Alumni Perspective

"I followed the MPP/MA track at the Hornstein Program and got my degrees in 2016. I now work for the Jacobson Family Foundation as a Portfolio Associate. I assist in identifying great leaders, ideas and organizations, developing grants, and providing support that helps organizations increase their impact. In doing so, I help build American Jews' affinity to their religion and culture and increase opportunities and access to Jewish experiences, education, and communities." 

 —Alyssa Bogdanow, MA/MPP'16



Frequently Asked Questions


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What types of professional opportunities have Hornstein alumni pursued?

Hornstein alumni find employment in a wide variety of Jewish communal institutions, both well-established and entrepreneurial "start-ups." They include federations, JCCs, synagogues, family foundations, Jewish education settings, camps, and Hillels. Hornstein boasts an exemplary job placement rate and has a supportive alumni network in North America and beyond.

Visit our Career Opportunities webpage to see a list of selected organizations where Hornstein alumni have worked or are presently working.

Where do Hornstein students have professional field experiences?

Students may choose to do field work over the summer and/or during the academic year. Students choosing the summer option have gone to organizations as far as Israel, Canada, and California. For others wishing to stay in the area over the summer or during the academic year, Boston offers a wide range of dynamic organizations such as federations, JCCs, Hillels, community relations organizations, camping institutions, synagogues, and educational institutions.

See examples of fieldwork placement postions at our field experience webpage. 

I'm not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Is there anything special that I should do?

Yes. There are special procedures related to admissions for international students as well as specific U.S. government regulations and policies concerning entry into the country and student conduct while here.

To assist international students before and after arrival on campus, Brandeis University's International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is available to help.

Almost all international applicants must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Please refer to this webpage under the section Standardized Tests for more information.

What does a Hornstein class look like?

The size of any incoming Hornstein class is on average, twelve students. Students come to the program from a variety of professional and religious backgrounds. While it is best to have had some work experience prior to coming to Hornstein, some students enter the program with little professional experience, while others, perhaps pursuing a career change, enter later in life. Hornstein prides itself on fostering a pluralistic community and embraces any level of Judaic knowledge.

What does a typical semester at Hornstein look like?

Hornstein students take four to five classes in the fall and spring semesters and participate in numerous co-curricular activities, many of which the students plan themselves. The summer semester, which is a residential requirement, normally consists of two classes. Coursework is chosen with guidance from the student's Hornstein faculty advisor.

See Hornstein's course offerings webpage for more information.

How much does the program cost? What kind of financial aid and/or scholarship opportunities are available to me?

For a complete breakdown of costs, including the required summer semester, additional fees, and estimated living expenses, please see the Graduate School's Cost of Attendance Calculator. 

To encourage the most talented students, the Hornstein Program considers all applicants for many full and partial scholarships. Additionally, organizations outside of the university offer graduate study scholarships and should be examined carefully for their specific requirements and deadlines.

Learn more at our Financial Aid and Scholarships webpage.

Is housing available on campus? What are my off-campus options?

In general, Brandeis University does not provide on-campus housing for graduate students. There is housing for international students on a limited basis. Typically, students live in various communities around Boston, depending on their needs and financial constraints. Some popular areas include Brookline, Brighton, Cambridge, Allston, Somerville, Watertown, and Waltham. 

Graduate Student Services and Brandeis's Department of Community Living are excellent resources. 

The following are additional online resources geared to assist you with finding housing in the Boston area. Please note that they are not affiliated with the University in any way so we cannot attest to their quality.

Can I work while I'm a Hornstein student?

Yes. Many students have part-time jobs, often at local synagogues, area Jewish agencies, or on campus. Students should consider carefully, however, the rigors of course work, field experience, travel, and co-curricular activities before taking on the additional commitment of paid employment. Generally, we do not recommend that students work more than 10 hours per week. Students interested in on-campus employment opportunities should visit the Brandeis Student Financial Services Job Opportunities webpage. Additionally, the Hornstein Office often receives postings from synagogues and other organizations which we post over the summer and throughout the year. Finally, if you are an international student, special regulations apply. Please visit the Brandeis International Students and Scholars Office website for more information.