Tag Archives: graduating

Helpful Tips for Brandeis Summer School

As an extension from the “Basic Guide to Courses for Brandeisians,” here are some helpful tips for mastering Brandeis Summer School:

1.  Browse early!  Even though Registration does not open until early April, take the next few weeks to figure out what type of course you are looking for.  Whether, it is to fulfill a major or minor requirement, University requirement, or a you just want to knock out some extra credits over the summer, there are plenty of courses to choose from!

2.  Talk with an advisor!  There is no time like the present to declare a major or minor.  It is not set in stone until a certain point in your undergraduate career.  You might as well see what an advisor or department head has to say about your ideal course sequence.  Perhaps he or she has some suggestions for you to get a better understanding of a major or minor if you are currently on the fence.

3. Remember, there’s no shopping period for Summer Courses.  Since the Summer Calendar is much more compact, this leaves little to no room for experimenting with different courses.  If you enroll in a course, be sure that it is the one you want to take.

4.  Do not fall behind with deadlines.  If you keep pushing back your work, more and more tasks will pile up leaving an overwhelmingly large to-do list.

5.  Talk with students who have taken Summer Courses in the past.  See what they thought about the work environment, work load, professors, and their overall thoughts about Brandeis in the Summer.

6.  Work out the financials.  As college students, we all know that it is great to have a little extra pocket money for our extravagant expenses.  Do you need a paid summer internship?  This could play a huge role when deciding to take summer courses and if so, which module.

7.  Need to do an internship for a major or minor?  Check out the Brandeis Summer Internship opportunities!

8.  Transfer/Midyear/Abroad?  If any of these apply, make sure you will have enough credits to graduate on time.  Credits should not be the reason why anyone does not walk with his or her class.

9.  What about housing?  Brandeis University offers housing for undergraduate students, but if you would prefer to live off campus, there are many rooms that are available for sublets.

10.  If choosing to enroll in Summer Courses, remember to keep things in perspective!  You can still enjoy the Summer weather, beaches, and barbecues, but you decided to come to the University to  learn and satisfy requirements.

All in all, remember to have fun!  College is one of the best times of your life.  Take in all the knowledge that you are receiving and start each day with a breath of fresh air!  At times it may seem tough, but we all got into Brandeis some how.  You can do it and do it well!

The Benefits of the Brandeis Summer Program

Summer registration is just around the corner, making this weekend the perfect time to think about enrolling in the Summer Program at Brandeis University.  The unique programs that our University has this summer will gladly facilitate the learning experience of your undergraduate career.

Some of you may believe that Summer School is attached with the negative stigma that it had in the 90’s, along with detention and demerits.  This is one of the greatest misconceptions of the Summer Program.  In fact, those who enroll in summer courses are of the most proactive students at this campus.  In order to redesign the phrase “Brandeis Summer School,” I would strongly advise you to read the following:

Major(s)/Minor(s) – As Brandeisian students, we know many individuals who have decided to declare everything more than the single major that we are all required to have.  Since Brandeis students typically have only 7 or 8 semesters at the University, sometimes it is difficult to find the time to take all of the requirements for the various majors and/or minors.  These students should be strongly encouraged by an advisor, parent, or even a peer to enroll in summer courses. 

Midyears – Even though Brandeis makes the Midyear transition extremely easy and manageable for all of these students to graduate with the rest of their class, it could be helpful for a student who arrived as a Midyear to enroll in a summer course or two.  There is no reason why anyone should have anxiety over the number of credits that he or she has. 

Internship Opportunities – There are countless majors and minors that require some sort of internship along with the rest of the required courses.  If you are like me, then it is difficult to imagine putting in an additional 10 hours every week for an internship on top of all of your classes.  Every summer there are different internship opportunities available.  If you know that your major or minor requires some sort of internship, keep posted on the summer course announcements.

