Undergraduate Admission

All of us warmly welcome you to Brown University. Brown is an international community of students, undergraduate and graduate, and faculty from over one hundred countries. You are about to embark on an exciting journey.

This webpage provides information on international orientation, to which you are invited regardless of citizenship. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder), please proceed beyond the I-20 visa instructions below to the end of the page, where you will find important orientation dates and student contact information.

Below you will also find instructions on the formalities required for entering the United States as an international student. If you do not hold a U.S. passport or a Green Card, you must obtain a student visa. We recommend that you attend to this immediately if you intend to matriculate. In order to do so, please take the following steps. Please address any questions to panetha_ott@brown.edu.

To obtain an I-20:

  1. Please commit to Brown online through the Brown Applicant Portal.
  2. Please follow the instructions to activate your Brown account. Instructions on account activation will be sent to you once you commit to Brown.  
  3. Please obtain your Brown email address (instructions will be included once you activate your account) and validate it. This is required for the Form I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” which is the form we will provide to you so that you may apply for a student visa. The I-20 is a government form prepared on your behalf by the university.
  4. Once you have your email address, we will send you an invitation to log into the OISSS Gateway Portal, where you may confirm information and upload required documents so that we may issue your I-20. Please allow up to 72 hours after you have validated your Brown email address for the automated email invitation.
  5. Please prepare the required documents (detailed below). We are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to review passport and financial documentation so that we may issue you the I-20.
  6.  Log into the OISSS Gateway Portal. You will be prompted to enter your Brown account username and password, which is the information you will have received after you have activated your Brown account. You will be taken to Section 1, the Welcome Page of the OISSS Gateway Portal. Please select each of the sections on the menu bar near the top of the page to answer questions or confirm information as directed. 
  7. Select the next section. Section 2 is the Intake Questionnaire/F-1 SEVIS Transfer In section. Please note that “transfer” in this case refers to the process of transferring a current valid I-20 from one institution to another, and not to transferring from one university to another. If you do not have an active I-20 at another institution, please answer No and proceed to the next section
    If you have an active I-20, please answer Yes, enter your immigration status (most of you will be F-1 students; some of you may hold another visa) and complete the F-1 Transfer Eligibility Verification Form, for which a link is provided. If you are currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary institution in the United States, please indicate your current immigration status.
    Please select “save” at the bottom right corner of the page and proceed to the next section.
  8. Section 3 is the Personal and Program section. Please review the information and verify that it is correct. If any information is incorrect, please contact admission@brown.edu. Please note that the country indicated in the Country of Citizenship field should refer to the country which issued the passport you will be using for your visa and for your entry into the United States. If you have more than one passport, always indicate the country which issued the passport you will use for travel.
    Please upload a scan or picture of the biographical page of your passport. Please be sure that the whole page appears, and that none of it is truncated.   
    If you have an F-1 visa, please upload a picture of it, whether or not it has expired. If it has expired, you may upload a picture of the new one when you receive it. For those acquiring a visa for the first time: please remember to add a picture of your visa once you have acquired it.
    Once Brown determines your Brown address, we will add it to the U.S. address field. Do not enter or submit any other U.S. address. The foreign address must be your address; it must not be a third party address.
    Please select “save” at the bottom right corner, and proceed to the next section.
  9. Section 4 is the Financial Details section. According to government regulations, you must prove that you have available funds for the first year of study. The funding amount for the 2022-2023 academic year is $89,241, and $89,643 for the Brown|RISD Dual Degree program.
    In this section, please upload the documentation described below. You may upload all the information under financial documentation. If a third party, such as a relative (other than parents), is funding your education, you may upload an affidavit of support either under financial documentation or under Affidavit of Support.
    Upload a copy of your offer of Admission.  
    Please select “save” at the bottom right corner, and proceed to the next section.
  10. Section 5: Completed. If you have completed all the steps, click the Complete button. You’re done!
    If there are any omissions or questions, we will contact you. If we have all the required information, we will issue your I-20 within a week in most cases. Once we have reviewed your information and processed your I-20, we will notify you that it is ready to be downloaded so that you may make your embassy appointment. You will find additional instructions on paying the government’s SEVIS fee and on preparing for the visit to your local embassy or consulate to obtain your F-1 visa stamp.
    For students receiving financial aid from Brown University: Please note that the SEVIS fee, which is currently $350.00, will be paid directly by Brown. A copy of the receipt of payment will be sent to you. Please do not pay it yourself, as Brown will not reimburse it.

