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On Site: Brown University

At a Glance

Providence, Rhode Island

Undergraduate Students: 7,000

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 95%

Freshman Retention Rate: 92%

Notable Majors: Applied Mathematics, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, International Relations, Neuroscience

The Feel

  • The Environment: Brown’s campus is in an urban setting in downtown Providence; for an urban campus there is plenty of sprawling green space. The Main Green (the largest of multiple quads) is a very active spot with students coming and going all the time. They also have a “quiet green.” Campus is very close to the airport. Providence is big enough to provide plenty of offerings but small enough to not be overwhelming. There is great food nearby, likely the result of a culinary school in town. Great bike path along the water. Campus has a mixture of building styles, old and new, including a skyscraper of a library (their science library).

  • They have 500 clubs and organizations, including a Seafood club and Taylor Swift Appreciation Society. Multiple Affinity Centers offer places for undocumented students, LGTBQ+ students and female students.

  • Multiple dining halls with ample vegetarian options.

  • Greek life on campus is less than 10%.

  • Housing is guaranteed for all 4 years. All freshmen dorms are doubles. Singles, doubles, and suite style all available for upperclassmen.

  • The student tour guide said it is a collaborative rather than competitive environment.

Standout Points

  • Brown has a dual degree arrangement with Rhode Island School of Design and students can take up to 4 classes at RISD for fun.

  • High priority on academic freedom seen in their open curriculum where students take a total of 30 courses including a concentration (their term for a major) and two writing courses. There are no minors at Brown.

  • Academic advising is top notch, helping students with career planning as well as college courses. All students are paired with a professor as well as an older peer student advisor.

  • They have a new engineering facility (2018) and 10 different engineering concentrations.

  • Lots of undergrad research opportunities. A large maker space is available for students to use. Professors are accessible with office hours.

  • Athletics are D1 and there are lots of club sports.

  • Brown houses the impressive Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, giving student researchers access to exclusive collections which “inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world.”

Fun Fact

  • Brown has a faculty organist who, among other performances, plays spooky-style concerts around Halloween!

Bottom Line Fit: For the independent-minded scholar who seeks more freedom in course selection within the curriculum than the other Ivy's, and who might favor a more activist/progressive environment.

Learn more about Brown University!

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