|Motto||אמת ("Emet", Hebrew)|
Motto in English
|Truth even unto its innermost parts|
|Established||October 20, 1948|
|Endowment||$861 million (2014)|
|President||Lisa M. Lynch (interim)|
|Provost||Irving R. Epstein (interim)|
|361 full-time, 150 part-time|
|961 full-time, 216 part-time|
|Location||Waltham, Massachusetts, USA|
|Campus||Suburban, 235 acres (0.95 km2)|
NCAA Division III
|Mascot||Ollie the Owl (named for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)|
Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, 9 miles (14 km) west of Boston. The university has an enrollment of approximately 3,600 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students. It was tied for 34th among national universities in the United States in U.S. News & World Report 's 2016 rankings. Forbes listed Brandeis University as number 51 among all national universities and liberal arts colleges combined in 2013.
Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian Jewish community-sponsored coeducational institution on the site of the former Middlesex University. The university is named for Louis Brandeis (1856–1941), the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- Founding 1.1
- Opening 1.2
- Early years 1.3
- Student takeover of Ford Hall 1.4
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali honorary doctorate 1.5
- Presidents 1.6
- The Heller School 2.1
- International Business School 2.2
- The Rabb School of Continuing Studies 2.3
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) 2.4
- Rose Art Museum 2.5
- Library & Technology Services (LTS) 2.6
- Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies 3.1
- Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism 3.2
- Steinhardt Social Research Institute 3.3
- Women's Studies Research Center 3.4
- Rankings 3.5
- Notable faculty and graduates 4
- Newspaper & Yearbook 5.1
- Magazines 5.2
- Journals 5.3
- Athletics 6
- Research 7
- Student life 8
- Wien International Scholarship 9
- Institute for Informal Jewish Education 10
- See also 11
- Notes 12
- References 13
- Further reading 14
- External links 15
Middlesex University was a medical school located in Waltham, Massachusetts, that was at the time the only medical school in the United States that did not impose a quota on Jews. The founder, Dr. John Hall Smith, died in 1944. Smith's will stipulated that the school should go to any group willing to use it to establish a non-sectarian university. Within two years, Middlesex University was on the brink of financial collapse. The school had not been able to secure accreditation by the American Medical Association, which Smith partially attributed to institutional antisemitism in the American Medical Association, and, as a result, Massachusetts had all but shut it down.
Dr. Smith's son, C. Ruggles Smith, was desperate for a way to save something of Middlesex University. He learned of a New York committee headed by Dr. United Jewish Appeal.
Alpert had worked his way through Boston University School of Law and co-founded the firm of Alpert and Alpert. Alpert's firm had a long association with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, of which he was to become president from 1956 to 1961 He is best known today as the father of Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass). He was influential in Boston's Jewish community. His Judaism "tended to be social rather than spiritual." He was involved in assisting children displaced from Germany. Alpert was to be chairman of Brandeis from 1946 to 1954, and a trustee from 1946 until his death.
By February 5, 1946, Goldstein had recruited Albert Einstein, whose involvement drew national attention to the nascent university. Einstein believed the university would attract the best young people in all fields, satisfying a real need.
In March 1946, Goldstein said the foundation had raised ten-million dollars that it would use to open the school by the following year. The foundation purchased Middlesex University's land and buildings for two-million dollars. The charter of this operation was transferred to the Foundation along with the campus. The founding organization was announced in August and named The Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning, Inc. The new school would be a Jewish-sponsored secular university open to students and faculty of all races and religions.
The trustees offered to name the university after Einstein in the summer of 1946, but Einstein declined, and on July 16, 1946, the board decided the university would be named after Louis Brandeis.
Einstein objected to what he thought was excessively expansive promotion, and to Goldstein's sounding out Abram L. Sachar as a possible president without consulting Einstein. Einstein took great offense at Goldstein's having invited Cardinal Francis Spellman to participate in a fundraising event. Einstein also became alarmed by press announcements that exaggerated the school's success at fundraising.
Einstein threatened to sever ties with the foundation on September 2, 1946. Believing the venture could not succeed without Einstein, Goldstein quickly agreed to resign himself, and Einstein recanted. Einstein's near-departure was publicly denied. Goldstein said that, despite his resignation, he would continue to solicit donations for the foundation.
On November 1, 1946, the foundation announced that the new university would be named Brandeis University, after Louis D. Brandeis, justice of the United States Supreme Court.
By the end of 1946, the foundation said it had raised over five hundred thousand dollars, and two months later it said it had doubled that amount.
Brandeis felt it was in no position to make the investment in the medical school that would enable it to receive accreditation, and closed it in 1947.
Einstein wanted Middlesex University's veterinary school's standards to be improved before expanding to the school, while others in the foundation wanted to simply close the veterinary school, which, by the winter of 1947, had an enrollment of just about 100 students. A professional study of the veterinary school recommended dismissing certain instructors and requiring end-of-year examinations for the students, but the foundation declined to enact any of the recommendations, to the dismay of Einstein and a couple of the foundation's trustees.
In early June 1947, Einstein made a final break with the foundation. The veterinary school was closed, despite students' protests and demonstrations. According to George Alpert, a lawyer responsible for much of the organizational effort, said that Einstein had wanted to offer the presidency of the school to left-wing scholar Harold Laski, someone that Alpert had characterized as "a man utterly alien to American principles of democracy, tarred with the Communist brush." He said, "I can compromise on any subject but one: that one is Americanism."
Two of the foundation's trustees, S. Ralph Lazrus and Dr. Otto Nathan, quit the foundation at the same time as Einstein. In response, Alpert said that Lazrus and Nathan had tried to give Brandeis University a "radical, political orientation." Alpert also criticized Lazrus' lack of fundraising success and Nathan's failure to organize an educational advisory committee. Einstein said he, Lazrus, and Nathan "have always been and have always acted in complete harmony."
On April 26, 1948, Brandeis University announced that Abram L. Sachar, chairman of the National Hillel Commission, had been chosen as Brandeis' first president. Sachar promised that Brandeis University would follow Louis Brandeis' principles of academic integrity and service. He also promised that students and faculty would never be chosen based on quotas of "genetic or ethnic or economic distribution" because choices based on quotas "are based on the assumption that there are standard population strains, on the belief that the ideal American must look and act like an eighteenth-century Puritan, that the melting pot of America must mold all who all who live here into such a pattern." Students who applied to the school were not asked their race, religion, or ancestry.
Brandeis decided its undergraduate instruction would not be organized with traditional departments or divisions, and instead it would have four schools, namely the School of General Studies, the School of Social Studies, the School of Humanities, and the School of Science.
On October 14, 1948, Brandeis University received its first freshman class of 107 students. They were taught by thirteen instructors in eight buildings on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus. Students came from 28 states and six foreign countries. The library was formerly a barn, students slept in the former medical school building and two army barracks, and the cafeteria was where the medical school had stored cadavers. Historians Elinor and Robert Slater later called the opening of Brandeis one of the great moments in Jewish history.
Construction of on-campus dormitories began in March 1950 with the goal of ninety percent of students living on campus. Construction on an athletic field began in May 1950. Brandeis' football team played its first game on September 30, 1950, a road win against Maine Maritime Academy. Their first varsity game was on September 29, 1951, with a home loss against the University of New Hampshire. Brandeis Stadium opened in time for a home win against American International College on October 13, 1951. The team won four of nine games during its first season. Construction of a 2,000-seat amphitheater began in February 1952.
The state legislature of Massachusetts authorized Brandeis to award master's degrees, doctorate degrees, and honorary degrees in 1951.
Brandeis' first graduating class of 101 students received their degrees on June 16, 1952. Leonard Bernstein, director of Brandeis' Center of Creative Arts, planned a four-day ceremony to commemorate the occasion. Held in the newly opened amphitheater, the ceremony included the world premier of Bernstein's opera Trouble in Tahiti. Eleanor Roosevelt and Massachusetts Governor Paul A. Dever spoke at the commencement ceremony.
