Admissions and Financial Aid

Pre-Enrollment Checklist

Prepare for Your Arrival

Accept or Decline Your Offer of Admission

Accepting

If you decide to enroll please follow the specific instructions outlined in your admission letter. Your letter will be available on your Applicant Status Page. You will have to reply to the electronic "Reply to Offer of Admission" form by the deadline stated and must also pay a non-refundable tuition deposit. Your acceptance of the offer of admission will not be final until the deposit is received. MBA students will pay a deposit of $1,000. All other students will pay a deposit of $500. The deposit will be credited toward your first semester tuition charges and will secure your place in the entering class. 

*International applicants will also need to submit a completed VIDOF (Visa Information / Declaration of Finances) form with supporting documents. Please do not submit your enrollment deposit until you have secured funding to cover the total cost of attendance (tuition and living expenses) for your program. Please see step 4 for details. 

Please review the estimated Cost of Attendance for your program. If you have any additional questions please contact our office at helleradmissions@brandeis.edu

Declining

It is important that you find the best possible fit with your graduate program. Funding, geography, research interests of the faculty, or other reasons may play into why Heller is not your first choice. Please tell us your reasons for declining our offer so we may improve the admissions process for future applicants. Also, please accept our best wishes for the future. To decline, fill out the "Reply to Offer of Admission" form available on your Applicant Status Page.

U.S. Students: Apply for Student Loans

U.S. citizens/permanent residents are eligible to borrow through a variety of federal loan programs such as Stafford and Grad PLUS loans.  

There are three primary loan options available to students depending upon enrollment status and citizenship. Information about each loan option, including how to apply, is located on the loan section of our website.

Eligibility for all federal loan programs is determined by Brandeis University Student Financial Services

International Students: Contact EducationUSA for Pre-departure Orientation

Pre-departure orientation sessions are group or individual events to prepare students who have been accepted into programs of study in the U.S. Valuable information is exchanged during these sessions. Topics may include information on culture shock, health and travel insurance, medical and money matters, plane tickets, and visas among others.

Many EducationUSA Advising Centers offer annual pre-departure orientation sessions. Contact the center nearest to your city to find out about these sessions. You can find the location of these centers on EducationUSA.

International Students: Visa Processing

The majority of students that study at Brandeis will apply for the F-1 visa status using a Form I-20. In certain cases, students who are receiving significant funding from a sponsor other than a friend or family member may request a Form DS-2019 to apply for the J-1 visa.

After sending in your statement of acceptance and paying your tuition deposit, you will need to secure an I-20 form from Brandeis University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) in order to apply for your student visa to enter the United States.

Please note: To provide time for visa processing, we recommend completing your VIDOF form as quickly as possible. If students submit the VIDOF after June 15th, Heller Admissions and the ISSO reserve the right to decline to create your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and you will need to defer (if eligible) or decline your offer of admission. International students should plan to arrive to the US no later than August 23rd. 

You will need to submit the following documents to obtain your I-20.

  • Heller Online VIDOF Form (Visa Information / Declaration of Finances) submitted electronically
  • Clear copy of your current Valid Passport including photo, expiration date, name and passport number
  • Submit Proof of Assured Funds (required financial documentation). Please follow instructions on the Heller VIDOF to determine the amount of assured funds you need to provide according to your program's cost of attendance.
  • If you have a spouse or unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21 accompanying you to the U.S. and you are requesting a visa document for your family member(s), please complete the Dependent Section on the VIDOF and submit a copy of each dependent's valid passport and additional financial support in the amount of $9,600 per dependent. Note: students should anticipate that $9,600 is the minimum estimated dependent cost per year for each dependent. Actual dependent costs may be higher depending on lifestyle choices. For more information on dependents, please see Dependents.
  • For SEVIS Transfer Students: If you are requesting to transfer your F-1 or J-1 student visa from a previous school (or from OPT/Academic Training) to Brandeis, please see Transfer SEVIS Record to Brandeis.
  • Please review the detailed VIDOF instructions on the ISSO website here. ISSO is also available to answer all VIDOF and Visa-related inquiries. If you have other questions, please email a member of the ISSO staff.

Note: You must submit your tuition deposit in order to gain access to your VIDOF form and obtain your I-20. 

Set Up Your Brandeis Account

Instructions on setting up a Brandeis account, including your Brandeis email address, will be sent to you after you confirm your intention to enroll. Please note that after you set up your email address, we will consider your Brandeis email address your primary address. We will send all official notifications only to your Brandeis email address, not to the one you used during the admissions process. Please be sure that you check your Brandeis email regularly or have it forwarded to any other accounts you use and that you check it regularly.

Complete Workday Onboarding Tasks

Brandeis recently transitioned to Workday Student as the university’s new student information system. Workday is a web-based, mobile-friendly student information system. You will use Workday for self-service tasks such as managing preferred name, pronoun, address, emergency contacts, crisis contact information, and more. In addition, you will use Workday for academic activities including course registration, advising, viewing academic progress, financial aid, and more.

As an incoming Heller student, you will need to:

  • Workday Essentials: Get familiar with Workday’s primary features, including navigating the system, your inbox, notifications, the search feature, and common Workday icons.
  • Onboarding for Graduate Students: Log in to Workday to view and complete the list of onboarding tasks in your Workday Inbox. Incoming Heller students must sign the Financial Responsibility Agreement, acknowledge and sign off on the University Bulletin, read the VIDOF reminder for internationals students (no Workday action needed), and agree or decline to have their Form 1098 sent electronically.
  • Review Your Name + Personal Information: From your Workday Student profile, you can manage your name(s) and other personal information. Please review your Student profile to ensure all of the information is correct and up-to-date.
  • Manage Contact Information: Workday stores both your home and emergency contact information. Keep your home address and other personal contact info up-to-date, and designate family and/or friends for Brandeis to contact in case of emergency. In addition, you can manage your crisis contact information for the Brandeis emergency notifications.

Health Insurance Requirements for Domestic Students

Each year, all full time students, regardless of their current insurance status, must either 1) enroll in the qualifying Student Health Plan (SHP) offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS), or 2) waive the plan and report their own comparable health insurance coverage. This is required by Massachusetts Regulations to ensure that students have adequate coverage.

Annual Student Health Insurance Policy Period and Premium:

Policy Period: 8/15/21 - 8/14/22

Student Premium: $3,509

To ensure compliance with Massachusetts law, students are automatically billed for the SHIP, unless a waiver form is completed before the deadline. Students must either complete the waiver or enrollment form each year. The fall waiver deadline is September 15th, 2021; if you do not submit a waiver form by the deadline, you will be enrolled in SHIP and responsible for the premium.  You can use the Health Coverage Comparison Worksheet to help you determine if your plan will meet the requirements and thus if you will be eligible for a waiver.

Click here for more information about the Student Health Plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS).

Please contact Assistant Dean Ravi Lakshmikanthan (kanthan@brandeis.edu) if you have any questions.

Health Insurance Requirements for International Students

Each year, all full time students, regardless of their current insurance status, must either 1) enroll in the qualifying Student Health Plan (SHP) offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS), or 2) waive the plan and report their own comparable health insurance coverage. This is required by Massachusetts Regulations to ensure that students have adequate coverage.

Annual Student Health Insurance Policy Period and Premiums:

Policy Period: 8/15/21 - 8/14/22

Student Premium: $3,509

All new and returning international students in the United States are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and do not need to take any action. International students who will be in the U.S. and have an insurance policy that meets the waiver requirements can waive the university SHP by completing the waiver form. The fall waiver deadline is September 15th, 2021

You can use the Health Coverage Comparison Worksheet to help you determine if your plan will meet the requirements.

Click here for more information about the Student Health Plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS).

Please contact Assistant Dean Ravi Lakshmikanthan (kanthan@brandeis.edu) if you have any questions.

