fall 2020 semester banner

Updated on August 26, 2020

Message from the Dean

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced university campuses across the world to adapt their approach to education, research and discovery. After a great deal of collaboration between the GSAS staff and our faculty colleagues, we have decided to offer a hybrid of online and in-person activities during the fall semester. You will find a series of related FAQs on this page that are being updated regularly.

Three key priorities have motivated our strategy for the fall semester at GSAS:

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.

With these goals in mind, we will offer a hybrid of online and in-person activities in the fall semester, including teaching, advising, and collateral functions such as conferences and speakers series. Almost half of course offerings will have some in-person components and there will be other opportunities to invite you to campus, while following health and safety protocols.

In some cases, the small enrollments in graduate courses will enable in-person class meetings. Some faculty members however feel that masking and related health requirements would negatively impact the quality of our seminars, making in-person classes less productive and they will offer classes with more online meetings. There are programs too that require hands-on research and instruction that cannot be duplicated without the use of our campus laboratories, studios, and other facilities. Given these circumstances, we feel that delivering a hybrid solution based on each program’s individual requirements is the only way to ensure that all students have access to the Brandeis education they deserve.

Each program will look slightly different in this model, intentionally balancing the pedagogical requirements with the constraints the pandemic has imposed on our physical spaces. Please reach out directly to your department for detailed information on your curriculum, orientation, and support.

I will continue to update you as we make more decisions about the fall semester. As always, if you have any questions or feedback for me or my team, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page. From all of us at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, thank you for your flexibility, resilience and determination.

Sincerely yours, 


Procedures and Protocols

Feedback Regarding COVID-19

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