In 1953, Einstein declined the offer of an honorary degree from Brandeis, writing to Brandeis president Abram L. Sachar that "what happened in the stage of preparation of Brandeis University was not at all caused by a misunderstanding and cannot be made good any more." Instead, at the graduation ceremony for Brandeis' second graduating class of 108 students, individuals given Brandeis' first honorary degrees included Illinois Senator Paul H. Douglas, Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, and Alpert.
Brandeis inaugurated its graduate program, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in 1954. In the same year, Brandeis became fully accredited, joining the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. As of 1954, Brandeis had 22 buildings and a 192-acre (0.78 km2) campus.
In 1954, Brandeis began construction on an interfaith center consisting of separate Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish chapels. Designed by the architectural firm of Harrison & Abramovitz, the three chapels surrounded a natural pond. Brandeis announced that no official chaplains would be named, and attendance at chapel services would not be required. The Roman Catholic chapel was named Bethlehem, meaning house of bread, and it was dedicated on September 9, 1955. Dedicated on September 11, 1955, the Jewish chapel was named in memory of Mendel and Leah Berlin, parents of Boston surgeon Dr. David D. Berlin. Named in memory of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, the Protestant chapel was dedicated on October 30, 1955.
Brandeis received a donation from New York industrialist Jack A. Goldfarb to build a library. Harrison & Abramovitz designed the building. Built of brick and glass, the library was designed to hold 750,000 volumes.
After Brandeis University awarded an honorary doctorate to Israeli Premier David Ben-Gurion in 1960, Jordan boycotted Brandeis University, announcing that it would not issue currency permits to Jordanian students at Brandeis.
On May 16, 1960, Brandeis announced it would discontinue its varsity football team. President Abram Sachar pointed to the cost of the team as one reason for the decision. Brandeis' football coach Benny Friedman said it was difficult to recruit football players who were also excellent students with so much competition in the Boston metropolitan area. Brandeis said the discontinuation of varsity football would allow it to expand intercollegiate activity in other sports. During its nine years of varsity play, Brandeis' football team recorded 34 wins, 33 losses, and four ties.
In 1985, Brandeis was elected to membership in the Association of American Universities, an association that focuses on graduate education and research.
Student takeover of Ford Hall
On January 8, 1969, about 70 black students entered then-student-center, Ford Hall, ejected everyone else from the building, and refused to leave. The students' demands included the hiring of more black faculty members, increasing black student enrollment from four percent to ten percent of the student body, establishing an independent department on African American studies, and an increase in scholarships for black students. The student protesters renamed the school Malcolm X University for the duration of the siege, distributing buttons with the new name and logo, and issued a list of fourteen demands for better minority representation on campus. The students refused to allow telephone calls go through the switchboard. Over 200 white students staged a sit-in in the lobby of the administration building. Classes continued on campus during the protest. Other campuses that had protests at the same time included San Francisco State College, the University of Minnesota, Swarthmore College, Cheyney State College, Queens College, and San Jose State College.
President Morris B. Abram said that, although he recognized "the deep frustration and anger which black students here and all over the country—and often is—the indifference and duplicity of white men in relation to blacks", the students' actions were an affront to the university, Abram said that "nothing less than academic freedom itself is under assault." The faculty condemned the students' actions as well.
On the third day of the protest, Abram proposed creating three committees to "spell out in detail those points which still divide us." The students rejected the idea.
On the fourth day of the protest, the Middlesex Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order, requiring the students to leave Ford Hall. While Abram said he would not allow the order to be enforced by forcibly removing the students from Ford Hall, he did say that 65 students had been suspended for their actions.
On January 18, the black students exited Ford Hall, ending the eleven-day occupation of the building. Brandeis and students still were not in agreement on one of the demands, namely the establishment of an autonomous department on African American studies. Brandeis insisted that such a department be subject to the same rules as any other department. No violence or destruction of property had taken place during the occupation. Brandeis gave the students amnesty from their actions.
Ronald Walters became the first chair of Afro-American studies at Brandeis later the same year.
