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Pre-Baccalaureate Program

University Credit Courses for High School Students

The Brown University Pre-Baccalaureate Program is a highly selective program for rising or recently graduated High School Seniors ready to undertake the rigors of credit-bearing, undergraduate study. Pre-Baccalaureate students – known as Pre-Baccs – enroll in classes alongside Brown and visiting undergraduates in the University’s Summer Session. Courses open to Pre-Baccs are those open to first and second year undergraduates, and span the natural sciences and mathematics, the social sciences, the humanities, and the fine and performing arts.

The program attracts serious minded students – from across the country and around the globe. Together, Pre-Bacc’s form a close community of young scholars, sharing a residence hall and making Brown University’s campus their own and their home for an intense seven weeks. Their interests are as varied as the Brown curriculum, and what they share is commitment to learning and serious study.

Summer Session courses are equivalent to semester-long offerings, compressed into a fast-paced 7 week-long summer schedule. Classes meet approximately 8 hours per week, and require at least as much work outside the classroom. And they are typically small, facilitating close collaboration between and among students and instructors. Pre-Baccs residing on campus are expected to enroll in two courses – equivalent to being a full-time student; commuting students may enroll in one or two courses.

All courses provide Brown University credit and may provide students with advanced standing once they enroll as an undergraduate in a college or university. In most courses, students are evaluated by an A, B, C, or NC (no credit) grade. In some courses (noted in the individual course descriptions), students may choose to be evaluated on a satisfactory/no-credit basis instead, rather than a letter grade. Students may also request that their instructors write a Course Performance Report on their behalf, which in many cases becomes useful when students apply to college.

Program Dates:

June 23 – August 9, 2019

Eligibility: For rising or recently graduated High School Seniors

Residential, 2 courses: $12,388
Commuter, 1 course: $4,228
Commuter, 2 courses: $8,332

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Campus Life

A Brown Pre-College experience goes way beyond the classroom.

While each course meets about 8 hours per week, and will require at least as many hours for out-of-class assignments, outside the classroom, students participate in popular social and academic activities across campus and in the residence halls – all provided free of charge, and available to all students, whether they are living on campus or are commuting.

Residential Life

Students live in Brown residence halls within walking distance of academic buildings and campus resources, and eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls.

Residence halls are staffed with carefully selected and trained Residence Directors (RDs) and Residential Assistants (RAs), who live onsite and guide students to create a balanced academic and social life.

Students not living on campus are put in touch with an RA for commuting students, so they can also take advantage of the rich variety of offerings outside the classroom.

Campus Events and Activities

At a weekly Activities Fair held on arrival Sundays, students learn about the academic, social and recreational opportunities they can enjoy while at Brown.

Popular campus events and activities like Carnival, Movie Nights, Talent Show, karaoke, yoga and dance instruction, and tie dying workshops provide students a safe and welcoming environment where they can form friendships and meet other students from around the world.

College Success Programs

Summer@Brown students will prepare for the transition to college and explore academic pathways through academic workshops such as: “Managing your Time”, “Communicating Clearly”, “Listening and Taking Notes”, “Majors to Career Changes”, “Thinking Critically” and "The Annual College Fair" hosted at Brown.

Weekend off-site Excursions

Weekend off-site trips give students opportunities to socialize with new friends and to explore surrounding cities and attractions like Boston, Newport, and Scarborough Beach or a Pawtucket Red Sox Game – with free transportation and the freedom to plan their own schedule.

BeU Organizations

Along with fellow peers and staff, students get involved in organizations they identify with and engage in thoughtful workshops with groups like the Asian Students Organization, International Students - Global Union, Women’s Student Association, Black Summer@Brown Group, and Spectrum LGBTQ.

Recreational Organizations

While having fun and getting good exercise after the hours spent in class, students learn how to work together as a team through such activities as Backyard Sports, Basketball, Soccer, Quidditch, and Ultimate Frisbee.

BeU Lounge Workshops

The Lounge is a collective space for diversity and identity related workshops, supporting education and the expression of various intersectional affinities. Previous workshops have been on “Beyonce on Identity”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Introduction to Intersectional Feminism”, “Religion and Spirituality on Campus”, and “Race/Ethnicity, and Ableism @Brown”.

