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Brandeis University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what degree programs Brandeis University offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Brandeis University

Brandeis University is a 4-year, private university founded in 1948. The university's 235-acre campus is located in the small city of Waltham, which is nine miles outside of Boston, MA. U.S. News and World Report ranked Brandeis 33rd amongst national universities in the United States in 2012, while the Princeton Review named it one of the 'Best Northeastern' and the 'Best Value' colleges in the same year.


Brandeis houses five schools, including the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the Brandeis International Business School, and the Rabb School of Continuing Studies. The College of Arts and Sciences provides undergraduate courses within 43 major and 45 minor programs. The most popular areas of study amongst undergraduates are economics, biology, health policy analysis, and political science. The four graduate schools offer 40 on-campus master's degree programs and 21 doctoral degree programs. Additionally, the Rabb School offers six online master's degree programs.

Brandeis has a faculty-to-student ratio of nine to one, with classes frequently containing between 10 and 19 students. About half of students in their third year choose to study abroad, and the typical student completes two to three internships during their time at Brandeis. The school has both a main library and a science library, which provide students with reference services and archives.


Brandeis requires that students submit the common application, the Brandeis supplement, SAT or ACT test scores, high school and college transcripts, a teacher recommendation, a school report, and a recommendation from a school official. In Fall 2011, 40% of the 8,917 undergraduate applicants were admitted, and 24% of accepted students chose to enroll.

Students seeking fall enrollment have the following options: round one of early decision applications are due November 15th, with notification by December 15th; round two of early decision applications are due January 1st, with notification by February 1st; and regular decision applications are due January 15th, with notification by April 1st. About 10% of admitted students begin their studies in the spring instead of the fall, as part of what is called the Midyear Class. Freshman applicants are required to apply for the Midyear Class by November 1st and are notified of their admission status by December 1st.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year, including fees, was $44,294. Students without private health insurance must pay an additional $1,751 for health insurance through the university. On-campus housing costs between $5,668 and $7,514, depending on the type of accommodations desired. Brandeis offers a variety of different meal plans, ranging from $3,904-$5,610. According to NCES, the total yearly cost for on-campus, full-time, undergraduate students was $56,416 in 2011-2012.

Brandeis offers undergraduate students need-based aid and merit-based scholarships. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 59% of incoming, undergraduate students received aid from Brandeis, with an average grant or scholarship amount of $26,075. Federal grants were received by 20% of incoming students, with an average award of $5,677, and 55% of incoming students received federal student loans averaging $4,976 per student.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates, post-baccalaureate certificates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body 3,504 undergraduates and 2,324 graduate students in 2011**
Student Housing 11 residence halls; on-campus housing guaranteed for the first two years; 81% of undergraduates live in school-provided housing*
Schools and Programs Five schools offering 43 undergraduate majors, 46 master's degree programs, and 21 doctoral degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio Nine to one*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Economics (123)
Master's: Development economics and international development
Doctorate: Public policy analysis (15)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 84% in four years
87% in six years
88% in eight years (for students who enrolled in 2003)**
Admission Rate 40% in Fall 2011**
Entering Class Size 858 in Fall 2011*
First-Year Retention Rate 94% (full-time students) in 2011**
Average SAT and ACT Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% in Fall 2011:
SAT composite: 1860-2170
ACT composite: 28-32**
Application Due Date January 15th (regular decision)*
Decision Notification Date April 1st (regular decision)*
Tuition $42,682 (for the 2012-2013 academic year, excluding fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Full-Time Beginning Undergraduate Students Receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants (20%), state or local scholarships/grants (6%), institutional scholarships/grants (59%), federal student loans (55%), other student loans (9%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 68% of full-time beginning undergraduates in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Brandeis University, **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453
  • Phone: (781) 736-3500 or (800) 622-0622
  • Website:

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