Ford Hall was demolished in August 2000 to make way for the Shapiro Campus Center, which was opened and dedicated October 3, 2002.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali honorary doctorate
In 2014, Brandeis announced it would offer an honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "a staunch supporter of women's rights", and an outspoken campaigner against female genital mutilation, honor killing and Islam in general. After complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and internal consultation with faculty and students, Brandeis publicly withdrew the offer, citing that Ali's statements condemning Islam were "inconsistent with the University's core values". 87 out of 511 faculty members at Brandeis signed a letter to the university president.
The university announced that the decision to withdraw the invitation was made after a discussion between Ayaan Ali and President Frederick Lawrence, stating that "She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women's rights ... but we cannot overlook certain of her past statements". According to Brandeis, Ali was never invited to speak at commencement, she was only invited to receive an honorary degree. Ali said that Brandeis' decision surprised her because Brandeis said they did not know what she had said in the past even though her speeches were publicly available on the internet, calling it a "feeble excuse". Ali stated that the university's decision was motivated in part by fear of offending Muslims. She argued that the "spirit of free expression" referred to in the Brandeis statement has been betrayed and stifled.
While some commentators such as Abullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain and adjunct faculty of Islamic Studies at David Bernstein criticized the decision as an attack on academic values such as freedom of inquiry and intellectual independence from religious pressure groups.
The presidents of Brandeis University have been:
- Abram L. Sachar 1948–68
- Morris Berthold Abram 1968–70
- Charles I. Schottland 1970–72
- Marver H. Bernstein 1972–83
- Evelyn E. Handler 1983–91
- Stuart H. Altman (interim) 1990–91
- Samuel O. Thier 1991–94
- Jehuda Reinharz 1994–2010
- Frederick M. Lawrence January 1, 2011 – June 30, 2015 
- Lisa M. Lynch (interim) July 1, 2015 – present
The Heller School
The Heller School drives positive social change through interdisciplinary research, education and public engagement. Researchers at the graduate school and research institution have pioneered policy in health; mental health; substance abuse; children, youth, and families; aging; international and community development; developmental disabilities; philanthropy; and work and inequalities. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Heller School in the top ten schools of social policy in its 2013 rankings.
Heller offers graduate degree programs:
- PhD, Social Policy
- MA, Sustainable International Development
- MS, International Health Policy and Management
- MBA, Nonprofit Management
- MPP, Public Policy
- MA, Coexistence and Conflict
In addition, the school offers dual and joint degrees with other Heller programs, other Brandeis programs, and other universities’ programs.
With Heller Programs
- MA in Sustainable International Development/MA in Coexistence and Conflict
- MBA/MA in Coexistence and Conflict
- MBA/MA in Sustainable International Development
With Brandeis Programs
- MA in Coexistence and Conflict/MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
- MBA/MA in Jewish Professional Leadership
- MPP/MA in Jewish Professional Leadership
- MA in Sustainable International Development / MA in Women’s and Gender Studies
- MPP/MA in Women’s and Gender Studies
- PhD in Social Policy/MA in Sociology
- PhD in Social Policy/PhD in Sociology
- PhD in Social Policy / MA in Women’s and Gender Studies
With Other Universities
- MBA / Tufts University MD
- MBA / Tufts University Master of Biomedical Sciences
- MA in Sustainable International Development / Northeastern University JD
- MA in Sustainable International Development / Northeastern University LLM
International Business School
The Brandeis International Business School is a professional school dedicated to teaching and research in global finance, management, economic policy, international banking, microcredit lending, business and the environment, and related fields. Brandeis IBS has been ranked #1 in the US by the Financial Times for pre-experience finance master’s programs for two years.
The School offers four graduate programs, a 5-year BA/MA and BA/MBA, and undergraduate business programs specializing in international economic policy, corporate finance, asset management, marketing, real estate, and sustainability.
Brandeis IBS offers four graduate programs: Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MA), Master of Science in Finance (MSF), MBA, and PhD. In addition, business major and minor programs are available to undergraduate students, along with five-year dual-degree BA/MA and BA/MBA programs, which allow Brandeis University undergraduates to complete a master's degree at Brandeis IBS in conjunction with their studies at the university.
The Rabb School of Continuing Studies
With more than 4,000 enrollments a year, The Rabb School of Continuing Studies develops educational offerings across four distinct divisions. It provides professional development opportunities through degree programs, personal enrichment and lifelong learning.
