Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Last updated: September 24, 2021 at 2:16 PM
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was formally established in 1953 when the university's Board of Trustees authorized graduate study in the departments of Chemistry, Music, Psychology and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. The general direction of the Graduate School is vested in the Council of the Graduate School, composed of a faculty representative of each graduate program and a minimum of one graduate student representative.
The Council is chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or their designee. The functions of the Graduate Council, exercised in consonance with university policy, are to determine requirements for admission; provide programs of study and examination; establish and maintain requirements for graduate degrees; make recommendations for degrees; make recommendations for new areas of graduate study; establish such regulations as may be considered necessary or expedient for governing the Graduate School; and exercise a general supervision over its affairs.
The Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the chief executive officer of the Graduate School.
The underlying ideal of the Graduate School is to assemble a community of scholars, scientists and artists, in whose company the student-scholar pursues study, research, training and teaching. This objective is attained by individualizing programs of study, restricting the number of students accepted, maintaining continual contact between students and faculty and fostering the intellectual potential of each student.
The graduate programs are designed to educate broadly as well as train professionally, preparing graduates for successful careers in academia, government and the private and nonprofit sectors. Graduate study at Brandeis 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.
Current enrollment is approximately 800.
During the academic year 2020-2021, graduate programs will be offered in the following areas:
Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Anthropology & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Biotechnology and Business Administration
Comparative Humanities (Currently suspended)
Education (Teacher Leadership)
English & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Global Studies (Currently suspended)
Jewish Professional Leadership
Jewish Professional Leadership & Business Administration
Jewish Professional Leadership & Educational Leadership
Jewish Professional Leadership & Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Jewish Professional Leadership & Public Policy
Molecular and Cell Biology
Music Composition and Theory
Music & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies & Conflict Resolution and Coexistence
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Sociology & Social Policy
Sociology & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Teaching of Chinese
Theater Arts: Acting (Currently suspended)
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies & Sustainable International Development (Heller School)
The Graduate School office is located in Bernstein-Marcus. All requests for information and application forms should be submitted through the GSAS website.
Only well-qualified applicants who have completed a U.S. bachelor's degree (or the international equivalent) will be considered for admission to the Graduate School.
Graduates of international colleges and universities who have the equivalent of an American bachelor's degree and international students who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree from American universities may apply for admission and financial assistance at Brandeis, which is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.
Applying to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Specific requirements for each graduate program are to be found under the appropriate headings in this Bulletin and on the GSAS website. Each applicant should consult these requirements before submitting an application. Most international applicants are required to submit official English Proficiency scores. Please see the GSAS website to determine which applicants have the requirement waived. With limited exceptions, a student may apply to only one graduate program in an academic year.
Applicants are encouraged to apply online. The application for admission should be completed and submitted to GSAS by the specified deadline.
Few master's programs admit students in the spring. Consult GSAS for details and deadlines. PhD candidates are rarely admitted in the spring. Admitted PhD and Master's students will be considered for financial aid.
Unofficial transcripts for prior undergraduate and graduate work should be provided for admission review purposes. In addition, applicants must submit letters of recommendation, preferably from professors with whom they have studied in their proposed area of study. Applicants who have engaged in graduate study elsewhere should request at least one of the recommendations from a professor with whom they have done graduate work.
Many programs also require the submission of samples of work. Applicants should consult the GSAS website for details.
All applications must be accompanied by the application fee. No application will be processed or reviewed until this fee is paid. Applicants may pay via credit card or ACH at the time of application submission. If you are unable to apply via the online application, please contact the GSAS Admission office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Fee Waivers
Select populations are eligible for an application fee waiver via the online application. Please refer to the GSAS website for the most up-to-date list of eligible organizations and institutions. All other applicants must submit an application fee. Fee waivers based on financial hardship will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
All applicants are considered on a competitive basis. The number of students admitted each year in each program is limited so that the Graduate School may operate effectively under its distinctive principles of individualized study and apprenticeship. Consequently, admission may sometimes be denied to qualified persons.
Meeting the minimum standards of admission merely qualifies the applicant for a place in the group from which final selections will be made. Selections are based on the applicant's ability to do graduate work of high quality, as shown by the distinction of the student's previous record, particularly in the proposed area of study; the letters of recommendation submitted in support of the application; and the student's presumed adaptability to the particular graduate programs offered by Brandeis. In addition, knowledge of foreign languages, relevant practical experience in the field, samples of work, the results of the standardized tests (if provided/required), and indications of character are considered.
Each application for admission with all supporting records is first examined by the appropriate program committee. The committee recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences which applicants should be selected for admission and financial aid. The Dean reviews applications in the light of the program's recommendations.
Acceptance of Admission Offer
A student who has been accepted for admission to the Graduate School will be notified by a letter specifying the date by which he or she must accept the offer of admission and awards, if any. A non-refundable enrollment deposit of $300 must be paid by each master's degree or postbaccalaureate program applicant upon notification of acceptance (unless otherwise indicated in the offer of admission). This deposit reserves a place in the class and is credited toward the first semester tuition bill.
If the admitted student fails to enroll or withdraws the application, the enrollment deposit is not refunded. If an admitted student declines the offer or fails to reply by the date specified, the admission offer becomes void.
Brandeis subscribes to the "Resolution Regarding Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Graduate Assistants" of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. The resolution states:
Acceptance of an offer of financial support* (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.
Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. There has been a change in our process for students who want to withdraw from an offer of acceptance of financial support, starting with Fall 2020 admissions. In this case, the applicant must first inform the program that they are withdrawing or resigning from the offer of financial support that they previously had accepted. Starting in Fall 2020, applicants are no longer required to obtain a formal release from the program whose offer they accepted, either before or after the April 15 deadline. Once they have informed the program that they are withdrawing their acceptance of the offer, they then can accept any other offers.
Admitted students must provide the Graduate School office with official copies of all transcripts, including an official, final transcript of their undergraduate record. Admission offers may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, material omission of fact, dishonesty, violation of University standards in the application for admission, violation of University academic standards, or any other pre-matriculation misconduct.
Students are required to submit health and immunization records before their arrival to campus. Students will have to enroll in, or provide proof of, qualifying health insurance coverage. Registration is conditional upon receipt of required forms. More information can be found on the Admitted Student Checklist.
