We understand that many communities have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, and we know that our prospective students and applicants may be facing great uncertainty in the coming weeks and months. Since the coronavirus outbreak emerged in January, the university has been tracking developments and determining how to best support our community, including applicants to Brandeis. Below you will find answers to questions you may have. If you have questions that are not answered below, please email us at admissions@brandeis.edu.

Above all, we hope that all students and families affected by the outbreak remain safe and healthy through these challenging times. We appreciate your patience and understanding. 

How is Brandeis responding to the coronavirus outbreak?

Classes have been moved online for the remainder of the spring semester, and students have moved off campus. Please see the University’s Coronavirus Facts and FAQ for more information.

Is Brandeis open to visitors? 

The Office of Admissions has canceled all campus visits, including events for admitted students. We regret that we cannot welcome prospective students and their families to campus, but in light of the coronavirus outbreak, we feel that this is the best measure for the health and safety of our community.

We encourage you to view our virtual tour, and to sign up for more information about Brandeis so that we can notify you when we are able to offer campus visits again. We very much hope that we will be able to welcome prospective students to campus this summer or fall.

Our office has extended the hours we are available by phone and email. Prospective students and families can reach us at admissions@brandeis.edu or 781-736-3500, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Can I defer my admission? 

Yes, you may request to defer your admission. Students interested in deferring their admission should review our Deferral Policy and complete the Deferral Request Form in their DEISconnect portal. 

  • First-year students admitted to the Fall 2020 semester may defer for one year, to September 2021. 
  • Admitted midyear students may defer their admission for one year, to January 2022. 
  • Transfer students admitted to the Fall 2020 semester may not defer their admission. 

Exceptions may be made for students who are unable to arrive on campus due to visa processing delays. If this situation applies to you, please email Sara Lodgen at slodgen@brandeis.edu

My school has switched to pass/fail grades. Will you accept this on my transcript?

If your school decides to move to an alternative grading system (i.e. pass/fail, credit/no credit), our office is fully prepared to accept these changes as made by individual schools. Any information explaining these changes is always welcome, whether on the transcript itself or in a communication from your school counselor.

What should I do if I can’t get my final transcript to you by July 15?

If your school is still closed as July 15 approaches, please contact us at admissions@brandeis.edu. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis. 

Will there be a midyear fall abroad program in Florence or London?

At this time, these programs are still scheduled to take place for the fall semester. The Office of Study Abroad is continuously monitoring the situation in collaboration with program partners. The Office of Study Abroad is here as a resource to students with questions or concerns about fall midyear programs. Please contact Study Abroad Advisor Ari Massefski at arim@brandeis.edu or 781-736-3483 if you would like to discuss study abroad options for the fall semester.

Can I appeal my financial aid offer?

If you or your family have experienced a change in your financial circumstances, you may request reconsideration of your need-based financial aid decision. We encourage you to contact your financial aid advisor to discuss these circumstances, and you may be asked to provide additional documentation. The deadline for financial aid appeals is April 15; for more information, please visit the Student Financial Services website. Please note that we are unable to review appeals for merit-based scholarships.

What happens if Brandeis does not reopen for the fall semester?

Currently, we plan to welcome students to campus in the fall. However, the university administration and faculty are prepared to teach a suite of first-year courses online to allow students to explore across disciplines, take courses in their major of interest, and begin to fulfill their Brandeis Core requirements. While we hope it does not come to this, we will also be able to provide online Orientation programming in the event Orientation cannot take place on campus.

For International Students

What if I can't get my visa in time to attend Brandeis?

Brandeis continues to monitor the situation within the U.S. Department of State and the pause to consular services at many U.S. missions around the world. We will continue to process forms I-20 and provide them to students as soon as we receive the necessary materials. If you have specific questions related to the visa process, please contact vidof@brandeis.edu. If you are an international student who is unable to come to campus due to visa delays, you will have the option to take classes online or to defer your admission for one semester or one year.

If you are currently attending a U.S. school and have F-1 status, you should be able to transfer your visa sponsorship from your current school to Brandeis. If you are currently attending a U.S. school and are in a different immigration status, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office and a member of the staff will help you consider your options.

I was admitted as a Gateway Scholar. What if I'm unable to make it to campus by the June start date?

Given the global challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 Gateway program has been adjusted to be a dynamic online seven-week summer program. Participants will still begin in late June and develop skills in high-level critical thinking, analytical writing, and academic oral communication. We look forward to welcoming you as part of the Brandeis family as a Gateway Scholar.

For Transfer Students

Is it too late to apply as a Fall 2020 Transfer applicant to Brandeis?

No, it is not too late to apply. While our original application date was March 15, we have extended the deadline to apply through the Common Application until April 1. We require that all supporting application materials be received by April 15. We will release admission decisions on a rolling basis, starting in mid-April. 

My school is closed and cannot send my official transcripts, Midterm Report or College Official’s Report. What should I do? 

We recognize that it may be difficult to submit all required application materials due to school closures and have extended the deadline for the Midterm Report and transcripts to April 15. If you are still unable to access these materials by that date, we will consider taking unofficial transcripts on a case-by-case basis and we will waive the Midterm Report. Please note that we are unable to waive the Transfer College Report and require this from every institution you have been enrolled in as a degree-seeking student. We have extended the deadline for the College Report to May 1. 

Due to the Coronavirus and flight ban, I was not able to go back to U.S. after winter break, will I still be considered?

Yes, The Admissions Committee will give a thorough and thoughtful review to all our applicants, regardless of where they reside. If students are not able to arrive in the U.S. for the start of the fall semester, they will have the option to take Brandeis courses online. 

I was unable to take the TOEFL or IELTS. How can I submit proof of English proficiency? 

We will accept the Duolingo English Test in place of the TOEFL or IELTS to fulfill the English proficiency requirement. Please note that this policy only applies to transfer students for the Fall 2020 semester who were unable to take the TOEFL or IELTS due to the coronavirus outbreak.