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 summer 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, nine, 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 a Brandeis Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program and will follow these guidelines. Note that such proposals should be submitted at least 18 months in advance of the anticipated program start date.


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.

Approval Process

At present the annual cycle for proposals begins in September. 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).
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.

Learn More

For more information on more detailed program proposal guidelines, please contact Candace Matta, Assistant Director of Brandeis-Led Study Abroad Programs in the Office of Study Abroad.