Admission Deferrals and Reapplying to the Graduate School
If admitted students are interested in deferring, then they should notify the Graduate School as soon as possible in writing.
Admitted PhD applicants who wish to attend in a subsequent academic year must reapply in full. Doctoral students are typically not eligible to defer their enrollment.
Admitted master's and postbaccalaureate applicants may request a maximum one-year deferral of their enrollment. Deferrals of admission are not guaranteed. Students should submit a request via email to the Graduate School (email@example.com) and should pay their $300 enrollment deposit. Updates on the deferral process will be provided in writing from the Graduate School. Original financial awards (if any) are not guaranteed and will be reassessed if the deferral is granted.
Applicants who have been denied admission may reapply in a later year, particularly if they have had further training or new information that would strengthen their applications.
Admission is valid for the length of the program and is contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Graduate programs review students' academic progress annually. Satisfactory academic progress in a program also involves maintaining the professional and departmental standards expected in a particular discipline or program. Academic insufficiency or failure to make suitable progress toward the degree may result in withdrawal from the program. Brandeis University reserves the right to deny admission or permission to register or require the withdrawal of any student at any time for any reason it considers sufficient, including but not limited to character and personal conduct.
A student's record is reviewed annually and recommendations for continuation in the program are made by the graduate programs. However, programs may also review academic records at the end of each semester if a student is not making suitable academic progress. In these cases, academic probation or withdrawal may result. Admission to the Graduate School does not imply that the successful applicant will ultimately be accepted as a candidate for a graduate degree. Superior performance at Brandeis is essential. Degrees are granted on the evidence of intellectual growth and development, rather than solely on the basis of formal course credits. Fulfillment of the minimum requirements cannot, therefore, be regarded as the sole requisite for degrees.
Financial aid in the form of scholarships and fellowships is available to outstanding PhD students. Scholarships are also available on the basis of need and/or merit to master's degree students, depending on their program of study. However, the total assistance offered for master’s degree and postbaccalaureate students typically covers only a portion of the student's expenses. International students must be prepared to show proof of financial support upon admission to their program.
Diagnostic Language Proficiency Test
If outlined as a requirement in the admission decision letter, an incoming international graduate student must take a diagnostic language proficiency test prior to their first day of classes. This diagnostic exam will help accurately determine the student's level of English proficiency and whether language and communication support are needed in order for the student to have a successful and positive experience at Brandeis. After taking this diagnostic test, students will receive the results, which will not affect their status as an admitted graduate student, but may require them to enroll in English Language Program (ELP) class(es) or other language services offered by ELP.
English Language Program (ELP) Classes
Normally, courses in oral communication skills and written skills are offered in the fall and spring semesters (classes are listed in the University Bulletin). These ELP courses focus on English for academic purposes, integrated with graduate study skills needed at a major research university. Students receive credit/no credit, where credit is granted for satisfactory work and no credit is granted for unsatisfactory work.
The regulations of the United States Department of Homeland Security strictly limit the amount of paid work that an international student or student domiciled outside of the United States may do. Additional information regarding employment regulations is provided to students by the International Students and Scholars Office.
The following general requirements apply to the awarding of graduate degrees in all areas of study. For specific program requirements students should consult the appropriate section of this Bulletin. Requirements for postbaccalaureate credit are listed in the relevant program sections of this Bulletin. Programs review academic records annually or every semester. If a student is not making suitable academic progress, academic probation or withdrawal may result.
Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Education
In order to qualify for a master's degree, the student must complete a minimum of one year's residency at Brandeis, ordinarily computed as eight courses of approved study in the fall and spring semesters. Some programs require a two-year residency. Please consult the appropriate program for detailed information.
Programs offering master's degrees may require that the candidate demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language and pass satisfactorily a general or qualifying examination which, at the program's discretion, may be in one or more parts and may be written, oral or both.
Students entering graduate programs with a master's thesis requirement must electronically deposit their thesis to ProQuest ETD.
Students have the option to select a limited-term embargo during the ProQuest ETD thesis submission process. Students should first consult with their thesis advisor about the option to embargo before choosing among the embargo options during submission.
The master's degree must be earned within three years from the inception of full-time graduate study at Brandeis.
Master of Fine Arts
In order to qualify for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in music, the candidate must complete a two-year residency at Brandeis, ordinarily computed as 12 courses in the fall and spring semesters at the graduate level, and must meet the specific requirements for the degree as set forth under "Musicology and Music Composition and Theory, Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree," in a later section of this Bulletin. Two copies of the thesis or composition must be submitted to the program chair in final form by the date specified in the current academic calendar. Students entering graduate programs with a master's thesis requirement must electronically deposit their thesis to ProQuest ETD.
Students have the option to select a limited-term embargo during the ProQuest ETD thesis submission process. Students should first consult with their thesis advisor about the option to embargo before choosing among the embargo options during submission.
The Master of Fine Arts degree must be earned within five years from the inception of full-time graduate study at Brandeis.
A postbaccalaureate student is a student who holds a bachelor's degree and is working in an approved course of study in one of the following areas: mathematics or studio art.
Postbaccalaureate programs may not be pursued concurrently with other formal degree work. Students who subsequently become candidates for graduate degrees are subject to the Graduate School's policy regarding transfer credit toward graduate degrees.
Doctor of Philosophy
In order to qualify for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, a student must ordinarily complete a minimum of four years of graduate study, including three full years of residence and a fourth year devoted to the preparation of a doctoral dissertation. Under certain conditions, credit for advanced standing will be granted for work taken in residence in graduate schools of other universities. To be eligible for the PhD degree, the student must (1) complete all course, residence and teaching requirements, (2) pass all language and qualifying examinations, (3) have written and successfully defended the doctoral dissertation and (4) be otherwise in good standing. Each program reserves the right to require prospective candidates for the degree to perform work in excess of its minimum standards to assure thorough mastery of the area.
Prospective candidates may be required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language. In all areas of study, the student must satisfactorily pass a general or qualifying examination, which at the program's discretion, may be in one or more parts and may be written, oral or both. In addition, all prospective candidates must write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in a final oral examination.
