Admission to the College of Arts and Sciences

The university selects new students each year on the basis of merit, admitting those individuals whom it believes to be best prepared academically and personally for the university's educational program and most likely to contribute to and profit from the life of the Brandeis community. Although it chooses a class varied in its interests, talents and experience, it uses no quotas of any kind — geographic, racial, religious or economic.

In its evaluation of candidates, the admissions office weighs evidence of accomplishment and development; school and teacher statements based on previous study and experience; relevance to the application of test results; and impressions gained through the application.

Admission Requirements for Freshman Candidates

To be considered for freshman admission, a candidate should be enrolled in a college preparatory course of study. Students planning to enter college before the completion of their secondary school programs, veterans or other persons with equivalency diplomas or special school backgrounds should write directly to the dean of admissions regarding their interest and experience.

An adequate course in preparation for Brandeis should include four years of English; three years of a foreign language, including study during the senior year whenever possible (two years each of two languages is acceptable, but less desirable); three years of college preparatory mathematics (prospective science concentrators should present a year of advanced mathematics); at least one year of science (chemistry, physics, or biology); and one year of history. The remaining courses should generally be in traditional college preparatory studies. It is recognized, however, that courses in the creative arts are of value to students intending to concentrate in these fields in college.

Standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, TOEFL) are regarded by the Committee on Admissions as one of several factors in a student's candidacy and as a method of evaluating the qualifications of candidates from different schools and areas. All candidates must take either the SAT (given by the College Board) or the ACT Assessment Test with writing section. All tests should be completed by the end of January of the senior year.

The candidate should direct that the College Board or ACT report scores to the dean of admissions. The school code for Brandeis is 3092.

In addition, if English is not the native language of the student, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam should also be taken.

Full information concerning testing may be obtained from secondary school guidance counselors or directly from the agencies administering the exams.

For information on the SAT contact the College Board Headquarters.

For information on the ACT, contact the American College Testing Program.

For information on TOEFL, contact the Educational Testing Service.

Early Decision

Freshman candidates who, after careful consideration of various college options, have decided firmly that Brandeis is their first choice, are encouraged to apply for admission under the Early Decision Plan.

Early decision candidates and their college counselors must sign a statement on the application indicating that they understand the implications of the Early Decision Plan and that the student will enroll if admitted. Although early decision candidates may file regular applications to other colleges, it is with the understanding that those applications will be withdrawn when candidates are offered admission to Brandeis under the Early Decision Plan.

All applications and supporting credentials for early decision must be received no later than Nov. 15 for Early Decision I and no later than Jan. 1 for Early Decision II. Supporting credentials should include the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT with Writing. Decisions will be mailed by Dec. 15 for Early Decision I and by Feb. 1 for Early Decision II.

Admission Requirements for Transfer Candidates

The Committee on Admissions welcomes transfer applications from individuals whose current college record demonstrates the academic promise necessary to continue their scholarly pursuits at Brandeis. Whenever desired, applicants will be granted a conference with a faculty member in the area of academic interest. Some financial aid is reserved annually for transfer candidates.

Transfer admission is granted solely in keeping with the university's degree requirement of a minimum of two years of full-time study. To be considered for admission, a candidate should present evidence of good standing (academically and personally) in his or her preceding college and sound reasons for wishing to transfer.

In its selection of transfer candidates, the Committee on Admissions gives major consideration to the quality of college-level work completed and some consideration to further evidence of promise for achievement at Brandeis based on the secondary school record, personal evaluations by the appropriate dean and an instructor and testing and information conveyed by the candidate.

Candidates with less than a full year of college credit should submit either SAT or ACT scores from testing completed either during secondary school or by April of the year of application. Candidates with more than a full year of college credit do not need to submit standardized testing.

Transfer candidates should apply by the deadline of April 1 for the fall semester.

Admission of International Students

To be considered for admission as an international student, a candidate should have successfully completed a pre-university program (the duration of which was at least 12 years) with strong results on nationally administered examinations where applicable.

Undergraduate applicants whose native language is English are required to take the SAT at centers throughout the world. Students may submit results from the American College Testing Program (ACT) in lieu of College Board testing. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of applicants who are not native speakers of English.

The deadline for receipt of international applications is Jan. 15 for enrollment the following September. The deadline for spring semester admission is Nov. 1. Candidates for September admission may apply for financial aid. No financial aid is available for international candidates for spring semester admission.

The Wien International Scholarship Program, created in 1958 by Lawrence A. and Mae Wien, is designed to further global understanding, provide international undergraduate students with opportunities for study in the United States and enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the Brandeis campus.

