Want to know how to get into Brown University? You're not the only one. This prestigious institution receives thousands of applications every year from prospective college students across the globe. With an acceptance rate of 7.7%, it is not the easiest ivy league school to get into. In this blog, we'll go over everything you need to know to be a competitive applicant for undergraduate admission at Brown. From their admissions statistics to their admission requirements and application process. So, keep reading if you want to know how to get into Brown university this year. 

Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. 

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Article Contents
9 min read

Mission statement Undergraduate curriculum Admissions statistics & eligibility Applying and getting into Brown university Acceptance and waitlist Contact information FAQs

Mission statement

The mission of Brown University is to serve the community, the nation and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry, and by educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation.

Undergraduate curriculum

Brown offers over eighty different undergraduate concentrations, including some of the popular majors like economics or chemistry, but it also has unique programs like Africana Studies, Comparative Literature, and Behavioral Decision Sciences. However, the most notable part of Brown's undergraduate program is its flexible yet rigorous approach to education through the open curriculum.

The open curriculum essentially makes students the architects of their own education. Unlike at most universities, Brown students do not have to complete a specific set of core courses for their concentration. Instead, they have what the school refers to as "the shopping period," during which students can take classes from different concentrations, thus allowing them to explore their various interests. Afterward, they can choose to focus on one of the 80-plus academic concentration programs offered by the school for in-depth, focused study.

One of those programs is the Independent Concentration program, which is specifically for students interested in pursuing a coherent field of study or interdisciplinary concentration that is currently not offered by the institution. This usually includes emerging topics in academia, such as migrant studies or educational neuroscience. Students who are interested in essentially creating this new major for themselves have to draft a proposal that will be reviewed and either approved or rejected by the College Curriculum Council.

Need tips on how to get into Ivy League schools? This video is for you:

Admissions statistics & eligibility

The acceptance rate at Brown University is 7.7%, which means that for every 100 applicants, only seven or eight actually get admission. Brown does not have a minimum GPA requirement, and although this school does not officially report its students' average GPA, they do mention that 94% of first-year students at Brown were in the top 10% of their graduating high-school class. Additionally, in the past, the average GPA of the admitted first-year class was 3.94 on the 4.0 scale or 4.08 for the average unweighted GPA.

At this time, Brown has made standardized tests optional for applicants, but if you do submit your test scores with your application, they will be taken into account. The school does not have an exact SAT requirement, but in the past, their matriculants' SAT scores ranged between 1440 and 1570. The average ACT scores tended to be between 33 and 35, which is where the middle 50 percent of admitted students fall. So, if you do choose to submit, you need to make sure that your scores are within that range. This is especially the case if you're hoping to get into college with a low GPA.

These numbers tell us that Brown is highly selective and that to get in, you need to have outstanding secondary school transcripts. That said, an excellent academic background is only half the battle. Brown has a holistic admissions process that is designed to help them find individuals who will not only fit into, but also contribute to the school's lively academic culture.

Applying and getting into Brown university

The application process

Brown University is one of the many schools that use common app. If you’re not familiar with it, Common Application (often referred to as Common App) is a centralized online portal for undergraduate college applications used by schools in the US, Canada, and many other countries across the world. You will need to create an account on the platform if you don’t have one already and add Brown University to your list of college choices. In addition to your personal details, test scores, academic background, and school forms, you will have a section dedicated to extracurricular activities, one for a personal essay or supplemental essays required by the school, and finally, a section for your college recommendation letters

Applicants can submit two different kinds of applications, either the Early Decision application or the Standard Decision application. The Standard Decision application follows the normal process that most college applicants are familiar with. Meaning that you apply, your application is either approved or rejected, and you can choose whether or not to attend the university. The Early Decision process is different and is only recommended for students who have Brown as their top choice. In this process, you will be receiving a decision earlier than other students. In exchange, you have to agree that you are committed to enrolling at Brown and withdrawing all pending applications to other universities if admitted through Early Decision. You will be asked to agree to this through a formal agreement document on the common app portal.

To get into Brown, you need to submit your application through the common app and pay the $75 application fee by the following deadlines:

Of course, these dates are subject to change, so you should always verify the school's website for the most up-to-date information.

Want to quickly see some key info you'll need from this blog? Take a look at this infographic:

The application components

As mentioned earlier, one of the things you will be asked to provide on the common app is your school forms. Brown requires first-year applicants to request three different sets of transcripts from their high school. Each set will need to include the high school’s official transcripts and a school report form that can be found on the common app. You’ll need to invite your school counselor or another school official to fill out that form. If you are homeschooled, or you’re an international student who can’t get these documents for one reason or another, you should indicate that in the “Additional Information” tab of the writing section of the Common Application.

The first set is the transcript and school form that you will include in your common application. Later on, Brown requires a midyear School Report and transcript that is due upon completion of the first or second semester of your final year of high school (By February 24th). This document can be submitted online through the Common Application by a school official, such as a guidance counselor. The last set of documents requested from the school will be your final report and transcript. These should confirm your successful completion of high school, include your graduation date and advise the school of any course changes or other relevant updates. They are due by June 24th for students who have chosen to enroll at Brown.

Additionally, you will need to request a counselor recommendation, as well as letters of recommendation from two teachers who have taught you in major academic subjects (Science, social studies, mathematics, a foreign language, or English). If you are planning on pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), we recommend having at least one letter from a science or Maths teacher. In addition to the two required letters, you have the option of submitting a third letter of recommendation through the common app portal.