Each student will have the opportunity to develop skills as a teacher through close supervision of progressive pedagogic experiences by assisting or teaching one or more courses, as appropriate. Participation in ongoing discipline-specific, as well as skill-specific training through department- and school-wide seminars during a student's teaching apprenticeship in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is expected. Students serving as Teaching Assistants or Teaching Fellows are required to participate in several trainings about their responsible reporter roles under Title IX and other university policies about discrimination and harassment. These trainings are offered by the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Students entering Brandeis with no previous graduate work must earn the doctorate within eight years from the inception of study. In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad research and health disruptions of our doctoral students' progress, GSAS will be automatically granting an extension of time to degree for any doctoral student who was enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester, thereby extending their time from eight to nine years.
Students who have passed the terminal point for the degree must petition the Graduate School for an extension no later than the final semester prior to the expiration of their time to graduate. Petitions for extensions will be sent to eligible students in the last semester of their eighth year of study. These completed petitions must be returned to the Graduate School by the date specified on the petition. Students no longer eligible for additional extensions will receive a letter stating that they must finish their degree by the close of the summer term.
There is no university requirement for foreign language competency at either the master's or doctoral level.
Each program determines which languages are acceptable as satisfying its foreign language requirement. Some programs may not require foreign language competency, while others may set requirements that will vary within the subfields offered by those programs. In programs where languages are required, students are expected to satisfy the requirement as soon as possible.
For specific requirements of each program, consult the program listing in this Bulletin.
Joint degree programs allow students to pursue two courses of study and earn a single degree. Interdisciplinary in design, the joint MA degree in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a discipline aims to give MA and PhD students a solid grounding in their discipline-specific program while offering them the tools with which to incorporate Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies into their areas of research.
This joint master's option, which may be pursued as a terminal degree or along the way to the PhD, is available in several programs that are listed in the "Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies" section of the catalog. Consult the relevant sections of this Bulletin regarding the joint PhD degree program in Sociology and Social Policy.
Students who are interested in designing a joint Ph.D. degree in two doctoral programs within the university may do so by petitioning the graduate school with their proposed program of study early in their graduate career. The admissions committees for both programs must approve the petition. It is understood that the student must satisfy all the requirements of both programs and defend one dissertation before a defense committee comprised of faculty from both programs. Students should consult the dean of the graduate school for more specific information about applying for a joint doctoral degree.
The time to degree parameters for joint degrees remain the same—no additional time is granted for a student undertaking a joint degree course of study.
Dual degree programs allow students to pursue two courses of study and earn two separate degrees.
Our dual degree programs are: Dual MA/MBA in Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership and Business Administration; Dual MA/MPP in Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership and Public Policy; Dual MA/MA in Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Dual BA/MA in Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership; and Dual MA/EdM in Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership and Jewish Educational Leadership.
Consult the relevant sections of this Bulletin for more information about each program.
The time to degree parameters for dual degrees remain the same—no additional time is granted for a student undertaking a dual degree course of study.
Degrees in Passing
Students enrolled in a PhD program are allowed to apply for a master's degree within that program if they have satisfied all the requirements for the particular master's degree and if that program allows for a master’s in passing. Students are limited to only one master's degree in passing. A thesis may be required for the master’s in passing. Students should check with their department for requirements. Students may not apply for a master's degree in passing if they already hold a master's degree from the university, unless there is no overlap (double counting) in the terms used to fulfill the residency requirements for the two degrees. If a student leaves a PhD program, they can request a terminal master’s degree if they have fulfilled all the requirements for the particular master’s degree.
Application for Graduate Degrees
Candidates for graduate degrees must electronically file an application with the University Registrar per the specified dates in the academic calendar in the year in which the degree is to be awarded. Upon written recommendation from a candidate's program or committee that the application be approved, the record will be reviewed by the Graduate Council, which recommends the student to the university's Board of Trustees for the award of the degree or certificate. In case of failure or withdrawal from candidacy in any year, the student must reapply by filing a new application in a later year.
Dissertation and Dissertation Defense/Examination
When a student is ready to write the doctoral dissertation, the chair of the student's program will appoint a dissertation reading committee of no fewer than three faculty members. The student's principal advisor will serve as the chair of this committee, which will guide the research and preparation of the dissertation. Two of the committee members must come from the student's own department or program; one must be tenured; and one must come from another department or from outside the university. An emeritus faculty member at Brandeis may serve as one of the committee members from the student’s own department or, if this faculty member is emeritus in another department, the faculty member may serve as the outside reader. Should an inside reader, already committed to a dissertation reading committee, leave Brandeis for an appointment at another institution, this faculty member may be given a courtesy appointment in the department at Brandeis so that he or she may continue to serve on the committee as an advisor. However, this faculty member with a courtesy appointment cannot serve as the dissertation chair as the chair must be a current member of the faculty in the student’s department. Normally, all members of the committee must hold a PhD degree, although the program chair, with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, may waive the requirement when a potential committee member has demonstrated a capacity to do research or be helpful in supervising a dissertation. To request an exception to these requirements, the program should contact the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs for the Graduate School, who will then bring the request to the Dean of the Graduate School.
While in most cases, the dissertation reading committee will be the same as the examining committee, the reading committee can appoint new members to the examining committee which will preside over the student's dissertation defense. The dissertation examining committee must comprise a minimum of three faculty members, and the membership is subject to the same requirements as the reading committee. The examination may be restricted to a defense of the dissertation or may cover the whole field of the dissertation. The candidate will be notified by his or her program of responsibility for coverage prior to the examination.
The dissertation examining committee will notify the student of the time and place of the final oral examination at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the examination. Students must also submit the date and time of their defense to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ Dissertation Defense Calendar Submission Form at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense. The Graduate School will post to the online events calendar the time and place of the candidate's final oral examination of the doctoral dissertation. The final oral examination is open to any member of the faculty engaged in graduate instruction and invited faculty members from other institutions. A student must be registered and enrolled in the term(s) in which the dissertation is defended and submitted to the Graduate School office. The Graduate School is waiving the requirement that all members of the dissertation defense committee must be physically present. Until further notice, we are not setting a limit on the number of committee members who may participate remotely in the defense.
