Name: Brown University
Location: Providence, RI
Undergraduate Class Size: 1,546
Strong Programs: Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), dual degree at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Open Curriculum
Representative: Elisha Anderson
401-863-7530, [email protected]
Brown University, located in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, is the seventh oldest college in the country and one of the eight members of the Ivy League. Brown prides itself on its freedom for students and accepting, egalitarian environment.
One of the first and most important things the Brown representative talked about was the open curriculum. Brown’s open curriculum requirement is very unusual: they only have two course requirements for an undergraduate degree. All Brown students must take a writing course and fulfill the required credits for their concentration, which is Brown’s term for majors. Other than that, Brown students are free to take whatever classes they choose. Although this might lead some people to take classes in just one subject, there is an incentive to ensure students push their own boundaries. Students are allowed to take as many classes as they would like Satisfactory/No Credit, essentially pass/fail, so they can take challenging classes in a way that won’t affect their GPAs.
Other programs unique to Brown include the Brown-RISD Dual Degree and the PLME. Both of these programs are highly selective as they offer very unique experiences. The Brown-RISD programs lets students graduate with a degree from both schools in five years: first year in the freshman program at RISD, second year in the freshman program at Brown, and the other three years taking courses from both campuses. The PLME program lets students graduate from Brown and go to Brown medical school without taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCATs). In addition, students may choose to go to a different medical school or defer for up to five years. Brown also has extensive undergraduate research opportunities. There are very few graduate students at Brown, so many of the professors need assistance on their research and as undergraduate students.
Brown’s freedom and independence are very different from what I’ve seen in both college visits and representative visits. The Providence area is a great place to go to school, with more college students per capita than any other college in the country, and they have excellent academic programs and flexibility.