Submit Health Report

All new incoming students are required to complete a health report before arriving to campus. This report is completed on the secure patient portal by filling out the online forms in the portal, entering your immunization dates, then uploading a copy of your immunization records and a copy of the results of any tuberculosis screening tests for validation by Health Center staff.

Steps for Students to Complete their Health Reports:

  1. Gather your immunization records and if needed tuberculosis screening records. Sample Health Report Forms for Incoming Students (towards the bottom of the page) You may also use those provided by your own medical providers.
  2. Register for the Secure Patient Portal by using your Brandeis email username.
  3. Under the Forms tab: Complete the three required online forms: Health History Form, Tuberculosis Screening Questionnaire, and the General Agreement (which includes information on privacy practices).
  4. Under the Immunizations tab: Enter the dates of your vaccines from your record.
  5. Under the Upload tab: Finally upload your required immunization records and any related lab tests done for verification. You may upload a copy of your latest physical exam here as well. 

Request Disability Accommodations (if applicable)

If you are a student who has a disability or think you might have a disability, we encourage you to request accommodations as soon as possible. Requesting accommodations early will help ensure that the support you need is in place at the beginning of the semester.

If you have any academic accommodation needs please follow the steps below:

1. Review the Student Accessibility Support (SAS) Website. The Student Accessibility Support website is a great resource that details available services that support students, ways to connect with the SAS staff members, and additional information. 

2. Contact Academic Services Office. 
Call the Academic Services main phone line at 781-736-3470, or email access@brandeis.edu to schedule a meeting with an SAS Accessibility Specialist. This is the first right step if you aren't sure if you should request accommodations, want to know more about what SAS provides, or have questions about documentation. If you are ready to submit documentation and don't need to talk with a Specialist first, you may skip to the next step. 

3. 
Submit sufficient documentation of a condition that qualifies as a disability under the ADAA. One of the important steps in receiving accommodations at Brandeis is to submit documentation of your condition. For more information on what kind of documentation we are looking for and how to submit documentation, please check out our Providing Documentation webpage.  When you are ready to submit, email access@brandeis.edu and ask for the secure documentation link to upload your information. Please do not submit medical documentation via email.

4. 
Schedule a meeting with an Accessibility Specialist. After submitting your documentation, please call the Academic Services main phone line at 781-736-3470 or email access@brandeis.edu to schedule a meeting with an Accessibility Specialist. They will discuss possible accommodations as part of an interactive process.  Accommodations are based on two considerations: the specific nature of the student's condition and the educational environment in which the student will be learning. Each student's accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. SAS customizes accommodations that are necessary to ensure each individual student's access to courses. 

Brandeis also offers a number of non-academic accommodations (such as parking accommodations and an Accessible Transport Van) that you can read more about on the Academic Services website.

Submit Official Transcripts

If you submitted unofficial copies of your transcript during the admissions process, you will need to submit official transcripts before you are able to register for classes. If you had not completed your most recent undergraduate degree (or graduate degree for PhD students) at the time of your application, please send your final official transcripts indicating the date of degree conferral. Failure to submit this transcript may prevent you from registering for classes.

Because Heller Admissions is currently operating remotely, we are asking that all students submit official transcripts electronically. Please be in contact with your degree-granting institution for information about how to send your official transcripts electronically. If your official transcripts have already been sent to us via mail, please be aware that there may be a delay in when they are marked as "Received" on your status page. 

Find Housing

Brandeis University does not offer on-campus graduate student housing. However, you will be able to find convenient off-campus rental housing that is either close by within the Waltham area or easily accessible by public transportation within the broader Boston metro area.

The University Office of Graduate Student Affairs has compiled excellent resources to assist you in finding housing. Please visit their website

Temporary Housing

Hotels and hostels are available around Boston for temporary housing. Please visit the following websites:


Note: If you are unable to secure housing before arriving in Boston, you must reserve temporary housing in advance at a hotel or hostel. There are many students arriving in Boston in August because of the number of schools in the area so it is important that you reserve temporary housing as early on as possible. Refer to the list of temporary housing resources provided above.

What Kind of Initial Expenses Should I Expect When Securing Housing?