The PhD Dissertation Defense Form is to be brought to the student’s defense and signed by the dissertation examining committee, certifying the candidate's successful performance at the final oral examination, will be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. The committee will also specify on the Defense Form whether revisions to the dissertation are necessary before final acceptance.
If the dissertation examining committee requires "substantial revisions" (involving significant matters of substance), the revisions must be reviewed and accepted by the entire committee, not just the dissertation supervisor. If these revisions are not made within six months of the dissertation defense, there must be a re-defense of the dissertation. If the dissertation examining committee requires "minor revisions" (e.g., stylistic changes, correction of typographical errors and re-formatting), the committee will indicate on the Defense Form whether the revisions may be reviewed and approved by the dissertation committee chair alone or require the full committee's approval. If these revisions are not made within three months of the dissertation defense, the dissertation is automatically reclassified as one requiring "substantial revisions" and subject to its six-month deadline (i.e., if after an additional three months the dissertation has not been approved by the committee and successfully deposited, there must be a re-defense).
Deposit and Publication of Dissertation
No later than the dates specified for dissertation deposit in the current academic calendar for February, May, and August degrees, the candidate must electronically deposit one copy of the finished dissertation. The dissertation must have the signed approval of the dissertation supervisor and readers, and it must comply with the publishing and formatting guidelines outlined by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which may be different from department guidelines. Submission of the dissertation to and acceptance by the Graduate School constitutes the completion of degree requirements.
Submitted dissertations are published electronically in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database. In addition to publication in ProQuest, students’ dissertations are published in the Brandeis ScholarWorks once degrees are conferred. Dissertations published in ScholarWorks will be made available to the academic community through Open Access.
Detailed instructions for submitting dissertations are available from the Graduate School office or GSAS website under the Students section.
Every resident, post-resident, extended master's and continuation student must register at the beginning of each term, whether attending regular courses of study, carrying on research or independent reading, writing a thesis or dissertation or utilizing any academic service or facility of the university.
Students enrolled in full-time degree programs are required to enroll in and maintain a minimum academic load of 12 credits per semester. The maximum credit load is 20 credits per semester. If there is a justifiable reason for a student to enroll in more than 20 credits, they must contact GSAS and ask for an exception to this limit.
Special Notes for Registration in Undergraduate Courses
Any graduate student who is taking an undergraduate course for credit towards his or her or their graduate degree will be required to do additional work in that course, such as attending graduate sections with the instructor and other graduate students, doing additional readings and research, completing additional writing assignments during the semester (including, but not limited to, a longer final paper), delivering a series of short presentations or a conference-level presentation on course material, and/or preparing a pedagogical presentation on some aspect of the course.
Any graduate student who is taking an undergraduate course for credit towards their graduate degree will be required to do additional work in that course such as attending extra sections with the instructor and other graduate students, doing additional reading, writing a longer final paper (minimum 20 pages) and / or doing an oral presentation about some aspect of the course material to the class.
Program of Study
Before enrolling, the student should plan a program of study in consultation with the chair or graduate adviser of the program.
Credit will not be given for undergraduate courses taken to make up deficiencies in the student's preparation for a program of graduate studies. Ordinarily a student may not receive credit toward completion of degree or residence requirements for courses undertaken to aid in the completion of language requirements. Graduate students may not receive credit towards fulfillment of their graduate program for an undergraduate course (numbered below 100) unless the Petition to Receive Graduate Credit form has been filed with the Registrar's office.
The privilege of auditing courses without fee is extended to all regularly enrolled, full-time graduate students. Part-time degree students and non-degree special students may audit a course but will be charged the same rate as a course taken for credit. No courses may be audited without the permission of the instructor and the student's program chair. Auditors may not take examinations or expect evaluation from the instructor. No credit is given for an audited course.
The option of auditing courses is not available during the summer term.
Change of Courses
Students are allowed to drop courses, with permission from the instructor, after the end of the registration period. Courses may be dropped by the published deadline on the Academic Calendar found on the Registrar's website.
All students are expected to attend classes regularly. 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 program 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.
Examinations and Exam Absences
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 taken by any student prior to the scheduled time.
Students and faculty should confirm the date and time of final examinations, once the detailed schedule is published, prior to making any travel arrangements.
Cases involving absence are referred to the chair of the program who will decide whether a make-up examination shall be allowed and will notify the Office of the University Registrar of the decision. The examination must be taken no later than the make-up examination period at the beginning of the next semester.
Grades and Course Standards
Graduate students are expected to maintain records of distinction in all courses. Letter grades will be used in all courses in which grading is possible. In readings or research courses, if a letter grade cannot be given at the end of each term or academic year, credit (CR) or no credit (NC) may be used.
NC and any letter grade below B- are unsatisfactory grades in the Graduate School. A course in which the student receives an unsatisfactory grade will not be counted toward graduate credit.
Final grades are available to students through the registration system upon posting by the University Registrar after the end of each semester.
A graduate student who has not completed the work (exams, papers, etc.) for any course may receive an EI (incomplete) or a failing grade at the discretion of the course instructor. A student who receives an EI must satisfactorily complete the work of the course in which the incomplete was given in order to receive credit for the course and a letter grade. The deadline is identified as the day on which all work for the previous term’s incompletes is due to the instructor. In exceptional circumstances, an instructor may request an extension of the deadline from the University Registrar.
An EI that is not resolved by the deadline in the Academic Calendar will automatically become a permanent incomplete (recorded as "I" on the transcript). A student cannot carry more than three EIs at a time. If a student has accumulated more than two permanent incompletes, their academic record will be flagged for review during the Annual Status and Funding Review process at the end of the spring term.
Credit for Work Done Elsewhere
Graduate level courses taken prior to matriculation at Brandeis may be applied toward the fulfillment of graduate course requirements and may reduce the residence requirement for programs with a 2-year or longer residency.
The Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees with less than a 2-year residence requirement do not accept transfer credit to reduce the residence requirement, although a program may accept work taken elsewhere in partial fulfillment of specific course requirements for the degree. In that case, additional courses are designated to replace courses from which the student has been exempted. For the Master of Fine Arts, and other Master's degree programs with a two-year residence requirement, a maximum of one term of residence credit for graduate-level courses may be transferred toward fulfillment of the residence requirement.
