students in the lab

The Brown Leadership Institute

Socially Responsible Leadership for High School Students

Summer 2019 Application Opens in December

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems facing our global community. At this moment youth like you from all over the world are contemplating their futures with a mix of excitement and skepticism, pondering what role they can have in building the world they want to live in.

The Brown Leadership Institute believes that young people are already making powerful contributions to their communities and, through participation in this program, no matter your current level of engagement, you can increase your ability to advance social justice.

To prepare young people to create positive change, this innovative program integrates three foundational components: study of a compelling academic topic, exploration of socially responsible leadership, and development of a meaningful action plan.

Study In-Depth with Expert Faculty

Leadership Institute students select one course of study from an array of options, each focusing on current global issues. View Leadership Institute Courses.

Build Your Leadership Skills

Alongside coursework, students participate in workshops, simulations, group projects, reflection activities, field trips, and group initiative work. Through these activities, students develop and practice public speaking, interpersonal communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork – all skills that are necessary for socially responsible leadership.

Create an Action Plan and Take Your Learning Home

As an integral component of the integrated learning in and out of the classroom throughout the two weeks, students devote time developing an action plan that builds on their new insights and can be applied to issues facing their home community. Recent action plan topics include: reducing food waste at lunch; combatting stereotypes about Muslims and Islam; increasing access to SAT tutoring for low-income students; raising awareness about the impact of climate change’ and decreasing incidents of bias and harassment in school.

Review the library of recent Leadership Institute Action Plans.

Socially responsible leadership is a lifelong pursuit that requires ongoing learning, reflecting, and commitment. In a complicated, interconnected, and challenging world, the Leadership Institute provides students guidance, motivation, insight, and empowerment to address critical issues in meaningful and sustainable ways.

Students leave the Leadership Institute with a more developed sense of the complexities of societal issues, greater insight into the values associated with socially responsible leadership, and an enhanced skill-set that will enable them to more effectively address them.

Program Dates:

Two-Week Residential Sessions:
June 24 - July 6, 2018
July 8 - July 20, 2018
July 22 - Aug 3, 2018

Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12, ages 15-18 by June 2018

Fees: $4,391

Courses »

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Life on the Brown Campus

Join an Engaged Learning Community

To build a strong learning community, Leadership Institute students are housed together on campus in the same residence hall. Undergraduate Leadership Institute Assistants serve as both Teaching Assistants in the classroom and Resident Assistants in the Residence Hall, providing students with consistent and caring guidance throughout the program.

Students eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls, and have access to Brown libraries, study centers, and The Brown Writing Center.

A Typical Day

7:30 - 9:00am Breakfast in a dining hall
9:00 – 11:30am Class

Leadership Institute students enroll in one course for the two weeks and attend two class sessions each day.

11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch in a dining hall
1:00 – 3:00pm Class
3:00 – 4:00pm Break
4:00 – 6:00pm Leadership workshops

Past summer’s topics include: Introduction to Leadership Styles; Exploring Identity and Privilege

6:00 – 7:30pm Dinner in a dining hall
7:30 – 10:00pm Free time for homework or co-curricular activities

Students will have 1-3 hours of homework each day

10:00pm Curfew

Students will have at least 1-3 hours of homework per day.

Closing Program - Families are encouraged to attend

We warmly welcome family and friends to attend the Closing Program for the Leadership Institute. This is an inspiring culmination to your student's experience, and a terrific opportunity to meet faculty, students and staff.

John Carter Brown Library
Activities Fair

Campus Resources

Libraries and Study Centers

Brown libraries and study centers are available for research, browsing, or quiet study throughout the summer. Highlights include the John D. Rockefeller Library ("the Rock"), the Sciences Library and the Friedman Study Center, and the special collections at the John Hay Library. Learn More »

The Brown Writing Center

The Writing Center helps students choose and refine topics, and write organized, well-supported, and eloquent essays. The Center offers summer hours especially for Brown Pre-College students.

Computing Labs

Locations across campus offer computers, scanners and printers. If you do not own a laptop there are a limited number available for loan through the Computing and Information Services Department while on campus.

The BeU Lounge

Brown University is committed to diversity and inclusion in Pre-College Programs. The diversity programs held in the BeU lounge are a gateway that provide diversity and inclusion education, resources, tools and forums to pre-college students. Residential Advisors passionate about these subjects will facilitate workshops and roundtable discussions to help students comfortably navigate the diverse world in which we live.

Providence: Historic and Hip

Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island, the state's capital and largest city. Known as the "Creative Capital", Providence has long been a haven for creativity and innovation. Three-and-a-half centuries of history are alive and well on the streets surrounding Brown, as is evident in the immaculately preserved Colonial, Federal, Greek revival, and Victorian houses of "College Hill".

Thayer Street runs through the center of campus, and where you’ll find the Brown University Bookstore and a host of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, banks, and street vendors.

Admission Criteria

Admission Criteria

Summer 2019 Application Opens in December

Prospective students must apply for admission. When evaluating applications, the Admissions Review Committee looks for academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, social maturity, self-motivation and a readiness for participation in an independent academic environment.

A Complete Application Consists of the Following Items:

  1. A Completed Application Form
    Parents and Students: Please be sure to create only one account per applicant.
    Your application provides basic information about you. In addition, students should be prepared to write an essay telling us:
    • what you hope to learn in the program to which you are applying;
    • why this is of interest to you;
    • what contributions you hope to make;
    • and any further information you want to convey to us.
  2. A Non-refundable Application Fee (payable securely by credit card within the Student Portal)
    One application fee per application submitted
    Before 3/2/2018: $50
    3/2/2018 to 4/29/2018: $75
    4/30/2018 and after: $100
  3. An Academic Transcript or Grade Report
    Applicants must submit grades for the 2017-2018 academic term and two previous academic years. Acceptable forms include, but are not limited to, progress reports, report cards, transcripts and unofficial transcripts. Documentation must include your full name and an explanation of the scoring system in English. Applicants will upload this material in the student portal after they have submitted their application form. Academic records do NOT need to be submitted by your school or guidance counselor.

Please note:

  • In some cases, additional application materials may be requested. Additional materials may include transcripts, essays, or teacher recommendations.
  • Applications will not be reviewed by the Admission Review Committee until they are complete.
  • Program admission does not guarantee enrollment in a specific course.
  • Courses may be cancelled at any time due to unforeseen circumstance.

Notification of Admission Decision

Applicants will be notified by email to log into their Student Portal to view their admission decision once it has been made.

May 2018 Update: Our admissions team carefully reviews each application submitted. Due to the high volume of applications and selectivity of our programs, admissions decisions will be made within fifteen business days of receipt of a complete application.

Confirming Attendance with a Program Deposit

Accepted students must confirm their attendance by submitting a $300 non-refundable program deposit. Students attending more than one program must submit a $300 non-refundable deposit for each program. Students will not be able to enroll in courses until a program deposit is received.


Student and parents are encouraged to review our Policies page to learn about important payment deadlines, refunds, code of conduct, and more.

Important Information for International Students

Brown University Pre-College programs welcome applications from international students. Learn about English language proficiency requirements, Immigration Guidelines, Deadlines for Submitting Documentation, How to Apply for a Visa, and more on our International Students page.

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