Academic Services

New Student Book Forum

The Class of 2028 book selection will be announced soon!

Helen and Philip Brecher New Student Forum

Now in its 33rd year, the Helen and Philip Brecher New Student Forum is the first of many experiences that will begin to build your community and a sense of belonging at Brandeis. The forum is the only time your entire class will have a shared academic experience, reading the same book, and bringing you together for a meaningful connection with your peers and members of our outstanding faculty. This special experience is the beginning of creating a unifying connection that will last for years to come.

Each year, the book is thoughtfully and carefully selected by a committee of faculty and students and staff from a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds and a unified dedication to humanistic studies. The composition of the committee supports strong cross disciplinary connections, and critical inquiry from multiple perspectives.

The highlight of this experience is that the community of scholars comprising your entering class and faculty members, participate in discussions together in various ways during the academic year . This spirited engagement is an exemplar of Brandeis’ value of open engagement with important ideas, and a commitment to civility when the book is discussed. The kick-off to your academic experience at Brandeis, this book, and the discussion experience provide as an introduction to the types of questions you will seek connection around throughout your tenure at Brandeis and beyond.

If you have questions about the New Student Forum, please email

Recent New Student Forum Books

"On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" - Ocean Vuong

"Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future" - Elizabeth Kolbert

"Other Minds:  The Octopus, The Sea, & The Deep Origins of Consciousness" -
Peter Godfrey-Smith

"Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions" - Valeria Luiselli

"Swing Time" - Zadie Smith

"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" - Ben Fountain

"Citizen: An American Lyric" - Claudia Rankine

"Oryx and Crake" - Margaret Atwood

"Anil’s Ghost" - Michael Ondaatje

"Housekeeping" – Marilynne Robinson

"The Known World" – Edward P. Jones

"When the Emperor was Divine" - Julie Otsuka

"Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" - Alison Bechdel

New Student Forum Committee

Matthew Fraleigh, Humanities Faculty Committee Chair

Julia Mani, Academic Services Representative

Chaeran Freeze, Social Sciences Faculty

Adrianne Krstansky, Creative Arts Faculty

Shantanu Jadhav, Sciences Faculty

Laura Flynn, Director of Orientation and First Year Experience

Zachary Mayer, Student Representative

Esther Bistricer, Student Representative