Academic integrity is central to the mission of Brandeis University. As stated in "Rights and Responsibilities," "Every member of the university community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. A student shall not receive credit for work that is not the product of the student's own effort."
Examples of penalties for a student found responsible for an infringement of academic honesty are: no credit for the work in question, failure in the course and the traditional range of conduct sanctions from disciplinary warning through permanent dismissal from the university. During an investigation students are not allowed to drop the course in question. Semester class drop deadlines will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. If the student is found responsible and the sanction delivered is not more severe than failure of the assignment(s) in question, the student may drop the course.
It is one of the chief obligations of each member of Brandeis' academic community to understand the university's policies regarding academic honesty and to uphold those standards.
Allegations of academic dishonesty by undergraduate or graduate students are reported to the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards for adjudication within the Student Judicial System.
The Committee on Academic Standing (COAS) serves as the academic review board for undergraduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences. The committee evaluates student records at the end of each semester to determine academic standing. Academic standing refers to whether a student has a satisfactory or unsatisfactory academic record (see the Academic Status section below for further details).
The committee also hears all cases of required withdrawal from and readmission to the university, and recommends to the faculty degrees and honors for undergraduates. The committee meets monthly to evaluate student requests (petitions) for exceptions to university academic regulations and other cases that warrant special consideration. For enrolled students, petition requests must be put forward within one calendar year from the end of the semester to which the requested exception applies. For students withdrawn or on leave from Brandeis, requests must be made at the time of the petition to return. To ensure timely attention to requests, COAS has delegated the authority to address routine matters to the Executive Council (EXCO), which meets on a weekly basis.
The committee consists of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, or designee, who serves as chair; eight members of the faculty selected by the Dean in consultation with the Council of the Faculty Senate; the Dean of Students or designee; and the University Registrar. Also in attendance as nonvoting members are the Dean of Academic Services, Director of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program, Director and advisors in the Student Support Services Program, Academic Services academic advisors, the Director of Student Accessibility Support, the Associate Registrar, the Director of Athletics, or designee; and the Director of the International Students and Scholars Office.
A student may petition the committee through their Academic Services advisor, who will present the student's written petition to the committee. COAS may ask the advisor for clarification or additional information as necessary. COAS determines by majority vote whether to approve or deny the petition.
COAS may, at its discretion, defer its decision and require additional information in support of the petition. The decision that COAS reaches is communicated to the student by the Academic Services advisor.
A student may appeal a decision by COAS under certain circumstances. In cases of required withdrawal from the university, the student may appeal the committee's decision to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The decision of the Dean is final and no further appeals are possible.
In all other cases, students may request reconsideration by COAS only under the following circumstances: where the student has new evidence, not previously available, which could have materially affected the decision of COAS; or evidence of procedural error. Once COAS has ruled on the petition for reconsideration, a student may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. Such appeals must be made within one month of the COAS reconsideration decision, and the decision of the Dean will be final.
For additional information about COAS and the process of petitioning COAS, please contact Academic Services.
Students are placed on the Dean's List when they have earned a GPA in the preceding semester of 3.50 or higher and have not received a D, E, U, F or NC (labs and physical education included) or more than one C; and have received a regular letter grade in at least three regular, four-credit courses.
Seniors doing honors work (a course numbered 99D) in the fall term may receive an "EI" in that course and still be eligible (if enrolled in three other regularly graded four-credit courses). Students are not eligible for consideration until all permanent grades have been recorded by the Office of the University Registrar. Dean's Lists students receive formal acknowledgement of this achievement from the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Students are in good academic standing when they earn a semester grade point average of at least 2.000, have not received a grade of E, F or NC, and no more than one grade in the range (D+, D or D-).
Advising alert is considered good academic standing, but serves as an indicator to the student that they are not performing at the academic level expected by the university. Students who receive a single grade of D with a semester GPA of at least 2.000 will be placed on Advising Alert. Students with cumulative grade point averages of 2.200 or below will also be placed on Advising Alert.
