Did You Know?

The university's principal components are the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the Brandeis International Business School, and the Rabb School of Continuing Studies.


Brandeis University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution of higher learning and research. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, it has more than 3,600 undergraduate students — drawn from more than 50 states and territories and over 120 countries  and more than 2,000 graduate students. Its 387 faculty members include nationally and internationally recognized teachers, scholars and researchers.

Founded in 1948 by members of the American Jewish community, Brandeis brings to American higher education a unique cultural perspective reflecting Jewish traditions of scholarship and community service and the commitment to social justice personified by Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the distinguished Supreme Court justice for whom the university is named. Although Brandeis maintains a special relationship with the Jewish community, it is not affiliated with any religious organization, it offers no theological instruction and it welcomes students and faculty of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Through a comprehensive curriculum and co-curricular activities, Brandeis presents students with a diverse array of issues and approaches to learning. At the undergraduate level, the academic focus is on the liberal arts and sciences, and no formal professional training is conducted. However, undergraduate courses are offered in legal studies, education, business, film studies, premedical studies, health policy, journalism and other areas that help students prepare for later professional training. At the graduate level, Brandeis University offers professional programs in business management, nonprofit management, international business and Jewish communal service, as well as graduate programs in the disciplines.

Brandeis is a member of the Association of American Universities, which represents the 62 leading research institutions in North America, and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The research interests of the faculty span a wide range of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and creative arts.

The university's principal components are the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis International Business School and the Rabb School of Continuing Studies.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the core of the university. With an undergraduate enrollment of more than 3,600, it combines the intimacy of a small college with the breadth and depth of a major research institution. A Brandeis education emphasizes core skills, knowledge and social justice, and is designed to help students succeed in their personal and professional lives. At its heart are programs that emphasize interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Core curricular components enable undergraduates to explore issues related to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the US and the world, make sound evidence-based arguments and decisions, think critically, communicate effectively, assess and manipulate quantitative information, understand historical and cultural context, and operate efficiently within a digital domain. In addition, students select courses from 22 departments and 26 interdepartmental programs. They choose from among 43 majors and 51 minors, and may also elect an independent interdisciplinary major.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, established in 1953, offers doctoral, master’s, and post-baccalaureate programs in 44 fields. Current enrollment is approximately 900. Graduate study enables students to participate in research and learning with close mentoring from field-leading faculty. The smaller size of our programs engenders a high degree of collaboration and relationship building among our community of scholars, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches.

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management was founded in 1959 to answer a pioneering question: how can we use policy to work towards the wellbeing of all members of society? Today, the school offers a doctorate degree in social policy and six master’s degrees.

The PhD program trains students to design and conduct social policy research, and includes concentrations in health, behavioral health, assets and inequalities, global development and sustainability, and children, youth and families. Graduates of the PhD program pursue careers in academia, research and high-level administration.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program focuses specifically on social policy analysis and design. Graduates of the MPP program work as policy analysts, advocates and researchers. The MBA in Nonprofit Management program trains future leaders on mission-driven management in a social impact setting. Graduates of the MBA program hold leadership positions in nonprofits, government, consulting, and other high-impact organizations, including many of their own founding. Heller also has an Executive MBA for Physicians program, designed specifically for practicing physicians who want to improve the clinical outcomes, financial performance, and patient experiences in their healthcare organizations.

Heller also has three more globally-focused master’s degree programs. The MA in Sustainable International Development prepares students for professional positions in the development field, including poverty alleviation, environmental preservation, healthcare and education. The MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence trains students on conflict prevention, nonviolence and peacebuilding practices in some of the most challenging conflict zones in the world. Graduates of these programs hold positions in international agencies, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and local development organizations. Lastly, the MS program in Global Health Policy and Management focuses on health systems strengthening and building equitable, accessible global health policy. MS graduates are impactful policymakers, leaders of organizations and government ministries, or advocates.

Heller faculty, staff, students and alumni engage on critical social issues ranging from: healthcare systems; behavioral health; children, youth, and families; international and community development; disability policy; philanthropy; and work and inequalities.

The Lown School, one of the most comprehensive centers for Judaic studies outside Israel, reflects Brandeis' special commitment to scholarship that illuminates issues of concern to the Jewish community, to scholars in religion and to students of the ancient and modern Near East. It is home to the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Hornstein: The Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis, the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry. It has spurred the creation of numerous centers and institutes that explore the modern Jewish experience. 

The Brandeis International Business School (IBS) was established in 1994. The school welcomes students from throughout the United States and from more than 40 countries into its innovative and diverse community. By teaching rigorous business, finance and economics, connecting students to best practices and immersing them in international experiences, Brandeis IBS prepares exceptional individuals from around the globe to become principled professionals in companies and public institutions worldwide. The school has a reputation for academic excellence offering five graduate programs and two accelerated graduate programs. These degrees and one MBA concentration are distinguished as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) designated programs. It also offers business major and minor opportunities for undergraduates. The school’s vibrant centers and initiatives bring students together with world leaders to engage topics of global importance such as business leadership, entrepreneurship, cross-border trade and women in business.

The Rabb School of Continuing Studies extends the traditional excellence of a Brandeis education to the greater community with opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning. The Rabb School is dedicated to developing innovative educational offerings and to providing a collegial community for its on-campus and online learners. Each year, more than 4,000 precollege, college, and adult students participate in its credited and noncredited precollege, undergraduate, and graduate programs. These are offered by the Division of Graduate Professional Studies (online graduate study), the Brandeis University Summer School (undergraduate study), the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (non-credit programs for adults age 50 and above), and Precollege Programs (non-credit programs for high school students).

In addition its schools, Brandeis has more than 30 research institutes and centers that help define the unique identity of the university and make essential contributions to its academic life.

Recreational facilities include the Shapiro Campus Center, Usdan Student Center, the Sherman Student Center and the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, one of the largest of its kind in the region. The university has an active intramural and club program and fields intercollegiate teams in eight men's and nine women's sports. Brandeis is one of eight NCAA Division III schools that compete in the University Athletic Association.

Section 2B of Chapter 151C of the Massachusetts General Laws provides that:

"Any student [...] who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day shall be [so] excused...and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged [...] for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section."