The postbaccalaureate program does not accept transfer credit.
Students in PhD programs may file an application to have graduate-level courses counted toward fulfillment of residence requirements at Brandeis. A maximum of one year of residence credit may be granted.
Applicants may not necessarily receive credit for each request for transfer credit. Each program reserves the right to require any student work in excess of its minimum standards to assure thorough mastery of the area of study. In all cases, courses being transferred must carry a grade of B or better and must have been earned at an appropriately accredited institution.
After completing one term of residence at a full-time rate or the equivalent at a part-time rate, students eligible to apply for transfer credit may do so. The External Transfer Credit Form is available on the Office of the University Registrar's website in the 'Forms' section. This form should be submitted to the student's program for approval and then submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
Babson College, Bentley University, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies at MIT and Regis College participate in our cross-registration consortium. A full-time graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may enroll in one graduate cross-registered course each term.
A Brandeis student who wishes to enroll in a course at one of these schools should consult with the instructor in the particular course and should expect to satisfy the prerequisites and requirements normally required for admission to the course, including adherence to the academic calendar of that course. The transfer of credit to Brandeis for work done elsewhere requires approval by the student’s program, the registrar and the Graduate School. A grade of B- or better is also required.
Any part-time graduate student in a degree program is allowed to participate in cross-registration. Students may only take one cross-registration course a semester, and are required to take at least one full-semester Brandeis course in addition to the cross-registered course. Students may only enroll in one cross-registration course per semester of residency.
Due to differences in academic calendars among the colleges in the consortium, it is not advisable for degree candidates to enroll in a cross-registered course in their final semester.
A course may also be taken without the expectation that credit will transfer because it complements a student’s program, is taught by outstanding faculty at the host institution or will advance a student’s graduate studies in some other way.
To enroll in a graduate course at one of the host institutions, obtain a cross registration petition from the Brandeis Registrar's office and present this petition to the Office of the University Registrar of the host institution.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal assistance make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with standards set by the university. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences delegates the responsibility to monitor academic progress to the individual graduate programs. Admission to the Graduate School is valid for one academic year. Graduate programs review students' academic progress and make recommendations for readmission annually or every semester. If a student is not making suitable academic progress, academic probation or withdrawal may result. Any student who passes their annual academic review within their program is allowed to enroll for the the following year and is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal sources.
Students who enter the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences must earn the doctorate within eight years, the Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Education within four years, the Master of Fine Arts within five years, or complete the postbaccalaureate program within two years from the inception of study, exclusive of leaves of absence (pro-rated for part-time study). PhD students who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 term must earn their doctorate within nine years. Students who have passed the terminal point for the degree may apply to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for an extension and, if approved, may be eligible for additional federal financial aid.
Academic Residence Requirements
Residence requirements for all full-time graduate degrees are determined by the number of terms and credits required to complete the degree. Part-time residency is determined by the amount of credits required to complete the degree.
Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Education
The minimum residence requirement for most full-time master's degree students is one academic year in a full-time graduate credit program at full tuition. A few programs have a two-year residency requirement, so consult specific programs for this information. The minimum residency requirement for most part-time master’s degree students is the equivalent of one or two academic years at full tuition. Programs with one or two year residency requirements may take an additional one or two semesters as an extended master's student. Transfer credit may not normally be applied to residence requirements for the MA and MS degrees.
Master of Fine Arts
The minimum residence requirement for all MFA students in music is two academic years in a full-time graduate credit program at full tuition. The minimum residency requirement for most part-time master’s degree students is the equivalent of two academic years at full tuition. Residence may be reduced by a maximum of one term with approved transfer credit.
Doctor of Philosophy
The residence requirement for all students is three academic years in a full-time graduate credit program for each year, at the full tuition rate for each year, or the equivalent thereof in part-time study. A maximum of one year's approved transfer credit may be granted toward residence for the PhD degree.
Full-Time Resident Students
A full-time student is enrolled in at least 12 credits per term. Full-time students should consult with their advisers before taking on any outside commitments that might interfere with their academic progress.
A full-time program may include a combination of teaching and research assistance, other work leading to the fulfillment of degree requirements, such as preparation for qualifying, comprehensive and final examinations, supervised reading and research and PhD dissertations, as well as regular course work. On-campus employment (any combination of instructional, research or administrative duties) is limited to twenty hours per week.
A full-time resident student may take up to 20 credits per term, but no student may receive credit for, or be charged for, more than a full-time program in any term. Thus, the minimum residence requirement for any degree may not be satisfied by an accelerated program of study or payment of more than the full-time tuition rate in any single academic year.
Part-Time Resident Students
Some programs allow students to apply as part-time students at the time of admission. A part-time student is enrolled in fewer than 12 credits. Students enrolled in a part-time master’s program (fewer than 12 credits per semester) have a residency requirement that is equivalent to the full time version of the program.
Students who wish to change their status from full-time to part-time residency must file a request to change to part-time with the Graduate School office. Students are assumed to be full-time until such a request is made. However, moving from full-time to part-time status can have significant loan or visa status implications, so students should consult with the appropriate financial aid staff and the ISSO before requesting this change.
Post-Resident PhD Students
A PhD graduate student, who has completed residence requirements but still needs to complete other degree requirements before advancing to the dissertation stage, is eligible for post-resident status. A student in this category enrolls on a full-time basis, and is eligible for university health insurance, borrowing privileges in the library, a Student ID, use of gym facilities and purchase of a parking sticker.
A post-resident student should register for CONT 500a (Graduate Research).
A PhD student who has completed all degree requirements except the dissertation (and in some cases the teaching requirement) is eligible for continuation status. A student in this category enrolls on a full-time basis, and is eligible for university health insurance, borrowing privileges in the library, a Student ID, use of gym facilities and purchase of a parking sticker.
Continuation students must enroll in CONT 500a (Graduate Research).
Extended Master’s Students
An Extended Master’s student is a graduate student in a Master’s program who has completed the residence requirements and who needs to utilize the full range of academic services and university facilities while completing degree requirements and should register for the appropriate courses required to complete their program.
