Wintersession Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to enroll in a Wintersession course?
A: At this time, Wintersession is only open to enrolled undergraduate Brown and Brown-RISD Dual Degree students. Students must have been enrolled at Brown for the fall semester (on campus or on an approved study abroad program) in order to register for and attend Wintersession. December completers (0.5-ers) may be eligible with approval from the DOC Office. 

Note: Upon request, doctoral students may be eligible to enroll in Wintersession courses, pending instructor permission and Graduate School approval. Doctoral students who are approved to enroll in a Wintersession course will be responsible for paying tuition independently for that course. Master's students are not eligible to enroll in Wintersession courses. Please direct questions to Vanessa Ryan, Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Q: Can I enroll in a Brown Wintersession course if I have already taken four Brown summer courses?
A: Students may count up to four Brown courses taken outside of the academic year (i.e., Summer and/or Wintersession) towards their degree completion. If you have already completed four summer courses, you may enroll in a Wintersession course for enrichment; however, the Wintersession course will not count towards the thirty courses you need to graduate. 

Q: How many courses may I take?
A: Due to the intensive nature of these courses, students may only enroll in one course per Wintersession.

Q: Will any academic support services be available during the Wintersession?
A: Academic coaching may be offered, pending individual availability. For more information, please visit the Academic Support Services website.

Q: Is it possible to study off-campus during the Wintersession and transfer the credits?
A: No. Brown will only accept credits earned during the winter break if the course is taught as part of the Brown Wintersession or the RISD Wintersession.

Q: Why does Brown charge tuition for the Wintersession? Couldn’t I take a course at RISD for no added tuition cost?
A: Brown charges tuition for Wintersession courses for five important reasons that differentiate it from the RISD Wintersession.

  1. Brown students do not have priority for RISD courses, but they do enjoy priority for Brown Wintersession courses. Brown’s Wintersession is only open to Brown students, so course registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no waiting period for enrollment, as no students get preference over others. Contrary to Brown’s Wintersession, RISD's January term is only available to Brown students on a space-available basis, which often means that students cannot enroll in a RISD course.
  2. Unlike RISD’s wintersession, Brown wintersession courses count as a separate term for enrollment purposes. This means that students who take a Brown wintersession course can choose to take 5 spring courses. Brown students who enroll in a RISD winter course use one of their 5 spring course slots to do so.
  3. Brown’s Wintersession course offerings are unique educational opportunities for intensive engagement. Rather than merely condensing semester-length courses into a shorter time period, courses taught during the Brown Wintersession have been developed with pedagogical innovation in mind.
  4. Housing is guaranteed for students who ordinarily live in an on-campus residence hall. Students are not charged an additional fee for housing during the Brown Wintersession.
  5. The Brown Wintersession calendar does not overlap with the start of the spring semester, so students do not need to juggle multiple schedules at once.

For questions not addressed on this page or on the Policies page, please contact [email protected].