Frequently asked questions about supplementary materials
We require two letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught you in major academic subjects (science, social studies, mathematics, a foreign language or English) and we will accept up to four letters through the Common Application. Please note that if you are considering a Bachelor of Science degree or the Program in Liberal Medical Education, at least one of your recommendations should come from a math or science teacher.
In our experience, the required counselor recommendation and two teacher recommendations provide all we need to make a thoughtful, informed admission decision. However, if someone has unique knowledge of certain strengths or accomplishments that would not be addressed in the required recommendations, you are welcome to have another person write on your behalf. In addition to the required recommendations, you may also request one optional recommendation through the Common Application if you choose to do so. Additional supplementary letters of recommendation from other sources beyond this cannot be submitted through the Common Application and should be sent directly by the recommender. In these cases, please have your recommender send their letter by email to email@example.com or fax to 401-863-9300. Be sure to ask your recommender to include your full name, date of birth and high school in their letter, so that we can match the letter to your application.
For the overwhelming majority of applicants, your academic records and the support of your recommenders will provide all the information we need. If you think an accomplishment is particularly relevant you may choose to submit an abstract describing a science or math research project, or creative writers might send a few carefully selected pieces (or excerpts). As a general rule, we favor quality over quantity in an application.
Visual art and music portfolios are reviewed for us by faculty members in our Visual Arts and Music departments. You will need to submit your portfolio via SlideRoom. Additional instructions can be found on the Supplementary Materials page.
Our performing arts faculty do not offer auditions. However, you may make inquiries about the opportunities for training and performing at Brown by contacting the appropriate department at Brown.
Applicants to Brown are neither required nor expected to provide additional materials as part of the admission process, but the opportunity to do so is available to any candidate. You may use your Brown Applicant Portal if you have updates or additional materials that you would like to share with Brown. This may include a resume, poetry or a brief writing sample, abstract of scientific research or an independent research project or any additional information that you were unable to include in your Common Application. We are not able to accept updates via email.
If you are accomplished in music or visual art and wish to include these types of supplements, please review our guidelines and submit those materials via SlideRoom.
You should include the achievements that make you feel particularly proud or that help to demonstrate your talents and interests. Keep in mind that a judiciously selected sampling may make a stronger impression than an exhaustive list.
For academic awards, please include enough detail so that we will understand the context of your accomplishment. For example, if you have won a poetry contest or been recognized in a math competition, let us know in general terms the number of entrants or competitors and whether your award is an individual or a team achievement. You would not need to provide descriptions for common extracurricular recognitions, such as first chair of the orchestra, science club officer, sports team captain or yearbook editor, but do note your title or role. If the activity or achievement would be less familiar to those outside your community, you may wish to include a brief explanation.