What is Brandeis University Known For?
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- Overview of Brandeis University Admissions
- Unique Aspects of Brandeis University
- What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Brandeis?
Are you searching for a medium-sized private research school in New England where you can receive personalized instruction in small classes, have ample opportunities to study abroad, and make connections with distinguished faculty? If so, Brandeis University may be the perfect fit for you.
Brandeis University was founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community and was named after Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jewish justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, Brandeis University takes pride in its diversity of students and faculty from around the world who seek the opportunity to learn at the highest level.
In this post, we’ll outline what it’s like to be an undergraduate student at Brandeis University, including traditions and extracurriculars you can participate in, as well as essential information to note about the admissions process.
Overview of Brandeis University Admissions
Location: Waltham. Massachusetts
Undergrad Enrollment: 3,600
Acceptance Rate: 30%
Middle 50% SAT: 1390-1500
Middle 50% ACT: 30-33
Brandeis University is a medium-sized private research university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Brandeis University has a 30% admissions rate and competitive standardized test scores.
Brandeis University places high value on a student’s rigor of secondary school coursework, class rank, academic GPA, and character when making admissions decisions. They also evaluate application essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and unique talents.
Brandeis University is a test-optional university, which means students are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores. Instead, students can submit self-reported exam scores, one from a math or science disciple, one from an English or social science discipline, and one from the applicant’s choosing. Rather than test scores, students may also choose to submit a graded paper from an English or social science discipline and one additional letter of recommendation.
To apply to Brandeis University, you’ll need the following:
- A completed Common Application
- $80 application fee
- Official copies of high school transcripts
- A school report and letter of recommendation from a secondary school official
- Submit either standardized test scores or self-reported exam scores
- A mid-year report
- A letter of recommendation from a teacher of a core academic class
Brandeis University offers an early decision plan. Students applying for the early decision plan must complete the process above and an additional Early Decision Agreement Form by the deadline.
Unique Aspects of Brandeis University
Brandeis University offers 44 undergraduate majors and 48 undergraduate minors in two schools—the School of Arts and Sciences and the Brandeis International Business School.
The majority of majors and minors are housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, focusing on sciences, social sciences, humanities, and creative arts.
The Brandeis International Business School offers a Business major or minor and provides a five-year BA/MA program. This school is ranked #1 for its percentage of female students and faculty and is ranked #3 for financial economics programs in the United States.
Notable faculty at Brandeis University includes Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash, winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm, and winners of the Pulitzer Prize: David Hackett Fischer, Eileen McNamara, and Yehudi Wyner.
During the 2019-2020 school year, Brandeis undergraduate students studied abroad in 42 countries in over 100 different programs. The top five cities students visited included London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh. The top three majors that studied abroad included International and Global Studies, Economics, and Health: Science, Society, and Policy.
Brandeis University has over 200 student-run clubs and organizations, including service organizations, performance groups, religious groups, sports clubs, student leadership groups, and more. All clubs are supported by the Undergraduate Student Union, a student-run organization.
Brandeis University also offers mental health, physical fitness, counseling services, and spiritual life resources for students.
Brandeis University is an NCAA Division III school with 19 varsity athletics teams. Their teams are known as the “Brandeis Judges,” and they play in the University Athletic Association (UAA). Brandeis won two NCAA team championships in men’s soccer (1976) and men’s cross country (1983) and 27 individual titles.
Brandeis University has several traditions for undergraduate students to participate in during their time at the university. Here are a few of the most notable:
- This Is Our House Rally—A class-wide event during orientation week that includes art, slam poetry, and musical performances.
- The Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts—A showcase of campus talent and nationally acclaimed performers honoring Leonard Bernstein, a great musician, composer, and professor at Brandeis University.
- Culture X—A multicultural dance, music, and poetry performance highlighting cultures from across the school’s community and the world.
- Evenings at Chum’s—The university’s student-run coffeehouse hosts open mic nights, musical performances, and other fun events.
- Liquid Latex—Students choreograph dances and coordinate outfits while dancing in latex paint.
- Springfest—An annual spring concert with famous musicians, like Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino, as well as up-and-coming musicians from the school.
- The 24-Hour Musical—A musical organized, memorized, and performed by the Undergraduate Theatre Collective each year. Past performances have included High School Musical and Legally Blonde.
- Midnight Buffet—A midnight takeout dinner organized by the student union for students each semester.
Brandeis University guarantees on-campus housing for undergraduate students up to their first four years. Freshmen students are required to live on-campus. Brandeis categorizes housing based on each student’s academic year.
- Freshmen: Freshmen live in traditional corridor-style halls with single, double, or triple rooms, called Massel and North.
- Sophomores: Sophomores can choose from the traditional corridor-style halls in East, eight-person suites in the Rosenthal, two-bedroom apartments with kitchens in 567 South Street, or single and double rooms in a cluster hall-style in the Village.
- Juniors & Seniors: Juniors and seniors can live in the apartments at Charles River Apartments, Ridgewood, and Foster Mods. They can also live in the Ziv building, offering six-person suites, and the Village, offering singles and doubles in a cluster hall-style arrangement. Typically, Village and Ziv are reserved for study-abroad students.
Brandeis University meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for undergraduate students and offers opportunities to apply for need-based financial aid. Students must submit a FAFSA to be considered for federal and state assistance and complete their CSS Profile to be considered for need-based aid from the university.
Students are automatically considered for applicable merit-based scholarships, like the Brandeis-Sponsored Merit Scholarships, Stroum Family Waltham Scholarship, and Brandeis International Business Scholars Scholarship. Students can also apply to the university’s fellowship opportunities, like the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship, and more.
Brandeis University is located 9 miles outside of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts. Students have close access to Boston’s museums, theatres, sporting events, art exhibits, and even free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts. Students can also get discounted admission to other popular museums in the city, including the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, the Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium.
Boston is also a hub for finance, high-technology research and development, and the tourism industry. Students in the Brandeis International Business School will find ample job and internship opportunities in Boston.
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Brandeis University?
Even though Brandeis University has a competitive admissions process, your chances of acceptance may be higher than other students based on your specific combination of test scores, grades, recommendations, extracurriculars, and more.
To better understand your chances of acceptance at Brandeis University, we recommend using our free admission calculator. The calculator factors in your grades, academic profile, extracurriculars, background, and more to estimate your odds of acceptance. We’ll also give you tips on improving your profile to increase your admissions chances.
You can also use this helpful tool to search for other best-fit schools that align with your target size, location, majors, and other important factors to create a foolproof college application strategy.