What Does it Take to Get Into Brown?

Strategies by School
October 10, 2019
Brown University Is A Historic Ivy League Institution Known For Its Passion For The Education Of Students In Both Academics And The Liberal Arts…

Brown allows students to chase their dreams and passions while remaining grounded in the school’s strong academic foundation. However, like most Ivy League schools, Brown is extremely selective in their admissions process in order to build a student body of only the best and brightest.

What You’ll Find In This Article

Brown's Ideal Student

Brown University’s ideal student looks a lot like your typical Ivy League applicant; highly academic and driven to succeed. Brown’s admission process is especially selective, and every year the amount of excellent candidates makes the admissions process even more competitive. Students looking to attend Brown should aim for high academic marks and test scores to make themselves more likely to be admitted.

The average scores of your typical incoming Brown freshman look like this:

  • GPA: 3.99
  • SAT: 1400
  • ACT: 31

Like many other prestigious universities, Brown doesn’t have an official list of minimum test scores or GPA. While having scores at or above the averages will increase your chances of acceptance, don’t let your scores stop you from applying to Brown! A complete application to Brown involves many different components that can help increase your chances such as supplemental essays and either a video profile or an alumni interview.

Brown University is known for being a diverse campus with a commitment to engaging students in all areas of study, from academics to the arts. Students with a strong academic record and knack for humanities or art may find their values make Brown the right school for them.

The following values make up the core of Brown’s ideal student body.


Brown prides itself on creating a campus environment where students can thrive as individuals. The university fosters individualism and exploration of one’s own academic interests through their flexible course structure. Ambitious students best described as self-starters make up a large portion of Brown’s student body.


One of the major focuses of Brown is the idea of students coming together to form innovative and passionate communities.

By mixing different perspectives and bringing students together toward shared goals, Brown teaches students the value of community. This dedication to building a sense of community on campus is shown through thriving Greek life, close-knit resident halls, and engagement with Brown’s hometown of Providence.


Brown is known for their commitment to humanities and the liberal arts.

Students are encouraged to develop their passions beyond academics; resources and organizations across campus help students realize their full creative potential. Despite the Ivy League school’s strong academic foundation, Brown students feel free to pursue their creative endeavors.


Students who study at Brown are encouraged to build their unique path by planning their own course load (with a few core requirements). This innovative Open Curriculum fosters the spirit of self discovery and exploration that is central to Brown’s ideal student.


Brown offers students flexible course scheduling where they can take control of their education.

Known for a strong commitment to both the academic side of college life and the liberal arts, Brown has the courses students need to prepare for their future.

  • Biology (Ranked 6th nationwide)
  • Education (Ranked 2nd nationwide)
  • Math (Ranked 4th nationwide)
  • History (Ranked 5th nationwide)


Brown’s ideal student has a passion for both their academic and creative futures. They’ve displayed this passion through a strong academic record that shows the student isn’t afraid to challenge themselves or get creative.

Students that thrive at Brown are those with a mindset focused on the future - and what they can do to make it a better place.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Brown

Brown is one of the most selective schools in the nation with an 8.3% acceptance rate. Because each incoming class of freshman raises the bar in terms of academic excellence and extracurricular achievements, Brown’s selection process will only become more selective over time.

Therefore, students should set aside time to prepare and perfect their applications to Brown in order to have the best chance of admission.


Thankfully, Brown simplifies the paperwork side of applying to college by allowing students to apply using the Common Application. After you’ve created your account, the website will guide you through the necessary steps to add your information, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Students who take the time to become familiar with the Common App will have more confidence in this part of the application process.

Brown’s deadlines are November 1st for early decision and January 2nd for regular decision.

Brown requests that students send all materials via the Common App if possible. This streamlines the college application process for everyone involved.


Brown accepts both the ACT and SAT without requiring the writing portions of the test. If students choose to submit their SAT scores, they’re also encouraged to submit two SAT Subject Test Scores as well.


The fee to apply to Brown University is $75. The school offers fee waivers for students who demonstrate need or are members of certain federal and state programs that provide aid to low income families.


Incoming first year students are asked to write responses to three supplemental essay questions.

The theme of these prompts revolves around Brown’s commitment to individual exploration for the betterment of one’s community. These short 250 word responses should be carefully written to answer the prompt while showcasing a student’s unique commitment to community and academic exploration.


Your transcript is one of the most solid records of your academic commitment and a key component of your application. Your transcript goes beyond just your GPA and class rank to showcase four years of dedication to your grades and which courses you elected to challenge yourself with. Make sure to show your best self in your transcript if you want to get accepted to Brown.


Brown requires two letters of recommendation from teachers of major academic disciplines such as English or math. Students should begin asking for letters of recommendation well before the deadline; these letters are crucial components of your application and shouldn’t be put off until the last minute.

A student’s guidance counselor will also be asked to fill out several forms throughout the year for your Brown application. It’s the responsibility of the student to make sure that their counselor is aware of all the forms necessary and the deadlines for each.


