Pre-Orientation Programs

Brown offers free pre-Orientation programs that help students acclimate to Brown. These optional programs have limited space and require application or pre-registration. In general students may only participate in one program. Guidance on exceptions can be found at the bottom of this page.*

The pre-orientation period programs advance the mission of orientation by providing deeper engagement with:

  • Particular angles of history, traditions, and values at Brown/in Providence.
  • Knowledge/skills, networks, and frameworks for particular interests or disciplines -- e.g., community engagement, STEM, writing, etc.]
  • A community of peers with common interests


Divided into two sections: a one-week residential program that runs Sunday, August 23 - Monday, August 31, 2015 and an online lead-in that begins August 1.

Catalyst is a unique blended-learning program at Brown University that prepares incoming first-years for the rigors of a science concentration at Brown. Funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and run by the New Scientist Program at Brown University, Catalyst embraces the belief that through collaboration with peers, continual engagement with problem solving, and the support of an entire community, students can thrive in the sciences.
For more information, visit the Catalyst website.

Excellence at Brown

Sunday, August 30 - Friday, September 4, 2015

Excellence at Brown is an intensive five-day seminar program that orients incoming students to Brown’s academic and campus culture. The program includes five classes taught by distinguished Brown professors from a range of academic disciplines. Short reading assignments serve as the basis for seminar discussions, and students work one-on-one with graduate-student staff at Brown’s Writing Center to review the elements of successful academic writing across the curriculum. Social programming helps students build community and learn about Brown’s campus. By the time Orientation begins, students feel ready to immerse themselves in Brown’s rich living and learning environment. For more information, visit the Excellence at Brown website.

The Third World Transition Program (TWTP)

Tuesday, September 1 - Friday, September 4, 2015

TWTP is a community-building program that promotes interracial understanding. TWTP helps entering students identify and increase their awareness of issues encountered by minority students in a predominantly white institution. It gives students the opportunity to understand and discuss the ‘-isms’ while learning about the resources available at the University. These discussions are carried forward throughout the year through discussions with Minority Peer Counselors in the residence halls and at the Third World Center. TWTP is open to all students, but space is limited. More information is about TWTP is available on the Third World Center's website.

*International Orientation is held at the same time as Brown’s pre-orientation programs. While all international students are expected to arrive on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 to participate in International Orientation, international students do have the choice to also apply to the  pre-orientation programs.  Those accepted into Excellence have the option to participate in both by beginning with Excellence and then joining International Orientation when it begins.  For those international students on a visa and participating in TWTP or the full Excellence program, a schedule will be provided that includes joining International Orientation for several required sessions.

If students participate in Catalyst, because of the program dates, they must also participate in TWTP or Excellence as well.