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5 College Freshman

Academics: Absolutely incredible. Challenging academics but the challenge forces you to expand your ways of thinking and reach new depths of understanding.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: So many course options and the professors really care about the subjects.

3 College Freshman

Academics: Registration period can be stressful. Brown is not an easy school. Also, if you're someone who would prefer -/+ grading system, Brown doesn't offer that.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: It's a smaller program so it's a closer community. Thanks to this there is a lot of opportunity to get involved in research. The workload is not bad at all and either way the courses are very interesting. The department's building is one of the nicest on campus- it has great offices, computer labs, study areas, and labs.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Brown really does live up to its prestigious name when it comes to education. Answering this after completing one semester of college, I can truly say that I have learned an unbelievable amount since arriving here. Its science department is amazing. Its math department is amazing. (As an engineering major I cannot speak for other areas of concentration). The only criticism I have is for its engineering department. Its intro course is new and still undergoing some renovation issues, but higher level courses have a reputation for being amazing. If you are planning to be an engineer and can stand the first year, then the curriculum will be great.

In terms of choosing courses, we get a "shopping period." We can "sample" as many classes as we want during this period (usually the first two weeks into a semester) to get a feel for the class. After this period you can officially register for the course. This gives students the opportunity to really explore classes and to get to know them before deciding on whether or not to take the course.

Brown's open curriculum also gives you chances students at other schools do not receive. Aside from taking required courses towards your major and fulfilling a not-very-intense writing requirement, you can take literally any class you want to take and qualify for. This allows you really shape a college curriculum that you will love. This allows you to explore areas that you did not know you liked. Heck, it might even shape the major you eventually choose! All in all, Brown has an outstanding curriculum.

25 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 49 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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 often do you:    Based on 34 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 33 responses

  • 52% This was my dream school.
  • 48% This was one of my top choices.
  • 0% This was a school I settled for (safety school).



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