Providence and Beyond


Brown University and Alpert Medical School are located in the city of Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, at the head of Narragansett Bay. An hour south of Boston and three hours northeast of New York City, Providence proper is home to roughly 175,000 people, and roughly 1.5 million live in the larger metropolitan area. The city is touted as one of America's most successful examples of urban renewal with a reputation for the colorful nature of its (former) city politicians. Two other local universities, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Johnson and Wales University, add distinctive contributions to the city. There is a thriving local arts community and Providence boasts an excellent range of high-quality restaurants.

The Brown campus overlooks downtown Providence and covers nearly 140 acres of the historic College Hill, an area that the University shares with Rhode Island School of Design. Surrounded on its other sides by residential areas, the campus has an abundance of apartments and multi-bedroom houses that can be shared. Most Brown graduate students live off campus in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University.

The Jewelry District and Brown at South Street Landing

A former hub of jewelry manufacturing, the Jewelry District is Providence's latest site of urban renewal. Gritty, old-time plating shops share the streets with artists' lofts, elegant restaurants, and cutting-edge biomedical research facilities, including Brown's 150,000-square-foot Laboratories for Molecular Medicine.

The Jewelry District is also the location of the home of Alpert Medical School and the School of Professional Studies. In fall 2011, the doors of the newly renovated, state-of-the-art, 63,000-sq-foot medical education building named the Alpert Medical School opened. The new facility anchors what is becoming a diversified, vibrant "knowledge district," which includes the School of Professional Studies (SPS) right down the street. The SPS moved to a brand-new facility on Dyer Street in 2012 and became known as the School of Professional Studies in 2014. SPS offers a joint master's degree in business administration through a joint program with the IE Business School in Madrid.

South Street Landing is a $220 million redevelopment project in Providence’s Jewelry District that is bringing new life to the iconic station that once provided power to the city. Brown University has a long-term lease to occupy approximately 136,000 square feet that will become the home of 13 administrative units at the University.

South Main street

Thayer Street may be the heart of College Hill, but South Main Street is the home of the School of Public Health. A unique street in its own right, South Main has an eclectic collection of restaurants and shops ranging from renowned seafood eatery Hemenways, located in the SPH building, bistro Parkside Rotisserie and the famous artisanal sandwiches of the Jolly Roger Deli to the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe, a neighborhood Art House Theater, Marc Allen Clothiers Bespoke Clothing, the John Bacon Salon, CapuCine-The Art of ClothingShoppe Pioneer, a women's fashion and lifestyle boutique and White Star Antiques

Just steps away on North Main, one can find the RISD Store, many more excellent restaurants, Moss Salon, and Muse Paintbar, Providence's premier spot for a night of paint and wine. Just a few blocks from the School is the India Street Ferry Terminal, home of the Providence-Newport Ferry where you can hop on a ferry to Newport for a day of sightseeing and spectacular historic architecture at the Newport Mansions, pack a picnic for a day of Newport Polo or have dinner at some of the best seafood restaurants on the Eastern seaboard.

Up on the Hill, Thayer Street has an assortment of affordable restaurants offering a range of cuisines and numerous coffee shops, as well as the Brown Bookstore and other music, clothing and convenience shops — all within a few steps of the main campus. Thayer Street is also home to the Avon Cinema, a 1930s-era movie theater that is now a showcase for independent films.


Waterplace Park in downtown Providence is a quick walk down College Hill. Water Fire, an environmental art installation of burning braziers along the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers, is a regular summer event. At the far end of the park is the Providence Place Mall, which offers an outstanding lineup of dining and shopping opportunities, as well as mainstream and IMAX movie theaters.

 On stage

Rhode Island has a special appeal for thespians and theatergoers, and both are served well. In addition to the nationally acclaimed Trinity Repertory Company and the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), the smallest state in the Union boasts the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theater, known as "The Gamm," The Wilbury Theatre Group—known for their provocative, contemporary plays by the world's most cutting-edge artists—and the 2nd Story Theatre in Warren.

Fox Point 

Just south of College Hill and within easy walking distance of campus, the Fox Point neighborhood is a bustling mix of new and old. Coffee shops, restaurants, and art galleries overlay a close-knit ethnic neighborhood of immigrant or second-generation Portuguese and Cape Verdeans residents. Many Brown medical students live in Fox Point.