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Academic FAQs

Academic Basics / Definitions

Term What you should know:
Absence from Class
Students are expected to attend all classes unless they have valid excuses, such as illness or family emergency. You are responsible for contacting your instructors to inform them of extended absences. Even if it means a quick email or voicemail before catching a flight, you should inform your instructors. An initial notification to your instructor does not imply that you will be allowed extensions or make-ups for quizzes or tests. Unexcused absences may be taken into account in grading.
Academic Calendar The University’s Academic Calendar is available on the Registrar’s website. This calendar contains all the dates/deadlines you need to know to plan your semester. Each student is responsible for knowing these dates.
Academic Integrity

The community's practices and expectations regarding honesty and integrity in your academic work. Brandeis has explicit standards on these matters, with concrete penalties and judicial procedures in cases where these standards are violated. Having had different standards in your previous education or in your home country does not excuse violating the Brandeis standards. You are responsible for understanding and following these rules. Please refer to the Academic Integrity section of the website.

Add/Drop Period The first couple weeks of each semester is referred to as the "Add/Drop Period" because you can change the courses you are enrolled in directly on Sage. After that time, the approval of the instructor and your Program Advisor is required in order to add or drop a course. There is an additional Add/Drop Period mid-way through each semester when the second modules start.
Auditing a Class To "audit"a class means that you sit in on the class and may participate but do not take exams or receive a grade. No credit is given for auditing a course. The instructor's permission is required. 
Brandeis Days In order to make up some holidays, Brandeis adds certain "Brandeis Days" to the Academic Calendar. These are make-up days that are held during the week, but with a different day's class schedule. For example, an actual Wednesday that is labeled a "Brandeis Monday" on the calendar, would hold a Monday class schedule.
Early Enrollment Current students have the opportunity to enroll in classes at the end of the previous semester. This is usually a one-week period in April and November. No changes to enrollments can be made in the period between early enrollment and open enrollment.
Class Participation In a Brandeis IBS classroom, your participation is not only welcomed, but it is required. In most courses, you will be graded on participation and it will be considered in your final grade. 
Computer Usage
Different instructors have different policies regarding the use of computers and mobile devices in the classroom during class. As in all business meetings, you are expected to shut off your phone ringers and to not attend to calls unless in cases of emergency. In all situations, you are expected to pay attention to class proceedings and not engage in personal communication or work for other classes. In all cases, it is taken as disrespectful to do computer work while your classmates are presenting or, even more so, when attending a talk by an external speaker. Check with each individual instructor for their classroom policy.
Consent Code Enrollment in a class is sometimes restricted for a variety of reasons, meaning that permission is required. This permission is given in the form of a "consent code" which is used when enrolling through Sage. Most times, the distribution of consent codes is done by the Program Advisors. 
Course When we refer to a "course" we are specifically meaning a class that is a full-semester in length and earns 4 credits (as opposed to a "module"). 

Required: MA or MBA degree = 64 credits
               MSF degree = 40 credits
               MS (en route to PhD) = 52 credits

Minimum: To be a full-time student, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credits.
Maximum: The maximum number of credits you can take in any one semester is 20 credits.
Average: The average number of credits per semester that you need to take in order to reach an MA, MBA or MSF degree is 16 credits. 


Brandeis belongs to a consortium of universities in greater Boston which permit each other’s students to take courses at their school. In order to cross-register, you must go to the Brandeis Registrar’s Office in person.

Deadlines Academic deadlines are not arbitrary. Missing a deadline can have very unfortunate results, including not being able to graduate on time. Knowing and meeting deadlines is every student's responsibility.
Disabilities If you have a physical or learning disability that requires special accommodations in the classroom or during examinations, please contact Kate Goldfield in Student Services. Learn more about disability services and accessibility at Brandeis.
Enrollment Appointment During early enrollment, so that all students have an equal opportunity to get into the classes they want, each student is assigned a set of enrollment appointments by the Registrar's Office. These appointments are a window of time in which the student can add and drop classes freely within a certain number of credits. 
Examinations Final exams are scheduled by the Registrar and the schedule is published in advance. Students may not take final exams early and must speak to the instructor about rescheduling if any exam is missed. Rescheduling is not common and the student must have a compelling reason to do so. DO NOT book any travel before knowing your final exam schedule. Instructors are under no obligation to accommodate your schedule if you have booked travel that conflicts with a final exam. 
Exemptions If you believe you have satisfied one or more of your degree requirements, you can submit an Exemption Petition to your Program Advisor (available in Student Services) before the end of the enrollment period with documentation. Until you receive official notification that you have been exempted, you should assume you still need to fulfill it.
Flying Home If you want to buy an air ticket home before you know your final exam schedule, do not book your travel before the last day of exams. You should not assume that the instructor will approve your request to take the exam at another date.
Hold A hold can be placed on your account by (1) Student Financial Services due to an overdue bill, (2) ISSO for not fulfilling visa requirements or, (3) Health Services for not fulfilling University health requirements. Having any hold on your account will prevent you from registering, adding or dropping courses.
Incomplete Students are expected to complete all coursework, final exams and papers by the assigned deadlines. If a student is unable to fulfill this expectation, a request for an Excused Absence (EA) or an Excused Incomplete (EI) may be made. An EA is a written agreement with the professor that indicates a student has completed the required coursework, but was unable to take the final exam on the scheduled date. The student can make up the exam during a conflict day, during break or through a proctor. An EI is a written agreement granting an extension beyond the end of the semester to complete written work or projects. It is at the professor's discretion whether or not to grant a request for an incomplete.
Latte Latte is the network communications program used for course-related communications. Instructors, students and teaching assistants use this for questions and to post assignments.
Module When we refer to a "module," we are referring to a class that is a half-semester in length and earns 2 credits. Module dates are available here.

Open Enrollment

At the start of each semester there is an open enrollment period during which students can add and drop classes as long as space is available and they have the necessary consent code. This period usually begins 2 weeks before the semester starts and ends 2 weeks after the semester begins.
Program Director

Each degree program has a faculty member who serves as the Program Director. You are always welcome to speak to the Program Director about any questions or concerns.

MA Program Director: Jens Hilscher
MBA Program Director: Grace Zimmerman
MSF Program Director: Debarshi Nandy
PhD Program Director: Kathryn Graddy
Undergraduate Business Major/Minor: Ed Bayone

Program Advisor

Each of the degree programs has a staff Program Advisor who can help you with most of your questions and needs regarding your degree.

Registrar The University Registrar is responsible for course registrations, academic policies and University records. The Registrar's Office is located in Kutz Hall.
Sage Sage is the network database that students and staff use for official academic records. You can view your transcript in Sage, and will do most of your course registering in Sage.
Specialization Students may focus their studies in one particular area of interest and receive one specialization. Specializations at Brandeis IBS include: Asset Management, Corporate Finance, Sustainability, Marketing, Real Estate, Risk Management, International Economic Policy and Analysis, Data Analytics and Business Economics.