StudentsReview :: Brown University - Comments and Student Experiences
Search for Schools by Region

or within distance of city

Similar Schools
Harvard University -- Cambridge, MA
Columbia University in the City of New York -- New York, NY
Yale University -- New Haven, CT

  Who's got the Best?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

Brown University

There are 11 Comments


Sort By: [Date] [Major] [Rating]

Select Comments:

Positive Negative Neutral Advice
I was obsessed with Brown as a juniorQuite BrightPolitical Science
I was obsessed with Brown as a junior and senior in high school, and read every review on this website (and others) possible, so now is my chance to be finally give back to all of the freaked-out applicants.

I thought my life was over when I was deferred from Brown ED; I ended up getting in RD in April, thankfully, but I want to make it known that if you apply to the right schools for you, it doesn't really matter where you end up. I would've been happy at any of my schools. Of course, it's nice to be at Brown especially, in the Ivy League, with all of the resources and prestige that comes with it. But the "prestige-factor" only gives so much. Though that was a major factor in where I applied to college, now that I've "made it," it really has no effect on my daily life as a college kid. Bottom line: you live and breathe where you are at college, so it's most important that you are comfortable living, learning and making friends there. Prestige is SO not worth it if you'll be unhappy. (Not to say I'm not happy--I'll get to Brown in a second.)

It was hard to get my bearins at Brown my first semester. Everyone there is BRILLIANT, but what you don't realize is that everyone feels like they're not good enough, when in reality, we all were accepted and are equally deserving to be there. My classes this year were on the whole, fantastic. Challenging, yes, but I got to know my profs (GO TO OFFICE HOURS) and made great connections. I had unusually small classes for a first-year because I took more seminars than is typical, but I had 3 lecture classes between 100-150 (which isn't too bad for Brown), plus there is always section with a TA.

The students here, as I said, are incredibly brilliant, but also incredibly humble and kind. I've never "clicked" with people so easily. You have the chance to meet people from all over the world and from all different backgrounds. It's wonderful.

The one thing I will say that Brown needs to improve upon is it's advising system. Because of the open curriculum, advising is all that more important. However, the advising system is a crap-shoot. Your faculty advisor is either helpful or doesn't care. Your student advisor will most likely be the one to guide you the most. The good news is that if you don't click with your faculty advisor, you have your student advisor, plus there are open hours at the Dean's Office for everyone. AND, upperclassmen/faculty you befriend are always willing to help with class choices, clubs, social life, etc. Though I think Brown is the most like a liberal arts college out of all the Ivy League schools, it is still a mid-size research university. If a small, liberals art college suits your learning style better, I strongly recommend you choose one. Doing well where you are is more important than the name (and there are plenty of big-name liberal arts colleges). I sometimes feel as though a small college would have been a better fit for me, but I'm still happy with my choice.

1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Useful Schoolwork: B
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
I found everyone to be extremely open andQuite BrightNeuroscience/Cognitive Science
I found everyone to be extremely open and friendly the first year, especially the first sememster. At some point through the second semester people were forming solid groups and reluctant to increase their social circle, maybe due to the sophomore housing/lottery. Adding another person to your friend circle might complicate how to arrange housing during your sophomore year, especially considering that your housing number would be awful, since sophomores have last pick. Anyhow, I went into the sophomore year lottery by myself and got a horrid number and was placed in Barbour, an apartment with three other people who were friends. Their fourth friend went abroad and they thought they'd have an extra bed and barely tolerated my presence. They were birkenstock wearing people and seemed to not like my nerdy/premed ways, but had we been freshman, they would have been nice to me. Something drastic changes from first to second year: people become hardened, much less tolerant and not willing to expand their social circle; they made no attempt to make me feel welcome (I felt really bad for being an interloper). Anyhow, I didn't like being in their apartment either, so I begged reslife to give me something else, and they said, if I could find something else on my own, they'd give it to me. So I found an empty room in the grad center, got the signatures of the other suite mates and got the room--yippee! Or sortof. When staying at the grad center, make sure you don't have too many walls in your room exposed to the outside. I had three walls and perhaps (can't remember) my floor might have been exposed also. So, in comparison to my other suitemates, my room was freezing and needed a portable space heater. What a terribly designed place! Anyhow, a good advice is to form lots of good friends your first year because you won't be making many more after that, unless you join a frat or other special interest housing. The freshman bonding is strong and carries long after college. Friends made after didn't seem to have lasting power. It's as if friends made freshman year are like family, you can be annoying and they'll still put up with you. Friends made after first year won't put up with your antics.

I stuck to the Pembroke side for housing during the remaining two years because it seemed safer over there and I felt more comfortable walking around at night by myself. Students got jumped closer to the freshman quad side -- not mugged, just beaten up for fun, but not too beaten up :)

I think that an emotionally mature and more sophisticated student could maximize the opportunities at Brown. I noticed that all professors were so available that it seemed such a waste that most students didn't use them better, to sponsor independent lab research, etc. Academically, you can literally make it whatever you wish, but for science-bent students who lag in emotional/worldly maturity, Brown seemed rather intimidating, especially in the liberal arts courses where a lot of the liberal arts students were extremely, extremely well-spoken and confident. I wouldn't discourage anyone from attending, though. But without that emotional maturity and strong self-awareness of what you want and where you want to go, it's hard to take the advantages (lots of facilities and access to professors) that Brown offers.

4th Year Female -- Class 1996
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Social Life: C
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
This school's amazing, for the right person.Economics
This school's amazing, for the right person. If you want to be a go-getter, you can; if you want to be a stoned hippie man slacking off, you can. With both of those in mind, some people make the most out of Brown, others don't, but either way, we all come out with an experience, and I can't think of a better place to have an Ivy-League experience while still enjoying the benefits of being a college student with little to no direction.
Male -- Class 2000
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
Compare BrownSave Brown

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→