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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4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It Is Such a Prestigious College That You Wouldn't Wanna Miss It. Rhode Island is not much known for it's big city adventures but the university is located at the perfect place for students who want to study and the university itself offers so much more. It is the perfect environment.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Safe School-Too Many Thieves – I think my school security is good. When there is fights and/or riots they are broken up quickly. I feel safe enough at school but do not ever leave anything valuable around because it will get taken.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: I Wish We Had More Team Spirit – I'm not an athlete, but I do like to go to certain sports games. Sometimes I find myself wishing the I went to a school that supported their teams more. Also, the satellite athletic facilities could use more machines.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Pretty Repetitive – I'm only a freshman and I already feel like I have the Ratty's rotation memorized. The food is pretty good quality, but and if you're creative with the choices there's always something to eat.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Good Wireless Access – Sometimes the wireless is slow, but it's available everywhere on campus, even the greens, which is great. The computer labs are never full and printing is fairly simple. I have a printer in my room, but I hardly ever use it because the library printers are faster and print double-sided.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Lots of Cliques – The guys and girls at Brown tend to be quite cliquey; the pre-meds, artsy types, rich kids, and jocks tend not to intermix. The group that sticks out the most, though, is the athletes. Not only do they have an entirely different physique and level of physical attractiveness than all of the other students (partially due to the lower academic standard in the recruitment process), but they tend to adopt a "party" lifestyle, and tend to be markedly more politically conservative than the uber-liberals at Brown.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Diversity: There are people at Brown from all around the world and from all different walks of life, but you might not realize it unless you make an honest effort to get to know people outside your easy social circle. Once you do, however, you end up meeting some pretty awesome people!

2 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Overall Experience: I love Brown. I think that its strongest point is that every student really is an extraordinary person in some way. The admissions people really do an amazing job picking people who are interesting, smart, and fun, so I find myself learning as much from my fellow students as I do from my classes and professors.

3 people found this useful Report
College Junior

Guys & Girls: If you're not the type who can say, "I like her for her personality, not her looks," and mean it, don't go to Brown.

4 people found this useful Report
College Junior

Campus Strictness: You have to try pretty hard to get in trouble here. The only dean's hearing I've gotten was for partying on the roof. We didn't get in trouble for the smoking and drinking, so much as being on the roof. Just use a little common sense, and you'll be fine.

1 person found this useful Report
College Junior

Diversity: Brown has a lot of engineered diversity. The joke is that if Brown were an ice cream flavor, it would be swirl: All of the colors, and none of them mixing. The school does nothing to discourage this, and maybe some things to encourage it. Moreover, the comment about economic diversity is RIGHT on.

College Junior

Drug Safety: Here's a breakdown of the drug scenes, roughly in order of size. Alcohol: More people drink than don't, and freshman year, if you're not getting wasted every weekend, you're in the minority. Cigarettes: Brown is a hipster school. I think this says it all. The hipsters chain smoke, and it's not that common outside hipster circles, but there are a lot of hipster circles. Marijuana: Although it's not quite as prominent as alcohol, it's all over the place, and Brown doesn't really care. The quality generally sucks, particularly if you're used to the West Coast, NYC, Florida, or northern New England. Study Drugs: These aren't particularly prevalent until finals, then they're everywhere. Cocaine: You'll never see it until people realize that you don't care, but once they do, it's everywhere. It's just all behind closed doors. If you don't make the right (or wrong) friends, you'll go four years without ever seeing it. Psychedelic use is openly discussed, but cocaine's almost always done secretly. Mushrooms: They're pretty easy to get a hold of, and you'll be shocked by the number of people who have tried them by the end of senior year. Various prescription pills: There are a lot of doctors' kids at Brown. 'Nuff said. Ecstasy: It's usually available, and usually bunk. You'll have to search long and hard for anything good. Acid: It's available on and off, in varying quality—and is expensive. Other things pop up now and again, but for the most part, those are the drugs that you can expect to find at Brown. I've also seen 2Cs, opium, salvia, heroin (!), and various others, but they're not common.

12 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Nightlife: The parties are lame. Wriston, the quad where the frats are, is really often the only option unless you are part of student groups whose upperclass members throw house parties. If you are into clubs, lots of kids go to Fish Co. on Wednesday nights, but it seems like a huge bro/female-degrading fest.

College Freshman

Drug Safety: The drug scene is as expected. People smoke pot, it's college. There's nothing out of the ordinary.

College Freshman

Computers: The network is great. Brown does a fairly good job of making sure the community doesn't have access to our over-the-top WiFi speed, so for better or worse we benefit from it. Computers are always available in the SciLib, but bringing your own computer is really a must.

College Freshman

Athletics: The campus at large is fairly uninterested in the varsity sports. Our largest intramural program is probably ultimate Frisbee, and as the team travels all over. They are fairly intense.

College Freshman

Academics: The professors are mostly good. Like at any large university, there are too many TAs and class sizes are too large. The workload is what you make of it-Brown can be fairly easy or quite difficult. I would say we are known for humanities, although our sciences get far superior funding, but this a fact that Brown would probably like to conceal, based on its reputation as a strong humanities school.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Transportation: RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority) is mostly unreliable, and due to the huge deficit in the RI state budget, their routes and funding are being cut. On the up side, Brown students can ride RIPTA for free. This is further representative of the unfair privilege we Brunonians enjoy up on our Ivory Tower.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Brown doesn't offer off-campus housing until junior year, unless, of course, you call the Office of Student Life and argue. The University tries to keep you on campus as long as it can, which is really quite convenient, since their room and board plan costs considerably more than living and eating in a real apartment in Providence.

College Freshman

Campus Housing: They're all pretty nice, really.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There's Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, cheap, expensive, you name it. I like Bagel Gourmet Ole the best because it's cheap delicious Mexican and bagels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

College Freshman

Campus Strictness: It's pretty inconsistent. You won't get in serious trouble with campus police, but be careful about your roommates, counselors, and other neighbors. It's probably not a good idea to throw a kegger in your room.

College Freshman

Greek Life: It's about 10 percent of housing, I guess, and frat parties are about 50 percent of the party scene. Some frats, like King House, are kind of dorky and cute. The only traditional frat is Sigma Kai, and it throws good parties.

College Freshman

Facilities: The gym is old and not so nice. Some of the athletic fields are really far away. The satellite facilities are a little nicer, though, but they are small. The libraries are fantastic, and the student center has been redone recently. Basically, the athletic facilities are great. The sports, not so much.

College Freshman

Campus Dining: The meal plans are complicated and convoluted but allow you to have a wide array of choices of where to eat a given meal. Besides the Ratty, which is basically a stereotypical college cafeteria, there is a smaller, cozier dining hall with better food, a pizza place, a vegetarian dining room, and many snack bars. The dining halls allow you to take a box of food with you instead of eating there, which is convenient. Being vegetarian is incredibly easy here because there are so many of us, and the dining services take that into account when devising meal plans.


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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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