Brandeis International Business School

Plans for Fall 2020 at Brandeis International Business School

The challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic are wide-ranging and continue to be felt across the globe and the situation is continually changing. Classes at Brandeis International Business School will be offered in a hybrid combination of in person and remote sessions, which may vary by course and over the duration of the semester. Enrollment is open to all students who will be on campus and all students who will be studying remotely, whether elsewhere in the U.S. or abroad.  

This decision will force us all to adapt, but it also presents our community with a unique opportunity. We at the International Business School believe strongly that this decision will provide our students with the best possible learning experience during what remains an unprecedented and unpredictable time.

In addition to a full lineup of courses, students will benefit from robust academic and career support services throughout the semester. We are also developing a meaningful slate of additional programming that will be held both virtually and on-campus (adhering to social distancing guidelines) for students who reside locally.

Below you will find a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions. This page will be updated regularly to reflect the latest information available. From all of us at the International Business School, we appreciate your resilience and remain committed to your success this fall and beyond. Thank you.

Sincerely,
KatyKathryn Graddy
Dean

Frequently Asked Questions

New Students

Will courses be taught in a hybrid mode in the fall?

Yes. Instruction at the International Business School will be offered in a hybrid combination of in person and remote sessions, which may vary by course and over the duration of the semester. Enrollment is open to all students who will be on campus and all students who will be studying remotely. The Brandeis campus will be open to International Business School students residing in the area in accordance with local, state and federal health guidelines.

What will the curriculum look like for each degree program?

Program advising is currently underway. Our Program Advisors will continue reaching out to students throughout the summer regarding their fall schedule. 

Can I study part-time in the fall?

Yes. Students can take up to eight credits as a part-time student. These credits will be applied toward your degree. Furthermore, if students wish, they may enroll in up to 17 credits in the fall.

Can I defer my admission?

If students would prefer to wait to begin their studies, the International Business School offers the option to defer their admission to Spring 2021 or Fall 2021. Students interested in deferring their admission and any scholarship should contact the Office of Admissions at globaladmissions@brandeis.edu. Enrolled students may decide to defer their admission up to the start of classes on August 26.

What will the tuition be for Fall 2020?

Tuition at the International Business School for the 2020-2021 academic year will remain at the same level as the 2019-2020 academic year. This is consistent with Brandeis University's decision not to increase graduate or undergraduate tuition rates. Our Admissions website has been updated to reflect this decision. The revised tuition rate at the International Business School is now 3.5 percent less than the anticipated and previously posted tuition for 2020-2021. 

All courses in the fall will be taught by our faculty — including world-renowned researchers and successful practitioners. Staff at both the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Experience and Career Strategies and Engagement Center will be providing their usual high level of support. We are excited to provide a high-touch virtual experience for students this fall, with additional on-campus programming for students residing locally. We hope to be able to welcome all students on campus in the spring so that they can continue their degree with an in-person experience.

How will COVID-19 affect the visa process?

We encourage students to begin the visa application process as soon as they submit their Enrollment Form and deposit. Doing so allows international students to begin the Visa Information/Declaration of Finance (VIDOF) process, which is necessary to generate an I-20. Please be aware that there are parts of the world in which consulates may be closed or may not be offering visa services at this time, and we anticipate students may encounter delays in visa processing. We recommend students complete the VIDOF process as soon as they are able so that when consulates re-open, they are prepared. If students are currently attending a U.S. school and have F-1 status, they should be able to transfer their visa sponsorship from their current school to Brandeis. If students are currently attending a U.S. school and have a different immigration status, we encourage you to contact the International Students and Scholars Office at isso@brandeis.edu to discuss the options.

How will COVID-19 affect the process of securing housing?

We encourage students to secure housing for August 1 or August 15, given that classes begin on August 26. We encourage students and housing partners to clearly communicate payment agreements as it relates to securing housing arrangements and flexibility around move-in dates. In past years, we have suggested July 15 as a soft deadline for finding a preferred housing option. As you begin to plan for your housing, you may find this short video on the housing process helpful.

If you have questions about your off-campus housing search, please contact Steven Weglinski at weglinski@brandeis.edu. It is our hope that we can work together as a community to meet each other's needs during this unique and difficult time.

I am an international student. If I start my program in Spring 2021 instead of Fall 2020, will I still be eligible for CPT during my program?