Some expenses associated with securing rental housing include, but are not limited to:

  • first and last month's rent
  • security deposit (which can be up to one month's rent)
  • moving van or professional movers, storage units, furniture (if apartment is not furnished)
  • broker's fees for real estate assistance
  • temporary housing (see the question above)

Traveling to Campus

Brandeis offers a free bus shuttle service from the Waltham area to campus during the day and van service in the evenings. You can find a list of van and shuttle service times and locations here. On the weekends there is also free bus shuttle service from campus into Boston. If you are living outside Waltham or cannot take advantage of the Brandeis shuttle for some reason, you can purchase a discounted MBTA pass (for commuter rail, bus and subway) through the Graduate Student Center (scroll down to Boston Public Transportation, MBTA for the cost of passes and application form).

If commuting to campus with a car, you will have to apply for a parking permit for on-campus parking. Visit the Department of Public Safety for application instructions and cost for the permit.

Getting to Campus from the Airport

If you intend to reach Brandeis by plane, Boston Logan International Airport is the closest international airport. We are unable to offer airport pick-up services.

Students flying into Boston will need to take ground transportation from Boston Logan airport to Waltham. Once in Boston, you have several options available to you to get into Waltham. The transportation instructions below are more general directions for getting to central Waltham from Logan Airport. Google maps can be used for more exact directions to specific addresses.

By bus and subway

From the airport, catch the Silver Line bus to South Station. Take the Red Line Subway Outbound (towards Alewife) to Central Square. From there, catch the 70 or 70a bus into Waltham. You can also walk to Surface Artery at Beach Street and catch the 505 (towards Central Square via Waltham), 553 (towards Roberts) or 554 (towards Waverly) express bus into Waltham.

Schedules and maps are available here.

Paying your transportation fare for the bus/subway

On the bus, you have three options for paying your fare: with cash, with a Charlie ticket (paper ticket) or with a Charlie card (plastic smart card). Subway fares can only be paid using a Charlie ticket or Charlie card. Both the Charlie ticket and Charlie card are reusable and rechargeable but the Charlie Card is more affordable, versatile and convenient. With a Charlie card you pay standard T fare and get discounted transfers while with a Charlie ticket you pay standard fare plus a surcharge.

The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Travel Authority) has a very helpful website to help you compare Charlie tickets and Charlie Cards (including rates) and learn more about entering stations, boarding vehicles, and using fare machines. Please visit the Charlie Card website for more information.

Fares are subject to change. Please visit MBTA fares for more information.

More information on commuting to campus via shuttle bus, MBTA bus, commuter rail, and car is available on the Graduate Student Affairs website.

Note: Charlie cards and Charlie tickets cannot be used on the commuter rail. You will need to buy commuter rail tickets at the vending machines or ticket window at the station. Commuter rail tickets purchased on-board the train will have a $3 surcharge.

Directions to Heller

For detailed directions to campus, please see Directions and Parking.

The Heller School is located adjacent to the Tower parking lot at the highest point of campus along the peripheral road. The Security Gatehouse at the Brandeis University main entrance can provide you with a parking pass and directions.

Campus map

Quarantine (If Required)

Brandeis will be offering on-campus vaccination clinics at the start of the fall semester. Students who are unable to obtain a vaccine before the semester begins will be eligible to sign up for an on-campus vaccination appointment at one of these clinics.

If you receive a vaccination during one of the on-campus start-of-fall-semester vaccination clinics, your ability to access campus spaces and facilities will be limited until you are fully vaccinated. This can take 2 to 6 weeks from your initial dose. More information regarding fall on-campus vaccination clinics will be provided as we get closer to the start of the fall semester. 

You can find more information about Brandeis' vaccination policies on the COVID-19 Response: What's Now, What's Next page. 

