About Brown

Brown is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading research university home to world-renowned faculty, and also an innovative educational institution where the curiosity, creativity and intellectual joy of students drives academic excellence.

The spirit of the undergraduate Open Curriculum infuses every aspect of the University. Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving and service to the public good are defined by intense collaboration, intellectual discovery and working in ways that transcend traditional boundaries.

Providence, Rhode Island — Brown’s home for more than two and a half centuries — is a vibrant place to live, work and study, a stimulating hub for innovation, and a city rich in cultural diversity. 

  • 7,043 undergraduate students
  • 2,629 graduate students
  • 585 medical school students
  • 6,000 summer, visiting and online students
  • 816 full-time faculty

Solutions to critical, complex problems

Brown students and faculty are tackling the nation’s opioid crisis. Planning the next Mars landing site. Uncovering the locations of ancient civilizations. Advising world leaders on new political models. Exploring new frontiers in multimedia arts. In each of their intellectual endeavors, our scholars and researchers are uncommonly driven by the belief that their work must — and will — have an impact in their communities, in society and the world.

We are a learning community grounded in a commitment of respect for the diversity of viewpoints that is fundamentally essential to intellectual discovery. We encourage the right of all individuals to express ideas and perspectives — and we embrace the value of vigorous debate in pursuit of knowledge.

Innovative, student-centered learning

Brown’s academic excellence is rooted in a student-centered model of learning. The Open Curriculum is a flexible but rigorous approach to education that pushes students to be creative thinkers, intellectual risk-takers and entrepreneurial problem-solvers. Brown undergraduates enjoy the freedom to study what they choose and the flexibility to discover what they love. Students leave Brown prepared to thrive as independent, innovative leaders, no matter what path they choose.

Brown’s graduate and professional programs offer intensive learning and research experiences that respect and develop each scholar’s interests and ideas within their intended specialty — equipping them with the tools they need to become the next generation of leaders in their fields.

Scholarship that transcends boundaries

Brown brings people together in creative, unexpected ways. By transcending boundaries between fields of study, scholars are better equipped to create opportunities, address challenges and explore areas of inquiry ripe for discovery. This intensely collaborative culture infuses all of the University’s endeavors.

These are just a few illustrations of how Brown convenes the diverse range of perspectives, insights and expertise that today’s complex scientific and societal challenges demand:

With researchers from departments ranging from neurology and neurosurgery to engineering, computer science and more, the Carney Institute for Brain Science is deciphering the brain and pursuing breakthroughs for some of the world’s most devastating diseases, such as ALS and Alzheimer’s.


Economists, historians, political scientists and sociologists at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs inform each other’s efforts to craft policy solutions that can change systems and societies for the better.


At the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, scholars in the sciences, social sciences and humanities work together to confront the causes and impacts of climate change.


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