ACADEMIC YEAR COSTS
All academic year costs can be found on the bursar’s website.
LIVING EXPENSES (EST.)
Brown University tuition rates can be found on the bursar’s website, including variable tuition rates for specific master's programs. Tuition will vary by program, discipline, and the number of courses required for full-time status.
For Ph.D. students, a full-time student is someone registered for three or more courses per semester. For master's students, full-time status is defined as enrollment in 2 courses per semester, but students should always follow the structure of their program. Master's students are responsible for knowing the structure of their program and registering accordingly, in consultation with their DGS.
Any student who would like to enroll part-time must have the permission of their program. Domestic students who are considering a part-time course load should consult with Financial Aid if they have loans. International students should always consult with OISSS if they are considering a part-time course load.
In addition to the financial considerations of part-time status, students need to consider two other issues. First, two courses per semester is usually enough to maintain eligibility for student loan deferrals on any existing student loans. However, students with existing loans should confirm with their specific loan agreements before opting out of full-time status. Second, international students must have full-time status in all semesters except the last semester in order to maintain a lawful immigration status.
Tuition-Unit Requirements for the Master's Degree: Master's degree students must pay tuition for a minimum of eight tuition units. Some programs require more than eight tuition units to complete the requirements to earn the master's degree.
Tuition-Unit Requirements for the Ph.D.: While actively enrolled, all Ph.D. students must pay tuition at the full-time rate. The minimum tuition requirement to receive a degree is the equivalent of three years of full-time study. Students within the five year guarantee period will be charged tuition at the full-time rate but will receive a full tuition scholarship. Students on external funding within the five year guarantee will receive supplemental funding to cover tuition and fees. Students in humanities and social science programs beyond the five year guarantee may seek a tuition scholarship via either the dissertation completion or dissertation extension process. (The academic program must submit the request.) After the residency requirement has been met, Ph.D. students may continue to enroll in additional coursework and receive academic credit.
Transfer Credit: The University grants a limited amount of tuition credit for related graduate work done at other institutions. See the Graduate School Handbook for details on allowable transfer credit.
Tuition and Funding: Full-time students holding appointments such as teaching and research assistants and proctors may take no more than three courses per semester, and are considered full-time students. For more information on tuition regulations, please consult the Office of the Registrar.
Tuition-Unit Credit versus Academic Credit: In order to receive academic credit, tuition must be paid in full. Tuition credit, however, remains even if the student fails a course or does not register for as many courses as were paid for. See the Graduate School Handbook for complete details of the relationship between tuition-unit credit and academic credit.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy: Federal regulations require that the University have a fair and equitable refund policy for recipients of federal student aid (including the Federal PLUS Loan) who withdraw on or after the first day of a class for a period of enrollment for which the student was charged. Brown University adheres to the federal Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 and its updates regarding Title IV financial aid programs. The University also has a refund policy that addresses the handling of institutional charges when a student withdraws or takes a leave during the semester. The University’s Refund Policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws from the University or withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still may owe funds to the University. See the Withdrawal & Refund Policy for details.
Health Services Fee: Students should make every effort to address health problems through University Health Services before consulting with a private physician. Full-time students are billed for a University Health Services fee (cost can be found on the bursar’s website),, which covers usage of Health Services during the academic year. Fully supported doctoral and MFA students do not need to pay the fee for the fall, spring or summer semesters. For master’s students not supported by a University stipend, Health Services charges a separate fee for summer coverage.
Late Registration and Course-Change Fees: Consult the Office of the Registrar for course-related information.
*Student Activity Fee: All doctoral and master's students are required to pay a student activity fee. This fee is charged during the Fall and Spring terms and the amount is determined by the Graduate Student Council. The student activity fee is used to fund recognized graduate student organizations and covers academic, professional, and social support for all Brown graduate students. Costs can be found on the bursar’s website
*Student Recreation Fee: All Brown University students (including doctoral and master's students) are required to pay a recreation fee each academic year. The fee covers access to recreational and fitness facilities and entrance to athletic events. It does not cover intramural team participation. Cost can be found on the bursar’s website.
Billing Policies and Procedures: The University Bursar is responsible for handling all student-billing questions. For information, deadlines, or forms related to tuition, billing, payment plans, and refund policies, refer to the Brown University Student Billing Guide, available on the bursar’s website. University support (fellowships, teaching assistantships, etc.) will appear as a credit on the bills of students receiving such assistance.
Deadlines: Payment of tuition and fees is due by August 1 for the first semester, and by January 1 for the second semester. Students are responsible for paying their fees by the deadlines to avoid late payment charges. The electronic statement for fall semester will be available late June. An email notice will be sent to the students Brown University email account when the statement is available to view. All accounts must be settled with the bursar before students will receive their degrees.
*All doctoral and master's students are required to pay these fees, they are not covered by the Graduate School.