Brown University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Brown University is one of the oldest colleges in the United States and part of the Ivy Leagues, which refer to the most prestigious American colleges. Founded in 1764, it opened prior the start of the American Revolution and helped educate some of the most brilliant minds during the founding of the country. The university named itself after the Brown family, who assisted in moving the campus to its current location and with securing funding for the university during its early days. It was one of the first colleges in the country to implement a grading system that awarded letter grades and prohibited students from gaining course credit for scoring too low in their classes.

As an Ivy League school, Brown receives thousands of applications every year, but accepts fewer than 10% of those applicants. Acceptance rates among its graduate programs is even lower. Forbes ranked Brown within the top 10 of all American colleges, and it ranked within the top 20 on a list produced by U.S. News and World Report and within the top 50 on the ARWU report. After looking at class size, opportunities for students, experience of professors and other factors, ARWU, Times and QS all ranked Brown as one of the top 100 colleges around the globe. Its medical school, engineering programs, business programs and MFA writing programs all received national recognition as well.

Brown University Accreditation Details

You expect Ivy League schools like Brown to have accreditation, but you may not know exactly what type of accreditation the campus has. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) granted Brown institutional or regional accreditation, which means that it has the authority to give students who meet all necessary requirements a degree. This also means that you can safely apply for and receive financial aid from both the university itself and from the federal or state government. Select programs on campus have specialized accreditation too, including its Master of Public Health program, which has accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. Other accreditation that Brown has comes from the American Psychological Association, Liaison Committee on Medical Education and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Brown University Application Requirements

Applying to one of the graduate programs available through Brown University requires that you complete each step in the process. The first of those steps is the online application. It gives you the chance to show your reasons for choosing Brown and why you are a good fit for the university. You'll need to explain more about your background, including the courses you took, your major in college, any experiences you had outside of school that will help you in grad school and the grades you received. A personal statement is part of the application. Brown asks you to explain what you want to study and your plans once you complete your degree. Depending on the program, you may need to answer a short essay question as well. You can then pay the $75 application fee or request a waiver from the university.

All programs at Brown require some other pieces of information too, including three letters of recommendation. You should select a supervisor from work, your college adviser, a professor or something else you worked with in the past. Brown requires an official college transcript and an official score from the GRE too. Some programs may require that you take and submit the score you received on another exam like the GMAT instead of the GRE.

Tuition and Fees

As an Ivy League school, Brown charges more for tuition than other similar private colleges charge. The average cost for full time graduate students is around $50,200 a year. Courses generally cost around $6,200 a piece. Students are also responsible for paying fees for health insurance, student activities, health services and using recreational facilities on campus. If you already have health insurance, you can submit proof to the university and it will remove that charge from your account. The university requires that students either pay the total amount due during the first week of campus or make alternative arrangements.

Many students apply for unsubsidized student loans from the government, and you can apply for those loans when you complete the FAFSA. The government will charge interest on those loans while you are still in school. Those enrolled in a graduate program can seek additional funding from the program itself. A large number of students work as research assistants or teaching assistants, and students can also apply for positions working as a floor or resident adviser. Brown recommends that students speak with a financial aid counselor to find out if they qualify for any jobs on campus or special programs that can help with their tuition costs.

Brown Graduate Degrees

Brown University offers more than 80 programs for graduate and doctoral students. Some of those programs give students more freedom and flexibility to design a program that works for them like its American Studies program. Designed for students who want to study the culture of America or a specific aspect of that culture, it requires that students take eight semesters of work either on campus or off. Some students spend time studying in other cities and states to work with those of a specific culture, and other students do independent study projects that require they work for entertainment venues or for traveling shows. Many of these students later enter doctoral programs in sociology or history.

Another unique program offered by the university is its Brown/Trinity Rep Acting and Directing program. This program gives students the chance to work with some of the large collections amassed by the university, including the Sidney Albert Shaw Collection. It requires that students take some acting classes and some directing classes, which gives them experience both performing on stage and working behind the scenes. Brown also offers a Master of Education in Urban Education Policy for those who want to work in urban settings. This program looks at methods of securing funding, creating policies for students and staff and the structure of education systems. Brown University requires that all students enroll in this program complete a nine month internship working for a school in a major city after finishing their studies.

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