Student Life

The COEX program at the Heller School is about more than just classes and career development. Heller students develop close friendships with their cohort, often getting to know students from dozens of countries and many different backgrounds. These bonds are forged over hours spent studying for exams, working together on group projects and presentations, organizing events in student working groups, and attending guest lectures and seminars.

Compared to other peacebuilding programs, Heller COEX students’ strong focus on experiential learning—such as simulations, fieldtrips, and practicum semesters—creates a powerful sense of community. Furthermore, although every cohort includes students from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, they are all change agents who have experienced life in conflict areas. Heller students are diverse in their backgrounds, opinions, experiences and approach, but in general we are an open, welcoming, inclusive environment that is consistently buzzing with activity.

COEX students having a discussion in class.

Speaking of Activities…

Our students are busy! In addition to keeping up with coursework—often for two degree programs—students participate in varied extracurricular activities at Heller. Every week is filled with guest speakers, special events, training opportunities and more. Here are some examples:

  • COEX Professional Series
  • Student working groups and student associations
  • All-Heller and COEX program town halls
  • Heller Cultural Dinners: students share regional food and culture
  • Degree program capstone events
  • Academic Poster Sessions on faculty, student and staff research findings
  • Tuesday Talks: Heller researchers and faculty share their recent work
  • Author Talks: Heller authors on their recently published books
  • Public lectures by policy experts and practitioners
  • Networking events and competitions with the Harvard Program on Negotiation
  • Career Development Center-sponsored events, including employer spotlights, workshops, treks to local employers and weekend treks to employers in New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • Student working group events, including those sponsored by Brandeis Net Impact, which focuses on corporate social responsibility
  • Community Days and periodic professional development opportunities in diversity, equity and inclusion