How to Get Into Brandeis University: Acceptance Rate & Admissions Strategies

August 15, 2022

Less than 10 miles from Boston, Brandeis University is yet another high-end option in a geographical region teeming with elite schools. Founded by the American-Jewish community in 1948, this mid-sized private university is home to 3,500 undergrads. The Brandeis acceptance rate has fluctuated between 30% and 40% in recent years. The average admitted applicant has a 3.84 GPA and an SAT score in the 1400s. In other words, getting into Brandeis is far from an easy proposition.

In order to help you prepare for the challenges ahead on the path to gaining acceptance into Brandeis, this article will touch on the following topics:

  • Brandeis acceptance rate
  • Brandeis’ Early Decision acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of enrolled freshmen
  • Admissions trends
  • Where is Brandeis University?
  • Brandeis University’s system for rating applicants
  • A look at the demographics of current Brandeis undergraduates
  • The percent of accepted students that attend Brandeis University (yield rate)
  • Tips for applying
  • How to assess whether applying to the Brandeis is even worth the $80 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to Brandeis may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Brandeis Acceptance Rate

The Brandeis acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 was 39%. This was slightly less selective than the previous cycle’s 34% mark. Official Class of 2026 numbers have yet to be released.

Brandeis University Early Decision Acceptance Rate

For the Class of 2025, Brandeis saw 585 students apply via binding Early Decision. Ultimately, 56% were accepted. This is far higher than those who applied in the regular round. The 2021-22 freshman cohort was made up of 35% students who applied ED.

Brandeis Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

For Class of 2025 members, the mid-50% SAT score was 1390-1500. The ACT range was 31-34. Again, it is important to point out that a fair portion of this freshmen class did not submit a standardized test score. Fifty-seven of entering 2021-22 freshmen placed in the top decile of their high school class and 89% finished at least in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Brandeis has been test-optional since 2013.
  • Continuing on that subject, 40% of Class of 2025 submitted SAT scores. Another 17% submitted an ACT score.
  • 30% of the Class of 2025 are students of color.
  • 20% of current undergrads are international applicants. They hail from 57 countries.
  • The Class of 2025 included 16% first-generation students.

Where is Brandeis University?

Brandeis is located 9 miles from the city of Boston in Waltham, MA. The city of Waltham is in Middlesex County which has a population of 62,000+.

How Brandeis University Rates Applicants

Brandeis categorizes four factors as “very important” to the admissions process. They are: rigor of high school course load, GPA, class rank, and first-generation status. Items that are “important” as part of the admissions process are: extracurriculars, talent/ability, essays, and recommendations.

For a slightly different look at the school’s institutional priorities, we go right to their own admissions office:

  • “The admissions process at Brandeis is as comprehensive as it is selective. We consider your application holistically, but pay particular attention to three factors: academic qualifications, potential for social and academic success, and what you’ll bring to the Brandeis community.”
  • “Critical Thinking: Show us how you demonstrate creativity and curiosity. We look for evidence that you may delve deeper into subjects, projects or ideas or may not accept information at face value. We appreciate how you question, analyze, evaluate, invent, synthesize and seek out additional sources and opinions to expand your perspective.”
  • “Community Engagement: We value all the ways you use your gifts — whether time, resources, knowledge, skills or effort — to better the world around you. You inspire us by helping others, willingly making contributions to support family and community, and empathizing with the perspective or needs of others.”
  • “Perseverance: You are not easily deterred by setbacks, and are committed to achieving your goals. We take notice when you seek out support or additional resources when faced with a challenge, don’t give up when faced with adversity and demonstrate a growth mindset.”

Brandeis University Demographics

Let’s look at the demographics of Brandeis University undergraduate student body.

The regional representation is as follows:

  • Students from outside Massachusetts: 69%
  • S. States Represented: 47

The top countries represented are:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Vietnam
  4. Canada
  5. Taiwan

In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown of the Class of 2024 is as follows:

  • White: 44%
  • Asian: 17%
  • Hispanic: 8%
  • African American: 6%

The gender breakdown of the undergraduate student is heavily slanted in favor of women:

  • Male: 40%
  • Female: 60%

Brandeis University’s “Yield Rate”

Brandeis University’s yield rate is 25%. For comparison, other top private universities have the following yields: NYU (40%), BU (28%), and Tufts (51%).

Tips for Applying to Brandeis University 

If you plan on joining the 10,000 Brandeis hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Firstly, if Brandeis is your top choice, you’ll want to strongly consider applying ED I by November 1 or ED II by January 3.
  • This school does offer interviews as part of their evaluation process.
  • Brandeis University does consider an applicant’s “demonstrated interest”. Therefore, we suggest making the effort to follow them on social media, sign up for a virtual info session, visit campus (if possible), contact an admissions officer, etc.
  • Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the lone supplemental writing prompt offered by Brandeis. In the 2022-23 cycle, they are as follows:
    • The Brandeis community is a diverse group of critical thinkers defined by their ability to dive deeper into their learning by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, creating, critiquing and seeking other perspectives. Share an example of how you have used your own critical thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea or interest. (250 words max.)

Should I Apply to Brandeis?

Most students admitted to Brandeis finished in the top quarter of their high school class. Successful applicants also typically possess an impressive extracurricular resume and strong test scores (if applying test-optional). If you check those boxes then you may be a competitive applicant at Brandeis and, if the school is a good fit for you, submitting an application will certainly be worth your time and $80. However, most students applying to a school of Brandeis’s caliber also need to also have a proper mix or “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.