Arrive with Cash and/or Credit and ATM (debit) Cards

When you arrive, you will need cash in US currency or a credit or debit card to which you can charge expenses. You should aim to bring $200-$500 in US currency to cover expenses in the first few days of your stay here. Bring enough small bills ($1s, $5s, and $10s) so that you can buy any snacks or anything else that you may need upon arrival. You may also bring travelers’ checks but please note that they may not be accepted everywhere. Make sure to check with your credit card company and/or your bank to ensure that you will be able to use your card(s) here in the US upon arrival.

Banking

You may want to open a US bank account once you arrive. There are a number of local banks around Brandeis where you can get help to open an account.

On campus, there is a Sovereign Bank ATM in the Usdan Student Center, a Citizens Bank ATM in the Shapiro Campus Center and a Bank of America ATM located in Gosman Gym and just off campus in the Village Market Shopping Center. All three banks have student checking account options and branches on Main Street in Waltham. Bank of America also has a branch on Moody Street.

For Students with Children: Public Schools and Child Care Information

If you plan to bring your children with you while you study at Brandeis University, please be aware that in Waltham, to be eligible for public (no cost) education, your child must be five years old as of September 1 of the year that the child will be enrolled. Other school districts may have different minimum age requirements; please contact the school district for more information. 

If your child will be 5 years old by the start of the school year, you will be able to enroll your child in a public kindergarten.   Kindergarten, which is part of the public elementary school system and accessible based on the city/town where you live, generally runs from 8:00am to 2:30pm with children having lunch in school. There are some school systems that have only half days (ending at 11:45) for kindergarten.

While there are after-school programs in the public schools, any time that is not officially part of the school day will be at a cost to the parents.

Any child care that is available before a child is eligible for public kindergarten must be arranged by the parent.  Child care for children younger than five is often oversubscribed and usually costly.   Parents generally arrange for this child care in spring or summer for the next year, so waiting until you arrive in the U.S. in mid- or late-August to make child care arrangements will be very difficult.

Please be sure to bring with you a medical history of your child.   Public school systems are strict about children having up-to-date vaccinations before being enrolled.  

If your child will be of the age to attend the Waltham Public Schools, please go to www.walthampublicschools.org  for more information.  If you plan to live in another city or town local to Waltham, you will need to contact the public school administration office for that city or town.

The following websites will be helpful if you need childcare apart from the public school system in the Waltham area:

www.brandeis.edu/lemberg

www.yelp.com/waltham/childcare

www.care.com/babysitters

www.greatschools.org/massachusetts/waltham

Review and Remit Your Bill

The due date for the Fall semester bills is August 6th, 2021. Spring semester bills are due December 10th, 2021. Student Financial Services plans to provide electronic bills to students in mid-July via Workday (Please note: incoming students will not have access to the Financial Services portion of Workday until June). To view the various payment options, including payment plans, please visit the Student Financial Services Payment Options webpage.  All subsequent student account activity will be reflected on Workday only. We expect that you will have settled your account by the time you arrive on campus. However, if this is not the case, you will have to make your tuition payment as soon as you arrive. 

For questions about your bill and the billing schedule please contact Student Financial Services.

In June 2021, students will receive an email notice with instructions for how to set up their Nelnet Student Account Portal Account and add any Authorized Party (parent or other persons you want to be able to pay your bill. Participant Authorized Party access lets whomever you register have direct access to your Student Account Center, where they can contract for a monthly payment plan, pay directly by credit card or direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account. Nelnet accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. A user fee applies to all credit card transactions. There is no user fee for withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You can view more payment options on the Student Financial Services website. 

Please note that accounts not paid in full by the due date will be subject to a late fee equal to 2% of the total balance due, or $100, whichever is greater. Balances unpaid by the due date are subject to registration hold and a late fee.

For the estimated cost of your program, please refer to our cost of attendance section of our website. We also encourage you to visit our Financial Aid section for information on our financial aid resources.