- The Division of Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) offers flexible, part-time online master's degree programs designed for industry professionals. GPS offers master's degrees in: Bioinformatics, Health and Medical Informatics, Information Security, Information Technology Management, Project and Program Management, Software Engineering, Strategic Analytics, and Online Instructional Design & Technology.
- The Office of Summer and Continuing Studies is an open admission program offering courses and special summer programs for college-level credit. Small classes taught by experienced and dedicated Brandeis faculty members are the hallmark of summer offerings. Special programs and institutes include the Aston Magna at Brandeis Summer Music Workshops.
- Brandeis High School Programs offers a family of immersive, residential summer experiences as well as year-round learning opportunities for passionate, motivated high school students. At the heart of our mission is the belief that teenagers can have life-changing experiences when they are encouraged to push themselves to learn, explore and connect with other people and with their true selves.
- Lifelong Learning: Adult Learning and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI). BOLLI is a membership organization operating year-round and bringing together hundreds of vibrant and intellectually curious adults in learning and friendship. Lifelong Learning programs also include intensive seminars taught by Brandeis professors and graduate students. Recent courses have included King Lear; Health Care Reform; Movements in Modern Art; and Hitchcock Up-Close.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)
One of four graduate schools on campus, GSAS offers over 40 programs, 18 of which are doctoral programs. The GSAS invites 900-plus graduate students and more than 6,500 alumni worldwide to develop innovative methodologies and scholarship through pioneering courses and cross-disciplinary collaborations between programs both at Brandeis and in the Boston area. Brandeis graduate students are eligible to cross-register for courses at Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, and the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies at MIT. Brandeis is also a member of the Boston Library Consortium, composed of 12 academic and research institutions in the Boston area.
Rose Art Museum
Established in 1961, the Rose Art Museum is among the nation’s premier university museums dedicated to 20th and 21st century art. A center of cultural and intellectual life on campus, the museum serves as a living textbook for object-based learning, a home and resource for artists, and a catalyst for artistic expression, scholarly innovation, and the production of new knowledge through art.
Comprising more than 8,000 works of art in all media, the Rose is an active participant in the academic, cultural and social life of the university and seeks to stimulate public awareness and disseminate knowledge of modern and contemporary art regionally, nationally and internationally. With its international collections, changing exhibitions, and diverse public programs, the Rose affirms and advances the values of freedom of expression, global diversity, and social justice that are the hallmarks of Brandeis University.
Building on a strong base of American Judy Chicago, Yayoi Kusama, Nan Goldin, Barry McGee, Anri Sala, Christian Boltanski, Mona Hatoum, Zhang Huan, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Isaac Julien, Tracey Moffatt, Kiki Smith, Dominic McGill, Nathalie Frank and many others.
Library & Technology Services (LTS)
LTS is composed of approximately 100 librarians and technology specialists who support research, scholarship, teaching and learning at Brandeis. The varied services of LTS undergird learning and teaching; scholarly information, support services, business systems, technology infrastructure, web development and information and data security. In addition to managing more than 1,500,000 physical volumes, and more than 600,000 electronic books, as well as electronic journals and online databases, LTS runs the campus network and phone system, administrative computing, academic computing (including the learning management system), information security, high performance computing and research data storage and backup. As part of the library, the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department houses Brandeis University’s unique and rare primary sources, which support teaching, research and scholarship at the university and beyond. The department comprises University Archives, containing materials related to Brandeis University, and Special Collections, including rare books, original manuscripts dating from the 13th to 21st centuries, unique primary source material, and a wide variety of visual material.
Subject strengths include the Holocaust and Jewish resistance to persecution; Jewish-American and émigré writers, composers and performing artists; left- and right-wing movements in the United States and Europe; and American and European political leaders and social reformers. Major collections include material on the Spanish Civil War, novelist Joseph Heller, caricaturist Honoré Daumier, and Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis.
The schools of the University include:
- The Brandeis University College of Arts and Sciences
- The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies
- Brandeis International Business School
The College of Arts and Sciences comprises 24 departments and 22 interdepartmental programs, which, in total, offer 43 majors and 47 minors.
