The Visiting Student Program at the School of Professional Studies supports students who wish to pursue part-time undergraduate-level academic work during the fall or spring semesters outside of a university degree program.
For information on applying for summer study as a visiting undergraduate student, visit the Summer Session pages.
Visiting Student may apply to take up to two courses at Brown. Please refer to the Brown University Academic Calendar for official term dates.
Please note that enrollment as a Visiting Student is approved on a semester-by-semester basis and does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree.
There are several types of Visiting Students coordinated through the School of Professional Studies.
- Post-baccalaureate students: Adults holding at least a baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) who wish to take a course either for undergraduate credit or as an undergraduate auditor. This type of visiting student includes Brown employees who wish to take a non-work-related undergraduate course.
- AICU Language Consortium students: Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at a participating Rhode Island institution who wish to take a course in a foreign language not offered at the student’s home institution.
- Visiting undergraduate students: Students currently enrolled in undergraduate programs at institutions other than Brown who wish to enroll on a part-time, non-residential basis during the fall or spring semesters.
- Postdoctoral Fellows: Brown-affiliated postdocs in fields other than Biology and Medicine who wish to take an undergraduate course either for credit or as an auditor (see below if you are a postdoctoral fellow in Biology and Medicine).
- Advanced Secondary School students: Qualified rising and graduated high school seniors who wish to take an undergraduate course during the fall or spring semesters. During the Summer, rising and graduated high school students may apply to Brown’s Pre-Baccalaureate Program, which includes a residential option.
- EEP: Brown University employees who wish to take a work-related course should apply to the Employee Education Program (EEP) coordinated through the Benefits Office. Employees who wish to take Brown courses as degree candidates or who wish to take courses at an institution other than Brown should contact Michele Wise [email protected] in the Benefits Office to learn about applicable guidelines of the Employee Education Program and how to apply.
Note for International Students: Nonimmigrant students are required to possess a visa for study at Brown. Please contact our office at [email protected] for further details.
Which Courses May I Take?
View the Brown University Course Catalog for a full listing of courses for current terms, including meeting dates and times, prerequisites, and current enrollment.
- Visiting Students may take a maximum of two courses in any one term.
- First priority for enrollment is given to Brown degree candidates; therefore, Visiting Students may not enroll in “limited enrollment” or most “special permission required” courses.
- Check the course catalog listing for any course prerequisites; if there are any, please note in your statement of interest which coursework in your past experience meets those requirements.
- If you have questions about specific course content, contact the course instructor or department directly.
Credit and Audit Options
In the fall and spring semesters, Visiting Students may elect either to receive academic credit or to audit a course. In Summer Session, courses are available on a credit basis only.
Taking a Course for Credit
Visiting Students must meet all the course requirements specified by the course instructor.
Auditing a Course
- Auditing is permitted only at the discretion of the instructor; you must obtain the instructor’s signature on the Audit Authorization Form that will be provided to you by the School of Professional Studies in order to complete your course registration.
- Students generally are not permitted to audit laboratory, writing, or language courses.
- AICU Language Consortium students are not permitted to audit courses.
Additional Academic & Financial Information
- Visiting Students are subject to the same academic policies regarding course prerequisites, grading options, extension of work, etc. as any other Brown student. Please refer to Brown University’s Academic and Student Conduct Code.
- Refunds for Visiting Students follow the refund policy established for Brown degree candidates
- No financial aid is available for Visiting Students.
- AICU Language Consortium students: tuition is covered by your home institution.
- AICU Language Consortium students and Postdoctoral Fellows: no application fee is required; please contact [email protected] for fee waiver instructions.
1. Review the guidelines on this page.
2. Select Your Course
- Using [email protected], identify the course(s) you wish to take.
- Review the course prerequisites, if any, and be sure that you have the experience to be successful in the course. If you have questions about your qualifications for taking a course, contact the instructor or the department offering the course.
- Make note of the course meeting time and location.
- Make note of the Course Code (departmental code and course number, e.g. BIOL 0200) and name of the course you wish to take. You will need this information to complete your application.
3. Assemble required application materials
Prepare the following materials for submission via the online application form, as indicated in step 4, below. If you have taken a course at Brown as a Visiting Student within the previous two semesters and wish to resume study as a Visiting Student, you may skip to step 4 without submitting any additional materials.
A. Transcripts: Official transcript(s) from the high school or college/university at which you are currently or were most recently enrolled.
B. Personal Statement: Please describe your interest in taking coursework at Brown University. Please identify the specific course(s) you wish to take, and be sure to state how your experience meets any listed prerequisites, if any, of the course(s).
C. Letter of support:
AICU students: Letter of good standing from your Dean on your university’s letterhead indicating that the course you are requesting is not available at your home institution and that you are approved to enroll in this course and to transfer the credit.
Post-Doctoral Fellows: Letter from your department stating that you are a postdoctoral fellow and that all the fees associated with taking a course—application fee and course fee—will be covered by your department, program, or grant.
All others: Letter from an individual who can testify to your academic interests, your level of commitment to those interests, and your capacity to be successful in the course you wish to take. (You may scan your recommendation letter and upload it in your application, or ask your recommender to email us directly at [email protected].)
4. Complete the Visiting Student Application »
Click the “Visiting Student Application” link above to begin. Please also note that a $75 application fee will be assessed during this process (if you are an AICU Language Consortium student or a Postdoctoral Fellow, please contact us at [email protected] for fee waiver instructions before beginning your application).
Once the Admissions Committee has reviewed your application, you will receive a decision by email.
If you are accepted as a Visiting Student, you will receive detailed instructions outlining the steps you must take to complete your course registration, including how to obtain your instructor's approval to take the course, deliver forms to the Registrar, and activate access to a course website, if needed.
Please note that Visiting Student enrollment is approved on a semester-by-semester basis. Enrollment does not imply admission to candidacy for a Brown University degree.