Parent and Family Resources


Parents and families are a valued part of the Brown community and important partners in their students' success. We invite you to learn more about what is happening here on the Brown University campus and the wide range of services and resources that are available to your student.

Important Dates | 2024

Winter Break December 21, 2023 - January 24, 2024
Spring Recess March 23 - March 31, 2024
Commencement & Reunion Weekend May 25-26, 2024 
Parent & Family Welcome August 28 - 29, 2024
New Student Orientation August 28 - September 2, 2024
Academic Convocation
September 3, 2024
Family Weekend
October 25 - 27, 2024
Mid-Year Completion
December 2024 (exact date tbd)

The full academic calendar can be found on the web page of the Office of the Registrar.

Stay Connected

Brown students enjoy an unusually high degree of freedom to structure their own education. In order to exercise this freedom responsibly, students need informed support and guidance from their parents as well as Brown faculty and administrators. The resources below are intended to help you, as a family member, understand the Brown curriculum and experience,  - so that you may help your student to think about their choices and encourage them to use the support services available to them.

  • Parent & Family Webinars: A series of webinars designed to help families and students navigate life at Brown and presented throughout the year.  Recordings of webinars are made available for those unable to attend the live event.  Advance registration is required. 

  • Parent & Family Newsletter:  The Parent and Family Newsletter is sent periodically during the year with information about new initiatives, highlights of campus resources, and upcoming dates and deadlines for students.

  • News from Brown:  Parents may subscribe to the weekly email of News from Brown which compiles stories about exciting work by Brown faculty, students and alumni. 

Visit this link learn more about how Brown receives parent email addresses 


Commonly Sought Information


What is “shopping period?”

Undergraduates have a two-week period of exploration in which to finalize their course schedules in advance of the deadline to add a class, which is published on the Academic Calendar. Students refer to this window as the "shopping period" but take it more seriously than the term might imply. With advice from their assigned academic advisors, trained peer advisors, concentration advisors, academic deans, and others, students use this window to explore new topics as they make decisions about their intellectual goals and define their academic pathway.

As architects of their education, Brown students are expected to be active participants in their education; this requires that they reflect on their strengths, interests, and goals, and that they make informed choices about the areas of study they pursue. Academic advisors are happy to discuss options in the beginning of each semester and can be crucial in the decision-making process; encourage your student to talk with their assigned advisor or another faculty or dean available through one of our academic advising programs

The lack of certainty and absence of a fixed "road map" can be unsettling for some students; still, others attend six, eight, or ten classes in the first week to end up with four. Why? Often, students discover a new course, topic, issue, or professor, in many cases through the recommendations of their peers or advisors; in other cases, a course may be different from what the student expected when they initially registered for it; in other instances, the end of the previous semester may have prompted a student to reevaluate their plans for the subsequent semester. 

Verification of Enrollment

Instructions for requesting proof of a student's enrollment--for insurance or other documentation purposes--are available from the Registrar's Office.

MyMeal | Dining menus and ingredients

MyMeal is an online tool that can help students make smart, healthy choices in Brown dining units. Students may use it on a desktop or mobile device to view menus at different Dining Services units and plan healthy meals throughout the day; they may also use the screening tools to identify foods with common allergens.

Academic Advising

Brown's advising structures support students throughout their academic journey. Before arriving on campus, every incoming first-year is assigned two advisors -- an academic advisor and a student peer advisor -- who help them navigate Brown's open curriculum. Transfer students are connected with a concentration advisor and a Transfer Peer Counselor. In the first year and beyond, students meet with their advisors at key moments to discuss their academic choices and to plan for subsequent terms. Parents may wish to explore the exciting array of concentrations and courses through Focal Point, and to read more about Academic Advising in each year.

Bear Bucks | Add funds on-line

The Bear Bucks website provides information about the University's Bear Bucks program, how to add funds to a student's Bear Bucks account, grant guest access to the student's account, and the various locations and services that accept Bear Bucks as payment.