Providence, RI
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Freshman

Academics: Seminar classes are often hard to get into, but if you keep trying you'll often be able to get one. You'll get the occasional bad professor, but for the most part, professors are great. They really want to get to know their students and always encourage people to come to their office hours. The open curriculum lets you really explore all different departments and take classes that you enjoy.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are notable alumni and the school's names can help your career.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: The New Curriculum, in many ways, defines academics at Brown. Freedom to explore fields without general requirements has been incredible.

3 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Academics: I have not declared a concentration just yet.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: The registration is a bit of a process but you can typically get into any class during the two-week shopping period. Professors can range from amazing to boring. Similarly, the workload depends on the course and department. Typically you get what you put into a class.

2 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 2nd
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 5th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 10th
    Most Available Classes
  • 23rd
    Smartest Professors
  • 24th
    Best Course Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Justin Kim
Austin, TX
View all previous student authors

At Brown, persistence and personal responsibility play a big role in defining your undergraduate career. Students are rewarded for learning to work within Brown’s small and intimate academic departments. In other words, it is always possible to work the system. Students always have a good chance of getting into high-level classes, even if they are outside their concentration. Many students come to Brown uncertain of their concentrations, and many switch their concentrations more than once in their undergraduate career. Brown’s academic philosophy encourages exploration into new areas of study, which can spark new interests or projects. In general, Brown believes that every student knows what’s best for him or herself.

Unlike other elite universities, Brown’s primary focus is on undergraduate students. In accordance with this goal, all Brown professors are required to teach an undergraduate class, which gives students access to some of the top academics in their field. Most students are able to make strong connections with at least a few professors who provide them with support as they develop their own interests. There are, of course, shortcomings to Brown’s system. The lack of many professional schools, like law or a business school, can make the post-Brown transition a bit jarring. In addition, for a large university, Brown can sometimes seem to have a limited number of courses available, with some departments lacking a large enough staff to support all the students. Often, you have to try for several semesters to get into a popular or limited-enrollment class. However, with persistence, anything is possible at Brown.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 71%
  • 20 to 49 students: 20%
  • 50 or more students: 9%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: No
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
Undergraduate College
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Computer Science: 2%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 4%
  • General Engineering Studies: 2%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Center for Information Technology (CIT)
  • Dorm and study rooms
  • Rockefeller Library (the Rock)
  • Sciences Library (the Sci-Li)
  • Various caf├ęs and coffee shops
Tips to Succeed
  • Always seek the council of an advisor or a dean if you need questions answered or if you are having a hard time. Deans, especially, are there to protect you when things go wrong and can help improve your overall Brown experience.
  • Be persistent, whether dealing with classes or any other University service.
  • Don't overload yourself. Take some time the first semester or two to work your way into the lifestyle and see what you can handle. Even if the classes are not particularly difficult, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the new things going on when you first start.
  • Make connections with professors or administrators who can provide good recommendations for you.
Did You Know?
  • Brown does not have any general course requirements. While you must complete a total of 30 courses and specific courses within a concentration (Brown's word for major), there are absolutely no course requirements. You'll never have to take another math or English class if you don't want to. This system, known as the New Curriculum, started in 1969.
  • In line with this educational philosophy, most classes at Brown can be taken with a grade option of A/B/C/No Credit or Satisfactory/No Credit.
  • If one of Brown's hundreds of concentrations doesn't appeal to you, you can make up your own. An independent concentration is a course of study designed by the student with the guidance of University professors and deans that combines classes from different concentrations to show relations and connections between different studies.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 28 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 26 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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