Probation is an official notation that satisfactory academic progress is not being achieved. Students whose semester record contains one or more grades of E, F or NC or two or more grades in the range (D+, D, D-) will be placed on probation. Students whose semester record contains a single grade in the range (D+, D, D-) will be placed on probation if the semester GPA is below 2.000. Students placed on probation will normally be returned to good academic standing following a semester of satisfactory grades (grades of C- and above).
Degree eligibility normally requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000.
The following chart defines academic standing:
Less Than 2.000
2.000 or Greater
|No grade below C-
|Good Standing, unless cum.
GPA is below 2.2, in which case Advising Alert
|Good Standing, unless cum.
GPA is below 2.2, in which case Advising Alert
|2 Ds, 1 E, 1 F or 1 NC
If a student receives more than one D, E, U, F or NC in a single semester or if a student has had multiple semesters with unsatisfactory grades, the student may be required to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the university because of a lack of academic progress.
A student may be required to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the university even if the student has not been on advising alert or probation in a prior semester. The university may require a student to withdraw or take a leave of absence at any time, should the university determine that the student's academic performance is so profoundly deficient as to suggest an inability to meet academic requirements. Students are informed in writing of any change in academic status.
Students in special admission programs who earn unsatisfactory grades in courses associated with those programs may be required to leave the University.
The academic standing of students who earn unsatisfactory grades will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Committee on Academic Standing according to the above stated definitions. Letter grades covered by "pass" ("P" for performance at the C- level or above) will not be used in computing grade point averages but will be considered by COAS when determining academic standing.
A student with two or more unsatisfactory grades who are placed on probation will have their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) notified. Parents/guardians may also be notified when a student changes their status at the university either by withdrawing or by being required to take a leave of absence. The student's academic advisor will also be notified of a student's academic standing.
A student with an unsatisfactory record who either voluntarily withdraws from the university or who is required to withdraw from the university may petition to return to the university. COAS will consider petitions for readmission. The student is expected to spend a minimum of one year away from the university.
Primary considerations in making readmission decisions are evidence of sustained and productive activity during the period of absence from the campus, evidence of serious academic purpose and pertinent letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate's readiness to resume formal study.
Courses taken for academic credit while withdrawn, or on a leave of absence, from the university are not eligible for transfer toward the Brandeis degree, except as allowed by the undergraduate Leave of Absence policy. Petitions to return from a leave of absence, or readmission after a withdrawal, for a fall semester must be received no later than March 1 and petitions to return for a spring semester must be received no later than Oct. 1.
Students whose grade point average at the end of the junior year is 3.00 or above in their major may petition the department concerned for permission to work for honors in their major.
Please consult the individual department listings, as the GPA required to petition may vary. Department distinction is awarded by each department or interdepartmental committee. The levels of distinction are "honors," "high honors" or "highest honors."
The awards of cum laude and magna cum laude require a cumulative GPA of 3.500 and 3.700, respectively.
The award of summa cum laude requires a cumulative GPA of 3.800 and the award of distinction in the major.
The university has a policy of depositing honors theses with the library and making them available to future students and scholars for research purposes.
Phi Beta Kappa
The university is host to a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Each year, a highly select group of seniors and an even more limited group of juniors are elected to this national honor society. An extremely high level of academic achievement is necessary. Membership in this society is by invitation only.
The University may award a posthumous degree, if at the time of the student’s death all academic requirements for the degree had been met, but the degree had not yet been conferred. A posthumous degree may be requested by the Dean of the student’s school, and would be reviewed and approved by the normal degree-awarding procedures. A diploma for a posthumous degree would be issued on request to the immediate family of the student.
Degrees in Memoriam
The University may award a degree in memoriam, if at the time of the student’s death, the student was actively enrolled in Brandeis, working toward a degree within the last two years, or on an approved leave of absence. The degree in memoriam is awarded to recognize a student’s matriculation and participation in an approved program of study at the University.
