Brandeis University

Brandeis University


Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis is in an ideal location just nine miles west of Boston. Characterized by academic excellence since its founding in 1948, Brandeis is one of the youngest private research universities, as well as the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the country. The university was founded during an era when educational opportunities were not always readily available for women, immigrants and members of ethnic, religious and racial minorities. Members of the American Jewish community came together to create a place for research and learning that would open its doors, without discrimination, to all who valued educational excellence. Brandeis University combines the faculty and resources of a world-class research institution with the intimacy and personal attention of a small liberal arts college. For students, that means unsurpassed access—both in and out of the classroom—to a faculty renowned for groundbreaking research, scholarship and artistic output.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Students Exploring and Embracing Diversity (SEED)

The Students Exploring and Embracing Diversity program is an opportunity for prospective students to connect with current students, the Brandeis Intercultural Center and racial identity groups on campus. All meals are provided, and full and partial travel scholarships are available to cover students’ transportation costs to and from Brandeis. Because space is limited, students interested in attending SEED are asked to complete a mini-application for the program, and they will be notified on a rolling basis about the status of their application. Learn more about Students Exploring and Embracing Diversity (SEED)

Scholarship & Financial Aid Posse University Partner

Brandeis Posse is a merit-based scholarship program founded by Brandeis alumna Debbie Bial, ‘87. Brandeis Posse Scholars are selected for their academic, leadership and communication skills. They are expected to not only demonstrate strong academic abilities but also outstanding interpersonal and problem-solving skills. These students receive four-year full tuition leadership scholarships. Learn more about Posse University Partner

Scholarship & Financial Aid Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to entering first-year students on the basis of academic performance and extracurricular participation in secondary school, outstanding community involvement and demonstrated financial need. There is no application for this scholarship beyond the admission application and the CSS/Profile. The amount of this scholarship is equal to the student's calculated institutional financial need, based on the CSS/Profile, the FAFSA and student and parent tax returns and is renewable for up to eight semesters of study at Brandeis. Learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship

First-Year Experience & Transition Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP)

Established in 1968, Brandeis University's Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP) is an integral part of the institution's enduring commitment to social justice. Small classes and strong support systems in the first year help Myra Kraft TYP students apply the focus, energy, perseverance and maturity developed through leadership practiced in their life experiences to rigorous studies at the postsecondary level. Students admitted through the program are outstanding students who often have not had access to AP courses and honors courses in their previous schooling experiences. The program enables this group of young people, who otherwise may not have had access, the opportunity to explore new possibilities for their lives. The deadline to apply for the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program is February 1, 2017. Learn more about Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP)

Student Diversity

  • 3,621
  • 43/57
  • 17%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 13%
  • 5%
    Black or African American
  • 7%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 47%
  • 3%
    Two or more races
  • 5%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 20%

Student Success

  • 92%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 91%
    Six-year graduation
  • 88%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 99%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 77%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 354
    Full-time faculty
  • 50
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Economics, Business, Biology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Psychology, Politics, History, PreHealth and PreLaw Programs

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Black Student Organization, Arab Culture Club, Chinese Cultural Connection, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, Students Organized Against Racism, Muslim Student Association, African Students Organization, Diverse City, Brandeis Zionist Alliance, Asian American Students Association


Cost of Attendance

  • $49,586
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,959
    Required Fees
  • $14,380
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $72,262,990
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $40,689
    Average aid package
  • $24,554
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 18%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 53%
    Students with financial need
  • 99%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 94%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 75%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 10,528
    # of applicants
  • 34%
  • 3.95
    Average HS GPA
  • 31
    ACT Composite
  • 600—700
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 650—770
    SAT Math
  • 640—710
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/1
    Regular application closing date
  • $80
    Application Fee
  • $80
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/1, 1/1
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date