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What Makes Brown University So Special?

Nestled in a neighborhood a few minutes from historic downtown Providence, Brown University has a relaxed feel compared to the other Ivies. It is quieter and escapes the hustle and bustle of the other urban schools.

One of Brown’s primary characteristics is its open curriculum in which Brown undergraduates have virtually no required courses. Unlike most liberal arts schools which require students to take multiple interdisciplinary classes, Brown leaves the choice up to the students ensuring that they are never forced to take a class they do not want to take.

Brown Quick Facts

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Year Founded: 1764

US News Ranking: 14

Application Deadline: January 1st

Must receive SAT/ACT scores by: January 1st

2017 regular decision acceptance rate: 8.1%

Total applications received (2017): 28,919

Brown University Admissions Guidance

Brown's iconic Van Wickle Gates open only twice a year - inward for Convocation, when first-year students are welcomed by the Brown community, and outward for Commencement, where graduating seniors pass through.


According to superstition, any Brown student that goes through the gates more than these two times will be cursed with bad luck. Princeton actually has a similar superstition.

Brown University was originally named “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” but was renamed after Nicholas Brown donated $5,000 to the school in 1804 when tuition was only $5.

Prompts for Brown's 2017-18 Undergrad Supplemental Essays

  • Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 words)

  • Tell us where you have lived — and for how long — since you were born; whether you’ve always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 words)

  • We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 words)

  • Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are ‘undecided’ or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 words)

  • Why Brown, and why the Brown Curriculum? (200 words)

Brown | RISD Dual Degree Application


  • The Brown | RISD Dual Degree program provides an opportunity to explore your interests and prepare for the future in two distinct learning environments. Considering your understanding of both academic programs, describe how and why the specific combination of the art/design-focused curriculum of RISD and the wide-ranging courses and curricula of Brown could constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you. (500 word maximum)

Program in Liberal Medical Education Essay Prompts


  • Most high school seniors are unsure about eventual career choices. What experiences have led you to consider medicine as your future profession? Please describe specifically why you have chosen to apply to the Program in Liberal Medical Education in pursuit of your career in medicine. Also, be sure to indicate your rationale on how the PLME is a ‘good fit’ for your personal, academic, and future professional goals. (Please limit your response to this question to 500 words.)


  • Since the Program in Liberal Medical Education espouses a broad-based liberal education, please describe your fields of interest in both the sciences and the liberal arts. Be specific about what courses and aspects of the program will be woven into a potential educational plan. (Please limit your response to this question to 500 words.)

Brown's Programs Ranked

Applied Mathematics Grad: #5 (USNews)

Medical School: #21 (USNews)

Economics Grad School: #19 (USNews)

English Grad Department: #13 (USNews)

History Grad Department: #16 (USNews)

Undergrad Engineering: #40 (USNews)

Mathematics Department: #14 (USNews)

Brown University Admissions Consultants
Brown University Admissions Consulting
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