Heller School Admissions

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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MA-COEX Application Requirements

The programs in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence are selective. We strive to have a cohort comprised of equal groupings of international and American students with excellent academic credentials, and preferably some experience in the field of conflict resolution and/or development. We will consider applications from prospective students who have less than one year of experience on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that the class is limited in size and offers of admission to all degree programs are made on a space-available basis. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their completed applications and to respond to offers of admission as early as possible.

Completed Application Form

We strongly recommend that all students apply online using our online application to ensure that it is processed quickly and efficiently. You do not have to complete the online application in one sitting. When you have completed all of the required questions to your satisfaction, click the Submit Application button. Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.

Applicants who are unable to apply online may submit a paper application to the Heller School. The paper application form can be downloaded here. Applications sent by mail may take 10-15 business days to process.

Application Fee

The Application Fee is US $55.00. This fee is automatically waived for applicants from developing nations and current or returned Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, and other service organization volunteers. For a complete list of the nations for which the application fee is waived, please refer hereContact the admissions office at HellerAdmissions@Brandeis.edu if you are unsure if you are required to pay the application fee. Applications will not enter the review process until the application fee is received.

Application Deadlines

January 15: Round 1
March 1: Round 2
May 1: Final - International Students
June 1: Final - US Citizens/Permanent Residents

Transcripts/Academic Records

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution is required.

We must receive transcripts from every university, college, or graduate institution you have attended. Transcripts should show the name of each course and the grade received, as well as the year/term in which it was taken. We encourage you to submit scanned, electronic copies of your transcript with your online application to ensure the quickest review. 

Transcripts must be electronic copies of the official transcript issued by the institution and include one or more of the following features: the registrar signature, the registrar's seal, an institutional watermark, or be printed on official institutional paper. Please do not mail paper-based transcripts to us until you have been offered admission and you have accepted that offer, or we have specifically requested them.

  • International applicants whose transcripts are not in English must have transcripts translated by a certified translation agency, and both the original and translated transcripts must accompany the application. Applicants may not translate their own transcripts.
  • We realize that it can be difficult for international students to obtain more than one official copy of their university transcript. To assist you, we can accept certified true copies of your transcripts. A certified true copy is one which is certified as an exact replica of the original by either school officials or legal authorities such as embassies or a notary public.

If you are unable to upload your transcript, we will also accept mailed transcripts sent by your institution to the Heller School in a sealed envelope. Transcripts sent by mail may take up to 10-15 business days to be matched with your application.

If your college or university does not use a traditional 4.0 grading scale, please provide an explanation of the grading system, including systems of designation for honors and distinction.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

The resume or curriculum vitae should detail your professional and academic background as well as highlight relevant skills and accomplishments. The Heller School does not place limits on the length of your resume, but applicants should make every effort to present relevant information neatly and succinctly. For tips on constructing a resume or curriculum vitae for graduate school, please visit the Career Development Center website.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is the most important part of the application.  It should be 2-3 pages in length and should address directly the goals of the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program.  In addition to highlighting your previous academic and professional experiences, it should also detail your reasons for applying to the graduate program and include an in-depth discussion of your career goals following completion of the program.  All statements of purpose should show a commitment to finding the root causes of conflict in society.

Applicants to dual/joint degree programs must detail the reasons for applying to the dual/joint program and discuss their commitment to both programs’ goals. 

The statement of purpose must be submitted in paragraph format, not as a bulleted list. Include your name and proposed program on each page of your statement of purpose.

The statement of purpose must be submitted electronically when you complete the application.  Documents should be saved on your computer and uploaded in PDF format. This is preferable for the admission committee.  If you are unable to upload documents in PDF format, you may also use .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Other file types will be unreadable. Please do not email us or mail to us a copy of your uploaded documents. Doing so will delay the processing of your application.


Three letters of recommendation are required.  The first letter should be a professional assessment from a supervisor at the institution where you are employed or were recently employed.  The second letter should be an academic assessment from a former professor or advisor.  The third letter may be either academic or professional. An academic letter, however, is not required if you last attended university more than ten years ago.

  • We prefer that letters of recommendation be submitted online directly from the recommender. You will be asked for email addresses of your recommenders as you complete the online application. Upon submission of the application, your recommenders will receive an email from us requesting that they upload a letter directly into our system.
  • Please note: your recommender will not be contacted by us until you complete and submit your online application.  It is the responsibility of all applicants to contact their recommenders after beginning the application to ensure that recommenders have adequate time to submit their letters prior to the deadline.
  • If your recommenders prefer to submit a hard copy letter, we ask they use this recommendation form so that we know if you have waived your right to read the recommendation. We will, however, accept letters without the form. All letters of recommendation sent by post should be printed on official letterhead or include the recommender’s official business card. All letters of recommendation should be submitted in signed, sealed envelopes.
  • All hard copy letters should be printed on official letterhead or include the referrer's official business card.

Brandeis University
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
415 South Street  MS 035
Waltham, MA  02454-9110

Standardized Test Scores (required for MBA/COEX only)

The GRE is not required for admission to other Master of Arts programs in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence.  Because so many of our successful students come from developing nations, we do not use standardized test scores as an assessment tool for applicants to the COEX programs.

If you have taken the GRE you may wish to submit your test scores as a supplemental application credential. Test scores will be sent directly by ETS, Educational Testing Service.

*Applicants to the MBA/COEX Program must submit test results of either the Graduate Management Admission Test  - GMAT (preferred) or the Graduate Record Exam - GRE. Applicants must request the test scores to be sent directly to the Heller School by the appropriate code when taking the test.  The code for the GMAT is 3FD-ZX-31. The code for the GRE is 3097.

The admissions committee does not set specific score requirements. Test scores expire after five years.

English Language Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not completed a degree program in an English-speaking program must submit proof of their English language proficiency. Typically, applicants will submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly through ETS to our institution code 3097 at the time that you apply.


In order to fulfill your application requirements, you may submit a scanned copy of your official IELTS score report. Admitted students who accept the offer of admission will be expected to send hard copies of official score reports, or bring the report during orientation.

Critical Writing Sample (required for COEX/NEJS only)

Critical Writing Sample, not to exceed 35 pages, is required for admission to the joint MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies (COEX/NEJS). The 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.

If you have questions about the critical writing sample requirement, please contact Jean Mannion, Department Coordinator at mannion@brandeis.edu.

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