The program enables the university to offer a limited number of undergraduate awards to outstanding incoming students. Full Wien Scholarships cover the cost of tuition, required fees and a stipend for books. The remainder of the full Wien award to cover the cost of room, board and personal maintenance is based upon the student's eligibility and will be grant, loan or on-campus employment.

Wien Scholarships of less than full tuition are also awarded; on-campus employment and loan funds are often combined with these partial awards to meet demonstrated financial need. A limited number of partial-tuition Wien awards are based only on merit.

Wien Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence and overall strength of the application. They are renewable through the completion of the undergraduate degree.

International applicants are also considered for other university-funded need-based awards. Need-based awards are intended to assist as many students as resources permit through award packages of scholarship, on-campus employment and loan funds covering part of the total cost. All international applicants who want to be considered for either the Wien Scholarships or other university aid must submit the International Student Financial Aid Application.

Gateway Scholars Program

The Gateway Scholars Program is designed to give non-native speakers of English the skills they need to become successful students and scholars at Brandeis. Students join the Brandeis community in July for courses focused on developing skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Upon completion of the summer session, Gateway Scholars participate in first-year orientation before beginning the fall semester. In the fall semester, scholars take a combination of undergraduate courses and Gateway English courses. Upon completion of the program, students will continue with a full undergraduate curriculum in the spring.

Brandeis Adult-Student Option

The Committee on Admissions welcomes applications from adult students who are interested in pursuing B.A. degrees at Brandeis. For a candidate who has been out of high school or college for a number of years, the Committee on Admissions looks for evidence – recent course work (noncredit or credit), work or volunteer experience – that the applicant has remained intellectually curious and highly motivated.

Transcripts from recent course work are particularly helpful in providing documentation. Letters of recommendation from teachers, supervisors or colleagues; a personal statement; and a personal interview give further evidence of promise for achievement at Brandeis. No standardized testing is required, but a candidate may submit official testing if he or she desires.

Brandeis adult students may pay on a course-by-course basis, taking as few as one or as many as five and a half courses per semester (see "Tuition" section for the rate per course). In order to receive the baccalaureate, they must meet all degree requirements, except rate-of-work requirements, that apply to full-time students. Credit will be given for course work done elsewhere if it meets university transfer credit criteria.

Candidates interested in the Brandeis Adult Student Option should apply by April 1 for the fall semester and Nov. 1 for the spring semester.

Special Student Status

The university accepts as special students for the fall and spring semesters a small number of persons who are not candidates for a degree at Brandeis and who wish to elect one or more courses for which they are qualified and can demonstrate special need. This would include students who are degree candidates at another college or university wishing to attend Brandeis as visiting students.

Special student status is subject to approval on an individual and semester basis. Students whose academic performance does not meet Brandeis standards may be denied permission to register for a second semester.

Neither residence nor financial aid is available to special students, and no special student may take precedence over a degree candidate in any limited-enrollment course. Please note that international students in special student status must enroll for a full course of study.

Persons interested in special student status should apply by July 15 for the fall semester and by Nov. 1 for the spring semester.

College-Level Work Done While in High School

Students may earn credit toward general education requirements (except academic residency) for college-level work taken during American high school study (grades 9-12) or before entering Brandeis as freshmen. Such courses must be offered by accredited postsecondary institutions; designed for and accessible to regular college students and taught by instructors whose institutional responsibilities are primarily at the postsecondary level; acceptable for degree credit at the host institution; and comparable to Brandeis courses in content, scope and level of instruction, as judged by Brandeis faculty.

To receive credit for courses taken at institutions other than Brandeis, the student must achieve grades of B- or higher, as certified by an official college transcript received by Brandeis, and must not have applied the credit toward high school graduation requirements. For students in dual-enrollment programs, elective courses exceeding the total number required for high school graduation will be considered for evaluation. Students must petition through the Office of the University Registrar. Courses that are considered credit worthy by sponsoring and cooperating colleges and universities may not meet Brandeis requirements.

Advanced Placement

Brandeis participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Qualifying scores necessary to receive credit are recommended by the academic departments to their school councils and administered by the Office of the University Registrar.

Generally, especially in the sciences, advanced placement credit may not be applied toward satisfaction of requirements for a major or minor. It may, however, permit students to begin work in a field at a higher level. Advanced placement credit may be applied toward satisfaction of university degree requirements; please download the AP chart (pdf) for specifics.

Unlike for some other languages, there is no Advanced Placement exam in Hebrew. Therefore, the Hebrew program at Brandeis offers students who are non-native, have studied Hebrew as a second language in high school, have had no college-level courses, and have demonstrated advanced knowledge in the Brandeis Hebrew placement exam, an opportunity to take an additional exam for credit. Upon successful completion of that exam, a student will receive one course credit. This opportunity is available to students only at the time they first enter Brandeis.

