The requirements vary among programs. All candidates must submit an application form and application fee. The online application requires the candidate to include a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae/resume, and unofficial transcripts of academic work completed to date. Additionally, the online application form will prompt the candidate to submit the names and contact information for recommenders (typically two or three), who will be sent a link to upload their letters of recommendation. Your program may also require standardized test score results, a writing sample, a portfolio, an audition, and/or an interview. Please visit your department to see specific requirements by program. All applicants must have obtained a bachelor's degree or the international equivalent prior to matriculation.
No, your chances for admission cannot be assessed without reviewing your entire application file. Your statement of purpose, curriculum/vitae, and letters of recommendation play a significant role in the application review process.
There are no GPA or standardized test score cutoffs. Applicants are considered holistically on the basis of a number of factors.
International students, however, must meet certain English-language minimum test scores to be eligible for admission.
In most cases, previous work as an undergraduate major or as a formal minor (18 credits or more) is desirable. However, a student should always check with the department of interest concerning the suitability of previous academic work as it pertains to the degree program in question.
No, candidates may apply directly to a PhD program with their baccalaureate degree.
Students with earlier graduate work may apply to transfer credits from the previous program. The decision to accept any credit will be made by the Registrar and the Department after the first semester of enrollment in the Graduate School.
No, you may only apply to one program per academic year.
Once you have submitted your application and paid your application fee, you can check on the status of your application materials by logging into your Application Portal using the same credentials you used while applying. Your portal will display a materials checklist. The checklist will be updated as we receive the materials necessary to complete your application process. In addition, you are able to upload additional documentation through the Application Portal.
If you wish to authorize another person to inquire on your behalf about the status of your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an authorization form. The Graduate School will not release information about your application to anyone without this authorization form.
Please be sure that you review the deadline submission date for your program of interest. It is your responsibility to apply and submit all of the required documents by the program’s deadline. If your program of interest has a rolling deadline, it is in your best interest to submit materials as early as possible, as the admission committees only review applications until the cohort is full.
Typically, applicants receive a decision approximately six to eight weeks after the program's application deadline. Each department has its own timeframe, so for a more exact timeline, you should contact your program directly. Our office cannot tell you when you will receive an admission decision. Please note, while individual programs may inform applicants that they been recommended for admission, only decisions administered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are considered to be official. Admission decisions will be posted to your Application Portal and you will be notified when they are available via email. We are unable to release admission decisions over the phone.
Though we strongly suggest that you apply online because our electronic applications are processed more rapidly, you may apply via a paper application. The fee to apply via a paper application is $75. You can request a paper application by emailing email@example.com.
If you are applying to a program with a standardized test requirement, you must submit official scores from the testing agencies in order for your application to be considered complete.
You will enter your unofficial scores directly into the Test Score section of the application. You should not upload, email, or mail any copies of the score reports. The department will be able to view the scores that you have entered until your official scores arrive. Please keep in mind that there is a delay from when you order your official scores to when they are matched with your application. Overall, this process can take up to three weeks.
In the Test Score section of the application, there is a link to add new test scores. Simply click on the link, select the appropriate test, and then enter your future test date. This will allow you to submit the application without scores for that specific test.
When you take the test, enter the appropriate Brandeis institution code (see How do I send official scores to GSAS question below) at the testing center. When the official scores arrive, we will associate them with your application. In the interim, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your unofficial scores and our office can enter them into your application.
The Graduate School does not accept MyBest scores. We will continue to accept only test scores from individual test dates.
The required number of letters of recommendation varies among programs. Please visit your department to see specific requirements by program.
The electronic application will ask you to list the names and email addresses of your recommenders. Once you enter their contact information on your application and press “send to recommender,” they will be notified via email and directed to a secure website to upload the letter to your application. Once a letter has been submitted, it will be added to your application materials and marked as received on your application checklist. You will receive a confirmation email each time one of your recommenders submits a letter online.
In most cases, you will have the ability to remind any of your recommenders who have not yet submitted their letters through the application system. To do so, log into your Application Portal and select the "recommendations page" link found under your Application Checklist. When the Recommendation Information page opens, click on the 'edit' link next to the recommender who you want to send a reminder to and then click on the 'Send Reminder' button.
You will have the ability to resend the email containing the recommendation letter upload link to your recommenders who have not yet submitted their letters. To do so, log into your Application Portal and select the "recommendations page" link found under your Application Checklist. When the Recommendation Information page opens, click on the 'edit' link next to the recommender who you want to resend the link to and then click on the 'Send Reminder' button.
