Application Dates & Deadlines
Early Decision: November 1, 2023
Regular Decision: January 3, 2024
Common Application Accepted
Application Fee: $75 or fee waiver for those who qualify
Brown University Admissions Requirements
Admission interview N/A
Required Standardized Tests Neither SAT nor ACT
SAT/ACT Scores Must Be Received By Jan. 3
Entering Class Stats
Acceptance rate 5%
Early Decision Acceptance Rate 15%
SATs on 1600 scale
Application Deadline Fall Jan. 3
Separate Application Form Required No
Conditional admission offered No
Early decision or early action options available Early decision only
TOEFL (paper) Recommended
TOEFL (internet-based) Recommended
Michigan Test N/A
Advance deposit required No
Brown University acceptance rate
Here are the admissions statistics for Brown’s class of 2026:
Acceptances: 2,686 (884 Early Decision; 1,802 Regular Decision)
Overall acceptance rate: 5%
(Suggested reading: Ivy League Acceptance Rates)
Who gets into Brown?
Most successful applicants to Brown demonstrate academic prowess, as indicated by the following statistics for the class of 2027:
95% of admitted students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.
Average GPA: Brown doesn’t publish the GPAs of their incoming students (we discuss GPA further in the next section).
Brown average ACT score:
25th percentile: 34
75th percentile: 36
Brown average SAT score:
25th percentile: 1510
75th percentile: 1570
Among the class of 2027, 15% are first-generation college students and 14% are international students. Additionally, students entering Brown as part of this class come from all 50 U.S. states, including Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
Brown admissions requirements
Ideal candidates for admission to Brown will have spent their high school careers striving to excel intellectually and challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom. More specifically to Brown, competitive applicants will have a track record of being self-driven in order to thrive in the Open Curriculum program. Students who already prove they can be responsible for their own intellectual and creative development will be outstanding additions to the academic culture at Brown.
While there are no specific admissions requirements to get into Brown, the admissions team is searching for applicants who display an eagerness to learn and a willingness to accept intellectual challenges. They prefer to see a student get a “B” in an AP or IB class than an “A” in an honors class.
Brown does not indicate any specific GPA requirements, though according to their admissions team, students with “high grades” often stand out among applicants. That said, Brown takes into account that different high schools have different cultures of awarding grades. It also stresses that grades are not the only measure of academic and intellectual talent that’s considered in the admissions process. This emphasis on holistic admissions may be particularly true at Brown among the Ivies.
As mentioned above, Brown has no specific requirements for admission, but they suggest that the curriculum for college-bound, competitive students includes the following coursework:
English: 4 years of literature and academic writing
Math: 4 years, through calculus, especially for students bound for STEM programs
Science: 3-4 years (with 2 years of lab), focusing on biology, physics, and chemistry when possible
History: 3-4 years, with both history courses and courses that focus on government, economics, and politics
Foreign language: 3, but preferably 4, years of consecutive language learning
Music and art: Encouraged though not officially recommended
Applicants planning to concentrate in STEM fields would benefit from extracurricular activities in their area of interest.
Brown application requirements
Brown requires the following materials for undergrad admission:
Common App, including the Common App Essay
Brown supplemental essays
Forms sent from your child’s school:
2 teacher letters of recommendations
1 counselor letter of recommendation
School report, transcript, and midyear school report
Optional in 2023–2024: SAT or ACT
Optional: If your child excels in music or visual art, they are encouraged to include a supplemental portfolio in their Common App
Optional: Video portfolio or alumni interview, no longer than 2 minutes
If your child is planning to concentrate in a STEM field, or the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)—the only Ivy League BS/MD program—at least one of your child’s recommendations should come from a math or science teacher. PLME applicants, as well as applicants to the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, will also need to submit additional supplemental essays.
Applying to Brown early decision vs. regular decision
Brown accepts Early Decision applications until November 1st. These applicants will be notified of admission by mid-December, and can be accepted, deferred, or rejected. The deferred applicants will be reevaluated in the larger pool with regular decision applicants and have the opportunity to alert Brown of significant accomplishments or noteworthy changes in circumstance in the period
between the early and regular admissions process.
