Experience the breadth and depth of Brown’s undergraduate curriculum

Summer@Brown offers more than 200 non-credit courses reflecting the wide range of Brown University’s Open Curriculum, and puts students in contact with ways of thinking, seeing and doing that challenge them to reflect deeply and think critically about their work, their learning and their lives.

And with over 4,000 students attending across the many terms of the summer, coming from all 50 United States and over 70 different countries across the world, Summer@Brown students join a community of peers with just as broad and deep a variety of backgrounds and aspirations.

As part of a community of young scholars all engaged in the serious fun of learning – and without the extraneous pressure of formal grades and credit – in Summer@Brown students immerse themselves in subjects they choose and experience the satisfying challenges of college-level academics.

Outside of class, students participate in a full program of events and activities. Days and nights on Brown’s summer campus are filled with workshops, activities and events that inform them, engage them, and entertain them, helping them make new friends from around the world, learn to live independently and responsibly, and so further preparing them for college life and learning.

2020 Program Dates

Multiple 1-4 Week Sessions
June 14 - August 7


For students completing grades 9-12, ages 15-18 by June 2021. Students must be at least 15 years old to participate in residential experience.

Information Sessions

magnifying glass Courses

Life on Campus

Summer@Brown Course "Live Like It's 3000 BC: Introduction to Experimental Archaeology"

What to Study?

Beyond the number and variety of courses offered, what’s particular to Brown are the varying ways instructors put their courses together: some are straight ahead deep-dives in core areas of undergraduate study; others turn things sideways to get a different look; some focus on a very particular topic in order to gain an understanding of something very large; others are highly inter-disciplinary in their approach, drawing from multiple perspectives and methods of understanding. Some are offered on-line. Others are designed specifically for students who are also English language learners. All follow the Brown way of student-centered teaching that focuses on student learning - your learning.

Whatever you choose to study, it should be something you are passionate about, deeply curious about, or feel a powerful need to encounter. And whether you have a plan about where you want your studies to take you or see many paths ahead, prepare to be surprised! Courses offered through Summer@Brown may well take you in unexpected directions. Exploring the course catalog is the best way to discover what there is to learn at Brown, and knowing what there is to learn is the first step to making your own way.

How many courses can I take?

Summer@Brown offers multiple start dates and sessions, from one to four weeks in length, and multiple opportunities throughout the summer for students to find courses that meet their needs and interests. Many students enroll in multiple sessions of varying length to continue study in a single area or explore new subjects. We do recommend only taking one course at a time – students taking more than one at a time may find it hard to keep up with the academic work and at the same time take advantage of the numerous extracurricular and social events available on campus. If you're considering concurrent or overlapping course enrollments, we can help you determine whether undertaking such a course load is advisable. Feel free to contact our office for advising.

Learn for the sake of learning

The Summer@Brown Program provides challenging academic opportunities without the pressure of formal grades, allowing students to concentrate on learning and the process of scholarship. Students will receive a Course Performance Report and Certificate of Completion after successful completion of their class, and for courses longer than one week, they will also receive a Course Performance Report in lieu of a final grade.

Summer@Brown Course "Introduction to Medicine: Do You Want to Be a Doctor?

Want to improve your English? Study in English.

For students who are learning the English language along with all their other subjects in school, taking courses taught in English alongside native English speakers can be especially challenging. Summer@Brown for English Language Learners (ELL) features courses in nearly all subject areas, taught by instructors experienced both in their subject areas and in teaching English language learners. The courses include additional Intensive English Language classes designed to develop higher-level English language skills, strengthening students’ listening, public speaking, reading and academic writing skills - while still retaining the distinctive Summer@Brown experience of college life and learning. Look for courses that have been designated as Summer@Brown for English Language Learners. Learn More »

Thinking of doing your learning online?

If you’re not able to come to campus to experience Summer@Brown, our online courses for high school students are designed as small seminar-style courses that, like Summer@Brown, facilitate close communications between students and instructors – and between and among students. Taught by experienced instructors who share the Brown ethos of student-centered teaching and learning, the small communities that form in the courses make learning online at Brown not the solitary experience many imagine, but rather a vibrant and engaging learning experience. Learn More »

Find your way in:

About the Program Directors

James Chansky

Associate Dean, Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs

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.

Abbey Aevazelis

Associate Director, Pre-College Programs and Director of STEM Programs

Received her B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Oceanography and her M.S. in Environmental Science (Fisheries Biology) from the University of Rhode Island. Abbey has been with the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs for three years. In her current role, she is focused on providing experiential STEM learning opportunities to middle and high school students. Prior to joining Brown, she was the Executive Director of a non-profit Marine Science and Education Center. In addition, she has experience in- and out-of-the-classroom through work in both formal and informal education settings. She currently sits on the board of a non-profit tuition free school that serves girls in grades 5 -8 from low-income families.

Karen Haberstroh

Associate Director, Engineering Programs and Lecturer in Engineering in the School of Engineering

Received her Sc.B. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining Brown, Karen was in a tenure track faculty position at Purdue University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. At Brown, Karen is the lead instructor for the fall Introduction to Engineering and Design course that all engineering undergraduate students take as part of their undergraduate curriculum. In her role at the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs, she oversees (and, in some cases, teaches) the academic year and summer engineering class offerings, which occur both online and on campus. Karen also works with the engineering graduate students and staff throughout the year to develop, document, revise, and logistically coordinate these engineering course offerings.

Kisa Takesue

Director, Pre-College and Leadership Programs

Received her A.B. in American Studies, with a focus on Asian American Studies from Brown University, and her M.S.S.W. from the University of Austin-Texas. Prior to joining the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs, she worked in Campus Life at Brown in several capacities including: Coordinator of the Third World Center (now named the Center for Students of Color); Director of Student Activities and the Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center; and Associate Dean of Orientation and Diversity Initiatives. During her tenure in Campus Life, her responsibilities included oversight and involvement in First Year Orientation, International Orientation and the International Mentoring Program, the Women Peer Counselors Program, the Resident Counselors Program, the Community Director Program, student conduct, crisis response, diversity initiatives, and student organizations. She oversees the Leadership Institute and provides support to Pre-College social science courses. She also worked as medical social worker and advocate for pregnant and parenting teenagers.

Joi-Danelle Whitehead

Associate Director, Pre-College Programs and Diversity Initiatives

Received a B.A. in History, with a concentration in African-American history, from Tufts University and a M.S. in Urban Education from Mercy College. She has been engaged in the field of education for over a decade and prior to joining the Division of Pre-College & Summer Undergraduate Programs, she was a middle and high school teacher and later served as the Director of a college access and success program, where she supported and advocated for students of color, economically vulnerable and first-generation college students attending higher education institutions across the country. In her current role, she oversees the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives and directs the Summer@Brown for English Language Learners Program.

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