Brandeis University began in Waltham, Massachusetts, as Middlesex University, founded by Dr. John Hall Smith. The university was the only medical school that did not impose a quota on the number of Jewish students that could be accepted. The school was unable to secure accreditation by the American Medical Association, something Dr. Smith attributed to anti-Semitism in the United States. When Dr. Smith died in 1944, his will decreed that the school could only be offered to a group who would establish a non-sectarian university. Two years later, the school had almost completely shut down.
In an effort to save the school, Dr. Smith’s son, C. Ruggles, contacted Dr. Israel Goldstein of New York, who was seeking a campus to establish a Jewish-sponsored secular university. Dr. Smith’s son offered Dr. Goldstein the campus with the request that the medical school be continued. Although Dr. Goldstein was hesitant to take on a failing medical school, the 100-acre campus not far from New York and close to Boston appealed to him. Dr. Goldstein recruited George Alpert, a Boston lawyer, to help him with fundraising for the new school who then recruited Albert Einstein in an effort to draw outstanding scholars to the campus.
In 1946, the new Board of Trustees, led by Alpert, purchased Middlesex University’s land and buildings for $2 million through a foundation named the Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning. The school was to be a Jewish-sponsored secular university open to students of all races and religions. Initially, the trustees wanted to name the university after Einstein, but he declined the honor, believing it would be “excessive promotion.” Instead, the school was named Brandeis University, after Louis Brandeis, a distinguished associate justice of the United States Supreme court.
During its first few years, the university was riddled with scandal with Einstein and Alpert disagreeing on many aspects of the school. Einstein threatened to severe ties with the school in 1946, but Alpert chose to resign instead, believing that the school could not survive without Einstein’s support. Despite the request of C. Ruggles Smith, Brandeis did not make the investment necessary to achieve accreditation for the medical school and it closed in 1947. The veterinary school was also in trouble, but Einstein wanted it to remain open. A professional study recommended dismissing some of the instructors and requiring students to submit to end-of-year examinations, but the foundation declined to enact any of these suggestions. In early 1947, the veterinary school closed amid protests and demonstrations by students. Einstein cut ties with the university the same year, along with two other trustees, S. Ralph Lazrus and Dr. Otto Nathan.
The school finally reopened on October 14, 1948 with the requirement that faculty and students never be chosen based on quotas of ethnic or genetic makeup. When students applied to the school, they were not asked their race, religion or ancestry. Unlike other colleges of the time, Brandeis did not organize in traditional departments or divisions. Instead, four schools made up the college – School of General Studies, School of Social Studies, School of Humanities and School of Science.
Today, there are 3,610 students enrolled at Brandeis and the school is top-ranked for student engagement by the Princeton Review. There are now five schools at Brandeis:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Brandeis International Business School
- Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Rabb School of Continuing Studies Graduate Programs
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Brandeis University Accreditation Details
Brandeis University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition, the Master of Science in Project and Program Management and the Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies online programs were commended by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges due to the quality of its programs, the uniform content and the quality between online and classroom-based courses.
Brandeis University Application Requirements
Freshmen who wish to attend Brandeis University may apply using either the Brandeis Application, the Universal College Application or the Common Application. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores. Students must provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher along with a School Report that includes a letter of recommendation from a secondary school official.
Students transferring from another college or university must complete the Brandeis application and provide official high school transcripts as well as college transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students must provide a letter of recommendation from an academic professor who instructed them in core academic studies as well as a College Official’s Report. SAT and ACT scores are recommended, but are not required for transfer students.
Students who wish to attend the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences must submit an online application that includes a statement of purpose, resume and uploaded transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants must hold a graduate degree or higher. The application will also require students provide information on two or three people who will be asked to submit a recommendation. Depending on the program, students may be required to submit an essay, test scores, portfolio or submit to an audition and/or interview.
Students who wish to attend the Rabb School for Graduate Professional Studies must create an account in Brandeis GPS Application Management Center. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and must have a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. Students must also submit a resume, statement of goals and letters of recommendation.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for full-time attendance at Brandeis University for undergraduate programs is $49,586 per year. Graduate tuition for full-time attendance averages $5,738 per course. Financial aid is available at Brandeis in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. The Financial Aid Office can also assist with on- and off-campus job opportunities.
Degree Programs Available
M.S. in Project and Project Management
Specifically recognized by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges which accredits Brandeis University as an outstanding program, the Master of Science in Project and Project Management degree at the university is offered in an online format. The program curriculum is consistent with the PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge, integrating an understanding of business functions and corporate challenges at all levels. The program provides an integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of the skills necessary to manage projects and programs. Students are able to plan projects, manage budgets, communicate objectives, negotiate with stakeholders and understand issues at various levels of a corporation.
Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
The undergraduate degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University engages students in theories related to feminism, gender, sexuality and the diversity of the female experience, both past and present. Students develop an understanding of women, gender, sexuality and feminism by researching how things have changed over the past 50 years, developing historical and cross-cultural understanding of race, class, religion, sexuality, ethnicity and age. Many students complete the program with a second major in English politics or sociology. Students may also choose to minor in the field of study.
Graduate Programs in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
The Master of Arts in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies degree at Brandeis University is a stand-alone program that may be combined with other degree programs. Students may choose to pursue a joint degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies combined with an additional Master of Arts degree or in conjunction with a Ph.D. There is no doctorate degree in the program, but students may find an advanced degree in sociology, psychology, English or politics helpful. The program is a full-time, two semester program offering students an understanding of feminist and gender theory, knowledge and methodologies. Students may specialize in gender and legal studies, sexuality studies, social and public policy, comparative literature and culture or other disciplines in the joint Master of Arts programs.
Brandeis University continues a tradition of excellence in education with rigorous curriculum and opportunities for students to develop hands-on learning through internships or community involvement. Brandeis University offers programs in an online format so that students who may have work, family or social obligations that make it difficult for them to attend traditional classrooms may achieve their higher education goals in order to move into a new career or advance in a current career.