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Brown University, Providence

#8 of 67 in Things to do in Providence
Educational Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

At its foundation, Brown was the first college in the U.S. to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. Its engineering program was established in 1847, making it the oldest in the Ivy League. The university was one of the early doctoral-granting U.S. institutions in the late 19th century, adding masters and doctoral studies in 1887. In 1969, Brown adopted a New Curriculum sometimes referred to as the Brown Curriculum after a period of student lobbying. The New Curriculum eliminated mandatory "general education" distribution requirements, made students "the architects of their own syllabus" and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory (Pass) or no-credit (Fail) which is unrecorded on external transcripts. In 1971, Brown's coordinate women's institution, Pembroke College, was fully merged into the university; the Pembroke Campus now includes dormitories and classrooms used by all of Brown.

Admissions is among the most selective in the United States, with an acceptance rate of about 7% for Fall 2019.
The university comprises the College, the Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies (which includes the IE Brown Executive MBA program). Brown's international programs are organized through the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and the university is academically affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Rhode Island School of Design. The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, offered in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, is a five-year course that awards degrees from both institutions.

Brown's main campus is located in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The university's neighborhood is a federally listed architectural district with a dense concentration of Colonial-era buildings. Benefit Street, on the western edge of the campus, contains "one of the finest cohesive collections of restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architecture in the United States".
As of November 2019, 8 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with Brown University as alumni, faculty, or researchers, as well as five National Humanities Medalists and 10 National Medal of Science laureates. Other notable alumni include 25 Pulitzer Prize winners, twelve billionaires, one U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, four U.S. Secretaries of State, 99 members of the United States Congress, 57 Rhodes Scholars, 52 Gates Cambridge Scholars, 50 Marshall Scholars, and 15 MacArthur Genius Fellows.
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445 reviews
  • This is a gorgeous campus which has lots of trees and flowers everywhere in spring. It is quiet and there are not many students or visitors at this season. All those beautiful red-bricked buildings...  more »
  • Do yourself a favor and stop by the Brown University campus in Providence. It is such a classy Ivy League campus, full of life and very welcoming. Even though Brown is deemed as the "easiest" Ivy...  more »
  • Great ivy league university located in a friendly small town- Providence, RI. Beautiful campus, friendly students and faculties.
  • Beautiful campus even if for visitors/non students. We walked around while sightseeing in Providence, and it was well worth spending our time here.

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