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Application Components & Process for Doctoral and Select Master's Programs

APPLICATION FAQs

The following information is for applicants to all doctoral programs and the following select master's programs: Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology, Literary Arts, Medical Physics, Medical Sciences, Theatre: Brown/Trinity Repertory Acting and Directing, Theatre and Performance Studies. 

Applicants also are strongly urged to visit the websites of the departments to which they are applying, as those sites offer detailed information about those departments' graduate programs.

Complete an Admission Inquiry Form.

The Application
Use the online application to apply. The online application offers tools for collecting and submitting some, but not all, of the documents and information required for application. Departments may require additional information, so please check their listings. In general, though, applicants are responsible for submitting the following: 

Personal Statement
All applicants are required to submit a personal statement regarding their interests and/or intended areas of study. Some programs ask applicants to address specific questions in their personal statements. Please review the listings for the Ph.D. or master’s program in which you are interested for details. 

Transcripts
We strongly encourage applicants to submit a scanned image of the transcript at the time of application, which can speed processing; however, a final, official transcript will be required of all admitted students who matriculate. Applicants who have attended international institutions must submit transcripts or certified attestations of study, with certified English translations. Once translated, the original transcript and the certified translations are to be sent to the Graduate School admission office. College seniors should submit current transcripts, followed by a final official transcript showing the award of the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation, as is required and mentioned above. 

Letters of Recommendation
The Graduate School requires three letters of recommendation by persons well qualified to speak from first-hand knowledge about the applicant's potential for graduate study. All letters should comment on an applicant’s ability to do research and perform in the program’s required coursework. At least two of these letters should be from faculty at the institution of current study or, if the applicant is not in school at the time of application, at the institution most recently attended. Letters of recommendation for applicants to master’s programs may be from academic or non-academic sources; please consult individual program listings for details. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online. If you are using Interfolio please refer to their website for instructions on submitting your recommendations electronically.

GRE
Applicants to programs requiring the Graduate Record Examination must have their results to the Graduate School or, if applying to one of the programs in the School of Public Health, to a separate Brown University code. Please refer to our GRE page and individual listings for the Ph.D. or master’s program for details. 

TOEFL/IELTS
All international applicants whose native language is not English must ensure that the Graduate School receives their official score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), TOEFL ITP Plus for China or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). (See Language Proficiency information.) 

Application Fee and Waivers
A non-refundable fee of $75 is charged for processing each application received by the Graduate School. This fee must be paid when the application is submitted. An application will not be processed unless the fee is paid. Applicants who want to be evaluated by more than one graduate program must submit separate applications to each program for which they would like to be considered. The Graduate School is not responsible for errors made by applicants during the application process. There are no application-fee refunds. Application-fee waivers are available under certain circumstances. Applicants to Brown's graduate programs who can demonstrate financial need may apply for an application-fee waiver. Learn more.

Paper Credentials and Other Documentation
All materials related to an application that are not submitted electronically as part of the online application should be mailed to the Graduate School admission office: 47 George St., Box 1867, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912. Do not send any application materials directly to the program you are applying to as this will only slow the progress of your application. Material submitted in support of the application, including transcripts and writing samples, will not be returned to the applicant. 

Criteria for Admission
Admission to the Graduate School is determined at the program level with oversight by the Graduate School. Each program, in consultation with the dean of the Graduate School, sets its own admission criteria. The individual academic programs evaluate applications for admission. Admission decisions are made after a full review of the materials in the application. Programs consider previous records, test scores, and recommendations and look for clear evidence of the ability to do advanced work of the highest quality. The admission decisions are final. There is no appeals process.

Notification
Applicants should expect to be notified within four to eight weeks of the application deadline for their programs (February or March for a January 1 deadline). Whether or not applications that are submitted after a program's stated deadline will be reviewed is at the discretion of each program. While individual academic programs evaluate applicants for admission, offers of admission are only binding when made in writing by the Dean of the Graduate School. Admission may, in some cases, be deferred; aid offers cannot be deferred. 

The Graduate School follows Brown's policy on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action.