, suitable for posting on the JBS website and usable in other marketing efforts.  Please also include a separate rationale for the program.

3. For each course offered in your program, please list:

a. the number of credits;

b. the name(s) of the proposed instructor(s) (if known);

c. whether the course is already listed in the Brandeis University Bulletin, or will require new course approval;

d. the course description (if this is a new course);

e. whether or not these courses will count toward requirements or electives for your major and/or minor, or for other majors and minors, or for general education requirements.

4. What are the expected course assignments and means of evaluation for each course?

5. Please include a sample weekly or daily schedule, with proposed meeting times and other instructional activities.

6. What are the experiential learning and/or community-engaged learning components of your proposed JBS?

7. What are the expected learning goals and outcomes for students enrolled in this JBS? In what ways does this program contribute to facilitating the university learning goals of social justice and global citizenship?

8. What is the target student group for this program?

9. What is the ideal number of students for this program and the maximum number of students?

10. Are there course prerequisites for admission to this program?  

11. How would offering this JBS affect the curriculum of your department and/or other programs to which you contribute? Has your department/program chair approved this JBS proposal? (Please include correspondence from the chair confirming approval.) 

12. If partnerships with other businesses or organizations are necessary, please discuss the status of negotiations and related expenses, if any. 

13. If services from other Brandeis offices or departments (e.g., Study Abroad, LTS or Hiatt Career Center) are required, please also discuss.  

14. Proposals should list all proposed expenses (faculty and teaching fellow/assistant salaries, course replacement, programming and/or transportation expenses, etc.) and resource needs, assuming that 12 to 15 students enroll. Please use this template for this section. (If appropriate, please list expected expenditures for smaller or larger cohorts of students.) 

Approval Process

Proposals must be approved by your department chair, the JBS Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Dean of Arts and Sciences. New courses must be approved in the standard manner, by department/program, school councils and dean (including six-credit Experiential Learning courses; see EL Practicum Guidelines posted on the Experiential Learning and Office of the University Registrar Web sites).
JBS proposals will be reviewed for approval based on the following criteria: academic coherence, excellence and feasibility; expected appeal to undergraduates; financial viability; and health and safety.


JBS program courses will participate in the online Course Evaluation system. A supplementary assessment form may also be utilized.