For Parents & Families

Fall Semester Start

Classes for fall semester begin on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. Full annual Academic Calendars are available on the Registrar's website. Also available is a printable Year at a Glance for 2017-2018 calendar.

Residence halls open for returning undergraduates on Sunday, September 3, and for new undergraduates on Saturday, September 2 to begin Orientation that evening -- or as communicated to student participants of specific pre-Orientation programs (for example, international students move in earlier for International Orientation).

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What is “shopping period?”

Classes for the fall semester began Wednesday, September 6th. In the first week or so, students are typically heavily involved in exploring options and finalizing their schedule. Students call this "shopping period" but take it more seriously than the word shopping might imply. Pre-registration (from April) is not binding so students spend the beginning of a semester verifying their interests, exploring new topics, testing courses that push their boundaries, and trying to find the best fit. 

Students are expected to be active participants in their Brown education; being their own architect requires that they think, hard, about what courses they are taking and why. Academic advisors are happy to discuss options in the beginning of each semester and can be crucial in the decision process; encourage your student to talk with their assigned advisor or another faculty or dean available through one of our advising programs.

The lack of certainty, though, can be unsettling, and some students don't like to look around.  Others go to 6, 8 or 10 classes in the first week to end up with 4. Why? Students frequently discover a new course, topic, issue, or professor they did not know about previously. A course may be different from what they expected when they signed up initially. The end of the previous semester may have caused reevaluation of what a student wishes -- or needs -- to take for spring. Students may add courses to their registration without penalty until 5pm on September 19; after that, they  may still add courses through October 3 but only with the professor's approval and a fee of $15/course.

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 student is assigned two advisors--an academic advisor and a student peer advisor--who help them navigate Brown's open curriculum. In the first year and beyond, students meet with their advisors at key times 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.

Let's Talk Program with CAPS

Let's Talk is a community based program to reach out to student populations that would not otherwise seek counseling services. Students and counselors engage in brief conversations regarding counseling services, community resources, simple problem solving and self-care. All students are welcome to speak with counselors this semester (Spring 2017) at a number of offices around campus. The Let's Talk schedule (at the Nelson Fitness Center, Sarah Doyle, FLi Center, BCSC) is on the CAPS website.

A welcoming space for first-generation and low-income students

Brown's new First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center opened in September 2016 in a recently renovated space on the 5th floor of the Sciences Library. Check out the website for more information about the Center and other opportunities for your student to connect with First-Gen@Brown.

Bear Bucks | Add funds on-line

Once they have established a Bear Bucks account, students swipe their Brown ID to do laundry, print or make photocopies, make purchases from on-campus vending machines and at other campus locations that accept BearBucks.  On-line, credit card deposits to Bear Bucks are now possible through the GET portal. Family members may also add funds to a student's BearBucks account by going to get.cbord.com/brown and entering the student's Brown ID#, last name, and birth date to make a deposit. Students may still may still add funds by putting paper money into a Value Port machine on campus, depositing in person at the Cashier’s Office, or sending a check to the Cashier’s Office.

Safety at Brown

The Safety at Brown website provides summary information about safety-related services, tools, policies, and best practices that will help protect members of the Brown community.

Parents and Families Newsletter

The newsletter is emailed several times each year with news and updates specific to undergraduate life at Brown. Each newsletter, including the most recent April 2017 Parent Newsletter, is also posted on this website. See the section on Parent Communication for newsletter editions and information about parent email addresses.


This site is a joint effort of the offices of Campus Life, the Dean of the College, and the Parent Program in Advancement.