Founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh oldest post-secondary institution in the U.S. As a leading research university, Brown maintains a commitment to an undergraduate liberal arts education. A healthy mixture of (often liberal) political activists, free spirited, open-minded, outgoing, fun-loving, self-motivated, and ambitious students make up the 6,000 undergraduates at this Ivy League institution. While students work hard, there is a general laid-back attitude, and Brown students fit into every imaginable social niche. With its location in the historic New England city of Providence, it’s no wonder that that this town is dubbed the creative capital. Most high school seniors choose to send in applications to Brown University Admissions because of its robust academic resources and, of course, its liberal ambiance.

Brown Admissions, Admission to Brown, Admission to Brown University

Brown University is located in stunning Providence, Rhode Island (photo credit: chensiyuan).

While it’s likely that most students at Brown do not take all of their classes pass / fail, the option is certainly an enticing one for those who want to experience a challenging course without having to pay the penalty of a mediocre grade. Yet students who dare to go this route for too many of their classes would undoubtedly have a tough time gaining acceptance into graduate schools.

Another one of Brown’s greatest appeals is that there is no core curriculum. Students can design their own concentrations, and there are approximately 80 concentrations from which to choose. While the freedom of being the architect of one’s own education can be daunting to some, it can also be a most exciting experience. However, it would be a huge mistake to think that students view Brown’s open curriculum as a means of avoiding core courses because that’s not why the open curriculum was designed. Quite the opposite. With the open curriculum, students are able to explore their academic passions without the restrictions of prescribed general education classes. The open curriculum was in fact designed so that students could find new challenges and passions even though this adventure could lead them to tread outside of their comfort zones.

Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) is the only combined program in the Ivy League where a student can earn both a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree in eight years. By applying to Brown’s PLME, students do not ever need to take the MCAT exam, or for that matter be concerned with applying to medical school. This is a huge relief for high school seniors who are sure that they wish to pursue a career in medicine. For the Class of 2023, 2,641 students applied to PLME and 94 were accepted.

Adjacent to Brown on College Hill is the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and any Brown student can take up to four courses at RISD through cross-registration.  For more serious art and design students, the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program is a five-year commitment that allows students to pursue multidisciplinary work. Students may combine disciplines such as math (at Brown) and architecture (at RISD). Upon completion of the program, students earn a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) from Brown and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) from RISD. To be admitted to the program, prospective students apply and are accepted to both Brown and RISD and then go through a second admissions process by the Brown / RISD admissions committee. Each year, approximately 16 students are enrolled for the dual degree program. For the Class of 2023, 694 students applied to the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program and 18 students were admitted.

Through a housing lottery, students live and learn in their community. Alternatives to housing are the Program Houses which encompass Greek organizations and Theme Houses. Program Houses host events for their members and for the entire Brown community.

For the Class of 2023, Brown University Admissions accepted 2,551 students in a total applicant pool of 38,674 freshmen, with an overall acceptance rate of 6.6%.

Brown University Admissions Statistics

Brown University Overall Accept. Rate Regular Decision Accept. Rate Regular Decision Apps Accepted Regular Decision Apps Received Early Decision / Action Accept. Rate Percent of Class Filled by Early Apps Early Decision / Action Apps Received Early Decision / Action Apps Accepted Expected Number of Students to Enroll Total Apps Received Total Apps Accepted
2026 5.0% 3.6% 1,651 44,503 14.6% 52.7% 6,146 896 1,700 50,649 2,547
2025 5.4% 3.5% 1,652 41,028 15.9% 52.1% 5,540 885 1,700 46,568 2,537
2024 6.9% 5.4% 1,733 32,232 17.5% 48.0% 4,562 800 1,665 36,794 2,533
2023 6.6% 5.2% 1,782 34,444 18.2% 46.2% 4,230 769 1,665 38,674 2,551
2022 7.2% 5.7% 1,829 31,936 21.0% 44.3% 3,502 737 1,665 35,438 2,566
2021 8.3% 6.9% 2,027 29,554 21.9% 41.7% 3,170 695 1,665 32,724 2,722
2020 9.0% 7.66% 2,250 29,360 22.1% 40.2% 3,030 669 1,665 32,390 2,919
2019 8.5% 7.2% 1,970 27,354 20% 38% 3,043 610 1,605 30,397 2,580
2018 8.6% 7.4% 2,036 27,344 18.9% 37.4% 3,088 583 1,560 30,432 2,619
2017 9.2% 8.1% 2,091 25,909 18.5% 36.8% 3,010 558 1,515 28,919 2,649
2016 9.6% 8.5% 2,204 25,823 19.0% 37.4% 2,919 556 1,485 28,742 2,760
2015 8.7% 7.5% 2,115 28,150 20.6% 38.9% 2,796 577 1,485 30,946 2,692
2014 9.3% 8.2% 2,237 27,289 19.9% 38.1% 2,847 567 1,485 30,136 2,804
2013 10.8% 9.5% 2,152 22,645 23.7% 37.4% 2,343 556 1,485 24,988 2,708
2012 13.3% 12.0% 2,182 18,170 22.7% 37.6% 2,460 558 1,485 20,630 2,740
2011 13.5% 12.3% 2,054 16,737 22.7% 35.2% 2,307 523 1,485 19,044 2,577
2010 13.8% 12.4% 1,982 15,934 22.8% 37.4% 2,379 543 1,450 18,313 2,525
2009 14.6% 12.7% 1,894 14,877 28% 39.5% 2,030 569 1,440 16,907 2,463
2008 15.8% 14% 1,872 13,361 28.3% 37.8% 1,907 540 1,428 15,268 2,412
2007 14.9% 13.3% 1,762 13,234 25.8% n/a* 1,919 496 1,430 15,153 2,258

* n/a = not applicable since an EA policy was in place