Brown University TOP 50

Brown University is a private, Ivy League, Research University in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution. 

At its foundation, Brown was the first college in the United States to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. Its engineering program, established in 1847, was the first in what is now known as the Ivy League. Brown’s New Curriculum—sometimes referred to in education theory as the Brown Curriculum—was adopted by faculty vote in 1969 after a period of student lobbying; the New Curriculum eliminated mandatory “general education” distribution requirements, made students “the architects of their own syllabus,” and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory or unrecorded no-credit. In 1971, Brown’s coordinate women’s institution, Pembroke College, was fully merged into the university.

Undergraduate admissions are among the most selective in the country, with an acceptance rate of 9.5 percent for the class of 2019, according to the university. The University comprises The College, the Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies (which includes the IE Brown Executive MBA program). Brown’s international programs are organized through the Watson Institute for International Studies, and is academically affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Rhode Island School of Design. The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, offered in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, is a five-year course that awards degrees from both institutions.

Brown’s main campus is located in the College Hill Historic District in the city of Providence, the third largest city in New England. The University’s neighbourhood is a federally listed architectural district with a dense concentration of ancient buildings. On the western edge of the campus, Benefit Street contains “one of the finest cohesive collections of restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architecture in the United States”.

Prominent alumni include current chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen ’67 and president of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim ’82. Brown has produced 7 Nobel Prize winners, 57 Rhodes Scholars, five National Humanities Medalists, eight billionaire graduates, and 10 National Medal of Science laureates, and has also produced Fulbright, Marshall, and Mitchell scholars. In 2014, National Science Foundation ranked Brown University #66 in the United States by research. As of 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranks Brown University #99 globally.

There are over 300 registered student organizations on campus with diverse interests. The Student Activities Fair, during the orientation program, provides first-year students the opportunity to become acquainted with the wide range of organizations.

Brown University has several resource centres on campus. The centres often act as sources of support as well as safe spaces for students to explore certain aspects of their identity. Additionally, the centres often provide physical spaces for students to study and have meetings. Although most centres are identity-focused, some provide academic support as well.