Pre-College Programs

The Online Pre-College Experience

Brown University’s Pre-College Program offers online courses for high school students year-round, in fall, spring, and summer sessions. Our courses are rigorous, active learning experiences designed and led by Brown instructors, leaders in their fields. Students work one-on-one with their instructors and with talented, motivated students from around the globe as they engage in academic inquiry at the level of first-year undergraduate study. Our flexible, asynchronous course design accommodates students’ busy academic and extracurricular schedules, and our cloud-based learning environment allows students to access their course sites anytime, anywhere.

What is it like to take an online pre-college course at Brown?

Course Format and Requirements

Our online pre-college courses are asynchronous. In other words, students are not required to log in at a set time to do their work. We do follow a weekly schedule, so students will know what they need to do each week and the due dates for their assignments, but it is completely up to them when during the week they do their work. Fall and spring session courses require that students commit 5-10 hours per week to complete coursework and assignments. Selected summer session courses are delivered in intensive formats that require 10+ hours per week.

Our Approach to Online Learning

We believe effective learning depends on high-quality instructional design. Brown’s online pre-college instructors are enthusiastic, imaginative educators working at the forefront of online teaching and learning. Our instructors are drawn from Brown faculty, graduate departments, and colleges and universities around the country who share Brown's commitment to student-centered learning. Instructors work closely with the University’s instructional designers to develop and deliver course content that exemplifies best practices of student-centered design and inquiry-based learning. We maintain small class sizes that reflect Brown’s policy for teaching assistant support of undergraduate courses, and which fosters exciting, dynamic learning communities that encourage one-on-one interaction, team work, and networking. If an instructor chooses to work with teaching assistants to enhance interaction with students, the teaching assistants are selected very carefully, based on prior experience working with the instructor, advanced experience in the field, accolades and achievements, and their demonstrated investment in teaching. 


Brown's online pre-college courses are not for credit. Brown awards a Certificate of Completion to those students who instructors identify as having met all course requirements. All students receive end-of-course written feedback from their instructor in a Course Performance Report. Students can expect to receive certificates and performance reports within 8 weeks of their course ending.

To be successful in your online course at Brown, we recommend reviewing our Expectations and Strategies for Online Learning Success.


Costs for each non-credit online course vary. At this time, there are no financial aid or scholarship opportunities for the online pre-college courses. Please review our refund policies.