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, founded in 1959, is noteworthy for its graduate programs in healthcare administration, social policy, social work, and international development.
Internships, research assistantships and other hands-on experiences are available throughout the curriculum. The global and experiential dimensions of education at Brandeis are carried out through international centers and institutes, which sponsor lectures and colloquia and add to the ranks of distinguished scholars on campus.
The Brandeis University Press, a member of the University Press of New England, publishes books in a variety of scholarly and general interest fields.
The Goldfarb Library at Brandeis has more than 1.6 million volumes and 300,000 e-journals. The library also houses a large United States Government archive. Brandeis University is a part of the Boston Library Consortium, which allows its students, faculty, and staff to access and borrow books and other materials from other BLC institutions including, Brown University, Tufts University, and Williams College.
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
In 1980, Brandeis University established the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, the first academic center devoted to the study of Jewish life in the United States.
The Cohen Center’s work spans basic research on Jewish identity to applied educational evaluation studies. The center’s recent signature studies include research with participants in Taglit-Birthright Israel, investigations of synagogue transformation, and analyses of Jewish summer camping. CMJS research has altered the understanding of contemporary Jewish life and the role of Jewish institutions in the United States.
Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism
The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism was launched in September 2004 as the first investigative reporting center based at a United States university. It was named for founding benefactors Elaine Schuster and Gerald Schuster.
The Institute's major projects are:
- the Political & Social Justice Project
- the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project
- the Gender & Justice Project.
Steinhardt Social Research Institute
The Steinhardt Social Research Institute was created in 2005 from a gift from Michael Steinhardt as a forum to collect, analyze, and disseminate data about the Jewish community and about religion and ethnicity in the United States. The first mission of SSRI was to interpret the inherent problems with the National Jewish Population Survey of 2000 (NJPS). SSRI has done a Jewish Population Survey of the Greater Boston area, the results of which were released on November 9, 2006.
The Institute collects and organizes existing socio-demographic data from private, communal, and government sources and will conduct local and national studies of the character of American Jewry and Jewish organizations.
The work of the Institute is done by a multidisciplinary staff of faculty and scholars, working with undergraduate and graduate students, and augmented by visiting scholars and consultants.
The Institute works in close collaboration with the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.
Women's Studies Research Center
The Women's Studies Research Center, founded and directed by sociology professor Shulamit Reinharz is located at the Epstein Building on the Brandeis campus.
|U.S. News & World Report||34|
- Brandeis was ranked No. 1 among the top 380 colleges in the United States for student engagement in community service, according to The Princeton Review in 2015.
- Brandeis University was ranked No. 21 among the top 25 national universities in the country, according to 2008 rankings by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity (CCAP), an independent, not-for-profit center based in Washington, D.C.
- US News & World Report ranked Brandeis tied for No. 34 in their 2016 annual list of Best National Universities. Acceptance to Brandeis was characterized as "most selective". It was also ranked No. 9 of "Most Liberal Students" in 2009, and No. 10 in 2014.
- No. 26 among 50 Best Values in Private Universities according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance in its 2012 ranking of best value private universities in the United States.
- No. 2 among national universities for doctoral program in Neuroscience and Neurobiology (tied with Johns Hopkins University and Yale University), according to National Research Council (United States) in 2010.
- No. 3 among the top 25 best graduate programs in Neuroscience, according to a 2014 survey by GraduatePrograms.com.
- No. 74 among 650 undergraduate institutions and 29th among national research universities in the 2015 ranking from Forbes.
- One of the "Top 20 Small Research Universities" based on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index (2006–07)
- No. 27 among Top American Private Research Universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance (2008)
- Received a "B-" grade on the Campus Sustainability Report Card 2009 and a "B" grade in 2010 published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (including "A" grades in the Student Involvement, Administration, and Investment Priorities). Just 23% of schools earned overall grades of "B" or better.
- Named the 6th happiest university by Unigo in 2012
- Named the 31st "Most Stressful College" by The Daily Beast in 2010
- When adjusted for size, Brandeis is fifth in the nation in terms of faculty members elected to academic honor societies.
