Then and Now: Heller by the Numbers

How Heller has changed over the last six decades, from gender makeup to number of academic programs.

June 03, 2020

Heller students by program 1959 and 2019

1959: The first class was 100% PhD students.

Today: About 20% are PhD students, and the other 80% are master’s students, spread across six programs: 10% COEX, 23% MBA, 10% MPP, 25% SID, 6% MS, 6% EMBA.

Heller students in the 1960s and in 2019
Students with Dean Charles Schottland in the 1960s; students in 2019

1959: The first students were required to “show mastery” of two foreign languages, but all were Americans.

Today: Heller students hail from more than 60 countries around the world, and a robust cohort of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers also contributes to a multilingual community.

Graph of Heller faculty in 1959 and 2019
Photos clockwise from top left: Students in class in the 1970s, Monika Mitra, Joseph Assan, Marty Krauss, PhD'81, and Gunnar Dybwad

1959: Charles Schottland, Robert Morris and David French were the first three full-time faculty members at Heller.

Today: Heller has:

  • 37 Professors, Associate, Assistant, Professors of the Practice and Research Professors
  • 25 Lecturers and Senior Lecturers
  • 28 Adjunct Faculty 
  • 32 Scientists and Fellows
  • 14 Professors Emeriti
Heller's first building and current building
Woodruff Hall; Schneider Building

1959: Founded as the Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Heller initially focused on social work. The school was first housed at Woodruff Hall, a house that served as Brandeis’ first administrative building.

Today: The Heller School for Social Policy and Management has expertise across a broad range of social policy, from health care to income and wealth inequality, international development to child, youth and family policy. For most of Heller’s history, students took classes in the Heller-Brown Building, which broke ground in 1965. In 2006, the Irving Schneider and Family Building was constructed, adding 34,000 square feet of new space, and doubling the size of the school.