Preparation for Professional Training

The College of Arts and Sciences does not design courses of study with specific vocational goals in mind. In pursuing a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, students develop a firm foundation for subsequent professional education.

Architectural schools are looking for solid experience in any major. It is not necessary to major in fine arts. There are several kinds of courses, however, that should be taken: basic calculus and basic physics; basic design, life drawing and as many other fine arts studio courses as practicable; courses in architectural history; and principles of urban studies and other urban studies courses, if feasible.

In addition, past experience indicates that students should prepare an art portfolio consisting of studies prepared in conjunction with basic design or another studio course. Finally, summer employment in architectural offices, gained on the student's own initiative, remains useful.

Admission requirements for graduate schools of business typically include one or more years of full-time work experience in addition to rigorous academic training. Students seeking to go to business school after Brandeis should therefore take courses at Brandeis that prepare them for entry-level positions in business and related organizations. They should also follow a course of study that develops their skills in logical reasoning, critical reading, effective writing, quantitative analysis, library research and oral expression.

Business schools usually do not prescribe a specific undergraduate major; although many successful applicants to business school are social science majors, majors in natural sciences and humanities are also common. So the best advice is to exploit the liberal arts education that Brandeis offers, by following a course of study that is interesting and challenging while simultaneously providing exposure to business issues.

Brandeis offers an undergraduate minor in business that enables students to combine preparation for business with any major. A major in business will be offered beginning in the fall of 2010. Both of these interdepartmental programs are offered by the School of Arts and Sciences and the International Business School. It includes preparation in accounting, introductions to economics and to all the major functions of business, broad perspectives on business from related disciplines, elective courses in global business and entrepreneurship and an optional internship experience. See further discussion under the business interdisciplinary program in this Bulletin.

Most law schools advise undergraduates to concentrate in what interests them as the later specific legal training will build on the advantages of a sound liberal arts education.

Although there is no prescribed program of study for prospective law school applicants, many concentrate in such social sciences as politics, economics, history and American studies. Because law schools tend to look for evidence of a rigorous schedule of courses and high verbal competence, a background in logic, the natural sciences and English is desirable. Although courses from the Legal Studies Program might familiarize the prospective law student with law school material, it is not necessary that such courses be taken as preparation for professional training.

Prospective applicants to law school should consult the Hiatt Career Center for law school catalogs and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) registration materials. Also available in that office is the Brandeis Prelaw Handbook, which includes a survey of the experiences of recent Brandeis alumni in seeking admission to law school, as well as a more detailed description of law school application procedures.

Several members of the faculty serve informally as advisers to prospective law school applicants. Students requesting a dean's certification should contact the Office of Academic Services.

Medicine and Dentistry
The course of study for pre-health professionals at Brandeis is more than simply a collection of required courses. The director of pre-health advising in the Office of Academic Services is available for advice and guidance throughout a student's undergraduate career. In the junior year, each student is assigned a member on the Board of Premedical Advisers. These advisers provide ongoing guidance, aid in the application procedure and participate in the preparation of letters of recommendation.

The basic requirements for prehealth professionals are satisfied by the following courses: two introductory courses (plus laboratory) in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology. Many schools also require one semester of mathematics or statistics and one semester of English.

A Guide for Premedical Students at Brandeis University, a comprehensive handbook that addresses all aspects of the premedical curriculum and the process of applying to medical schools, is available to all premedical students at

The university does offers a program that fulfills Massachusetts requirements for teacher licensure and at least partially fulfills those of other states as well. Students interested in preparing for careers as teachers in preschool, primary or secondary schools should inform themselves of certification requirements in the state where they plan to work and should consult the director of the education program.

Tufts University School of Medicine Early Acceptance Program

The Tufts University School of Medicine Early Acceptance Program is designed for academically strong undergraduate students who are pursuing a premedical curriculum. Successful completion of this program assures candidates of acceptance to Tufts University School of Medicine after graduation.

Interested candidates apply to the program in the spring of their sophomore year and are expected to have completed at Brandeis two semesters of general chemistry and biology with laboratories and one semester of organic chemistry with a GPA of 3.50 or better, and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 at the time of application.

Students must apply by the stated dealine and will be notified of their acceptance in July. Accepted students are expected to complete one year of physics, mathematics, English and American literature and requirements for graduation with a B+ average before entering Tufts University Medical School.

Once accepted to the program, students will have access to a faculty mentoring program at Tufts University Medical School, and the opportunity to participate in special seminars. Accepted students have until Aug. 1 following their sophomore year to accept the offer via the AMCAS early decision process. If a student does not accept the offer, he or she has not jeopardized the chance to apply to any other medical school.

For statistical purposes only, the MCAT is required for accepted students and must be taken prior to matriculation at the medical school.

Columbia University Law School's Accelerated Program in Interdisciplinary Legal Education

Brandeis is affiliated with Columbia University Law School in a special program that allows outstanding students to apply for admission to the law school after three years at Brandeis. Students must have completed 28 courses, have taken the Law School Admission Test and have been nominated by Brandeis after a rigorous screening process. Students accepted by the Columbia University Law School will complete their four courses required for the completion of the Brandeis degree during their second and third years at the law school. They will be awarded the Brandeis B.A. and the Columbia J.D. simultaneously.

Students interested in this program are advised to seek additional information at the outset of their fourth semester in the Office of Academic Services.

Columbia University School of Engineering Combined Degree Program

Brandeis University and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University have established a dual-degree program whereby students complete three years of course work at Brandeis, followed by two years of study at Columbia University to complete the requirements for an engineering degree. Students should consult the Pre-Combined Plan Curriculum Guide created by Columbia University in order to determine the equivalent courses they will need to take at Brandeis.

Students who complete this program are awarded a bachelor of arts degree in physics (or possibly some other science major) from Brandeis and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Columbia University.

Interested students should consult the program coordinator in the physics department as soon as possible in order to plan their curriculum to meet Columbia prerequisites. Each engineering department at Columbia has its own set of prerequisites that can be obtained from the program coordinator.

Interested candidates must apply to the program prior to Jan. 1 in their junior year for admission to Columbia University in the subsequent fall semester. Before matriculating at Columbia, a typical physics major would have completed at Brandeis the general university requirements, the requirements for a physics major and at least the following courses (or equivalents):

  • MATH 10a, b; 22a, b or 15a, 20a; 35a, 37a

  • CHEM 11a, 18a

  • COSI 11a

  • One course in economics

Students should also have earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or above. Letters of recommendation from the faculty liaison, a member of the science faculty and a member of the mathematics faculty are also required to apply.

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Certificate in Engineering

Olin College offers a five-course Certificate in Engineering for students at Brandeis as part of a special collaboration. This certificate is not equivalent to an engineering degree, but represents a substantial investment in engineering courses that could help students pursue a wider field of postgraduate opportunities in industry or graduate school. The courses of study are designed to provide the student with a fundamental understanding of an engineering field, and typically consist of courses ranging from introductory engineering courses to advanced courses.

One of the five courses may be an approved Brandeis course with the remaining four taken through cross-registration at Olin. There are six programs of study: engineering design, materials engineering, bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical rngineering and rngineering systems.

For students who want to concentrate their studies and immerse themselves in a team-based engineering environment through residence at Olin, there is an option to enroll at Olin for a semester. For further details and to explore academic options, please consult with either Professor Robert Meyer (physics) or Professor Timothy Hickey (computer science). For direct consultation at Olin, contact the Certificate Program Coordinator, Professor Mark L. Chang, or 781-292-2559.