Students stand smiling behind signs with information about their community service groups.

Giving back is part of who we are. That's why Brandeis students, faculty and staff devote thousands of hours to volunteer programs in our local communities each year.

If there's one overarching tenet of the Brandeisian philosophy, it's that we should use our gifts — whether time, resources, knowledge, skills or effort — to better the world around us.

It's not a graduation requirement or something we insist on, because frankly, we don't have to. Throughout our history, we've attracted students who are comfortable doing the work of lending a hand and catalyzing change. It's just a part of our culture.

Department of Student Engagement

The Department of Student Engagement is at the center of Brandeis' service initiatives, providing volunteer experiences that match the needs of our neighbors with the skills and interests of volunteers. The department empowers Brandeis students to be engaged citizens and reflective thinkers, creating reciprocal community partnerships that strive toward positive social change.

Through close collaboration with the dedicated staff of the Department of Student Engagement, students see service learning manifest in a few primary ways:

  • Reflective thinking: You'll learn to practice the kind of reflection that further enables critical thinking.
  • Engaged global citizenship: You'll develop a greater sense of social and ethical responsibility for your local, national and international community throughout your life.
  • Self-identity and awareness: You'll explore and expand your social identity, building an informed value system and welcoming diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Professional skills: You'll discover and develop skills that are transferable to a wide range of professional endeavors.
  • Connection and belonging: Through your service work, you'll inevitably come to feel a greater sense of closeness and belonging — at Brandeis, in Waltham and the world beyond.

From virtual volunteering opportunities to a range of programs and fellowships designed to give students what they need to enact the change they want to see in the world around them, there's no shortage of ways to get involved and lend a hand.

The Waltham Group

With more than 750 members, the Waltham Group is the largest student-led organization on campus, founded in 1966 in recognition of the university's responsibility to the community it calls home.

It coordinates programs in local schools, community organizations, hospitals and other groups serving the needs of children, adults, families and the elderly.

Experiential Learning and Teaching

Experiential learning and teaching at Brandeis enables students to apply what they learn in class to issues in society while collaborating with community members, faculty, staff and other students.