On Monday, July 6, the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which is the government branch of the Department of Homeland Security charged with oversight of international students and scholars in the United States with F-1 and J-1 visas, released its Fall 2020 operational guidance. It also indicated the Department of Homeland Security’s intention to publish the procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule in the near future. 

The July 6, 2020 guidance as written, while not yet a Temporary Final Rule that can be enforced, will not provide students with the same protections. It leaves a lot of questions that SEVP must answer, and we hope this will be accomplished prior to the publication of the final rule. Advocacy groups, including NAFSA, ACE, and the AAU, have voiced their strong objections to the SEVP guidance, and we also expect legislators to address this issue with DHS, hopefully before the Temporary Final Rule is published. You may have also noticed news articles bringing attention to this announcement. Once the rule is published, it is quite possible that there will be litigation in the federal courts to stop its implementation.  

Please know that the ISSO Team is in contact with Brandeis senior leadership, colleges and universities in the Boston area, and around the country to come up with solutions that we can offer to our community.

The most up-to-date information can be found on the International Students and Scholars Office’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage. Students may also reach out to their ISSO advisor to ask questions specific to their case.

If I am an international student and start online in the fall, when will I be eligible for CPT?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has yet to issue guidance on how any changes to course delivery methods during the fall semester in response to COVID-19 will impact our students' eligibility for practical training (CPT or OPT). The most up-to-date information can be found on the International Students and Scholars Office’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage. Students may also reach out to their ISSO advisor to ask questions specific to their case.

Do I need to secure health insurance?

Updates about health insurance and immunizations will be posted to the Brandeis Health Center website. Here, you can also find COVID-19 updates. 

All students must enroll in the qualifying School Health Plan (SHP) or waive the plan and report their own comparable health insurance coverage each year, as required by Massachusetts regulations. The revised deadline is July 15, 2020. 

All international students who will be in the U.S. will be automatically enrolled in the qualifying school plan in August. International students who will not be in the U.S. will not be required to secure health insurance.

Questions about the plan can be directed to UHP at info@universityhealthplans.com.

Current Students

Will courses be taught in a hybrid mode in the fall?

Instruction at the International Business School will be offered in a hybrid combination of in person and remote sessions, which may vary by course and over the duration of the semester. Enrollment is open to all students who will be on campus and all students who will be studying remotely.  The Brandeis campus will be open to International Business School students residing in the area in accordance with local, state and federal health guidelines.

What will the curriculum look like for each degree program?

Our usual courses will be offered in the fall with only a few exceptions — we are offering a total of 54 different courses. Some of these courses will be taught asynchronously, and some synchronously, with the intention of offering synchronous courses taught at a time favorable to international students. All courses will be taught by our excellent faculty and will feature a high level of student interaction.

Can I study part-time in the fall?

Yes. Students can switch their status to part-time. For international students, switching to a part-time status could have an impact on their visa status and CPT and OPT eligibility. Students should speak with their ISSO advisor to discuss their academic plans.

I'm an international student. Will the changes in coursework in the fall impact my visa status or eligibility for CPT or OPT?

On Monday, July 6, the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which is the government branch of the Department of Homeland Security charged with oversight of international students and scholars in the United States with F-1 and J-1 visas, released its Fall 2020 operational guidance. It also indicated the Department of Homeland Security’s intention to publish the procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule in the near future. 

The July 6, 2020 guidance as written, while not yet a Temporary Final Rule that can be enforced, will not provide students with the same protections. It leaves a lot of questions that SEVP must answer, and we hope this will be accomplished prior to the publication of the final rule. Advocacy groups, including NAFSA, ACE, and the AAU, have voiced their strong objections to the SEVP guidance, and we also expect legislators to address this issue with DHS, hopefully before the Temporary Final Rule is published. You may have also noticed news articles bringing attention to this announcement. Once the rule is published, it is quite possible that there will be litigation in the federal courts to stop its implementation.  

Please know that the ISSO Team is in contact with Brandeis senior leadership, colleges and universities in the Boston area, and around the country to come up with solutions that we can offer to our community.

The most up-to-date information can be found on the International Students and Scholars Office’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage. Students may also reach out to their ISSO advisor to ask questions specific to their case.

Can I take a leave of absence?

Students may request a leave of absence for up to one year by submitting this form by the first day of classes (August 26th). If you have a scholarship, the scholarship will still apply when you return within the one-year period. Details on leave of absences can be found in the Provisional University Bulletin. For international students, a leave of absence could have an impact on your visa status and CPT and OPT eligibility. Students should speak with their ISSO advisor for more information.