Required Financial Documentation

  • Please upload the I-20 Request Form signed and stamped by a financial institution. If you are providing a letter from your bank, please fill out the top of the form and submit.
  • You may provide a bank letter or statement indicating availability of funds for the first year. Use the specific dollar amounts at a minimum. You may use actual the U.S. dollar amounts indicated above, or equivalents in another currency. Please avoid vague descriptors such as “sufficient funds” or “enough funding,” lest consular officials reject your application.
  •  If your funding comes from more than one source, you must furnish a complete listing of available funds on which you will draw to meet your first year of college expenses from private and/or public sources, with the required stamps and signatures. These funds may include family, government, bank, financial aid award, outside scholarships, etc., supported by appropriate documentation such as a letter of credit, bank statement, or award letter.
  • If you are receiving financial aid from Brown, please include a copy of the financial aid award letter. It may seem counterintuitive, but the Office of College Admission does not have copies of these and cannot access them!

U.S. Dollar Amounts

For the academic year 2022-2023, the total budget for tuition and fees ($65,146), room and board ($15,840), and estimated personal expenses, including books, supplies and health insurance but excluding travel ($8,255) is $89,241.  

Please note that if you are accepting an offer from the Brown|RISD Dual Degree program, the total budget is slightly different. Please use the following figures: tuition and fees, $66,146; room and board, $15,242, estimated personal expenses, $8,255. The total for the Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program is $89,643.

Canadian Passport

If you are entering the United States with a Canadian passport, you must present an I-20 at the border when you enter the United States and you must pay the SEVIS fee, but you will not need an F-1 (student) visa. If you are entering the United States on a Canadian passport, please follow all the instructions above.

Students transferring an I-20 from their current institution to Brown

You must submit all the material above, but will not have to pay the SEVIS fee. You will retain the same SEVIS number (the number on the top left of your I-20), but your I-20 will be issued by Brown. If you leave the country and your visa expires before you return to the United States, however, you will need a new visa.  

Your current institution must release you to Brown in SEVIS before we may issue you an I-20. Please be sure to contact the DSO at your current institution.

Sponsored Students

If you are a sponsored student, such as a Thai Scholar, and are required to attend Brown University in J-status, do not use the F-1 Transfer Eligibility Verification Form and do not request a transfer release in SEVIS. Instead, please notify us so that we may send you the proper forms. Please remind your school counselor NOT to release you in SEVIS since you will not not be transferring your I-20.

If you have questions...

If you have questions about this process, please contact Panetha_ott@brown.edu. If you have other concerns about your transition to Brown, we are here to offer suggestions and assistance. If you have any questions about Brown, our students are eager to hear from you. You may contact our International Mentoring Program (IMP) coordinators Ahmad Alkhatib ’23 (Jordan), Nompumelelo Tshabalala ’23 (South Africa), Ellis Ward '24 (Germany), and Yoonsoo (Claire) Park '24 (Korea) by email at IMP@brown.edu. You may also contact the Office of College Admission by phone at 401.863.2378, by fax at 401.863.9300, or by email at panetha_ott@brown.edu. 

Because of anticipated delays in the issuance of student visas, we recommend that you present your documents to immigration authorities as soon as possible. Note that in accordance with visa regulations, students in initial student status may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program date. Please plan to arrive on campus for international orientation. International orientation, which is designed for anyone who identifies as international, regardless of citizenship, starts on August 29. Students may move in on August 28 or 29. For more information, see brown.edu/imp. We look forward to welcoming you to Brown University in the fall!

You may find more information on international students and resources on the following sites: