Heller School Admissions

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Joint MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Application Requirements

The Joint MA in Conflict Resolution & Coexistence and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program is a highly selective program.

Application Form

We invite you to apply for admission using our online application form. An email address is required to apply online. You will not need 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 be reviewed only after the application form has been submitted and all supporting materials have been received.

The statement of purpose, resume/C.V., and additional documentation must be submitted electronically when you complete the application.  Documents should be saved on your computer and uploaded in PDF format. If you are unable to upload documents in PDF format, you may also use .doc, .docx, and .rtf. Other file types will be unreadable. Please do not email us or mail to us a copy of your uploaded documents.

All credentials not submitted electronically may be sent to:

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

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 here. Contact the admissions office at HellerAdmissions@Brandeis.edu if you are unsure if you are required to pay the application fee.  

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is a pivotal piece of the application and should discuss the applicant’s reasons for applying to this program. Your statement of purpose should highlight any previous academic and professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for this degree, and should illustrate your leadership potential and commitment to social justice. You should provide the admissions committee with further insight about your personal and professional interests, and include an in-depth discussion of your career goals following completion of the program. The statement of purpose should also highlight what aspects of this program appeal to you most, and why you’re specifically interested in completing your graduate education at the Heller School.

The statement of purpose must be your own original work, and should be between 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced. The statement should be submitted in paragraph format, not as a bulleted list. Be sure to 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. If you are unable to upload documents in PDF format, you may also use .doc, .docx, and .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.

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/cv, 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 Brandeis University Career Center website.

University Transcripts

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.

Letters of Recommendation

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.

All letters of recommendation must be on official letterhead from the recommender's organization and must include the recommender's complete contact information:  name, professional title, name and address of the organization, and telephone.  If the recommender is unable to upload a document on official letterhead, then the recommender must mail a hard copy of the letter. (See below.)

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.

Standardized Test Scores

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the Joint MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program. 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 program.

If you have taken the GRE, you may submit your test scores as a supplemental application credential if you wish. Test scores will be sent directly by ETS, Educational Testing Service. The GRE code is 3097.

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). The minimum score required for the TOEFL is 100 (600 on the paper-based test) and for the IELTS is 6.5.

You may submit a copy of your score results to hasten review of your file, but the official score report sent from the testing agency must be received before an offer of admission is finalized. To have the official score results for the TOEFL sent to the Heller School, use institutional code 3097.

International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not completed a degree program in the United States must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL scores should not be more than two years old and must be at least 600 (paper-based exam), 250 (computer-based exam), or 100 (internet-based exam). The IELTS score must be a minimum of 7.0.

You may submit a photocopy of your score report to hasten the review of your application, but an official report sent directly from ETS or IELTS must be received to finalize any offer of admission. Please contact the admissions office at HellerAdmissions@brandeis.edu if you feel that you have extenuating circumstances which may exempt you from this requirement.

TOEFL

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

IELTS

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

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 program. 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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