Students in this category may register for content courses and/or complete their thesis or research paper/project required for their degree. In most cases, students cannot exceed two semesters on Extended Master’s status. Summer term registration does not count towards the two semester limit.
A student who is completing a required thesis or paper/research project should register for CONT 200A. If the program requires a specific thesis or paper/research course the student will need to register for that course at some point during their career in order to receive a grade. A student who does not have a thesis or paper/research project may not register for CONT 200A but may register for content courses.
Graduate Summer Term
GSAS Graduate Summer Term exists for students in several categories.
Master's students in the programs listed below are required to register for summer and should complete registration through Workday self-service:
- Master's students in the Genetic Counseling program are required to participate in a clinical internship and should register for BIOL 212a and BIOL 213a. Registration for Graduate Summer Term does not count toward the residency requirement. The summer registration fee will be waived.
- Master's students in the Biotechnology program are required to participate in an internship and should register for BIOT 212a. Registration for Graduate Summer Term does not count toward the residency requirement. The summer registration fee will be waived.
- Master's students in the EdM and MAT in Education programs as well as the AGS in Teacher Leadership should register for the courses determined by your program. Full-time MAT tuition will be charged.
- Master's students in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership program should register for courses in consultation with your program. Half-semester tuition will be charged.
PhD students in the programs listed below are required to register for summer and will be enrolled by the Registrar:
- PhD students in the Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science programs are required to be on campus or at a related lab for the full year while engaged in taking classes and/or doing research related to their field of study and will be enrolled in CONT 250b by the Registrar's office. Registration for Graduate Summer Term does not count toward the residency requirement. The summer registration fee will be waived.
Students who intend to complete their degree program for an August degree must be enrolled in the summer.
- PhD Degree Candidates: You are required to register for CONT 250b and will be enrolled automatically by the Registrar's office upon approval of your application for an August degree. The summer registration fee will be waived for PhD candidates.
- Master's Degree Candidates: You are required to register for CONT 200a and will be enrolled automatically by the Registrar's office upon approval of your application for an August degree. Should your Master’s Program have a corresponding final paper/thesis/project course per degree requirements, you should simultaneously enroll in that course if you have not already taken that course. You will be billed as a Summer Extended Master’s student. Note that students who complete all program requirements for an August degree prior to the start of the summer term will be registered for CONT200a by the Registrar’s office but will be eligible for a summer tuition credit. These students should inform the graduate school of their plans in early May and must submit their thesis to ProQuest ETD at least 1 week prior to the beginning of the summer term.
Brandeis Summer School
Students who are pursuing a Master’s degree or Postbaccalaureate credit may choose to enroll in graduate level courses in the Brandeis Summer School. Some GSAS departments may choose to designate selected courses offered through the Summer School for credit towards their degree requirements. Students should register for Summer School courses by contacting Richard Cunnane in the Registrar's office and NOT enroll in courses via the Summer School website.
Please note that GSAS students who register for summer courses in the Brandeis Summer School, the Heller School or the International Business School will be expected to pay the appropriate tuition to that school. GSAS tuition scholarships and grants do not apply.
Properly qualified applicants who wish to audit or to take courses without working towards a degree may be admitted. Special students are normally not eligible for university loans, scholarships, fellowships, or teaching or research assistantships. Special students must have earned an undergraduate degree, conferred from an accredited university, prior to submitting an application.
Special students who later wish to pursue a degree on a full- or part-time basis must apply for admission as resident students. They must also file a special petition with their academic department if they wish to receive credit for any courses taken while a special student and have it apply to their graduate program. Normally, no more than two courses taken for credit may be transferable if the student is admitted to either the master's or doctoral program.
Students must apply as a special student for each semester in which they wish to take a class.
Leave of Absence
Leaves of absence up to one year will normally be granted to students in good academic standing who present compelling personal reasons. Students can also take a Health Leave of Absence. Returns from leave may be subject to conditions established at the inception of the leave. A student who has been granted a leave of absence is not considered an active student during the leave. Time spent on authorized leaves of absence will not be counted toward the maximum time permitted to complete degree requirements. If, for any reason, a student must extend a leave of absence, he or she must request such an extension in writing before the leave of absence expires. Failure to do so will result in involuntary withdrawal from the Graduate School. Students who extend their leaves of absence beyond one year may lose departmental funding. To request a leave of absence, follow the process outlined on the GSAS website.
A student who wishes to withdraw voluntarily from the Graduate School during a semester must do so by following the process outlined on the GSAS website on or before the last day of instruction in the term. Failure to notify the university in writing of a withdrawal may subject the student to loss of eligibility for refunds in accordance with the refund schedule outlined in the "Fees and Expenses" section. Permission to withdraw voluntarily will not be granted if the student has not discharged all financial obligations to the university or has not made financial arrangements satisfactory to the bursar.
Students who are obliged to register and fail to do so by the appropriate deadline or who fail to pay their bill will be administratively withdrawn. They may be readmitted (see below) for study in a subsequent term, but not for the term in which they were withdrawn for failure to register. Belatedly fulfilling financial obligations will not negate the effects of administrative withdrawal.
A student who has not been enrolled in the Graduate School for more than one year and who did not obtain a leave of absence must request readmission from the program and the Graduate School. The student's graduate program will determine in each case whether a student should be readmitted. If the program's requirements have changed during the student's absence or the student is not deemed current in their field of study, the program may require the student to repeat or supplement previous academic requirements, including foreign language or qualifying exams. When a student is reinstated, the student will be informed of current status regarding credits and time to degree.
Payment of tuition and other fees is due on August 6, 2021, for the fall semester and December 10, 2021, for the spring semester. All charges that appear on the initial bill are due by the published due date for the semester. Changes in the amount due from the published due date through the first day of classes are due by the first day of classes. Changes in the amount due from the first day of classes and on are due immediately/on the date the charge/aid change posts.
One bill is issued each semester by e-bill available through the Nelnet Student Account Portal. Fall bills are issued in early July and Spring bills are issued in mid-November. All changes to the student account after the bill is originally issued are available through the Nelnet Student Account Portal.