The request for a degree in memoriam must be made within two years of the death of the student, and may be initiated by the student’s immediate family or the Dean of the student’s school. Degrees in memoriam are approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees, and once approved, Commencement lists and the academic transcript will be annotated and an official degree in memoriam diploma will be issued to the family.
Grades are reported to the Office of the University Registrar four times a year. In arriving at these grades, faculty members are obliged to utilize the same criteria for all students in a course, and are at liberty to consider any and all components of the student's work in a course: attendance, written work, classroom participation, recitations, laboratory technique and reports, special reports or research and all examinations. Grading in full-year courses is cumulative so that spring grades take into account the fall semester work and replace the midyear grades. The following grades will be used with plus or minus where appropriate:
A High Distinction
D Passing, but Unsatisfactory
The letters "S" (Satisfactory) or "U" (Unsatisfactory) may be used as the midsemester grades for undergraduates. At midyear there must be a regular letter grade, even in full-year courses. The only exception is that "EI" (excused incomplete) may be used in a full-year thesis course (usually numbered 99D).
The numerical equivalents of the grades as determined by the faculty are:
A+ or A 4.00
Final grades are available to students through the registration system upon posting by the University Registrar after the end of each semester.
Certain courses specifically, ENG 19a, ENG 79a and b, ENG 109a and b, ENG 119a and b, ENG 139a and b, MUS 80a through 87b, MUS 111a and b, MUS 112a and b, MUS 116a and b, and PEER 94a do not utilize letter grades. For pedagogical reasons, the grades assigned in these courses are either Credit ("CR") or No Credit ("NC"), accompanied by written evaluations that are not included in the student's transcript. These grades are the equivalent of "pass" and "fail" for purposes of computing grade point averages, and will be considered by Committee on Academic Standing when determining academic standing.
A student may take an unlimited number of semester courses graded CR/NC. However, a course utilizing this grading pattern may not be undertaken in a semester in which the student has fewer than two courses (eight credits) enrolled on a regular letter-graded basis.
Spring 2020 Changes to Credit/No Credit Grading in Response to COVID-19
Credit/No Credit Grading for an Entire Undergraduate Class
Instructors, with the approval of their department Chair, may request to grade all students in a class on the "credit/no credit" basis. Such a change applies to all students in the class and must be made before April 20. Requests can only be made for classes numbered 1-199 and should be forwarded to the University Registrar.
- A credit grade is considered the equivalent to a C- or better for undergraduates.
- A credit grade will still be allowed to fulfill any major, minor or general university requirement, and will be allowed to double count for requirements as a regularly graded course would.
- Credit/No credit grades do not factor into a student's GPA.
If an illness or other personal circumstance prevents a student from completing coursework by the end of the semester, or from taking a final exam at the scheduled time, the student may request an incomplete from the instructor. The University is prepared to work with the student and the faculty member to determine whether an Excused Absence (EA) and/or an Excused Incomplete (EI) may be appropriate. When such situations occur, students are encouraged to meet with their faculty member(s) to discuss the possibility of receiving an EA or EI, and to consult with their academic advisor if they have additional questions. For an EA or an EI to be granted, the instructor must agree on the extension, and the student must submit an Incomplete Request Form found here.
An approved EA or EI is a contract that is agreed upon by both the student and instructor at the end of the semester.
The EA or EI notation serves as a temporary placeholder until the work has been completed by the agreed-upon timeline. Once the work is received and graded, the instructor will then issue a final grade to the Registrar's Office.
To be eligible for an incomplete, the student must have consistently demonstrated strong academic work prior to the request for an incomplete. Instructors may decline to give an incomplete because of a lack of class attendance and/or a lack of completed work.
If work is not received by the deadline, the instructor will factor in a zero for the missing work and issue a final grade to the Registrar's Office. If no final grade is issued by the deadline for grades replacing incompletes, then the University Registrar will convert the EI/EA grade to a failing grade of E.
