Brown's open curriculum offers students enormous freedom to shape their course of study. Nonetheless, every undergraduate has four basic obligations to fulfill before graduating.
- Complete 30 courses
- Complete the requirements of a concentration
- Meet the University's writing requirement
- Fulfill the enrollment requirement of 8 semesters
In general, students are expected to complete their studies at Brown in four years. Students with approved pre-Brown course credits may petition to advance their standing by one or two semesters, depending on the number of eligible credits, and thus graduate in fewer than four years. See the Dean of the College website for comprehensive information on degree requirements.
Brown holds graduation ceremonies--know as "Commencement"-- once a year in May, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. A tightly packed schedule of social and ceremonial events begins the preceding Friday and lasts through Sunday afternoon. This festive event draws upwards of 15,000 people to campus and includes Brown reunion classes. Commencement dates are published in the Academic Calendar. Additional information about Commencement is available on the Commencement website.
Mid-Year Completion Ceremony
Students who complete their degree requirements in the summer or fall are invited to participate in a more intimate Completion Ceremony in early December. Such students may also march in the Commencement procession in May, either before or after December completion. Students who choose to march prior to their actual degree completion will not receive a diploma at their Department or Diploma Ceremony. Diplomas are issued once a year, in May during Commencement. Students who complete their studies mid-year receive their diploma in the mail in early June.