Any student with outstanding financial obligations will be denied the privileges of registering for, and attending classes and using university facilities. Every student must satisfy his or her financial obligations in full to the university in order to receive certification of graduation. Official transcripts and certifications will be withheld until financial obligations to the university have been discharged.
A late fee will be assessed to all student accounts with outstanding balances after the stated due date. The amount of the late fee will be $100, or 2 percent of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater.
Nelnet has contracted with Brandeis to administer the monthly payment plan. Payment plans are offered for the fall and spring semesters only. The application and a nonrefundable handling fee of $45 per semester must be returned to Nelnet or enrollment completed online by the published semester due dates. Electronic withdrawals for the 5-month payment plan will begin on July 15, 2021 for the fall and December 15, 2021 for the spring. Electronic withdrawals for the 4-month payment plan will begin on August 15, 2021 for the fall and January 15, 2022 for the spring. (Please note that the payment plan must be set up separately for each semester.) Payment plans must be set up prior to the published due dates for each term. For more information, visit our Monthly Semester Payment Plan website.
Contact the Office of Student Financial Services for additional information.
A student who defaults in the payment of indebtedness to the university shall be subject to suspension or dismissal. The university may refuse to transfer credits or issue an official transcript. Brandeis University may refer delinquent accounts to a collection agency. Students are responsible for paying the collection agency fee, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 40 percent of any delinquent account, together with all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, necessary for the collection of any delinquent account. Delinquent accounts may be reported to one or more of the national credit bureaus.
Such indebtedness includes, but is not limited to, an overdue balance owed to the university or the delinquency of a borrower in repaying a loan administered by the student loan office and the inability of that office to collect such a loan because the borrower has discharged the indebtedness through bankruptcy proceedings. If the student is a degree candidate, his or her name will be stricken from the rolls.
A student who has been suspended or dismissed for nonpayment of debt to the university may not be reinstated until such debt is paid in full.
Every student is required to complete a Financial Responsibility Agreement at least once each academic semester. Any student who fails to complete this agreement prior to the start of classes will be denied the privileges of attending classes and using university facilities.
By registering at Brandeis University, students acknowledge and agree that Brandeis University reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify its educational, extracurricular, and other programs for its students at any time, including, without limitation, its right to provide any of the educational and extracurricular programs remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event that instruction or programs occur remotely for any part of the academic year for any reason.
Brandeis University assumes no liability for delay or failure to provide educational or other services or facilities due to causes beyond its reasonable control. Causes include, without limitation, power failure, fire, strikes by university employees or others, damage by natural elements, pandemics, and acts of public authorities. The university will, however, exert reasonable efforts, when it judges them to be appropriate, to provide comparable services, facilities, or performance; but its inability or failure to do so shall not subject the university to liability.
Application Fee: $75
Payable by all applicants for admission at the time the application for admission is submitted. It is not refundable. No application for admission will be processed until this fee is paid. There is a one-time fee waiver for Brandeis students and alumni, as well as members of other groups as outlined in the previous section, Admission; Applying to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Application Fee Waivers.
Enrollment Deposit: $300
Payable by a master's degree or postbaccalaureate applicant upon acceptance of offer of admission except for those who receive a waiver in their offer of admission. This fee reserves a place in the class and is credited toward the first semester tuition bill. If a student fails to enroll or withdraws his or her application, the matriculation deposit is forfeited.
Tuition and Fees
The fees for tuition in the Graduate School for 2021-2022 are as follows:
Regular Full-time PhD, MS, MA, and Postbaccalaureate (except Biotechnology, Genetic Counseling, Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership, MAT, Teacher Leadership, Studio Art, and Premedical Studies): $53,498 per year, or $26,749 per term.
MS in Biotechnology and MS in Genetic Counseling: $40,124 per year, or $20,062 per term.
Dual MS/MBA in Biotechnology: $80,247 per year, or $26,749 per term.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): $35,624 per year, or $8,906 per term.
Master of Education Teacher Leadership (EdM): $19,239 per year, or $6,413 per term.
Master of Education Teacher Leadership (EdM) for students who have already completed AGS: $12,826 per year, or $6,413 per term.
Advanced Graduate Students (AGS) in Teacher Leadership: $25,652 per year, or $6,413 per term.
Postbaccalaureate in Studio Art: $21,940 per year, or $10,970 per term.
Extended Master's students (for Master’s students who have completed their program residency): $6,687 per semester.
Post-resident (for PhD students who have completed their program residency): $3,346 per year, or $1,674 per term.
Continuation (for ABD PhD students only): $1,674 per year, or $837 per term.
Special/non-degree and part-time resident students: $6,687 per course or $1,672 per credit.
In view of the constantly increasing costs of education, students may expect tuition to increase each academic year.
Graduate Activity fee: $120, or $60 per term.
GSAS Orientation Fee: $44, charged only in the fall semester of the first year.
Student Health Insurance Plan (single coverage): $3,509
All three-quarter or full-time students are required by state law to show certification of health insurance. Students without insurance of their own must purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan through the university. All international students at Brandeis University are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance. The fee is payable prior to registration and no portion is refundable. Student insurance is optional for special students. Additional insurance options, including family coverage, are described in A Guide to University Health Services, which is available from the Office of Health Services.
Parking Fee: $60-$250 per year
Payable annually at fall registration for the privilege of parking an automobile on campus. Fee varies by assigned parking area.
Returned Check Fee: $30
A bank service fee will be charged to a student's account if a payment or a check negotiated through Brandeis is returned by the bank for any reason.
Current and former students should request official transcripts of their records from the Office of the University Registrar. At this time, students can order official paper transcripts free of charge. Brandeis University has partnered with the National Student Clearinghouse to allow current and former students to obtain official electronic transcripts to be sent to themselves or a third party in a secure manner. The fee for an electronic transcript is $2.25 - $4.00. This fee is payable directly to the National Student Clearinghouse. Official transcripts will be issued only to those students whose financial records with the university are in order.