Upon beginning your program at the Heller School

Get Your Student ID Card

All matriculating students are issued a Brandeis ID card when they are first enrolled. This ID card is used at campus libraries, dining services locations, marked vending machines, and for printing and copying at the University Copy Center, as well as for door access to the athletic center and labs. Cards can be obtained between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, on the lower level of Kutz Hall. No appointment is necessary. Please be sure to bring with you the following materials:

  • Government-issued ID (driver's license or passport)

Uploading Your Photo

In order to reduce in-person traffic and to better comply with social distancing guidelines, we would like for new students to upload their own photos to be printed on new Campus Cards. Photos must comply with the guidelines listed below. Selfie photos must be submitted from the GET App on a mobile phone or through the Brandeis Login Page under WhoCash/Meal Plans.  Your login is your Usernet ID and password. 

Photo Guidelines:
  • Photo must show the head and shoulders of just you. Please use a passport or driver's license photo as an example.
  • You must have a plain background (light solid colors like white, off-white, gray, or light blue backgrounds work well to contrast hair and face).
  • You must submit a color picture. No black-and-white, sepia, or filtered photos.
  • Your head must face the camera directly with your full face in view, centered in the frame at eye level. No side profile shots or selfies taken at high or low angles.
  • Your photo must be of you and no one else. No cropped group photos or any hands in the frame.
  • No sunglasses, hats, masks, props, or anything else that obstructs your face. Exception: items worn for religious purposes.
  • The system will reject photos that do not comply, and you will need to submit a new photo. 

Attend Orientation

Please ensure that you have access to LATTE prior to orientation. If you have set up your Brandeis Account (if you have not set it up yet, you will need your Student ID) and are still having trouble accessing the Summer Institute, please contact hellersummerinst@brandeis.edu. These days are designed to ensure a smooth transition to life at Heller and will help you get to know your classmates.  

Advising and Course Registration

You will have a scheduled appointment with your faculty advisor to discuss your course options and create an individual academic plan during Orientation. You will receive specific instructions on how to register for courses within your program during orientation. Course descriptions and an academic calendar can be found through the Office of the University Registrar (scroll down to Courses of Instruction). 

Students with documented disabilities may be eligible to receive certain accommodations. If you will require any special assistance while you are studying at Heller, we ask that you complete and return the Disability Notification Form. Brandeis University provides complete information on Student Accessibility Support.

Working On Campus

Many graduate students work on campus to earn additional money during their time at Brandeis. Student Financial Services hosts a database of on-campus jobs that are available to all students enrolled half time or more. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are permitted to work on or off-campus.

International students are also generally eligible to work on-campus while pursuing graduate study. However, you should first consult the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) guidelines for international student employment before applying for on-campus positions. Most international students are not eligible to work off-campus.

Registering to work

In order to obtain a job on campus or receive your stipend, you must be able to present original identification to the university that satisfies the requirements of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). You will also need to sign up for Direct Deposit. To sign up for Direct Deposit in Workday enter "Payment Elections" in the search bar and the Payment Elections task will appear. From there you can add or edit your bank account information.

You may apply for jobs as soon as you see a job posted that interests you or fits your skill set, and you may apply for as many jobs as you wish. If the hiring department is interested in your candidacy, they will contact you with further instructions.

The university's Office of Student Employment maintains a list of on-campus job opportunities that you can search. Typically, incoming students are not able to confirm on-campus job placement before arriving at Brandeis, as most departments will want to interview candidates in person before making an offer. It is also important to ask around and network since Brandeis is a fairly small community. 

The process for campus job registration and application will be covered in more detail during orientation.

Explore (Safely!)

Since Waltham and the Greater Boston area will be your home for at least the next year, you should spend time exploring all that the area has to offer. Boston is one of the world's great cities and is an internationally known center of student life, host to one of the largest concentrations of students in the world. It's also the unofficial capital of New England, set in a region abounding in historical and cultural attractions, music and dance, theater, concerts, vibrant nightlife and professional sports teams. Boston combines European-style architecture with the energy of an American center of learning, health care, and high technology.

Although many places in Boston and Waltham are currently closed, there are still many sights and cultural institutions you can experience. 

Virtual Attractions

Outdoor Attractions

The Boston Calendar also has a list of weekly events happening in and around the city; they are currently focusing on virtual and socially-distanced events.