- Education Program was listed as one of the top 10 teacher education programs of any liberal arts college in 2010.
- No. 5 among the colleges with the highest GMAT scores
- Brandeis International Business School was ranked No. 1 by Financial Times from 2010 through 2013 for its Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance Program.
Notable faculty and graduates
Among the better-known graduates are co-creators of the television show Friends David Crane and Marta Kauffman, political activists Abbie Hoffman and Angela Davis, journalists Thomas Friedman and Paul Solman, Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, physicist and Fields medalist Edward Witten, novelist Ha Jin, political theorist Michael Walzer, actress Debra Messing, philosopher Michael Sandel, Olympic Silver Medalist fencer Tim Morehouse, social and psychoanalytic theorist Nancy Chodorow, author Mitch Albom, filmmaker Jonathan Newman, music producer Jon Landau, computer scientist Leslie Lamport and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Among the distinguished faculty, present and past, are mathematician Heisuke Hironaka, a Fields medalist, composers Eric Chasalow, Yehudi Wyner, Donald Martino, Martin Boykan, Irving Fine, Harold Shapero, Arthur Berger and Leonard Bernstein, social theorist Herbert Marcuse, psychologist Abraham Maslow, human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt, Anita Hill, historian David Hackett Fischer, economist Thomas Sowell, diplomat Dennis Ross, children's author Margret Rey, former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, sociologist Morrie Schwartz, poet Adrienne Rich, and Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Eileen McNamara.
Newspaper & Yearbook
- Archon, the yearbook
- The Barrister News Ltd, a politically neutral broadside weekly newspaper with nationally syndicated features. 1985–1991.
- The Blowfish, a satirical newspaper which was founded in February 2006 is published every other Thursday. The first issue appeared inside The Hoot and every issue since then has been published independently.
- The Brandeis Hoot, founded in 2005, is an independent weekly newspaper published on Fridays.
- The Justice, which was founded in 1949 (one year after the university's inception) is an administratively independent weekly newspaper distributed every Tuesday during term.
- The Louis Lunatic, founded in the winter of 2004, is a student-run sports magazine released each semester, discussing Brandeis and national sports.
- Gravity, a humor magazine founded in 1990.
- Laurel Moon, a literary magazine launched in 1991.
- Artemis, a feminist magazine published intermittently in the 1980s-1990s and revived during the fall 2013 semester.
- Under the Robe, an arts and entertainment social tabloid published by The Barrister 1985-1988
- Where the Children Play, a literature and arts magazine founded in 1994 by Phil Robinson (American musician) and Abigail Myers.
- Brandeis Economic & Finance Review, founded by Jordan Caruso in 2010, is a student run online and print publication dedicated to issues in business, economics, and finance. Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Solow contributed an original article for the Fall 2010 printed publication.
- Brandeis International Journal, a student-run semesterly publication on international affairs
- Brandeis Law Journal, founded in 2008, the Journal is the only undergraduate-edited legal publication in the country
- The Brandeis Scope , reports on research that is occurring on the Brandeis University campus and affiliated laboratories in the sciences
- Louis Magazine, a defunct journal of intellectual discourse, 1999–2002.
- The Pulse, reports on advances in medicine; published by the Pre-Health Society
Brandeis has won NCAA team championships in men's soccer (1976) and men's cross country (1983), as well as 24 individual titles. Brandeis teams have earned 17 NCAA Division III Tournament berths and won eight Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association (ECAC) New England crowns in the last decade. Nine teams have earned national rankings, with men's and women's basketball and men's and women's soccer all ascending to the top 10 in the nation during that span. In 2014, the men’s team reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row. Also earning national rankings in '13-14: Women's cross country and men's and women's tennis.
Brandeis also sponsors 20 club sports. Among them, ultimate frisbee, crew, archery and women’s rugby have had success on a national level. The program’s 15 intramural sports are open to students, faculty and staff.
The university has an active student government, the Brandeis Student Union, as well as more than 270 student organizations. 