Can I extend my program by adding a new concentration?

MSF and MSBA students may extend their studies and their graduation date by applying for a program extension with a new concentration by submitting this form. With a program extension, students will enroll with a minimum of 12 credits in the fall, retaining their full-time status. This program extension will allow international students to continue on with their student visa and preserve eligibility for CPT and OPT.

Can I extend my program by adding a second degree?

All current students may apply to one of our dual degree programs. Upon graduation, dual degree students will receive two degrees after completing fewer credits than if the degrees were completed separately. Your graduation date will be extended to allow time to complete the dual degree. Our current dual degree programs are MBA/MSBA, MBA/MSF and MA/MSBA. The final deadline for current students to apply for a dual degree program in Fall 2020 is July 15.

What will the tuition be for Fall 2020?

Tuition at the International Business School for the 2020-2021 academic year will remain at the same level as the 2019-2020 academic year. This is consistent with Brandeis University's decision not to increase graduate or undergraduate tuition rates. The revised tuition rate at the International Business School is now 3.5 percent less than the anticipated and previously posted tuition for 2020-2021.

We are aware of the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has created hardships for many families. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have created a Student Success Fund at the International Business School for continuing students with financial need.   

All courses in the fall will be taught by our faculty — including world-renowned researchers and successful practitioners. Staff at both the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Experience and Career Strategies and Engagement Center will be providing their usual high level of support. We are excited to provide a high-touch virtual experience for students this fall, with additional on-campus programming for students residing locally.

Do I need to secure health insurance?

Updates about health insurance and immunizations will be posted to the Brandeis Health Center website for current students.

All domestic students must report or waive insurance. The School Health Plan (SHP) covers people across the U.S. and is available as an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan to all U.S. residents. The revised deadline to enroll is July 15, 2020. 

International students who will not be in the U.S. do not have to report or waive their insurance. The SHP does not cover them in a comprehensive way internationally (only for emergencies). However, if international students will be in the U.S., they must enroll in the plan. The revised deadline to enroll is July 15, 2020.

Questions about the plan can be directed to UHP at info@universityhealthplans.com.

What will the student experience look like for the Fall 2020 semester?

Students will have events, programs and services available to them throughout the fall semester. The Office of Academic Affairs and Student Experience and the Career Strategies and Engagement Center will continue providing robust academic and career support services. Staff at the International Business School are also developing a meaningful slate of additional programming that will be held both virtually and on-campus for students who reside locally. All on-campus programming will be held in accordance with local, state and federal health guidelines. Student leaders and clubs will also continue hosting virtual social events, competitions and guest-speaker series throughout the semester. We encourage you to connect with us through Facebook and Instagram. Please continue to read our weekly newsletters and let us know if you have any ideas to share.

Prospective Students

Can I visit the Admissions Office at this time?

We regret that we cannot welcome prospective students to our Admissions Office at this time. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we feel that this is the best decision for the health and safety of our community.

We encourage you to schedule a Skype or phone call with a member of the Admissions team until we can welcome visitors to campus again.

Can I still apply for Fall 2020?

We will continue to accept applications for Fall 2020 admission for our MA, MSBA, MSF and MBA programs through July 15. All instruction at the International Business School will be online during the fall semester, with engaging extra-curricular, on-campus and virtual activities.We will continue to accept applications for Fall 2020 admission for our MA, MSBA, MSF and MBA programs through July 15. All instruction at the International Business School will be online during the fall semester, with engaging extra-curricular, on-campus and virtual activities.

Can I apply for Spring 2021?

The Spring 2021 application for the MA, MSBA, MSF and MBA programs will be available beginning August 1. The priority deadline for international applicants for Spring 2021 is October 1 and our final deadline for Spring 2021 is December 1.

My test dates for the TOEFL/IELTS have been canceled. How can I submit proof of English proficiency?

The International Business School is temporarily accepting the Duolingo English Test for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 applicants. The Duolingo English Test can be taken online. For more information, and to take the test, please visit englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants.

Additionally, in certain regions ETS is providing an option for students to take the TOEFL iBT® test at home online. For additional details, please refer to ETS's website.

I am having difficulty taking the GRE/GMAT test. What do I do?

Due to disruptions to testing centers around the globe, we understand many applicants have experienced difficulty fulfilling the GMAT/GRE test score requirement. While we value the GMAT/GRE test score as one aspect of our holistic application review and encourage those with a test score to submit one, we will be waiving the GMAT/GRE requirement for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 applicants.