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Diversity Profile

Brown University is a leading Ivy League institution with a distinctive undergraduate program, a world-class faculty, and a tradition of innovative and rigorous multidisciplinary study.

Students at Brown are distinguished by their academic excellence, self-direction, and collaborative style of learning. Widely known for the excellence of its undergraduate programs, research opportunities, and public service, Brown is an internationally recognized research university whose students and faculty are globally engaged in programs of academic exchange and service learning.

The Brown curriculum
Brown is the only Ivy League institution where undergraduates are the architects of their own education. Brown has been called the perfect university for self-motivated and confident students who desire a top-flight education on their own terms. Brown’s curriculum acknowledges what has long been true: that it is the student who must make something of the educational experience the University offers. Brown students have the freedom and responsibility for directing their own education and are encouraged to pursue a range of courses across the disciplines beyond the requirements needed to complete a selected concentration. Brown students are excited by the prospect of exploring familiar and unfamiliar academic terrain, thereby testing their own intellectual limits.

Faculty support
A strong academic advising program is crucial for the success of a flexible curriculum. Because students are responsible for their decisions, the University offers highly personalized advice and guidance to help students make informed choices. Each first-year is provided with an academic advisor as well as a Meiklejohn (peer academic) advisor. Many first-year students participate in the Curricular Advising Program, where each participant’s academic advisor is also an instructor in one of his or her first-year courses, ensuring a more natural advising partnership. Students also participate in the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) Mentoring Program, which creates a support network between first-year students and faculty and staff to identify academic and personal goals for the upcoming year. The program fosters relationships that benefit students of color through ongoing guidance, companionship, and encouragement.

Our multicultural community
Brown strives to create not only a diverse community but also an integrated community where students welcome and celebrate their differences. At the heart of the community for students of color is a multicultural center designed to serve the interests and meet the needs of all students of color as well as promote conversations on racial and ethnic pluralism on campus. In addition to housing various student organizations, the center hosts cultural and informational events open to all students. Recent events organized by the center include a start-of-semester block party, protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, and lectures on structural racism. The diversity of our student body is illustrated by the variety of extracurricular organizations dedicated to the multicultural community.

Admission to Brown is highly selective. Applicant assessment is based on academic performance, teacher and counselor recommendations, extracurricular activities, talents and interests, a personal statement, and standardized testing scores. All applicants are reviewed in the context of the opportunities available to them. The admission committee strives to admit a class of curious and independent scholars who will bring to campus a wide variety of experiences and perspectives.

Expanded financial aid
We know that families are concerned about their ability to finance the cost of college. In addition to continuing our need-blind admission policy for all first-year applicants who are US citizens, Brown remains fully committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of every admitted student.

Need-blind admission simply means that an applicant’s ability to pay for their education will not be a determining factor in the admission decision.  

In 2016–2017 approximately 3,640 undergraduates received over $164 million in financial assistance from a variety of University and outside resources. Brown actively strives to create a socioeconomically diverse applicant pool and undergraduate student body.

A message from Dr. Christina H. Paxson, Brown’s 19th president
“American universities are admired around the world for their research, their inventiveness, their universal accessibility, and their success at preparing generation after generation for what Brown calls ‘lives of usefulness and reputation.’ Few schools offer anything like Brown’s curriculum, which combines academic rigor with an astonishing level of flexibility and invites students to be active partners in planning their course of study.”



“The open curriculum allowed me to truly delve into Urban Studies and Political Science, since I came into the University knowing that I wanted to study these concentrations to pursue a career in urban education policy. Brown in particular has many courses devoted to the intersection of urban studies, political science, and education studies, while also emphasizing social justice. Professors want us to interrogate the various ways we can challenge societal norms and prejudices and provide us with the resources to do so.”
— Julie Pham ’19


“As a first-generation college student, Brown has provided me with a bundle of opportunities to pursue my intellectual interests. For example, conducting research alongside my favorite professor as a second-year student was unbelievable, especially since it gave a platform to combine my interests in advocating for immigrant rights with research.”
— Linda Medina ’18


“As I arrived to campus, I was surprised to walk into a community that was more open-minded and accepting than I originally thought. I had never visited the school before, and it was reassuring to know I would be greeted with smiles from passionate students. My peers actively seek to better our community by being outspoken about current issues that affect us all.”
— Cristian Maldonado Rodas ’20