Frequently asked questions about Brown
Like many institutions dedicated to the liberal arts, Brown encourages its undergraduates to study broadly, to become self-reflective, to engage in community life and to rigorously develop their communication skills. Unlike other American colleges and universities, Brown has no required core curriculum nor distribution requirements that students must complete in order to graduate. While a student's chosen area of study may have some specific requirements and broader recommendations in order to complete a particular departmental degree, students at Brown have unparalleled freedom to shape their own education and to make their college curriculum a more thorough reflection of their own interests and aspirations.
Brown’s Open Curriculum is based on three principles. The first is that students ought to take an active role in their education by assuming responsibility for the direction of their learning. Second, an undergraduate education is seen as a process of individual and intellectual development, rather than simply a way to transmit a set body of information. Last, the curriculum should encourage individuality, experimentation, and the integration and synthesis of different disciplines.
The only specific curricular requirements at Brown are that all students must successfully complete at least 30 courses in eight semesters, that every undergraduate must complete at least one concentration program (often called a “major” at other colleges) and that students must be able to demonstrate excellent skill in written English before they graduate.
Brown is located in historic Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is the capital and most populous city of the state of Rhode Island. By train or car, we are about one hour south of Boston and about three hours north of New York City.
Brown's vibrant, diverse community consists of 7,639 undergraduate students, 2,955 graduate students and 595 medical students.
Brown Facts provides a helpful snapshot of Brown by the numbers online. This includes numbers such as our student:faculty ratio and undergraduate population size, as well as a variety of admission statistics including admit rates and test score ranges for first-year applicants. While these statistics may help to provide a broad perspective of the academic strength of our pool of applicants, please be aware that they are not a set of requirements and should not be used to predict odds of admission.
We look forward to staying in touch and welcome you to sign up for our contact list at any time. This will allow us to share information about Brown, the admission and financial aid processes, and upcoming events.
There are 80+ concentrations offered at Brown. Undergraduate Concentrations is a section of our website that will allow you to explore the many intellectual paths you can take at Brown.
Twenty percent of Brown undergraduates double concentrate. You might consider double concentrating if you have intellectual passions that span two distinct areas of study, and if fulfilling the requirements for both concentrations still leaves room for a wide range of courses in other fields. More information about the process of pursuing a double concentration alongside your broader exploration at Brown is available through The College.
The 2023-2024 Course Announcement Bulletin provides a list of courses offered at Brown during the designated academic year to help you get a sense of the offerings available.
Housing is guaranteed for all four years that you are at Brown. All first-year students live in residential "units," which are comprised of 40-60 first-year students and 3-4 peer counselors. The first-year units are staffed by Resident Counselors (RCs), Minority Peer Counselors (MPCs) and Women Peer Counselors (WPCs) who work together to build community within their units and to provide their residents with information about campus resources and opportunities for dialogue around academic, wellness, and diversity topics.
Please see the Residential Life at Brown website for further information.
Brown does not specifically offer pre-law, pre-med or pre-business concentrations. However, many of our students do go on to successful careers in law, medicine or business. More information about pre-professional advising and life after Brown can be found through the Brown Center for Career Exploration website.
Brown currently offers instruction in at least 25 ancient and modern languages administered through the Center for Language Studies.
Brown University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other school-administered programs.