Common FAQs from First-Year Students
You will complete the “Navigating Health and Safety” component of the Health, Wellness and Life Skills curriculum in your first semester. It is composed of three components:
An online workshop to be completed prior to arriving on campus
In-person programming during Orientation
A 6-week module “Navigating Health and Safety” course to be taken in your first semester
You should also plan to complete the University Writing Seminar (UWS) within your first two semesters at Brandeis. The rest is up to you — for example, explore courses in a major or minor you may be considering, start or continue another language, and/or take a class in a subject that interests you.
General university codes are listed below the course title in the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes.
Brandeis First Year Experience
uws = University Writing Seminar
wi = Writing Intensive
oc = Oral Communication
dl = Digital Literacy hwl1 = Navigating Health and Safety
Schools of Thought
deis-us = Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Studies in the US
djw = Difference and Justice in the World
fl = World Languages and Cultures (formerly Foreign Language)
Health, Wellness and Life Skills
hwl1 = Navigating Health and Safety
hwl2 = Mind and Body Balance
hwl3 = Life Skills
A pre-requisite means that a student must have completed a specific course (or its equivalent) prior to registering for the course in question. Pre-requisite coursework is required when students need the knowledge or skills from previous coursework in order to be successful in the current course. Pre-requisites are typically listed in the course description (click on the blue course number link on the Schedule of Classes).
A co-requisite means that a course is required at the same time as another course. For example, Chemistry 18a is the co-requisite lab for Chemistry 11a lecture, so you would want to sign up for both in the same semester.
Generally, courses that are numbered 1-99 are primarily for undergraduate students, while courses between 100-199 are for both undergraduate and graduate students. While it is recommended that first-years take courses numbered between 1-99, each department is structured differently. In some departments, 100-level courses are appropriate for first-years to take. For example, while 100-level Biology courses are not recommended for first-years and typically require prerequisites, most American Studies 100-level courses do not have prerequisites.
It is best to look at the course description and course prerequisites to determine if the course is suitable for you. If you’re still unsure, you’re welcome to consult with your academic advisor, Roosevelt Fellow, or the instructor of the course. Refer to the ‘Getting Started in a Major or Minor’ page for course recommendations.
Brandeis students can obtain instructor permission to enroll in a class in two ways:
If you are proficient in a language other than English you may petition for an exemption for languages not taught at Brandeis or work with the appropriate language department to arrange an exemption exam for languages taught at Brandeis.
No. If you see a course with a limit of 999, that means that there is actually no enrollment limit for the course. The instructor will welcome all students interested in taking the course.
Add yourself to the demand list for the course on SAGE. The department will contact you if they are able to accommodate you in the course. It will be important to have a backup plan if you are not able to enroll in the class.
The ‘add period’ is sometimes informally called the ‘shopping period’ on campus. During this time, you are welcome to attend first class meetings to learn more about the course and its expectations. Some students enroll in more courses than they plan to take, with the intention of dropping/swapping a course during this period. Keep in mind that the add deadline is strict and instructors begin teaching classes from day one; as such, you are responsible for all work in the classes that you decide to keep on your schedule.