Leadership Institute

Transform your passion for social justice into action.

The 2024 Leadership Institute in-person program is at or near capacity. Admitted students may choose to join the waitlist in a Leadership course if they would like to be offered a spot should one become available. Consider our online Leadership Institute program, or any other available course or program in the 2024 Course Catalog provided that you meet the age requirements.

All over the world, youth are advocating for change both locally and globally. Through the Brown Leadership Institute you’ll increase your understanding of complex social issues and your ability to advance social justice, no matter your current level of engagement.

There are two ways to participate in the Leadership Institute: 

  • two weeks on campus
  • four weeks online 

Through both methods of learning, you’ll meet students from around the world who are passionate about a wide variety of issues, including topics such as law and social movements, educational equity, restorative justice and activism. You will spend your days delving into compelling topics in a course of your choosing, actively engaging with your peers and instructor. As you grapple with complex problems and brainstorm possible solutions together, you will practice a collaborative model of leadership honing your skills in active listening, public speaking, problem-solving, conflict resolution and teamwork. Building on this new knowledge, you’ll develop an Action Plan you can take home and apply in your school or community.

What to Study?

Select one course of study from an array of options, each focusing on interdisciplinary topics. Past courses have included:

  • Women and Leadership
  • More than a Game: Leadership and Social Change in Sports 
  • Leadership, Law and Social Movements
  • Leadership and Intercultural Communication
  • Leadership in Changing Business: Social Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership and Social Justice
  • Reimagining Leadership: Art and Social Change



Program Snapshot


Students completing grades 9 to 12, ages 14 to 18 by June 16, 2024


2-week Program on Brown’s Campus OR 4-week program delivered online


Choose one session:

  • On Campus:
    • Sunday, June 23 to Friday, July 5
    • Sunday, July 14 to Friday, July 26
  • Online:
    • Monday, June 24 to Friday, July 19


  • 2-week residential program at the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island 
  • 4-week online program through Canvas, Brown’s Learning Management System from wherever you are


  • Join a community of students who care about social change.
  • Explore the leadership challenges associated with complex social issues.
  • Identify and analyze the strengths and limitations of your current leadership style.
  • Strengthen your skills in public-speaking, listening and problem-solving.
  • Expand your ability to work in diverse groups.
  • Academic content specific to your selected course will be examined with instructors and peers who are passionate about the subject matter.Cultivate socially responsible leadership and develop a meaningful Action Plan.
  • Delve into thought-provoking and relevant academic content in the course of your choosing.
  • Gain guidance, insight and empowerment to address critical issues in meaningful and sustainable ways.
  • Concentrate on learning without the pressure of formal grades.
  • All students who successfully complete their course will receive a Certificate of Completion. Students who complete a 2-week or longer course will receive a Course Performance Report.


Your time outside of class is yours to manage. Residential students will be housed on campus in Brown University residence halls with other Leadership Institute students to build a strong learning community. Students living on campus eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls. Students who commute to campus for their class will be able to swipe for one meal per day for the duration of their course.  All students enrolled in on campus courses have access to the University’s libraries, study centers and Writing Center. Although your free time will be limited, you’ll also have the opportunity to engage with other pre-college students in a range of activities that help you grow as a person. See Life on the Brown Campus for more information.

A Typical Day

7:30 to 9 a.m. Breakfast in the dining hall
9 to 11:30 a.m. Class and Leadership Workshops*
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch in a dining hall
12:30 to 3 p.m. Class and Leadership Workshops*
3 to 6 p.m. Free time for homework or co-curricular activities
6 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner in a dining hall
7:30 to 10 p.m. Free time for homework or co-curricular activities. Students will have 1 to 3 hours of homework each day.
10 p.m. Curfew

*Past summer topics include: Introduction to Leadership Styles, Exploring Identity and Privilege

Participating in the Leadership Institute online will involve learning both asynchronously (students complete course work and participate in discussion at different times) and synchronously (students complete course work and participate in discussion at the same time). Your engagement includes reading and studying content asynchronously and twice-weekly required synchronous workshops with classmates and 1 on 1 meetings with your instructor, as well as optional webinars with guest speakers. In these asynchronous and synchronous course components, you have the opportunity to further enhance your leadership skills, explore socially responsible leadership and work to develop a meaningful Action Plan. Studying online gives you the freedom to decide how and where you learn and entrusts you with the responsibility to manage your out-of-class work. With time to reflect, read and write, you can enhance important critical thinking skills. You also have the opportunity to strengthen your capacity for self-discipline and personal responsibility; skills necessary to excel in all learning environments. By taking an online class you will become more comfortable with online learning—a format that is becoming increasingly important both in and out of school.

A Typical Day

Plan to spend a couple of hours each day (about 15 to 20 hours per week) on a variety of activities related directly to the course you are taking.  Most days will include independent reading, engaging in written discussion sessions with classmates, listening to a guest lecturer or a video from your instructor and working on your Action Plan. Twice a week your classmates will come together for required synchronous workshops. You will also meet virtually with instructors for one-on-one support and throughout the course engage with students in a community of learners all committed to effecting positive change in their communities and in the world.

Outside of class, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with pre-college students participating in other programs that help you grow as a student and as a person. See Your Virtual Community for more information.

Program Director