Ordinarily, each student is expected to complete the work in each course before the beginning of the examination period for that semester.
An EI (Excused Incomplete) indicates that the student has made satisfactory academic progress during the semester, and the final paper or project, or some other significant assignment(s), cannot be submitted by the scheduled date. An EI is a documented agreement between the student and instructor granting an extension beyond the end of the semester. The due date should be mutually agreed-upon by the student and instructor, but should not extend past the published deadline for the submission for incomplete work in the academic calendar.
If a student is excused from some academic work, the instructor may either approve an extension or elect to exclude the missing assignments from the final grade.When there is no satisfactory excuse, instructors may factor in zeroes for the missing work and record the resulting final grade.
Approval of the instructor is required for an EI, and the work must be completed by a date stipulated by the instructor and no later than the following dates:
- Fall term incomplete – work due no later than the 10th day of instruction of following Spring term;
- Spring term incomplete – work due no later than the 10th day of instruction of following Summer term;
- Summer term incomplete – work due no later than the 10th day of instruction of following Fall term.
For students who are on academic probation in a given semester, work must be submitted prior to the Committee on Academic Standing meeting that occurs after the end of that semester. The grade for the course must be filed by the instructor no later than the third week of the next term. Please consult the detailed academic calendar for the specific date all work is due.
Excused Absence (from a final exam):
Students who are unable to take their final examinations for legitimate reasons and wish to request a make-up exam must fill out the Incomplete Request Form. Make-up exams may be scheduled for conflict resolution or the make-up exam period in the following semester with permission of the instructor. Arrangements cannot be made to take a final exam prior to the scheduled exam time.
An EA indicates that the student is not able to take the final exam on the scheduled date. The student would agree to take the exam either during the conflict resolution period, the make-up exam period at the start of the next semester, or on a date and location agreed upon with the instructor.
If a student is absent without excuse from a term-end examination and does not obtain authorization for a make-up examination, the student will be given a grade of zero on the exam. The instructor will be asked to supply a grade for the course. If the instructor fails to do so on or before the institutional deadline, the registrar will enter a failing grade on the student's record.
Exam Conflict Resolution:
Students who have three final exams scheduled within 4 consecutive exam periods and not interrupted by a weekend will be allowed to request having one of these exams moved to the Conflict Resolution exam period. Such students do not need to request an incomplete.
Students who have been approved to move a final exam to the conflict resolution exam period do not need to request an incomplete. The rules and regulations regarding conflict resolution exams can be found at: https://www.brandeis.edu/registrar/finals/index.html
Pass/Fail Option (For Spring 2020 Changes, See Below)
Undergraduate students may enroll in up to four semester courses pass/fail. Letter grades covered by "pass" ("P" for performance at the "C-" level or above) will not be used in computing grade point averages. Grades of "D"and "E" will remain letter grades, to be used in computing grade point averages, and will be considered by Committee on Academic Standing when determining academic standing.
The following constraints apply to the use of the P/F grading option:
- No more than one course may be taken pass/fail during a single term.
- One course may be used to fulfill a general university requirement, excepting University Writing Seminars, writing-intensive and oral communication courses, with the pass/fail grading. No more than one course (and never the final one) in the foreign language sequence may be taken pass/fail if the language is being offered in satisfaction of the foreign language requirement.
- Courses taken pass/fail will not satisfy major or minor requirements.
- In full-year courses, the elected grading option (pass/fail or letter grade) applies to both semesters and may not be changed at midyear. (Such a course taken pass/fail would expend two of the allowable four pass/fail semesters.)
- Election of the pass/fail grading option for a course must be made on or before the deadline published in the Academic Calendar in the semester they are enrolled in the course. A course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, may be converted to a P grade after the end of the semester and before the published deadline in the following semester. Students who wish to use the pass/fail grading option for an allowable general education requirement must indicate this when converting the received grade of C- or higher to the P. Electing a course pass/fail counts as one of the four semester courses, regardless of whether the final grade is converted to a P grade.
