Information for Graduate Students

Last updated: October 21, 2020 at 10:18 AM

Mandel Center for the Humanities

Whether you’re a student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Brandeis International Business School or the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, you can expect an intellectually robust, fully engaging fall semester. Our approach to learning may be different, but our commitment to world-class research, close mentoring from field-leading faculty, and collaboration across traditional academic boundaries have not changed.

Each graduate school has developed its own academic plans to meet their students' needs and opportunities. The graduate schools will deliver their courses in a hybrid format, varying by school and by program.

Our foremost priority is protecting the health and safety of all members of the Brandeis community. As a student, you will be required to do your part and follow all health and safety guidelines. With these measures in place we will deliver a rigorous educational experience that meets your career and personal goals in a welcoming community.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will offer a combination of online and in-person educational activities, including classes, advising and collateral activities. Each program will look a little different in this model, so more information will be provided by individual academic departments and programs. GSAS will develop support services for students during the transition to remote learning and research while providing opportunities for community development. For more information, please visit the GSAS website.

Brandeis International Business School

Each program at Brandeis International Business School will be offered in a hybrid format, with all courses available to be taken fully remotely, if necessary. The extent to which in-person activities are offered will be dictated by health and university guidelines. All students will have the ability to take their entire course load online if they so choose. The Brandeis campus will remain open to International Business School students residing in the area, in accordance with health and university guidelines. For more details, the school is regularly updating its Frequently Asked Questions page with the latest information available.

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

The Heller School will offer both online and hybrid instruction for the fall 2020 semester, with a focus on educational excellence and engagement. Hybrid courses will provide opportunities for both in-person and remote sessions, which may vary by course and over the duration of the semester. A suite of in-person and remote activities will enrich the educational experiences of students, and Heller will provide robust support services to work closely with students as they navigate these new forms of teaching, research and day-to-day life. For more information, please visit the Heller website.

Academic Calendar

The fall semester will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26 (a week earlier than usual). Classes will conclude by Thursday, Dec. 3. Following an extended Thanksgiving break (from Monday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Nov. 27), all coursework — including the last week of instruction, study days and final exams — will be conducted remotely. By eliminating the post-Thanksgiving return to campus, this redesigned calendar will help reduce the risk of an on-campus coronavirus outbreak. Within the common calendar, each graduate school will organize its own course calendar to provide the best academic content to students.

Academic Calendar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Health and Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of our community is the top priority for our graduate schools. We will adhere to Massachusetts public-health standards and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health and Safety FAQs

Instruction and Research

Academic services will remain available throughout the remote instruction period. Facilities will be open for programs at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences that require in-person interaction, such as science laboratories, art studio spaces and musical performance spaces.

Instruction and Research FAQs

Graduate Student Housing

Graduate students are not housed on campus and must acquire off-campus housing. The Graduate Student Affairs office offers housing resources, including online resources, an email listserv and a list of local real estate agents. Students with questions about housing should contact Steven Weglinski.

Graduate Student Housing FAQs

Continuity, Flexibility, Opportunity

Three key priorities have motivated our approach to graduate education for the fall semester:

  1. Ensuring the health and safety of all members of the Brandeis community.
  2. Maintaining the academic excellence and close mentoring for which Brandeis is known.
  3. Delivering a flexible education that is equitable and accessible to every student.

Remote learning will ensure that all graduate students will be able to pursue their education fully, regardless of their individual circumstances. While this approach may be new, we will continue to provide exceptional academic opportunities and close connections between faculty and students — the hallmarks of a Brandeis education.

None of us knows what course the virus will take over the coming months. It is highly unlikely that we will see a return to “normal” by the spring as much as we might hope otherwise. We continue to take an incremental approach to our planning, and our decisions for the spring will be continuously guided by updates from state and federal health authorities. Despite all the unavoidable uncertainty, we are committed to ensuring that the instructional, research and engagement opportunities that our graduate students have come to expect remain as rich and robust as ever.