Admitted applicants must attend Brown, and therefore should not apply to any other universities through a binding early process. (The only instance in which your child can renege on their obligation to Brown is if, after several rounds of evaluating financial aid packages, your family determines that Brown is 100 percent unaffordable.)
Although the pool is smaller for ED candidates, Brown only admits, again, roughly 10 percent of applicants. If your child would rather apply regular decision to Brown, they can do so by January 5th.
2023–2024 Brown supplemental essays
In addition to the Common App personal statement, Brown requires three relatively short supplemental essays specific to the university.
Since Brown has a unique academic model that’s created a very particular college environment, the admissions team uses these supplements to evaluate how effectively your child might thrive at Brown and contribute to the community both intellectually and personally.
These essays are also an opportunity for your child to demonstrate that they are a well-rounded candidate by giving them a space to talk about achievements or life experience that would not translate to an academic transcript, and how these things would be specifically significant to their Brown education.
Now, let’s move onto unpacking an outstanding example of each supplemental essay. (And if you’re looking for even more intel on how your child can write the best essay possible, check out our college essay examples.)
Question 1: Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might pursue them at Brown. (250 words max)
Brown is asking your child to familiarize themselves with Brown’s Open Curriculum and delve deeply into how they would use it to design their dream education.
It’s not enough for your child to say they like the idea of a flexible curriculum— Brown expects applicants to have done their research into specific programs and how your child might combine them to pursue their particular academic interests.
The strongest applicants will tell a story about their intellectual development, whether that’s obsessing over a niche subject, experiencing the thrill of applying a subject in real life, or having an “aha moment” about the intersection of two seemingly separate fields of study.
Let’s meet our example student:
Minh is the child of Vietnamese immigrants and the first person in her family to go to college in the U.S. Her strongest academic subjects are biology, physics, and calculus, and she plans to concentrate in environmental engineering. But she also spent a summer as a political organizing intern for a Vietnamese American candidate running for a seat on the Seattle City Council.
Here’s what Minh wrote:
I’ve always been pegged as a science nerd. While other kids were playing soccer, I was illuminating my hamster’s cage with intricate potato lightbulb electric grids. When I chose to intern for Stacey Ngyuen’s Seattle City Council campaign instead of preparing for the National Science Fair this past summer, the person who was most surprised was myself. Me, the girl that spent almost every weekend of tenth grade building a solar-powered iPhone charger!
But as the child of Vietnamese immigrants in a mostly Southeast Asian neighborhood, I felt it was important to help better represent our community on the council. Knocking on hundreds of doors for Stacey and listening to peoples’ concerns for the neighborhood, two things caught my attention: everyone was worried about ventilation from wildfire smoke in the summer and their basements flooding in the winter. I realized that my dream of becoming an environmental engineer didn’t exist in a vacuum— that low-income immigrant neighborhoods like my own would need specific solutions to battle climate change.
I’m excited to use Brown’s Open Curriculum to build an education for myself that melds environmental engineering, public policy, and urban studies to become a visionary engineer who can see the effects of climate change from both a human and a technical angle. I can’t think of a better place for my interests to combine than the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, where I will be able to interact with scholars and conduct the research of my dreams.
What did Minh do well?
She tells a story of intellectual growth. Minh combined her passion for science, her commitment to civic duty, and her familial background into one compelling narrative about her diverse but intersecting academic interests.
She demonstrates self-direction in her academics. Minh took Brown’s invitation to be the architect of her own education to heart. She referenced particular Brown concentrations and institutes to show that she would be able to make the most of the Open Curriculum model. This in itself serves as a strong answer to the implied question “Why Brown?”
Question 2: Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on where they came from. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you, and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (250 words max)
Question 3: Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (250 words max)
Question 4: What is your most meaningful extracurricular commitment, and what would you like us to know about it? (100 words max)
Question 5: If you could teach a class on any one thing, whether academic or otherwise, what would it be? (100 words max)
Question 6: In one sentence, Why Brown? (50 words max)
Notification of Decision
Early Decision: Mid-December 2023
Regular Decision: 2nd Jan 2024