Apply to Brown University

How To Apply

Applications to Brown are submitted online via the Common Application. The online system will guide you through the process of providing the supporting credentials appropriate to your status as a first-year or transfer applicant.

Submit Your Application

  • Begin by creating an account on the Common Application website. Once registered you will need to add Brown University to your list of colleges from within the College Search tab.
  • The Common Application is divided into three sections: information common to all the schools to which you are applying, Brown University specific questions, and guidance counselor and academic teacher recommendations.
  • If you have indicated an interest in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics or Physics you must complete the Science/Engineering essays.
  • If you are applying to the 8 year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) or the five year Brown/Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program (BRDD) you must complete the special program essays.
  • Questions specific to Brown University, including our essays, are found in the section labeled “Questions.”
  • Request recommenders. Within the Common Application, you will be presented with either online or paper methods of inviting appropriate school officials and teachers to supply records and recommendations. We suggest that you begin the process early to give them plenty of time to respond before the deadline.
  • Brown has a $75 non-refundable application fee. As part of our commitment to make a Brown University education accessible to students from all income backgrounds, Brown is making automatic application fee waivers available to more students. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who is enrolled in or eligible for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL), as well as students who are enrolled in federal, state or local programs that aid students from low-income families (e.g. TRIO Programs). Additionally, Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who belongs to a Community Based Organization or College Access Organization that promotes educational opportunity for low-income students. Applicants to Brown who meet any of these requirements should select the "Brown Specific Fee Waiver" in the "Brown Questions" section of the Common Application. Brown will continue to honor fee waiver request forms from the College Board, NACAC, and school counselors. 
  • We recommend sending all official test scores, transcripts and recommendations through the Common Application. If this is not an option arrange to have your materials sent directly to Brown University, Office of College Admission, Box 1876, Providence, RI 02912 or fax to 401.863.9300. Consult the First-Year Applicant page to see which tests we accept.
  • We do not consider information on criminal history during our initial round of admission application reviews. Only upon selecting a pool of admitted candidates do we learn whether you have reported a criminal history, at which point we will offer you an opportunity to explain the circumstances. With this approach, information on misdemeanor or felony convictions can inform, but not determine, admission decisions. It ensures that applicants are evaluated based on their academic profile, extracurricular pursuits and potential fit - not criminal history - and enables us to continue to review this potentially important information. Ultimately, our goal is to make an informed decision about what is best for you and best for Brown.
  • You will receive a confirmation email from the Office of College Admission confirming receipt of your Common Application.
  • Complete the Common Application by November 1, 2017 for Early Decision, or by January 1, 2018 for Regular Decision.

Tips for Completing Your Application

  • The Common Application recommends using the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer Version 10, and Safari.
  • When completing the essay and short answer portion of the online application, files cannot exceed 500 KB in size and should be in .doc, .docx, .wpd, .rtf, .xls, .pdf, or .txt format. Mac users must save the file with the appropriate three-letter extension.
  • Please do not attempt to upload a document that is password protected or that contains macros.
  • Give your recommenders plenty of time to complete and submit their forms. Be sure to fill in your parts of those forms. As a courtesy, provide stamped, addressed envelopes for recommenders who are submitting forms on paper.
  • Observe all deadlines faithfully. Try to avoid submitting your application at the last minute.
  • Make copies of every portion of your application. Ask your recommenders to keep copies of their forms and letters. 

Keeping Track of Your Application & Submitting Supplementary Material

We offer a secure and private Applicant Portal where you can:

  • Track the status of your application.
  • Check whether all required documents and test scores have been received.
  • Update your address, email address and password.
  • Check the admission decision on your application.

Applicants to Brown are neither required nor expected to provide additional materials as part of the admission process, but the opportunity to do so is available to any candidate. You may use the Application Summary Page if you have updates or additional materials that you would like to share with Brown. Examples include a resume, poetry or a brief writing sample, abstract of scientific research or an independent research project, and any additional information that you were unable to include in your Common Application. A few things to note:

  • If you are accomplished in music or visual art and wish to include these types of supplements, please review our guidelines and submit those materials via SlideRoom.
  • Once you have submitted your Common Application, you will receive access to your Brown Applicant Portal from us on a rolling basis. When you receive your access, you may check the status of your application by logging into your Brown Applicant Portal. If you have not received your portal access within 48 hours of submitting your Common Application, please check your spam, junk and promotion folders. If you need help, please email Please add to your domain safe list.

Getting Help

For technical or logistical difficulties while completing the online application, please refer to the “Instructions and Help Center” link within the Common Application

If you have questions about the content of our application and are unable to find answers within this guide, please call us at 401-863-2378 during our regular office hours, or email us at at any time.

For questions about financial aid please refer to the Office of Financial Aid website.