Combined B.A.-M.A. Frequently Asked Questions


Why is there a joint B.A./M.A. degree?

The five-year bachelor's/master's program is designed to enable exceptional Brandeis undergraduates to earn two degrees simultaneously during their period of study at Brandeis (with one additional year).


Does the program affect the B.A. requirements?

Requirements for the bachelor's degree, defined by the College of Arts and Sciences, remain unaffected by participation in this program.


What is the timetable?

Students who successfully complete the five-year program will receive the bachelor's degree at the end of the fourth year and will register in the Graduate School in their fifth year.


How do I qualify for admission to the NEJS B.A./M.A.?

To qualify for admission to the program, students must have spent at least two years in residence at Brandeis, and must complete all B.A. requirements, including NEJS major requirements, by the end of their fourth year.


How do I apply?

You will apply electronically at the GSAS website, normally no later than May 1 of your junior year. Please be sure to answer yes to the question, "Are you a current student?" so you will not be charged an application fee. In addition to the electronic application, you must also submit:

  1. undergraduate transcripts of work completed to date;
  2. a statement of purpose (may be submitted electronically;)
  3. one letter of recommendation from a professor with whom you have studied in your proposed area of specialty;
  4. a proposed course of study, outlining specifically how all outstanding undergraduate degree requirements will be met.

You will be notified of the Dean's decision regarding admission by June 15.


Can I apply any of my undergraduate courses?

Students accepted into the program may apply toward the master's degree up to seven NEJS courses (or approved cross-listed courses) numbered 100 or above in which they have received at least the grade of B-.


What are the requirements for the NEJS B.A./M.A.?

During the fifth year, which must be spent in residence, students must complete seven additional courses with a grade of at least B-, of which four must be in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, as well as their oral qualifying examination. Fulfillment of the departmental B.A. language requirement constitutes fulfillment of the B.A./M.A. language requirement. Students must obtain prior approval from the M.A. advisor before taking courses outside of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

(No thesis is required for the M.A. in NEJS. Students may still write a senior thesis as part of their undergraduate work.)


Is the one-year residency as a master's candidate absolutely necessary, even if a student has more than seven NEJS courses over 100-level?



Can Justice Brandeis Fellows use their fellowship award to defray the cost of the M.A.?

Unfortunately, no.

Can I live in the Brandeis dorms during the fifth year?

Unfortunately, no.


Where can I obtain the necessary forms, applications, etc. and ask questions?

  1. The NEJS office: Lown 211, 781-736-2950 or
  2. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Kutz, 781-736-3410, or
  3. The application is at