Students who receive qualifying scores and wish to apply eventually for Brandeis course credit must contact the College Board and request that their scores be reported to the Coordinator of Advanced Placement, Office of the University Registrar, Brandeis University, Mailstop 068, PO Box 549110, Waltham, Massachusetts, 02454-9110.

Brandeis' school code number is 3092. Requests for additional information on the Advanced Placement Program should be addressed similarly.

During the student's second semester at Brandeis, the student should come to the Office of the University Registrar to submit the paperwork that will allow the office to process the request for credits. Students who apply Advanced Placement exam credits to the Brandeis degree may not enroll in courses here or elsewhere that are regarded as equivalent without experiencing the revocation of the Advanced Placement exam credit. Course equivalents are determined by the academic departments and posted by the Office of the University Registrar.

A maximum of four semester-course credits may be applied toward the academic residency requirement from credit awarded for Advanced Placement exams. Additional course credits beyond the four semester-course credits can be awarded and can be used for placement purposes, general degree requirements and major/minor requirements as allowed by individual departments.

The award of advanced placement credit is determined by the policies in effect during the student's entry year into Brandeis; students should consult the AP chart published in the Bulletin for their year of entry.

Any questions about the use of Advanced Placement credit should be directed to the coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar.

International Baccalaureate

Brandeis recognizes the International Baccalaureate diploma and will award eight credits (two four-credit courses) for each higher level examination with a score of 5 or better, for a maximum of sixteen credits (four four-credit courses). Numeric credits earned in this manner may be used toward the 128 credits required for graduation. Additional exams with scores of 5 or better can be awarded purpose credit. Requirement purpose credit has no numeric credit value.

Foreign School-Leaving Examination

International students are obliged to supply the results of their advanced secondary school examinations to the Office of the University Registrar for evaluation.

Brandeis accepts credit toward the B.A. or B.S. degree for a number of such examinations, including the British Advanced Level examinations, the German Abitur, the French baccalaureate, and others; credit is contingent upon level of performance and details may be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar. Credit from such sources will not be applied to the Brandeis record until the student has completed two semesters at the university.

Students may not enroll in courses deemed equivalent to the foreign work without loss of the foreign credit. A maximum of 16 credits (four four-credit courses) may be used toward the 128 credits required for graduation.

Transfer Credit Policies

Transfer students are obliged to supply official transcripts documenting all previous college-level work. All such work is evaluated and each incoming transfer student is furnished by the registrar with an evaluation based upon existing faculty policies. The evaluation will indicate the number of course credits granted and the number of degree requirements that have been met.

No more than 16 course credits may be granted, because residence requirements specify that a minimum of 16 courses in four semesters must be successfully completed at Brandeis.

Courses must have been taken at accredited, degree-granting institutions from which an official transcript has been received. The courses must be generally equivalent to courses offered at Brandeis, and the grade received must be equivalent to at least a C-, though credit is usually awarded for a "pass" grade in a system allowing nonletter grades. Occasionally, credit may be awarded conditionally, pending successful completion of a year at Brandeis.

Only selected overseas study programs are acceptable for Brandeis credit; for further details on the transfer of credit from overseas study sources, consult the Office of the University Registrar. Students may not be concurrently enrolled at Brandeis during a term in which transfer credit is sought, except as allowed under the provisions of cross-registration.

Credit is granted on an equivalent semester basis with four course credits being awarded for completion of a normal semester's work at the other institution. Normally, one quarter-course receives no credit, two quarter-courses are granted one course credit, and three quarter-courses are awarded two course credits.

Students who do not initially receive credit for a particular course taken at another institution may petition the registrar for reconsideration. Such a petition requires the signature of the appropriate Brandeis faculty member and must indicate the Brandeis course to which it is considered equivalent. In an unusual situation, the petition may be referred to the Committee on Academic Standing for final resolution.

In determining progress toward the requirements of a major, departments may consider only non-Brandeis courses that have been accepted for degree credit. Departments may limit the number of such courses that they will apply toward the major. Rules governing the application of transfer credit to majors may differ from department to department.

Application and Admissions Procedures

For the most current information regarding admissions procedures and deadline dates, prospective candidates should consult the instructions accompanying the application.

The contact information for the forwarding of all inquiries, materials and test results is:

Brandeis University
Office of Admissions
Mailstop 003
PO Box 549110
Waltham, MA 02454-9110

781-736-3500 or 800-622-0622
781-736-8502 TTY/TDD