- In an undergraduate's final semester, conversion of a course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, must be converted to a P grade before the deadline announced in the University calendar for the receipt of senior grades, normally three days after the last day of final examinations.
Students must make all pass/fail option requests within the published deadlines — no exceptions will be made for a student missing the deadline to make an initial pass/fail option request nor to make a request to cover a grade for a course which had been elected on the pass/fail option earlier in the semester.
Petitions will not be entertained for exceptions to the above constraints and deadlines.
Please note: Arrangements between students and instructors do not constitute official pass/fail enrollment. Instructors are not informed of the grading option that a student has chosen. Students taking courses pass/fail must complete all assignments and examinations.
Undergraduate students elect the pass/fail option by completing the online Pass/Fail Option Request Form prior to the published deadline.
Spring 2020 Changes to Pass/Fail in Response to COVID-19
Pass/Fail Option for Undergraduates
The regular restrictions that apply to the use of Pass/Fail for undergraduates have been suspended for spring 2020 classes.
- Students may elect to cover any number of grades from Spring 2020 that are a C- or higher with a P grade.
- Spring 2020 P grades will not count against the 4 Pass/Fail elections undergraduates are allowed in their career.
- P grades for Spring 2020 will be allowed to fulfill any major, minor or general university requirement, and will be allowed to double count for requirements as a regularly graded course would.
- Consistent with our current Pass/Fail policy, P grades do not factor into a student's GPA. For the spring 2020 semester, grades of "D" and "E" will remain as letter grades but will not be factored into a student's GPA.
The regular deadlines for covering a Spring 2020 grade with a P still apply: May 13, 2020 for graduating seniors; October 15, 2020 for all other undergraduates. Once a Spring 2020 grade has posted, students may email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the grade be covered with a P.
If You are a Student
After your final grades post and before the published deadline, email email@example.com
Course Load and Class Standing
The normal rate of work is defined as 16 credits per semester, counting toward the 128 credits required as the graduation standard. Students in their final year may work at the rate of 12 credits each term, as long as all degree requirements will be met by the end of their final semester.
Some courses — notably, physical education courses — do not carry credits and do not contribute toward the calculation of a legal course load or progress toward the graduation standard. Students enrolling in them do so as a supplement to an otherwise legal program of study.
The minimum rate of work is three semester courses per term and seven per academic year.
The maximum rate of work is 5.5 semester courses per term and 11 per academic year.
number of credits
|Minimum per semester
|Maximum per semester
|Minimum per year
|Maximum per year
Exceptions are rarely made to the rate of work limits, however in some limited circumstances overloads and underloads are allowed. Students working below the minimum rate of work without permission will be placed on probation and may be subject to withdrawal.
Students may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for exceptions to the rate of work provisions.
Students may petition to take up to 6.5 classes in a single semester. Typically students must demonstrate a legitimate academic reason for taking the additional courses, have a minimum grade point average of 3.500 or above, and have successfully completed five courses in a previous semester. Students enrolled in more than 23 credits will be assessed an additional tuition charge per credit: $2,011. Refunds for this additional tuition charge are subject to the University's Refund Policy for Dropped Courses.
Students may not petition to exceed the maximum rate of work during their first year at Brandeis.
In severe cases of student or family member health that limit, but do not fully impede, academic engagement, a student may petition for a Medical Underload. Normally, a student may only be granted a Medical Underload one time during their undergraduate career, allowing them to make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree. Petitions and supporting documentation are initiated with academic advisors in Academic Services. Requests are reviewed by the Directors of the Brandeis Counseling Center or Health Center and the Executive Council (EXCO) of the Committee on Academic Standing.
Non-medical exceptions are rarely made to the minimum rate of work limits. Students are rarely allowed to be enrolled in fewer than 8 credits.
