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Special Programs

Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)
Brown|RISD Dual Degree

Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)
Brown offers an eight-year program for students who are committed to a career in medicine and who also want a broad liberal arts education. By taking full advantage of Brown's open curriculumPLME students complete a four-year undergraduate program and then proceed directly to Brown's Warren Alpert Medical School.  As undergraduates, PLME students may choose to work toward an AB or ScB degree in the sciences, or toward an AB in the humanities, social sciences or behavioral sciences. PLME students may choose any one of the nearly 100 departmental and interdepartmental concentration programs offered at the university.

Undergraduate years
The undergraduate experience is designed to best prepare students for the last four years of the program, which constitute the Medical School years and culminate in the MD degree. 

During the undergraduate portion of the program, the summer period is free but may be used for independent study, elective coursework, or laboratory research. During the Medical School years, students may pursue, in parallel with the MD degree, an advanced degree in their area of interest (e.g., MPH, MD/PhD) or other professional development such as a Scholarly Concentration (See Advanced Scholarship). 

The expected duration of the PLME is eight years. However, students may choose to take advantage of the Flex Plan and extend their program by one or two years. The Flex Plan offers undergraduates the option to defer their entry to the Medical School while they pursue opportunities in other fields such as education, research, public service, government, health care, and business.

Learn more about the PLME. To apply for the PLME option, you must indicate your interest on the Common Application and respond to the additional essay questions.

PLME is not the only option for students who are planning careers in medicine. A number of Brown students include all of the requisite courses for medical school in their curriculums. In addition to learning more about the PLME option, you may also want to explore our Health Career Advising resources. 

PLME Candidates and Early Decision
An early decision applicant who indicates a desire to be considered for entry into the PLME may be admitted in December to both the College and the PLME. However, some students may be selected for admission to the College but not the PLME. The Office of College Admission realizes that these students may not wish to be admitted to the College under a binding early decision program if they are not also admitted to the PLME. Hence, the office asks these PLME applicants to apply regular decision. Those who apply and are admitted to Brown but not to PLME will be considered for the PLME program during the regular decision program and the outcomes would be either admission to the program or still only admission to Brown the college.

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Brown|RISD Dual Degree

Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) offer a combined five-year dual degree program for students who wish to integrate studies in the liberal arts with concentrated work in the fine arts.

  • Dual degree candidates would complete approximately half of their course work at each institution and graduate with the A.B. degree from Brown and the B.F.A. degree from RISD.
  • Interested students must submit separate applications to both Brown and RISD, which are both member schools of the Common Application.  Additionally, students must indicate on both applications that they wish to be considered for the Dual Degree Program. Only first-year applicants are eligible to apply.
  • Only students who have been admitted to both Brown and RISD will be considered for the dual degree program.  Both Brown and RISD will conduct separate evaluations of all interested candidates before making final decisions on candidates to the Dual Degree Program.
  • Please note: Some concentration programs at Brown are not open to dual degree candidates, such as Engineering, Visual Arts, and the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME).
  • For more information, please log on to:

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QuestBridge connects the nation's brightest under-served youth with leading institutions of higher education. Brown is delighted to be part of this very successful and worthy program.

The following materials are required by November 4 in addition to your QuestBridge application:

  • Common Application and Brown University specific questions.
  • Official test scores from either the SAT with writing OR the ACT with writing.  We recommend, but do not require, the submission of two SAT Subject Tests of your choice.
  • CSS/Financial Aid Profile (submitted electronically).

You may receive a request from the Brown University Office of Financial Aid for additional information. Rest assured that if you do not receive a request, the Office of Financial Aid has enough information to provide an estimated financial aid award at the time of admission. A request for additional information should not be interpreted as an indication of a pending College Match.

The QuestBridge Match at Brown is binding. If you are admitted to Brown under the Match Program, you must withdraw all applications to other colleges or universities. 

If you have additional questions, please visit our frequently asked questions, category Questbridge.

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