Providence, RI
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 840 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Freedom at Its Best – Brown has a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy when it comes to students' social lives. For the most part, the university lets students be; the only exceptions are in instances of flagrantly illegal/ dangerous behavior. It's just the right balance between taking care of students and letting students have fun.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Grody at Best – Though there are a few exceptions, most of Brown's dorms haven't been properly updated in the last three decades. They're functional, but you gotta work to make them homey and comfortable.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Fantastic Open Curriculum – Brown's academic strength lies in its flexibility. Though some of the required courses for your major may be "ehh", there are always plenty of fantastic electives available for students - and they run the gamut from Egyptian hieroglyphics to analysis of C.S. Lewis's novels. The sky's the limit.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Ivy League – It's the Ivy League. We're not super into sports. But the atheletes here love their time.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: It's good. That said, I'm not picky and love the salad bar and grilled chicken options daily. But there are so many dining halls that you'll find your favorite.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: You Live Here – You live on campus at Brown. Every class building is within walking distance. You don't need public transportation. To get to Boston/NYC, there's Amtrak and a bus service (cheaper).

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: If you're at Brown, having top-notch housing isn't your priority, since most of us here are pretty low-key, down-to-earth people who don't need expensive luxury dorms to enjoy college. You'll be enjoying life here so much that you'll hardly spend time in your dorm anyway. (If you do, you know you're at the wrong place.) That said, the dorms are spacious and have everything you need. The newer dorms, of course, are the nicest and most coveted. Also, most people live on campus all 4 years, which helps add a sense of community. This is not a commuter school.

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Open Curriculum = What You Make of It – You can take anything you want at Brown. With its lack of distribution requirements, nothing holds you back. There is also the S/NC grading option, which means you can choose to take any course pass/fail if you choose. While most people take the majority of their courses for a grade, it is a comforting option.

Courses are generally small, excepting the intro lecture courses that are most popular. The Political Science Department has some fabulous professors that are really into what they do, and if you get to know them, you can open doors if politics is where you want to be.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Open Curriculum – Brown is truly unique in regards to the Ivy Leagues. We have no Gen-Eds and our student population is very relaxed in comparison to other preppy, conservative schools. Brown provides students with various advisers to guide us throughout our college experience and we don't have typical RA's; we have residential peer counselors, minority peer counselors, and woman peer counselors in the dorms that serve the role of a college RA. All in all, Brown is a place to not only get a quality education, but also have a good time with great people.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Not a Strong Presence – There are parties every month or so but greek life is not a big deal at Brown. No one really cares if you are in a frat or sorority; it's just another housing option.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Facilities: This is an old school and renovations and updates are occuring but there are still a lot of areas, especially dorms, that need work. However the libraries are decent, there is a new creative arts building and student center, a new athletic facility on the way, and the labs are in good condition. Other gyms need some serious attention

4 College Senior

Computers: Usually Available – There are many places to access computers, at libraries as well as within departments. Availability decreases during finals and midterms. Printing is easy for all stations.

5 College Senior

Academics: One of the best in the country for undergraduates. Amazing professors, classes, and fellow students in a small supportive atmosphere.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: Don't Do It – There are very few parking spots, besides the student lot. Streets are narrow, so inexperienced drivers beware.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Egh Its There – Greek life is there for parties and some other events, but it doesn’t dominate at Brown. It’s not a big deal if you are in a frat or sorority, and it is not a big deal if you never set foot in one. It’s nice because you can go to frat parties, which can be fun, but it’s not a status thing

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Meh and Mediocre – There's a wide range of personality types, so you can definitely find someone similar personality-wise. If you're part of a small personality-niche or you're picky about the people you hang out with, you might have to do a lot of searching to find a guy you can connect with. In terms of looks, Brown guys aren't great eye candy.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Totally Safe, Especially If You Use the Available Resources – Brown has a lot of resources to keep students safe, including SafeRide and SafeWalk. The former is a van/transportation service, and the later is a walking-escort system. The Department of Public Safety also gives out personal alarms to freshmen in their mailboxes and to other students who ask for one at the office. There are also emergency blue light phones stationed across campus. Occasionally, there are a few crimes/incidents on or around campus, but they usually happen on te outskirts of campus late at night.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Hard to Leave the College Hill Bubble – Providence is the biggest city in Rhode Island, but it's hard to get around without a car. The public transit system, RIPTA is fairly reliable, but its routes are limited and they shut down early into the night. You're pretty much stuck on College Hill. Besides, there's never really that much going on in Providence besides Water Fire and whatever shows are playing at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Brown is one of the best universities around, not simply because of its prestige but due to the amazing atmosphere and people. There seems to be a general friendliness to everyone and there is no competitive air that is often found at other universities. It has the best qualities of both a small and large university.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: At Brown, there is quite a bit of drinking at parties and activities. However, there is little pressure to drink from others. So it's your choice. Drugs are here and there, but you have to seek them out. Basically it depends on your choice of friends.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Night life at Brown is great. There is always a party going on somewhere. The price is usually 3 dollars to go in and a dollar for drinks. There used to be a club called Fishco that was very wild, but it got renovated and is now a little more strict. Usually, stay on campus for parties.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: Gorgeous or Raining – The days the sun is out are absolutely beautiful. Too bad it rains two days out of three.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Dining Hall, Eatery, or Out-Of-Pocket – The food is decent but it gets tiring after a while. The eateries are a nice change but even those get tiresome, which make food trucks and local restaurants lifesavers.

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Not an Issue – Drugs/alcohol were available but not rampant in a way that would make anyone uncomfortable one way or the other.

4 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Varied If Sought Out – There are lots of bars on Thayer Street, there are always things to do on campus, and if you have a designated driver or don't drink, there's plenty to do in other parts of Providence as well.


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Mencoff Hall
Mencoff Hall
Mencoff Hall Mencoff Hall Mencoff Hall, also known as the Cabinet Building, is home to the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University.

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Justin Kim
Austin, TX
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Brown has a reputation that precedes itself. As an Ivy League school, Brown carries a distinction that many students desire, while knowing little about what they need or want in a liberal arts education. In that sense, Brown’s liberal nature and open curriculum exceed that of the average liberal arts school. Many students redefine and rediscover themselves in college, and Brown’s biggest strength is that it promotes individual development and self-discovery over the course of the undergraduate career. Internally, you have a lot of chances to make mistakes, which the University calls “discoveries,” in the course of your studies. It’s easy to change your concentration in the fifth or even sixth semester.

Few people who choose Brown regret it. While it’s not the school for everyone, almost anyone can find what they are looking for at Brown. Whether you are from New England or Siberia, there are clubs, organizations, classes, and fellow students who share your academic and personal interests. Most people choose Brown for its liberal nature and its strong academic resources, and few are disappointed.

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