Students considering a Medical Underload should consult with the Office of Student Financial Services in order to understand the possible financial aid and/or student account implications of a change to the number of enrolled units in a given semester. Changes in load status can affect loan repayment schedules and future access to federal financial aid. Charges are not reduced, or refunds applied, for course loads below the normal rate of work.
International students must consult with their Advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) before pursuing a medical underload.
Summer course option for students approved for medical underload
Students who have documented medical conditions and who have been approved for a Medical Underload, will have the option to enroll in one summer school class in the following summer at no additional tuition charge. Students will be responsible for room and board charges if they live on campus for the summer term. (For more information about payment options and/or financial aid for summer living expenses, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 781-736-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Students considering a medical underload should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure careful planning.. The choice of summer school classes is more limited than in the fall and spring terms. While students will be able to earn credits towards the Brandeis Core and/or elective credit, the number of advanced classes that can be counted toward the student’s major may be limited. Therefore, careful academic planning is essential.
The minimum number of credits required for advancement to each class is as follows: sophomore: 24; junior: 56; senior: 88. The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 128.
Any degree-seeking undergraduate is eligible for a leave of absence. A leave of absence is granted for one or two semesters and may be extended once only. Normally, leaves are arranged in advance through the office of Academic Services.
When a student takes a leave of absence during an active semester, enrollments are not expunged from their record; rather, a grade of "W" ("dropped") is entered for each course.
Students are required to submit a written petition to the Executive Council of the Committee on Academic Standing (through the Office of Academic Services) requesting to return. Requests must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the first day of instruction of the term in which they wish to register.
During a leave of absence, students may take up to two courses (eight credits) per fall/spring semester (summer courses are excluded and not eligible for numeric credit) for a maximum of four courses (16 credits) and receive numeric course credit, within the overall maximum number of credits allowed from external sources as defined in the academic residency requirement. Coursework taken over the maximum may be approved for use towards general University requirements and requirements for the major or minor. Courses must be approved by the Office of the University Registrar prior to enrollment.
A student may petition to take a Health Leave of Absence (HLOA) for personal health or family health reasons. Petitions and supporting documentation are submitted to the office of Academic Services. During a leave of absence for health reasons, students may take up to two courses (eight credits) per semester for a maximum of four courses (16 credits) and receive numeric course credit. Coursework taken over the maximum may be approved for use towards general University requirements and requirements for the major or minor. Courses must be approved by the Office of the University Registrar prior to enrollment. Course credits may count toward the 128 credits needed for graduation as defined in the academic residency requirement.
Students requesting to return from an HLOA must first seek approval from the Health Leave of Absence Committee, and then petition the Committee on Academic Standing for their approval. Both processes are managed through the office of Academic Services. The HLOA Committee will evaluate the documentation submitted by a student's health care provider, and determine whether the health condition in question has been adequately alleviated for return to rigorous study. The Committee on Academic Standing will then review the student's overall academic record, their academic progress for the semester in which the student withdrew, and their readiness to successfully make academic progress toward graduation.
A student wishing to withdraw from the university may do so at any time up to and inclusive of the last day of instruction. Withdrawals requested after the last day of instruction must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. When a student withdraws during or at the end of a semester course, enrollments are not expunged from their record; rather, a grade of "W" ("dropped") is entered for each course. From students who withdraw in good standing, the Committee on Academic Standing will consider applications for readmission after one full semester of absence from the campus. Other students may apply for readmission after one calendar year has elapsed. Courses taken at other institutions while on withdrawal from the university are not eligible for transfer toward the Brandeis degree.
Senior Reduced-Rate Status
Senior reduced-rate status enables seniors who have completed all requirements and who wish to take additional courses in their eighth and final term to take one or more semester courses and to pay at the per-course rate. Reduced-rate is only for one semester. To qualify for this status seniors must have:
- Completed all general university requirements.
- Completed 128 credits and the number of semesters required for graduation.
- Completed the requirements in at least one major.
The following categories of students are not eligible for Senior Reduced Status:
- Students who have studied abroad for a full year.
