Brown University combines an adventurous spirit of innovation with a steadfast commitment to rigorously high standards in education and research. This has given Brown University its reputation as the least ‘stuffy,’ most non-conformist of the Ivy League schools. Brown believes that students learn best when they are motivated by their own interests and values. It strives to give its students an opportunity to design an educational experience uniquely suited to their interests.
Undergraduates can choose from one hundred established degree concentrations (ranging from neurology to Egyptology) or design their own programs. Graduate students can choose from fifty different programs, ranging from multidisciplinary programs in the arts and humanities to highly-focused programs in engineering, biology, and medicine.
Brown’s Medical School is particularly noted for offering a unique Program in Liberal Medical Education. This is an eight-year-long program that combines undergraduate and professional study, and has the aim of producing physicians who combine a commitment to medical practice with a broad and humanistic understanding of the world. It is both highly regarded and highly competitive – the School usually receives over twenty applications for each class space available.
The key thing to understand about Brown University is that it asks its students to take center stage in the learning experience. Brown expects its students to be active participants in their own education, and to actively seek knowledge across disciplinary boundaries as well as to acquire the fundamental knowledge and analytical skills needed for success in their chosen fields. This makes for an exciting and profoundly satisfying educational experience, especially for students with confidence, intellectual curiosity, and focus. However, it’s also one that might be overwhelming for students who prefer more academic structure and direction. Brown University supports its students – faculty and staff are available to give students advice, guidance, and feedback on their educational choices – but its program inherently demands a great degree of initiative and self-direction.
The Brown educational experience truly is different from what many other U.S. institutions offer. Potential students (undergraduates especially) should give this aspect of Brown University careful thought as they consider whether to apply to Brown University.