January 25, 2016

By Simon Goodacre | Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) has established the Diversity, Excellence, and Inclusion Scholarship (DEIS) to make graduate studies a reality for students who are often overlooked in traditional admissions processes.

In its inaugural year, the scholarship will provide five students admitted to Brandeis’ world-class master’s programs in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts with full-tuition credit, a $10,000 annual stipend, and extra programmatic support for each year in residence.

“A commitment to diversity is one of Brandeis’ core values, and something that we take very seriously at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,” said GSAS Dean Eric Chasalow. “We have seen similar programs, such as Posse, provide significant benefits to our undergraduate students, so it made absolute sense to bring those benefits the graduate student population.”

Chasalow has been developing the scholarship for more than a year, securing funds from donors and working with nonprofit organizations nationwide to recommend potential recipients. “We have wanted to offer this type of scholarship for a long time,” said Chasalow. “Now that the program has launched, our Admissions team is already working with our partners and establishing new relationships to identify the first class of DEIS scholars and a pipeline for future candidates.”

One of the goals of the program is to help students transition into elite doctoral programs at Brandeis and beyond. In addition to the tuition credit and stipend, DEIS scholars will receive close mentoring from faculty, a dedicated cohort advisor, and the Career Services team at GSAS. “We know that we do an excellent job mentoring our master’s students into excellent PhD programs,” said Chasalow. “Our team has a proven track record of helping master’s students take the next steps in their academic career, and they are well positioned to help DEIS students do the same.”

Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident who applies to GSAS can be considered for DEIS. “We are looking for any students who may be traditionally overlooked by graduate admissions processes, including first generation college graduates,” said Laurie Nichols, director of Admissions. In order to be considered, students must apply before the deadlines listed on the DEIS webpage. A committee of GSAS faculty will then choose the scholarship recipients this spring.

The applications for the 2016-17 academic year are already in progress, and the first DEIS scholars are expected to arrive on campus in August 2016.