Brandeis has eleven a cappella groups, six undergraduate-run theater companies, one sketch comedy troupe (founded in 1987 known as Boris' Kitchen), four improv-comedy groups, and many other cultural and arts clubs; as well as student activism groups that advocate for causes including environmentalism, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, feminism, and anti-racism. Brandeis is also home to what has been cited as one of the country's few undergraduate-run law publications. Of particular note is the Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society (B.A.D.A.S.S.), which consistently ranks as one of the top 10 debate teams in the United States, and participates across the globe in the World Universities Debating Championships each year. During the 2012-2013 school year, B.A.D.A.S.S. was the second most successful team overall on the American Parliamentary Debate Association Circuit.
Cholmondeley's coffeehouse, commonly referred to as "Chums", is located in Brandeis' Usen Castle. Chums is a popular site for student performances and concerts, including Tracy Chapman, Joan Baez, Matt Pond PA, and Genesis (notable as their first American performance). Early footage of Chums appears in the short documentary film, Coffee House Rendezvous. Cholmondley's is named after a notoriously ill-tempered Basset hound that was the on-campus pet for Ralph Norman, the campus photographer during the first years of Brandeis. He would roam the campus after dark, growling at students, often nipping at their cuffs and making a general nuisance of himself. After his death, the coffee house was named for him, not so much in remembrance but in celebration.
Brandeis University's Campus Sustainability Initiative seeks to reduce the University's environmental and climate change impact. The University's accomplishments in the arena of single-stream recycling program, and the transition to GreenE certified wind power for 15% of the school's electricity needs. Brandeis also offers a course called "Greening the Campus and Community," in which students "examine the environmental impacts of the Brandeis and Waltham community, and then design and implement projects to address those impacts." Student projects have included greening campus offices, running after-school environmental education programs for children in the Waltham schools, and cleaning up local streams and ponds.
Students also have the option of taking courses with a 'Community Engaged Learning' (CEL) aspect. Community-engaged learning is an aspect of the university's broad-based commitment to experiential learning.
Emergency medical services are provided by the
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The IJE has close partnerships with The North American Association of Community Hebrew High Schools and Foundation for Jewish Camp.
- Genesis integrates Jewish studies, humanities and community building.
- BIMA offers intensive opportunities to deepen skills in music, painting, creative writing and theater within a Jewish context.
The IJE runs two summer programs for high school students:
- Shabbat Enhancement/Experiential Educator grants.
- New Ways to Enhance Community Hebrew High Schools Principal Leadership Seminar.
- Executive Leadership Institute for Camp directors.
- Merging the formal and informal education in synagogue middle schools.
Current IJE projects include:
The Institute for Informal Jewish Education aims to support Jewish educators in creating meaningful Jewish experiences through professional development opportunities including pre-service experiences, in-service experiences related to educators’ practice, practitioner research, curriculum development, and strategic organizational support. The IJE is funded partially through grants, from The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, The Legacy Heritage Fund, The Covenant Foundation, and AVI CHAI Foundation.
Institute for Informal Jewish Education
Wien International Scholarship is a scholarship instituted by Brandeis University for international undergraduate students. The Wien International Scholarship was established in 1958 by Lawrence A. and Mae Wien. The Wien family had three objectives: to further international understanding, to provide foreign students an opportunity to study in the United States, and to enrich the intellectual and cultural life at Brandeis. The Wien Scholarship offers full or partial tuition awards; these awards are need-based and require the applicants to present outstanding academic and personal achievement. Each year, the recipients of the scholarship take a week-long tour of a destination in the United States. In previous years, the students have visited the United Nations in New York City, and did relief work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In April 2008, the University hosted a three-day-long celebration for the 50th anniversary of the program.
Wien International Scholarship
The university is 9 miles (14 km) west of Boston and is accessible through Brandeis/Roberts station on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, a free shuttle that services Boston and Cambridge (Harvard Square) Thursday through Sunday, the nearby Riverside subway station (above ground) on the Green Line, and the 553 MBTA Bus.
Security escort services are provided around the campus and into Waltham by the student-run "Branvan," which runs on a daily schedule from 4:00 pm to 2:30 am on weekdays and from 12:00 pm to 2:30 am on weekends.
 which does not charge a fee for any of its emergency services.