For Parents & Families

What is “shopping period?”

Fall semester classes began Wednesday, September 7. 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 20; after that, they may still add courses through October 4 but only with the professor's signature and a fee of $15/course. 

Academic advising | For all years

At Brown, the open curriculum ask students to design a course of study to reflect their personal interests and goals. Our advising structures support students throughout this academic journey. Read more about academic advising for first-years, sophomores, transfers, juniors, and seniors.

Family Weekend | October 21-23, 2016

Online registration will open September 9 at  With lectures, student performances, athletic events, open houses, planned gatherings and special events, Family Weekend provides an opportunity for families to experience the hustle and bustle of Brown at the height of the academic term.

Off-campus living permission

Is your undergraduate student thinking about living off campus? It is amazing that this planning occurs a year ahead of time, but it does. Students who will be seniors or juniors next year have received email information about applying for off-campus living permission.  Those who will be seniors in fall 2017 are guaranteed off campus permission if they apply during the application period. Those who will be juniors in fall 2017 may be approved for off campus permission through a lottery which will happen in three waves. Visit for more information and process dates. 

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

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

Brown selects partner for initiative to enhance on-campus dining

An initiative launched earlier this year seeks to enhance food offerings across campus, improve pricing and service, and support the professional development of Brown’s dining staff. Dining Services selected Bon Appétit Management Company to partner in the effort. A nationally recognized on-site restaurant company that specializes in sustainable, socially responsible food management, Bon Appétit will provide guidance and expertise to assist Brown’s dining staff in strengthening campus food services. 

Bear Bucks | Now 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 goingto 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.

Year at a Glance

Year-at-a-Glance is a one-page overview of the year with significant dates for easy reference. Full academic calendars are available on the Registrar's website.

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.

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.

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