Brakebills College for Magical Pedadogy
Location Hudson, New York
Status Active
"This school exists for a single and timeless purpose– to reveal your innate abilities and hone them to the highest degree. Now, what you do with it after that is entirely up to you. If you want to take over the world, we don't teach that, but give it a go."
Dean Fogg[src]

Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy (known as Brakebills University in the Syfy adaptation), or simply Brakebills, is the only magical school in North America. It is located somewhere in New York, along the Hudson river.


Brakebills was founded around the 17th century.[1] In the 1930s, a demand for international learning lead to Brakebills importing professors from around the world. One of these professors was Dean Mayakovsky, the father of Professor Mayakovsky from Brakebills South.



Starting at the beginning of their Third year at Brakebills, students have their discipline determined and join one of the six groups: Physical, Natural, Illusion, Knowledge, Healing, and Psychic. After being assigned a Discipline, students may choose to live in the corresponding dormitory for the remainder of their time at Brakebills.


Main article: List of Brakebills faculty and staff

Brakebills is led by Dean Fogg and a staff of other professors. Other staff members include Chambers.


The Magicians, Alice 2

Alice in front of Brakebills

Main HouseEdit

Commonly referred to as the House, this building is the main compound where students attend their classes. The House is also home to a number of rooms that have since been warded off due to them being uninhabitable after a number of mishaps at the hands of students. One such room is so perfectly warded that its effects cannot be undone.[2]

Clock TowerEdit

The Clock Tower is a popular hangout site for students.

The SeaEdit

Officially named Seagrave's Lawn after the Dean who cleared it. Also called the Sea or the Grave.

The MazeEdit

The Maze is a large hedge maze that separates the House from the Sea. Its hedges are topiary animals that move albeit imperceptibly. They are composed mainly of large mammals such as bears and elephants, though some are unrecognizable. The Maze also contains half a dozen fountains named after former deans.

Brakebills SouthEdit

Brakebills also has a more brutal second campus in Antarctica, which is led and taught by Professor Mayakovsky.



People with an aptitude for magic are found through the use of different magical globes that Sense magic being performed through the school also has human scouts.

The Exam consists of two parts, a written and practical. The written part is a two and a half hour long test while the practical test is conducted by several members of the Brakebills faculty.


  • First Year - The first year starts with Professor March's class. In this class, the students start out by learning how to use simple charms such as the one manipulate a glass marble. They begin their instruction by following the movements of Amelia Popper's Practical Exercises for Young Magicians.
  • Second Year - It's currently unknown what second-year students learn.
  • Third Year - Third-year students get their Disciplines chosen.
  • Fourth Year - Every year from September to December half of the Fourth years are secretly sent to Brakebills South with the second half gone from January to April. 
  • Fifth Year - Also called 'Finns'. Upon graduation, the students are taken into a subterranean basement located miles below the surface, outside the protective wards, where they receive a tattoo of a pentagram that binds a demon to them. This demon will come out upon command and protect the students, though it is only a one-time use.

School LifeEdit

Coat of ArmsEdit


The Key-and-Bee

The school's coat of arms is a golden bee and a golden key on a black background dotted with tiny silver stars, called the "key-and-bee" by students.


The school's only sport is a game called Welters. A championship was held during the students' attempts at gaining mentors, which was won by the Physical Kids against the Naturals. The school's champions joined an international tournament but were defeated in all of their games.


The campus of Brakebills is protected by many protection spells and wards. Most of the spells, however, were never updated since being erected, and thus the school can easily be found with a Revelation Charm. One of the wards that protect the school is a basic camouflage spell meant to hide the school from uninvited civilians. Ever since the 1950s, time under the camouflage spell passes out of sync with the rest of the world, so time at Brakebills is a couple of months behind the rest of New York. This includes the seasons, and Brakebills holiday schedule follows their own time. If a civilian happens to stumble upon the Brakebills campus, they are not part of the camouflage and thus, stay in the season of the outside world. Another one of the spells includes a ward to keep out evil or demonic entities.

TV VersionEdit

"Three year program, graduate-level studies. Program begins immediately."
Dean Fogg
Brakebills University in the TV show

Brakebills as shown in the TV series

Brakebills is renamed "Brakebills University" in the Syfy adaptation, and its five-year program has been reduced to three years. As in the literary counterpart, Brakebills is very selective and requires an admission test. Once passed, Brakebills offers an extensive program in which students learn the fundamentals of magic and hone their discipline in accordance with their own unique qualities. The University is made up of a cluster of late Gothic buildings with contemporary architectural elements and it is protected by a series of powerful shielding spells that are used to ward off an attack or invasion of external and harmful forces. Quentin's first-year class was shown to have approximately 30 students in episode 6, but only 11 remained by episode 7. The missing third-year class had around two dozen students. After the loss of magic, it has a fence and is not shielded by the usual wards and charms.


Brakebills Univeristy Logo

The Crest of Brakebills University as shown in the TV series

  • In the TV show, one of the classes students take is Arabic.[3]
  • The Sea is a reference to A Song of Ice and Fire's Dothraki Sea.[4]

See AlsoEdit


  1. The Magician's Land
  2. The Magicians
  3. Impractical Applications
  4. Tor - A Brief Guide to the Hidden Allusions in The Magicians

Start a Discussion Discussions about Brakebills

  • Hedge Magic

    13 messages
    • Look for official information first, like from the Syfy site, from credible reddit users, and from the Magicians website - that is what we sho...
    • Yup for any edit I've done I always used both the Brakebills/Fillory official website and the syfy for references.