Going Abroad – Going abroad is a right of passage that many students choose to take in their college  years.  Although it is not necessarily for everyone, there are some concerns for those who are on the fence.  One of the largest reasons that I believe students do not go abroad is because of academic requirements that need to be finished on the home front.  That being said, the Summer Program is the perfect place to knock a few courses out of the way.  This will free up your schedule and allow you to take interesting courses abroad that are not available here at Brandeis.

Graduating Early – Attention, eager beavers that want to get into the “real” world as quickly as possible, Summer School can, yet again, be used to your advantage.  By taking a few summer courses and maybe one or two extra courses over your years at Brandeis, you will be able to receive enough credits to graduate early!

University Requirements – In order maintain the liberal nature that Brandeis has come to be, we are required to take many courses outside what we are comfortable with an expand our academic horizons.  That being said, sometimes certain University Requirements escape out from under us and are found to be offered during inconvenient times (schedule conflicts, early in the morning, etc.).  In order to receive the proper credits for these courses, Brandeis University allows you to enroll in courses that satisfy many, if not all, of the University Requirements.

Location, Location, Location!! – Last, but not least, we have one of the most positive reasons to be at Brandeis University over the summer, which is being at Brandeis University over the summer.  With incredible weather and its close proximity to Boston, there are countless things to do to enjoy yourself over the summer weeks.

Physical Education Requirements

Just a little FYI, Brandeis requires two semesters of physical education.  There are THREE ways of satisfying this requirement:

  1. Taking two gym classes.  There is an extremely large variety of courses that are available (about 35) and it is a great way to meet new people, stay fit, and satisfy Brandeis requirements.  These courses are noncredit activities.  Basically, go to the class and you will be on your way to fulfilling the requirements.
  2. Participate in a Brandeis varsity team for two semesters.   For those who are more on the athletic side of the spectrum, then go for it!  Try out for a team and see what happens.
  3. The third and seemingly most common way to fulfill these two physical education requirements is to pass the PE test at the beginning of each semester.  This fitness test must be taken within your first four semesters at the university.

As someone who placed out of both PE Requirements first semester of sophomore year, I cannot emphasize this enough, take the test as soon as possible!

What is the Fitness Test?  It includes a beep test to measure endurance, a sit-and-reach test to measure flexibility, a sit-up test and a plank test (similar to push-ups) to test core strength.

When is it offered? For Spring 2012, the PE test has already passed, but it is usually offered before classes begin.  Be sure to check your email or the Brandeis University Athletics Page for updates.  Mark it on your calendar so another opportunity to place out does not pass you by.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses... Don’t make them!  I completely understand the “Oh, I’ll do it next semester” or “I still have two semesters left to take it,” but you never know how you will be feeling about the test that day, so just get your gym clothes on, wear your sneakers, and get to Gosman. The sooner you take the exam, the sooner the anxiety is gone.

What happens if I don’t place out of either?  Do I really have to take TWO gym classes? We all know how busy Brandeis students are, it turns out that you can place out of one credit by getting CPR certified!  It looks great on your resumé, especially for those involved in child-care, and it is such a good skill to have.

Brandeis Gem:
THA 130a – Suzuki

This is an experiential learning course. Prerequisite: THA 2a or permission of the instructor. Counts as one activity course toward the physical education requirement. Undergraduates may repeat this course twice for credit, once with each instructor.
Developed by the Japanese theater artist Tadashi Suzuki, the Suzuki method of acting training develops physical strength, stamina, and agility while engaging the imagination and will of the actor. Through a series of walks, statues, and marches, students are taught to breathe and move from the core of their bodies. This training allows students to act from physical impulse, resulting in a deep and personal experience of language and the world of play. Usually offered every semester by Mr. Hill and Ms. Krstansky.

Okay… and?  For those of you who haven’t heard about this course, you may be wondering why it is such a great course to enroll in.  It satisfies not one, but THREE university requirements (Creative Arts, Nonwestern, and PE)!  Preference is usually given to those who are involved in theatre, but the course is open to anyone.  

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” -Elle Woods

Sometimes our health and well being gets away from us due to academics, but it’s important to keep active, keep healthy, and keep happy!  Enjoy the rest of your semester and don’t forget to take your fitness tests!