Beyond the Book Organizations

Finding community through common interests and joining together in fun and interesting activities like Book Bag to Briefcase: How to Seek Internship Opportunities, Art Club - Arts and Crafts, Fun Science Creation, Going Global Studying Abroad, and Wellness-Balance/Academic Social.

About the Program Director

James Chansky

Assistant Dean of Pre-College and Summer Session

Received his B.A. in Philosophy from Temple University and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College. For 10 years, Jim taught philosophy in a maximum and medium security prison in upstate NY through Skidmore College’s Inmate Higher Education Bachelor’s Degree Program, where he also served as an advisor and administrator. He has also taught philosophy at Boston College and Skidmore College. He has been involved to varying degrees in pre-college education for over 20 years, at Skidmore College and, since 2011, at Brown University. As Assistant Dean, along with three Associate Directors, he is responsible for Summer@Brown, the University’s Summer Session, STEM, Engineering Programs, Online course delivery and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and partnerships within the Pre-college Programs.

Campus Tour

Campus Resources

Dining Halls

Brown University has two dining halls that students use for three meals each day: Sharpe Refectory (the “Ratty”) and Verney-Woolley (“V-Dub”). Academic year menus and information is available here.

MY MEAL: MyMeal is an online tool that can help you make smart, healthy choices in Brown dining units. Use it to:
  • View upcoming menu options
  • Plan healthy meals throughout the day, and
  • Identify and filter the top 8 food allergens

Visit for more information.

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.

Health and Psychological Services

Students can receive medical and emotional support services for short-term critical needs while they are on-campus. These services are physically open Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. When the offices are not open, there are emergency on-call support systems in place, including Brown’s EMS that can evaluate and transport students and athletes to Hasbro Children’s Hospital if further care is needed.

Locations of Interest On and Near Campus

Some places students might want to visit while participating in a program at Brown are listed below:

The BeU Lounge

Brown University, and Pre-College Programs, are committed to developing an academic and residential community that embodies the social and intellectual diversity of the world.The BeU lounge series is a gateway that provide pre-college students an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone by making new friends and participating in learning opportunities that delve into diversity, equity, inclusion and identity exploration. Resident Assistants who are passionate about these subjects will facilitate workshops, programs, and roundtable discussions to help students comfortably navigate their personal identity development and 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
Activities Fair

How to Apply

Admission Criteria

Prospective students must apply for admission. When evaluating applications, the admissions team 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. Although the essay prompt may differ depending on the program you apply to, in general, you should be prepared to tell us:
    • what you hope to learn in the program to which you are applying and why that program is of interest to you;
    • what areas of study you are interested in;
    • what contributions you hope to make in and outside of the classroom;
    • 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 3/1/2019: $50
    • 3/1/2019 to 4/29/2019: $75
    • 4/30/2019 and after: $100
  3. An Academic Transcript or Grade Report

    Academic records must be submitted in the application form by the applicant. They do NOT need to be submitted by your school guidance counselor. Applicants must submit grades from the 2018-2019 academic term and at least two previous academic years. Acceptable attachments include, but are not limited to:

    • Progress reports;
    • Report cards;
    • Narrative assessments; and/or
    • Unofficial transcripts.

    Documentation must include your full name and the academic term(s) represented. Please also be sure an explanation of the grading scale used by your school(s) (i.e., A = Excellent, 5 = Average, etc.,) appears on the documents, or provide one for us, along with an English translation as appropriate.

  4. A Teacher Recommendation
    Within the application, applicants must submit the name and email address of a teacher who can attest to the applicant’s capabilities in a classroom setting. An email will be sent to the recommender to provide feedback to the admissions team.

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. Our admissions team carefully reviews each application submitted. In most cases, admission decisions are made within 10 business days of receiving a complete application; however, during high volume times, it may take up to 15 business days.

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.

For Pre-Baccalaureate Students: Please note that we must receive your completed application, including your teacher recommendation, by April 15th, in order to ensure sufficient time to review your application, and, if admitted, process I-20 materials. If you currently hold valid F-1 status, or are Canadian, you may be still eligible to participate in the program. Please email for more information.

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New Applicants

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