- Students who are in BA/MA or BS/MS programs.
- Transfer students who transfer in 64 credits from another institution.
Exceptions to the above qualifications:
- Students completing a two-semester honors thesis can qualify if all that remains for completing their major is the second semester of their thesis. They must have completed 124 credits at the end of the 7th semester and all general university requirements must be met.
- Studio Art Majors can qualify if all that remains for completing their major is taking FA 110b in their 8th semester. 124 credits must have been completed by the end of the 7th semester and all general university requirements must be met.
- HSSP Majors can qualify if all that remains for completing their major is taking HSSP 110a in their 8th semester. 124 credits must have been completed by the end of the 7th semester and all general university requirements must be met.
- MATH Majors can qualify if all that remains for completing their major is taking the final honors course in their 8th semester. All non-honors requirements for the MATH major must be completed. 124 credits must have been completed by the end of the 7th semester and all general university requirements must be met.
Course Load Requirement: There is no minimum course load requirement. Students can take as few as one class or as many as 3 classes under Senior Reduced Status. If 4 classes (16 units) are taken, regular full-time semester tuition is charged.
Completing Additional Majors or Minors: While on Senior Reduced Status, students may complete additional majors, minors and/or a thesis.
Transfer students who transfer in fewer than 64 credits may qualify for reduced rate in their final semester, if their final semester is their fifth semester (or greater).
To qualify, seniors petition through the Office of the University Registrar for this status. The deadline to submit a petition is October 5. Final eligibility for reduced rate status must be determined before the first day of instruction in the spring term. Completing and submitting the reduced rate petition does not guarantee approval will be granted.
Otherwise, permission to carry fewer courses than outlined above may be granted only by the Committee on Academic Standing and only on grounds of illness or personal hardship. Permission to work at the six-course-per-semester rate may be granted by the committee and will incur additional tuition charges.
A student who has completed eight semesters of study at Brandeis (or the equivalent in the case of transfer students) and who has earned a minimum of 120 semester-course credits (equivalent to 30 four-credit courses) is eligible for extended credit status.
This status allows completion of required course work only.
Extended credit courses may be taken over the summer (at Brandeis or elsewhere) or during the academic year either at Brandeis with tuition being charged on a per-course basis, or at another university (if the student has not already transferred in the maximum number of courses allowed).
Students who complete their course work on extended credit status are awarded their degrees at the end of the first term following the evaluation and posting of the extended credit to their academic records.
The award and posting of extended credit is dependent upon the following:
- Prior approval by the Office of the University Registrar of the courses to be taken.
- Meet the minimum grade requirement for courses taken while on extended credit (B- for summer courses, C- for courses during the academic year).
- The receipt by the Office of the University Registrar of an official transcript from the school where any extended credit courses were completed.
Students who do not meet the above criteria (eight semesters and 120 course credits) are not eligible for this option and must petition for a ninth semester in residence through the Office of Academic Services.
Registration and course enrollment occur prior to the beginning of each semester. During the first two weeks of each term, students finalize their course selections in consultation with their advisors. Final course enrollment materials are filed at the end of that period.
Requests to add classes after the second week (after the end of the registration period) must be submitted to the Committee on Academic Standing. Petitions to add classes through late enrollment must be initiated in the Office of Academic Services; such requests are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Instructors are not authorized to override enrollment deadlines, hence permission of an instructor is not sufficient for late enrollment. Similarly, the desire to drop a class, or to maintain a particular rate of work for a term, is not grounds for late enrollment in another class.
Students who wish to drop a course may do so, provided they adhere to rate of work, on or before the deadline announced in the university calendar, normally the 50th day of instruction. Students who drop a course before the posted deadline may drop without record.
Petitions to drop a course after the deadline must be initiated in the Office of Academic Services; such requests are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
During an academic integrity investigation students are not allowed to drop the course in question. If a sanction of failure in the course is imposed, then students will not be allowed to drop the course and a failing grade will be recorded.