You should note that even though most of your application components have to be submitted through common app, all official documents, including High School Transcripts, the School and Midyear Reports, Teacher Recommendations, and the Counselor Recommendation must be submitted by your high school institution to the Office of College Admission. Brown will not accept official documents that are sent in by the student.

When it comes to college essays, Brown requires three different ones from first-year applicants, all with a word count limit of 250. However, a few special programs like the Program in Liberal Medical Education and the Brown-Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program require additional essays that are specific to the program you’ve applied to. The essay prompts are subject to change from year to year, but they are listed on Brown’s admissions website early in the year, so we recommend taking note of them and starting to write early on. It is best to give yourself six to eight weeks to brainstorm, write and edit your essays so that they will stand out. 

For the next class of applicants, these are the essay prompts that Brown has provided: 

The supplementary materials

Applicants are not required to provide additional materials as part of the admission process, but the opportunity to do so is available, and we recommend taking advantage of it. Once you've submitted your common application, you will be given access to the Brown Applicant Portal. On this portal, you can track the status of your application, check whether all required documents and test scores have been received, and submit supplemental materials. You can submit your high school resume, poetry or other brief writing samples, an abstract of scientific research, or an independent research project. If you would like to submit a music or visual art portfolio, you do not need to wait to access your Brown Applicant Portal. Instead, you can submit those materials through the school's slideroom portal. 

If you were a part of a significant research project or completed an advanced academic paper, you can and should upload that document or an abstract to the portal. In addition to the document itself, you should include a brief note that provides context for your submission. It can consist of the approximate date(s) you were involved, what recognition you may have received from it, whether you worked independently or as part of a team, and anything else that would better help the admissions team understand your submission. 

Interested in learning more about how the college application process works? Check out this video:

The video introduction

The last supplemental component you can include in your application is a video introduction. Although this video is not a required component of the admission process, we encourage you to submit one for two main reasons. First, because Brown itself strongly encourages students to submit this component, when possible, as they've found that it allows admission officers to get to know you in your own voice. Secondly, because even though you will not be penalized for not submitting a video, not including one would be missing out on an opportunity to show the admissions board about the person behind your application. Video introductions are a personal and engaging way to convey more about yourself, thus increasing your chances of admission.

Your video should be no more than two minutes long and should begin with you in front of the camera saying, "Hi, my name is [insert name] from [high school]." After that, you can talk about any topic of your choosing. You should avoid listing or talking about details that are already in your application. Instead, maybe talk about a book you love and why, your favorite place, or why you've decided to apply to Brown.

Tip: Take a look at these college admissions interview questions, think about your answer to one of them, and talk about that in your two-minute video.

Acceptance and waitlist

Once you have access to the Brown Applicant Portal, you will be able to keep track of your application and check the admission decision on your application.

For those who applied under Brown's Early Decision plan, there are three possible outcomes:

  1. Accepted: This is the outcome that you most likely hoped for. It means that your place at Brown is secure, pending satisfactory completion of your senior year.
  2. Deferred: This means that your application will be revisited within the context of the regular decision pool of applicants.
  3. Denied: If you are denied admission under Early Decision, it means that you've been denied admission for the year. You may not reapply for admission under the Regular Decision plan during that same year. That said, if you have your eyes set on Brown, you are welcome to improve your application and apply again next year. 

Regular decision applicants will be notified of the admission board's decision by the end of March. Applicants can expect one of three possible outcomes:

  1. Admitted: Congratulations! Brown wants you be a part of their student body.
  2. Waitlist: This usually means that the admissions board isn't ready to admit you just yet for one reason or another. It is not a rejection, though. There is still a chance that you will receive an admission later on.
  3. Denied: Unfortunately, this means that your application was rejected.

Admitted students will have until May 2nd to notify Columbia of their decision to enroll. 

Still feeling confused about how rolling admissions work? This video will clear things up:

Contact information

Brown University Admission Website

Email: [email protected]

Contact information for United States admissions officer

Contact information for the international admissions officer


1. Is Brown university a good school?

Brown is consistently named among top universities in national and international rankings with an undergraduate curriculum that is unique and flexible. That said, just because it’s a good school doesn’t mean that it’s the right school for you. You should take the time to research and find out if it would be a good match for you.

2. What GPA do you need to get into Brown?

There is no specific GPA required for admission to Brown, but the school does report that 94% of its first-year students graduated in the top 10% of their high school class. So it is safe to say that you need impressive academic records to get in.

3. Do I have to submit a video introduction with my application to Brown?

You do not need to submit the video introduction component, but we highly encourage you to do so. It gives you the chance to show the admissions board who the person behind your application is, and if done right, that can improve your chances of admission.

4. Does Brown ask for a supplemental college essay?

Yes! Brown university asks for three different 250-word essays, and certain programs may even ask for additional ones.

5. Is it true that you can get into Brown with low SAT scores?

At this time, Brown has suspended its standardized test requirement, so you do not have to submit your SAT scores if you think that they are not competitive. However, submitting it could be counterproductive if you have a low SAT score, so we’d recommend omitting it.

6. Is Brown hard to get into?

Brown is a highly selective school with an acceptance rate of 7.7%. To get admission, you need an outstanding application.

7. What does Brown mean by concentration?

Concentration is the term that Brown uses for majors.

8. Who can help me with my application Brown university?

Preparing an application to a school as competitive as Brown is not easy. College advisors can help you with different application components, including the dreaded college essays.

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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