Two flexible options are given to students to help them showcase more of who they are in their application to Brown. Students can choose to either record a two minute video or complete an interview with an alumni. Both options are given equal weight on your application, so the selection can be made on personal preference or to play to your strengths.


Your chances of being admitted to Brown rely on more than just your test scores and GPA.

While your academic record is extremely important when being considered for this prestigious Ivy League school, a student’s commitment to extracurricular activities, creative pursuits, and thoughtful writing skills are all factors that can increase your chances of acceptance.

Students looking to increase their chances of acceptance to Brown should focus on delivering essay responses that truly speak to their character and interests. Authenticity is key when answering Brown’s supplemental essay prompts. Your essays, as well as your video portfolio or interview performance, should closely reflect who you are as a person rather than who you believe Brown is looking for.

Brown's Campus Life

Brown is known for a dedication to academics and the liberal arts, but going beyond the classroom shows that there’s plenty for students to do on Brown’s campus. Students eager to feel at home in their new school and build a real sense of belonging will fit right in on Brown’s diverse campus.


Brown’s focus on community is founded on their historic campus located in Providence, Rhode Island. With the state’s capital as a backdrop, a majority of students choose to live on campus in smaller residence hall communities that average around 50 students. With a wide variety of housing options for nearly every type of student, Brown prides itself on fostering relationships between among its diverse student body.


More than a thousand students participate in Greek Life at Brown. With both local and national options for students to choose from, there’s 175 years of tradition in Brown’s Greek scene. The campus’s large number of fraternities, sororities, and co-ed societies all seek to help students develop meaningful relationships and develop their passions.


Students can choose to support or play for the Bears in nearly 40 varsity sports.

From women’s rugby to baseball, there are a variety of ways to take your Brown pride from the classroom to the playing field. Beyond varsity sports, Brown also boasts an impressive amount of physical fitness classes and sports clubs for every type of student.

Student organizations exist for all sorts of groups on campus, and Brown’s diverse and energetic campus is home to more than 400 student organizations. Students can immerse themselves in learning and growing with others in groups centered around everything from a cappella and ballet, to social justice and environmental issues.


Brown offers a historic campus full of beautiful architecture and residence halls for all types of students. Freshmen live in dorms with small communities of around 50 students, while returning students have the option to pick from a variety of different housing options. Brown’s commitment to community is on full display in their housing programs, which offer chances for students to live with others who share their passions.

With two dining halls and several on campus restaurants, students have a wide variety of food options on campus. Brown is continually working to add more sustainable and green options for their students.

In addition, Providence offers a thriving local food scene worthy of exploration.

While many students may want to bring their car for flexible transportation, it isn’t necessary to own a vehicle to get around Brown. Many students bring bicycles for the warmer months, and a campus shuttle is offered to students and staff with a valid Brown ID.


Twice a year, the historic Van Wickle Gates open. First year students are welcomed through the opened gates, and later seniors leave through the same gates. According to Brown legends, any student who passes through the gates more than twice will be cursed for life with bad luck.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Brown

Brown’s selective application process is only the beginning of the Brown experience. By selecting only the best students, Brown cultivates a rewarding campus culture. Students who take a step back to look at the bigger picture can gain an understanding of what it’s like to apply to and attend Brown.


Students with strong test scores and academic backgrounds thrive at Brown, but the college also places a heavy focus on the liberal arts and humanities. Your application should accurately reflect not only your academic achievements, but your passions in the arts and humanities. Work to tie your academic accomplishments, community involvement, and extracurricular passions together to create a clear picture of who you are.


Your essays should be a showcase of your true self; not the student you believe Brown University is looking for. Authentic and heartfelt responses to Brown’s supplemental essay questions will boost your chances of admission more than needlessly complicated responses.


Your years at Brown will be filled with the joy of learning and contributing to one’s community. While you attend classes on a historic campus filled with diversity, you’ll be challenged to grow and learn every single day. This period of development and growth will be encouraged by your peers and professors alike.


Brown alumni go on to inspire and serve in a variety of careers. As an alumni, you’ll be counted among influential people such as former Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, actor John Krasinski, and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang.

Alumni who use Brown as a starting point for their professional lives can find employment in many sectors, including:

  • Computing
  • Financial Services
  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Law
  • Consulting
  • Communications

Your Future At Brown

Brown is an institution committed to the betterment of their students and its community. Students at Brown are given the freedom to create their own academic path and to pursue their passions in humanities, arts, athletics, and service.

An academic Ivy League at heart, Brown’s selective admissions process is a price worth paying for students who call the university home.

As a result, Brown is not an easy school to get accepted into.

Fortunately, WeAdmit counselors are equipped to help students showcase themselves in their Brown applications, essay responses, and college visits. Our experts know how to guide students through Brown’s competitive application process. If you want to boost your chances of admissions, consider working alongside one of our professional college counselors!

Let Your Creative Side Free And Prepare Your Essay Responses, Because It’s Time To Get Into Brown!



Need more Information?

Gain all the information you need by getting in touch with our admissions team or booking a free 30-minute counseling session.