Brown University

Rigorous, Selective Ivy League Education at Brown

Brown University appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.

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Placed 53rd globally by The Wall Street Journal, Brown University is a top-tier private, nonprofit AAU member in Rhode Island that offers a Open Curriculum for 82 bachelor’s and 84 graduate majors, including four blended online options, at a 7:1 student-teacher ratio. For example, the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Sc.B. builds a four-year curriculum under Dr. Katherine Smith with Plant Environmental Center projects, Galapagos Islands trips, Triple Helix publishing, and Sigma Xi membership. Chaired by Dr. John Papay, the Educational Studies A.B. offers two 180-credit Human Development or Policy & History tracks where undergrads can engage in the Annenberg Institute, intern at Brooke Charter Schools, join Teach for America, and pursue the Fifth Year Master’s Option.

Online via Canvas, the School of Professional Studies has a 18-month Executive Master in Cybersecurity led by Dr. Eliezer Upfal with four week-long Providence residencies and the Critical Challenge Project for experienced IT managers to achieve a 73 percent promotion rate. Directed by Dr. Sheila Bonde, the Archaeology & the Ancient World Ph.D. follows a four-year dissertation sequence with hands-on Joukowsky Institute research, Haffenreffer Museum internships, excavations from Sudan to Sri Lanka, and Trowelblazers@Brown events. Other degrees include the Architecture A.B., Chemical Physics Sc.B., Engineering A.B., Hispanic Literature A.B., Neuroscience Sc.B., Public Health M.P.H., Data Science Sc.M., Slavic Studies Ph.D., Musicology Ph.D., Economics Ph.D., and Sociology Ph.D.

Featured Programs

About Brown University

Brown University originated on March 3, 1764, when the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a colonial charter drafted by Ezra Stiles, William Ellery Jr., and Josias Lyndon. In 1765, the 14-year-old William Rogers became its only student taught by President James Manning. In 1770, the Baptist college relocated from Warren to an eight-acre Providence site donated by Moses and John Brown. From 1776 to 1782, it was used as US Army barracks during the Revolutionary War. In 1811, Dr. Solomon Drowne established its Medical Department. In 1847, Brown became the first Ivy League school with an Engineering A.B. Given Morrill Land Grant funds in 1863, Brown University recruited the first six women for enrollment in Fall 1891. By 1966, Brown had launched the Group Independent Study Project (GISP). In July 1988, the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity was opened by Brown.

Endowed for $3.2 billion, Brown University now employs 816 full-time faculty training 10,257 Bears, including 56 Rhodes Scholars, from 63 countries online and at the 230-building College Hill campus with 400+ clubs like Debating Union. In 2019, Brown received the NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. In 2018, Brown won the College Squash Association’s Jack Barnaby Award. Brown University accepted a 2017 NCAA Academic Public Recognition Award too. Forbes named Brown the eighth best research institution and 33rd top value. On Niche, Brown boasts America’s second-best teaching, 3rd best English, fourth top biology, and fifth top mathematics degrees. The Princeton Review honored Brown University for the 10th happiest students and 23rd best career placement. The Center for World University Rankings applauded Brown for the 50th best professors.

Brown University Accreditation Details

On March 11, 2018, Brown University started a comprehensive evaluation visit from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutes of Higher Education (CIHE) to extend the Level VI accreditation through 2027-28 under its 19th president, Dr. Christina Hull Paxson, who earned the PBN Business Leadership Award. Headquartered 59 miles up Interstate 95 in Burlington, Massachusetts, this super six-state Northeast Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and Rhode Island Office of Higher Education. The Provost’s Office also details the following programmatic accreditations:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • American Psychological Association
  • Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education

Brown University Application Requirements

Admission to Brown University is classified “most difficult” by Peterson’s because just 3,014 of the 32,390 Fall 2017 applicants were triumphant for competitive 9 percent acceptance. First-year Bears must graduate with a state-approved high school diploma and enough college-prep academic units. Nearly all freshmen rank in the top decile of their classes. Admitted undergrads have an average 4.05 GPA. The middle 50th percentile present SAT scores of 1405-1570 or ACT scores of 31-35. Sophomore and junior transfers must have at least four semesters or 15 courses remaining. Strong transfer candidates present GPAs of 3.3 and higher. Submitting minimum 577 TOEFL or 7.0 IELTS scores is recommended for international learners. The Graduate School has differing program criteria beyond the obvious four-year bachelor’s and 3.0 GPA. The Master of Arts in Teaching requires a 152 Verbal, 152 Quantitative, and 3.5 Analytical GRE score. Alpert Medical School accepts a median 515 MCAT mark.

Brown University has freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Decision and January 1st for Regular Decision. Bachelor’s transfers must apply by March 1st for Fall or Spring starts. The Brown in the UK Program closes on December 1st each year. The Graduate School has varying program-specific deadlines though. For example, the Epidemiology Ph.D. considers candidates until December 15th only. Italian Studies Ph.D. cohorts can apply until January 5th. The American Studies A.M. has cutoffs of May 1st for domestic and April 15th for international students. Accordingly, check degree dates before submitting the Brown or Common Application online for $75. Forward official transcripts to Box 1876 in Providence, RI 02912. Select SAT/GRE code 3094 or ACT code 3800 for testing results. Fulfill checklist items like the 500-word personal statement, 2-3 recommendations, financial support form, student visa, résumé or curriculum vitae, and video portfolio. Inquire further at (401) 863-2378 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Brown University billed full-time undergrads $27,160 each semester or $54,320 annually. Bachelor’s students paid mandatory fees of $618 each term. Living at the Providence campus’ dorms like Metcalf Hall added $4,560 for semester housing. Standard meal plans for Stephen Robert Campus Center were $2,775 extra. Brown budgeted $797 for books and $1,035 for personal expenses every term. Annual undergrad attendance equaled about $73,892 on-site or $59,222 at home. The Graduate School charged full-time yearly tuition of $55,332. Post-grads covered a $942 health services fee, $62 activity fee, and $64 recreation fee. Health insurance premiums were $3,846 each year. Estimated living expenses of $22,320 brought the nine-month total to $82,566. Warren Alpert Medical School students paid $63,082 tuition.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid on Page-Robinson Hall’s 2nd Floor provides 46 percent of full-time Brown Bears tuition assistance averaging $40,393 each for $129.29 million combined. Institutional funds include the Brown Promise Scholarship, Brodsky Family Medical Scholarship, Joseph Cannon Fellowship, Bready Biotechnology Scholarship, Vivian Allen Foundation Scholarship, Ata Erdogan Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Charles Hill Memorial Scholarship, Ruth Cooke Peterson Scholarship, Henry & Marieanna Saphier Graduate Scholarship, and Fred Schiffman Scholarship. The $0 Parent Contribution Direct Cost Scholarship supports low-income families with total income below $60,000. The Karen Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards gift $1,000 each semester. FAFSA applications coded 003401 open Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Work-Study Award, and Stafford Loan resources. The Rhode Island State Grant also provides $250 to $900.

Explore six accredited schools conferring 160+ degrees and 2,477 courses ranked 14th by the U.S. News & World Report at the Brown University website.