Pre-College Programs


Non-credit courses in the liberal arts and sciences

Program Dates:

Multiple 1- to 4-Week Sessions


For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2017, with a minimum age of 15 by the start of the program

Fees »

The application period for Summer 2017 is now closed.

Summer@Brown offers courses that are designed for students looking to experience college-level academics on an Ivy League campus. Reflecting Brown’s broad liberal arts curriculum, Summer@Brown features nearly 200 courses, designed and taught at the level of first-year college courses, and ranging in length from one to four weeks. Resting on the principles that are at the core of a Brown undergraduate education and its open curriculum, the program shifts the focus away from grades and credits and towards learning itself. 

The program attracts like-minded students, ambitious and driven in their educational pursuits. This, combined with passionate instructors, fuels the program's challenging curriculum. Students engage in their own academic development and are encouraged to explore topics of interest in which they have limited knowledge or to take a class in a favorite subject and focus in-depth on a particular aspect of it. Without the pressure of formal grades, students learn for the sake of learning and the love of the topic.

Along with a robust co-curricular program and a supervised residential experience, Summer@Brown is designed to help prepare students for the self-discipline and independence required for college-level life and learning. Students learn to balance rigorous academics and free time by making daily decisions about homework, activities, and relaxation.

Classes meet for three hours daily, and are scheduled during the morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon. Each course may require up to three hours of daily out-of-class homework assignments—reading, writing, group work, and studying. This time also includes scheduled meetings with your instructor or course Teaching Assistant. Many courses feature site visits, excursions, labs, or hands-on projects, all of which broaden the student learning experience.

Instructor Snapshot: Pinar Durgun, archaeologist, and Brown graduate student

At the close of the summer, all students who successfully fulfill the course requirements will receive a certificate indicating so. Students enrolled in courses two weeks or longer will also receive a narrative Course Performance Report (CPR), in which the instructor outlines the content of the course and evaluates the student’s performance.

Taking More Than One Course

Accepted students may choose to enroll in multiple courses, arranging them in successive, overlapping, or concurrent sessions. Most students who take more than one course enroll in a series of courses in succession, taking one course at a time or two that only partially overlap, so they can focus fully without being overwhelmed. Because all courses do meet three hours daily, and can require an additional three hours of work outside of class, students who do try to manage two concurrent courses may find that the demands of the courses prevent them from taking advantage of the numerous extracurricular and social events provided by the program. If you're considering concurrent or overlapping course enrollment, bear this in mind. If we can help you determine whether undertaking such a course load is advisable, please contact our office.

Live and Learn on Brown’s Ivy League Campus

Outside of class, students experience the independence and responsibility of life on an Ivy League campus. They meet fellow students from around the world and attend events, workshops, and social activities designed to engage them with peers in fun and englightening activities and to prepare them for college life and learning.

For the duration of their stay, students live and learn on the Brown University campus. Brown’s residence halls are within walking distance of academic buildings and campus resources. Each hall is staffed with carefully selected and trained Residence Directors (RDs) and Residential Advisors (RAs), who live onsite and help students create a balanced academic and social life. Students eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls, which offer a variety of options, and have access to Brown’s libraries, study center, and Writing Center.

Student Snapshot: How Summer@Brown inspired 3 students to start a political blog

What to Study?

Begin with some questions about yourself:

James Chansky, assistant dean, on the importance of liberal arts

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