Monthly Payment Plan Fee: $45 per semester
Late Fee: $100, or 2 percent of outstanding balance, whichever is greater
The only fee that may be refundable, in part, is the tuition fee. No refund of the tuition fee will be made because of illness, absence or dismissal after the refund deadline has passed. A student who is withdrawing must notify the Graduate School in writing; refunds will be based on the date of notification and calculated in accordance with the following:
Fall/Spring terms: Tuition adjustment for withdrawal for tuition charged at a flat rate or per credit rate
Before the Academic Period Start Date: 100%
On or before the 10th day after the Academic Period Start Date: 75%
On or before the 30th day after the Academic Period Start Date:: 50%
After the 30th day after the Academic Period Start Date: 0%
(There is no refund for dropped courses for tuition and fees charged at a flat rate.)
*Prior to the first day of course* or prior to the program start date: 100%
**On or after the first day of courses* or program start date: 0% (*courses charged on a per course/per credit basis; ** courses charged a flat rate tuition)
Requests for refunds should be addressed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
In the case of a scholarship student who withdraws, the student's account will be credited with the same proportion of the term scholarship as charged for tuition: 75 percent if the student leaves on or before the tenth day of the term, 50 percent on or before the thirtieth day of the term and no refund thereafter.
- Federal Loans
In compliance with federal law, special refund arrangements apply to students receiving aid under Title IV. Contact the Graduate School financial aid officer for additional information or visit the Return of Title IV Funds page.
- Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Funds
When a student withdraws during a period in which he or she is receiving Tuition Assistance funds, the amount of funds that must be returned to the program is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled prior to withdrawing.
The amount of funds earned by the student is directly proportional to time enrolled, through 60 percent of the period of enrollment. After 60 percent, the student is considered to have earned all aid. Unearned Tuition Assistance aid must be returned to the program.
Refund Policy for Dropped Courses
A student who is paying per course is allowed a refund following this schedule:
- Full semester-long courses
On or before the 15th day after the Course Section Start Date: 100%
On or before the 30th day after the Course Section Start Date: 50%
After 30th day of the Course Section Start Date: 0%
- Module courses
On or before the 10th day of instruction for the module session: 100 percent of the dropped course's tuition fee. The Academic Calendar page on the Registrar's site includes a link to the list of class meeting dates for a module session.
After the 10th day of instruction for the module session: no refund.
There is no graduate housing available on campus.
Title IV Cancellations
If you have been awarded a student loan (Federal Stafford or Grad PLUS) you have a right to cancel all or a portion of your loan or loan disbursement. To do so, please submit a written request to: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University, Mailstop 031, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02453-2728 or email the Graduate School financial aid counselor.
A request for loan cancellation or adjustment must be made before the end of the academic year or prior to leaving school, whichever comes first, and must state which loan(s) and what amount(s) you wish to cancel. Cancellation of your awarded student loan(s) would most likely create a balance due on your account. This balance would be due and payable before the cancellation is processed. We will not reduce loans if they create a balance due.
Fellowships and Scholarships
Students receiving financial aid from Brandeis, whether in the form of a fellowship or scholarship, are required to maintain a superior level of academic progress.
A fellowship is an academic award of honor to outstanding students to help them in furthering advanced study, research and training in teaching. A fellowship recipient must pay tuition and fees unless the award includes a scholarship in an amount covering tuition and fees.
A scholarship is an award on grounds of scholarly ability or financial need that will be applied directly to tuition. Full scholarships and partial scholarships are available. Students who receive scholarships are liable for any charges not covered by their award.
All awards are granted and accepted with the understanding that they may be revoked at any time for undesirable conduct or poor academic standing.
Ordinarily, no student may hold a fellowship or scholarship for longer than their program’s residency, unless otherwise specified.
A student's tuition scholarship, fellowship and/or stipend are contingent on continued enrollment, as well as the conditions set out annually in this Bulletin, including, but not limited to, satisfactory academic progress. Changes in student status, such as leaves of absence, withdrawal, change of degree program, graduation or similar circumstances, will normally result in the cessation of university stipends and fellowships effective as of the date of any such change in status.
PhD students receiving full stipend funding from Brandeis will be limited to 20 hours per week of employment at Brandeis, including all employment completed as part of their PhD program.
All students contemplating outside employment that would require a significant portion of their time should discuss their intentions with their program adviser.
Research and Course Assistantships
Research and course assistantships are available in several programs. Interested students should speak with their department administrator or chair of the graduate program about the availability of these positions.
Need-based scholarships may be available for master's and postbaccalaureate students, depending on their program of study. Students in eligible programs may apply for need-based scholarships by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a domestic student or the CSS Profile as an international student.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree program and who demonstrate need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Only the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to graduate students. Applicants must file the FAFSA to qualify for this loan. Graduate students may borrow up to a maximum of $20,500 per year in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds. Dependent postbaccalaureate program students may borrow up to $5,500 for one consecutive 12-month period and independent postbaccalaureate students may borrow up to $12,500. Postbaccalaureate students are not eligible for federal loans beyond their first year of study. The maximum aggregate borrowing limit for the graduate students (including undergraduate borrowing) is $138,500, with no more than $65,500 in subsidized loan funds. The aggregate limit for postbaccalaureate students is $31,000 with a maximum of $23,000 subsidized for dependent students, and $57,500 with a maximum of $23,000 subsidized for independent students.
The interest rate on the Stafford Loan for the 21-22 academic year will be a fixed rate of 5.28 percent and the origination fee will be 1.057 percent.
Repayment of a Stafford Loan begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The standard repayment period is 10 years. (Please go to https://studentaid.gov/ for information about alternate repayment plans.) Students are required to pay the interest on the unsubsidized Stafford Loan during the in-school period, or have it capitalized and added to the loan balance.
The terms for the above loan programs are subject to federal legislation, regulations and other guidance, and may change. Additional current information is available from the Graduate School.
Students wishing to apply for loans should contact the Graduate School for application materials.
The Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that allows graduate students to borrow up to their total cost of education less any financial aid received. The student must pass an independent credit review. For the 21-22 academic year, the PLUS Loan will have a fixed interest rate of 6.28 percent and an origination fee of 4.228 percent. Go to studentaid.gov to apply for this loan.
Borrowers of the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, must complete the required promissory notes and entrance counseling online at the beginning of their entering semester upon receipt of correspondence from the Office of Student Financial Services. Anticipated credits on a student's account will be cancelled if all required steps are not completed.