Undergraduate Admission

How to Apply

Applications to Brown are submitted online via the Common Application. The online system will guide you through the process of providing the supporting credentials appropriate to your status as a first-year or transfer applicant.

Common Application

Begin by creating an account on the Common Application website. Once registered, you will need to add Brown University to your list of colleges by the College Search tab.

The Common Application is divided into three sections:

  1. Information common to all the schools to which you are applying
  2. Brown University specific questions
  3. School forms submitted by your school counselor and academic instructors

Apply Now with the Common Application

Brown University Specific Questions

Questions specific to Brown, including our essays for the 2023-2024 application cycle, are found in the section labeled "Questions." If you are applying to the eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) or the five-year Brown-Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program (BRDD), you must also complete the special program essays.

Three essays are required for all first year and transfer applicants:

  1. Brown's Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might pursue them at Brown. (200-250 words)
  2. Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on where they came from. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you, and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (200-250 words)
  3. Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

First year applicants are also asked to reflect briefly on each of the very short answer questions below. We expect that answers will range from a few words to a few sentences at most.

  • What three words best describe you? (3 words)

  • What is your most meaningful extracurricular commitment, and what would you like us to know about it? (100 words)

  • If you could teach a class on any one thing, whether academic or otherwise, what would it be? (100 words)

  • In one sentence, Why Brown? (50 words)

Transfer students are also asked to complete the following very short answer question: 

  • What is your most meaningful extracurricular commitment, and what would you like us to know about it? (100 words)

Three essays are required for applicants to the PLME in addition to the three essays required of all first year applicants:

  1. Committing to a future career as a physician while in high school requires careful consideration and self-reflection. Explain your personal motivation to pursue a career in medicine. (250 word limit)
  2. Healthcare is constantly changing as it is affected by racial and social inequities, economics, politics, technology and more. Imagine that you are a physician and describe one way in which you would seek to make a positive impact in today’s healthcare environment. (250 word limit)
  3. How do you envision the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) helping to meet your academic, personal and professional goals as a person and future physician? (250 word limit)

One essay is required for applicants to the Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program in addition to the three essays required of all first year applicants:

  1. The Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program draws on the complementary strengths of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to provide students with the opportunity to explore and engage with diverse spheres of academic and creative inquiry. The culmination of students’ five-year program is a capstone project that relates and integrates content, approaches, and methods from two distinct learning experiences. Considering your understanding of the academic programs at Brown and RISD, describe how and why the specific blend of RISD's experimental, immersive combined studio and liberal arts program and Brown's wide-ranging courses and curricula could constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you. Additionally, how might your academic, artistic and personal experiences contribute to the Dual Degree community and its commitment to interdisciplinary work? (650 word limit)

Submitting Material

Within the Common Application, you will be presented with either online or paper methods of inviting appropriate school officials and teachers to supply records and recommendations. We suggest that you begin the process early to give them plenty of time to respond before the deadline.

We recommend having all official documents, including transcripts and recommendations, sent through the Common Application. Brown has also partnered with slate.org, through which counselors may upload materials directly for applicants. If this is not an option, please arrange to have your materials sent by email to documents@brown.edu. In the absence of other electronic submission options, items may be faxed to 401-863-9300. Please do not mail duplicate hard copies of items that have been sent to Brown, as this can slow processing times.

Application Fee

To apply to Brown you must submit a $75 non-refundable application fee, or a fee waiver. As part of our commitment to make a Brown University education accessible to students from all income backgrounds, Brown is making automatic application fee waivers available to more students.

Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who is enrolled in or eligible for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL), as well as students who are enrolled in federal, state or local programs that aid students from low-income families (for example, TRIO Programs). Additionally, Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who belongs to a community-based organization or college access organization that promotes educational opportunity for low-income students.

Applicants to Brown who meet any of these requirements should select the "Brown Specific Fee Waiver" in the "Brown Questions" section of the Common Application. Applicants who do not meet these specific requirements but believe they may qualify for a fee waiver may select the same options in the Common Application supplemented by a fee waiver request. We will accept fee waiver request forms from College Board or NACAC, or school counselors may email a letter of support directly to documents@brown.edu.

Criminal History

We do not consider information on criminal history during our initial round of admission application review. Only upon selecting a pool of admitted candidates do we learn whether you have reported a criminal history, at which point we will offer you an opportunity to explain the circumstances. With this approach, information on misdemeanor or felony convictions can inform, but not determine, admission decisions. This ensures that applicants are evaluated based on their academic profile, extracurricular pursuits and potential fit - not criminal history - and enables us to continue to review this potentially important information.

Deadlines and Notifications

Complete the Common Application by:

  • November 1 for Early Decision
  • January 3 for Regular Decision

You will receive a confirmation email from the Office of College Admission confirming receipt of your Common Application. It is best to ensure that all application materials are sent by the deadline. However, if your application and application payment/fee waiver are submitted by the deadline, it is acceptable to have some of your supporting materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) arrive within the following week.