College Snapshot: Brown University

Brown University

The seventh-oldest college in the U.S., Brown is a coed Ivy League school in Providence, RI
with 6,200 undergrads, 2,000 graduate students and nearly 500 med school students. Among
the Ivies, Brown is generally considered the most liberal and free-spirited, with an open
curriculum, joint program with Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and “shopping weeks”
where students try out classes at the beginning of the term. Freshmen live with a roommate in
“units” of 50-60 first-year students. After the first year, a housing lottery allows students to gain
access to various housing options including Greek houses and program houses (e.g.,
Technology House, International House, Latinx House, Environmental House, French House);
off-campus housing is available as well.

Two major dining halls anchor the eating scene, supplemented by on-campus snack carts and
eateries, plus numerous off-campus restaurants a short walk away.

Brown competes at the Division I level with 37 varsity teams, and there are 17 club sports for
those seeking a less demanding level of competition. The aquatics and fitness center covers 7.5
acres and contains a larger-than-Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Students can select from a bewildering array of over 500 campus organizations. Here’s a small
sample from the BearSync site: Brown Storytellers, The Tango Club, Out of Hand Juggling Club,
Hindu Students Association, Disney A Cappella and Brown Anime Society. The online events
calendar lists on-campus meetings, talks and performances, while plays and concerts in
Providence are nearby, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum of Art is free to
Brown students.

Students describe Brown to the Princeton Review as academically rigorous but “exciting” and “a
very happy place.” They enjoy on-campus parties as well as activities in Providence, Boston
and New York. reports Brown student survey ratings as follows:
Dorms B
Food B+
Student Life A+
Party Scene A gives Brown’s social life an A- and the extracurricular activities an A,
based on 218 reviews.

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