Employee Education Program

Brown University empowers its dedicated staff employees by offering the Employee Education Program (EEP). Through the EEP, staff members can gain access to financial assistance, enabling them to pursue a wide range of courses both within Brown and outside of Brown.

NEW! Non-Degree Courses at the School of Professional Studies: Starting September 1, 2023, the EEP is introducing a pilot program that includes non-degree courses offered by Brown’s School of Professional Studies. Click here to learn more.


Employees* are eligible to use the EEP benefit if they meet the following three criteria:

  • Staff working a minimum of 67% time (equivalent to at least 1,300 hours per year).
  • Applicants must have completed a continuous six months of employment at the time of application.
  • Employment status in good standing

* Union members will receive education benefits as described in their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements.  Additionally, faculty members, dependents, and spouses are not eligible to receive education benefits under this program.

Program Guidelines

The EEP offers eligible employees the opportunity to have qualifying expenses covered for one of the following options each calendar year (January 1-December 31):

  1. Courses at Brown University: Eligible staff members can take up to three non-degree courses at the School of Professional Studies, degree courses, or job-related courses at Brown University.
  2. Courses at Other Accredited Institutions: Eligible staff members can receive up to $5,250 to pursue degree or job-related courses at accredited institutions.

Please note:

  • Brown University courses and non-Brown courses cannot be combined within the same calendar year. 
  • The start date of an eligible course determines the calendar year to which it belongs. Please keep this in mind when planning your course schedule. 
  • Eligible courses can be taken in various formats, including classroom settings, online platforms, or hybrid formats. This allows employees to choose the learning environment that best suits their needs and preferences. 
  • Courses must be taken at degree-granting institutions that are accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.
Accreditation Agency regional area

Higher Learning Commission

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Middle States Commission on Higher Education/Mid-Atlantic Region of Commission on Higher Education

Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands

New England Commission of Higher Education

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Western Association of Schools and Colleges

California, Hawaii, American territories such as Guam and American Samoa

EEP for Brown University Courses

Employees may take up to three degree, job-related, or non-degree courses per calendar year (January 1-December 31) under the EEP.  

Degree Programs at Brown: Eligible staff members can enroll in courses that contribute towards their undergraduate or advanced degree in any field of study.

  • Employees must apply to the Graduate School and be accepted.
  • Degree candidates must adhere to the guidelines and requirements of the Graduate School for degree programs and must notify the Graduate School and Academic Advisors of any impending interruption in course work.
  • Once registered for course(s), employees must email [email protected], Administrative Coordinator, to request that the Graduate Student Activity (access to all Graduate Student Council (GSC) social events) and Graduate Recreation Fees (access to the Nelson Fitness Center) be waived, otherwise they will continue to receive a bill and will be responsible for payment.

Job-Related Courses at Brown: Employees can choose courses that are directly related to their current position at Brown. These courses help employees maintain or enhance the skills required for their role, and may be necessary either by law or by Brown's requirements.

  • Upon notification of EEP approval from the Benefits Office, registration information will be forwarded prior to the start of the semester with information on the registration process. Those enrolling in job-related courses will be allowed to enroll on a space available basis and will be required to obtain approval from the professor.
  • Courses must fall under Brown's accreditation, as well as offer a grade and/or credit.

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024  - Classes begin
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - Last day to add a course without a fee (not covered by the EEP)
  • Friday, March 8, 2024 - Last day to change a grade option
  • Saturday, March 9, 2024 - (mid-semester) – Last day to drop a course without an EEP penalty

NEW! Non-Degree Courses at the School of Professional Studies: Starting September 1, 2023, the EEP is introducing a pilot program that includes non-degree courses offered by Brown’s School of Professional Studies. This expansion provides employees with even more opportunities to broaden their knowledge and skills. There are no admission requirements for most programs and participants will earn a certificate of completion and a Credly badge. 

Employees should submit the appropriate EEP application to [email protected]. Please include EEP in the email subject line. Once approved, employees will receive instructions on how to register for their selected courses.

Employees can learn more about the courses offered or by emailing [email protected] for more information.

Taxable Tuition

Brown University is allowed to provide $5,250 in tax-free educational assistance per calendar year. Employees enrolled in graduate degree programs or non-degree courses through the School of Professional Studies will be taxed on any tuition that exceeds the IRS limit to be in compliance with IRS regulations.

EEP for Courses Outside of Brown

Employees can receive reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year (January 1–December 31) and must be enrolled in a degree or job-related courses(s).

Degree Programs: The EEP covers the tuition expenses of courses taken towards an eligible employee's undergraduate or advanced degree, regardless of the area of study. 

Job-Related Courses and Certificate Programs: The program also provides assistance for courses and certificate programs that directly contribute to maintaining or enhancing the employee's skills required in their current position at Brown. Additionally, if these courses are mandated by law or Brown's requirements, they are considered job-related. 

  • It's important to note that courses offered by institutions other than Brown must have accreditation and provide a grade and/or credit to be eligible for EEP coverage.

Application Guidelines

  • Complete an EEP application specific to degree, job-related, or non-degree courses (located on the right of this webpage).
  • Applications should be emailed to [email protected] prior to the start date of the course (two weeks preferred).  Please include EEP in the email subject line.

Payment for Courses and Grades

Employees must receive a grade of C, satisfactory, pass, or a certificate of completion. Upon the successful completion of courses taken at Brown University, the Registrar's Office or the School of Professional Studies will provide official confirmation. 

  • Brown Courses: No money is exchanged. The EEP sends through a credit to the student's account at the beginning of the semester.
  • Non-Brown Courses: Participants must pay the school that they are attending up front and then submit for reimbursement once the course has been successfully completed.  Participants must submit a grade report and itemized paid invoice to  [email protected]. Please include EEP in the email subject line. Tuition reimbursements will be direct deposited on the next available pay period, or if you do not have direct deposit, a check will be issued for the reimbursable amount.

The following expenses are not eligible for reimbursement under this program:

  • Conferences, workshops and seminars
  • Membership, licensing and exam fees
  • Travel, lodging, meals, and parking expenses
  • Supplies and other miscellaneous fees

EEP Penalties

During the semester in which an employee is approved for a course/courses through the Employee Education Program and they voluntarily terminate from the University, do not work at least 67% time, receive a grade below a C, fail the course(s), or drop the course(s) after the drop deadline date, they will be responsible for the following:

  • For Degree and Job-Related Brown courses: The full cost of tuition for the course(s) must be reimbursed back to the University.
  • For Non-Degree Courses at the School of Professional Studies: You must submit a request to cancel your enrollment no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. If a cancelation is made after the course start date(s), the full cost of tuition for the course(s) must be reimbursed back to the University. 
  • For non-Brown courses: Employees will not be reimbursed for their tuition costs.


Email [email protected] with questions.  Please include EEP in the email subject line.