All students are expected to attend classes regularly. Students on probation are compelled by university policy to attend every class meeting. In addition, an individual faculty member may establish attendance requirements for all students in the course, and may insist on the completion of all assignments even if a student was not in attendance for the period.
In rare circumstances, a student may have to miss more than a week of class due to serious illness or to family emergencies. In these cases, a student should be in immediate contact with their Academic Services advisor to discuss what options may be available. Because class participation and peer learning are important aspects of the Brandeis educational experience, students who miss more than two weeks of class ordinarily withdraw from the semester.
Students may repeat a course once for the purpose of demonstrating a higher level of mastery. Students may only earn credit once per course (unless the course is explicitly defined as allowing repetition for credit). Students repeating a course in which they have already earned a passing grade must enroll in at least 12 credits in addition to the course being repeated.
As defined by the department, students may not repeat a course for credit at a lower level, when they have successfully completed a higher level course in the same sequence with a grade of C or higher.
Students who receive grades below a C for the original course and for the repeated course may petition to be allowed a second repeat attempt. Petitions will be heard by the Executive Council of the Committee on Academic Standing and require the consent and support of the department and instructor offering the course.
This policy applies to courses repeated when the second or final attempt is taken in fall 2019 or later. It does not apply to repeated courses taken prior to fall 2019; these courses are governed by the prior policy.
Repeating Courses and the Effect on GPA and Earning Credits
- The original course grade remains on the transcript, but is not factored into the calculation of the GPA when the repeated course is taken and a final grade is assigned.
- The grade in the repeated course, regardless if it is lower than the original course grade, will be factored into the GPA.
- If the student earns a passing grade on the repeated course, it will earn credit toward the 128 credits required for graduation, and the original course will not.
- If a grade of E is earned during the first attempt, the repeated passing course grade will be calculated into the GPA and earn credits towards the graduation requirement.
- Original courses with outstanding incompletes will not be deemed repeatable until a grade is posted.
- If a repeated course has an outstanding incomplete, the original course grade will be factored into the calculation of the GPA until a final grade in the repeated course is assigned.
- A repeated course that is dropped with a W will not be identified as a course repeat.
- If the original course is dropped with a W, the second attempt will not be considered a repeated course.
Repeating Courses and Transfer Credit
Students may not repeat a course for which transfer credit has been granted. Additionally, repeating a course at another institution will not affect how the original Brandeis course is counted toward the GPA.
Repeating Courses with Duplicate Content
Students may not earn duplicate credit for courses that have substantially similar content. For example, duplicate credit cannot be earned for the following:
- Both a regular version of a course and an honors version of that course.
- Courses taken under a newly assigned course number if already taken under an old course number.
- Certain specific courses that duplicate material, as defined by the department.
Students with questions about repeating courses or duplicating course content should consult with the Office of the University Registrar or the Office of Academic Services.
While there is no formal audit status for undergraduates, students wishing to audit a class informally may contact the instructor directly to obtain permission to attend the class.
Permission to audit a course is at the discretion of the instructor, who may impose requirements for auditors such as regular attendance and course readings.
In general, auditors do not participate in group work, examinations or writing assignments.
In all cases auditors must reach an agreement with the instructor as to the level and type of participation the auditor will have in the class.
A detailed final examination schedule of all final examinations administered by the Office of the University Registrar is published each semester around the mid-term period.
Final examinations administered by the Office of the University Registrar must be given during the scheduled final examination period and may not be given prior to the scheduled time. Final exams administered by instructors, if covering more than half a semester’s material, may not be scheduled during the final two weeks of instruction.
Students and faculty should confirm the date and time of final examinations, once the detailed schedule is published, prior to making any travel arrangements.
- School of Arts and Sciences
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Brandeis International Business School
- Rabb School of Continuing Studies, Division of Graduate Professional Studies
- Courses of Instruction
It is one of the chief obligations of each member of Brandeis' academic community to understand the university's policies regarding academic honesty and to uphold those standards.