For Parents & Families


Whether your student is new to Brown or returning for another year, this website provides an orientation to life at Brown -- the ways we ask students to think about their Brown education and membership in the Brown community, their opportunities and challenges, and the many people and resources available.

We hope that by helping you know Brown better, you will be able to help your student maximize their Brown experience. This way of "getting involved" at the individual student level is incredibly important. The sections of this site describe Brown's approach to liberal learning, the many services we provide to students, and the ways you can get involved in the Brown community.


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.

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. 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.