Please be aware that if your recommender does not see the email in their inbox, it could be due to spam-blocking software being used to filter messages. If any of your recommenders report that they have not received the email, they may try disabling the software or looking in their spam folders.
Alternatively, you are welcome to have your recommender email their letter as a PDF or Doc attachment to email@example.com. The email will need to be sent from their professional email address as listed on your application. Our office will then attach the letter to your application.
You are welcome to email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed instructions on correcting the email address.
Yes, although electronic submission is strongly preferred and the submission of hard-copy letters may delay the processing of your application. You or your recommender can submit a signed letter on official letterhead with the recommender's signature over the envelope's seal to:
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MS 031 Brandeis University
415 South Street,
Waltham, MA 02454
Yes, you are required to upload your transcripts to the Educational Record page of your application in order for your application to be considered complete. The transcripts that you upload are not considered official. You may upload your institution’s print or web version of your transcript. Many institutions allow students and alumni to access their grade report online; these reports are sufficient for application file review. Please note that transcripts must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation.
Please follow these guidelines when uploading your transcripts:
Upload each transcript individually if you have attended more than one institution.
If your transcript is double sided, please include both sides and be sure to include the transcript legend.
Make sure that your upload is legible and clearly identifies the school from which the transcript originated.
If the scanned file is too large, first make a photocopy (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size), then scan the photocopy.
Make certain that its size is less then 2000kb (2 MB). For best results, scan at the lowest DPI.
Please note that if you upload a password protected PDF, the admissions committee will not be able to view it in the system. You will need to print it, scan it, and upload it for it to be visible.
Yes, all transcripts must be in English or you must also upload a certified English translation of the transcript.
No, transcripts mailed to our office prior to an acceptance of an offer of admission will be destroyed.
Please follow these suggestions if you are having trouble uploading your transcript(s):
Make sure that you are scanning your transcripts one school at a time and not all of your transcripts as one large document. The document size must be less than 2000kb (2MB).
Scan at a lower DPI (try using under 300 DPI) only if the transcript is still legible.
If the scanned file is still too large, try making a photocopy to adjust the size and then scan the photocopy.
You should upload transcripts for all institutions where you enrolled in post-secondary coursework with the exception of those where the courses and/or credits are listed on another institution's transcript that you are uploading (e.g., you do not need to provide transcripts from study abroad if the coursework or credits transferred to your bachelor's transcript). Remember, you only need to submit official transcripts after you are admitted and decide to enroll.
All transcripts uploaded to your application are considered unofficial. Definitions of official transcripts can be found on your Application Portal.
All incoming students must submit official post-secondary transcript(s) – including the final undergraduate transcript indicating successful completion of a bachelor’s degree – prior to their first semester.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences reserves the right to revoke admission of anyone who does not provide official transcripts.
The statement of purpose should be one to three pages; you should consult your program of interest for specific details on content. All statements of purpose should clearly state your reasons for applying to graduate school and your specific interests in the graduate program at Brandeis. The statement of purpose document must be uploaded to your application prior to submission of the application.
Documents should be uploaded to your application. Do not email us or mail to us a copy of your documents. All documents mailed during the application process—with the exception of official score reports and official letters of recommendation—will be destroyed.
Writing sample requirements vary by department. Please visit your program of interest to see specific requirements by program. If your program of interest requires a writing sample, you may upload one to your application prior to submission or you may upload one after submission via your Application Portal.
In the Portfolio section of your application, you can upload a PDF that contains the URL where your score file and/or audio file is located (i.e., on YouTube or Vimeo), but you must make sure that the link is active and as specific as possible so that your work may be easily reviewed without requiring any searching of a website. If you have already submitted your application, you may upload this PDF in the Porfolio section of your Application Portal.
A $75 application fee is required of all students who apply online. You will be prompted to pay via electronic check or credit card immediately after submitting your application. Applications will not be reviewed until your fee has been received and processed.
Application fees can be paid by electronic check or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express). You will be prompted to pay the fee upon application submission. If you submit a paper application, then our office will notify you regarding when to make a payment.
See Application Fees for information about application fee waivers.
Your application will not be reviewed for admission. If your application fee payment is outstanding, you will see a payment link when you log into your Application Portal.
For his master’s degree, Matthew focused on “Film Studies with an interest in the early cinema and its relationship to opera, mass culture, Gesamtkunstwerk, the history of religion, and psycho-sociological theories. Matthew discovered these topics as an undergraduate topics that he wished to investigate further and in more advanced ways” as a graduate student.