students in the lab


Experience the breadth and depth of Brown’s undergraduate curriculum

Application opens December 3 for Summer 2020

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.

2019 Program Dates:

Multiple 1-4 Week Sessions
June 16 – August 2, 2019

Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12, ages 15-18 by June 2019

2019 Residential Fees

1-Week Course: $2,776
2-Week Course: $4,302
3-Week Course: $6,124
4-Week Course: $6,976

2019 Commuter Fees

1-Week Course: $2,178
2-Week Course: $3,106
3-Week Course: $4,330
4-Week Course: $4,584

magnifying glass Courses

information Accepted Students

Jump to...

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.

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 »

“I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” ― Flannery O'Connor

It's not only novelists who need to know what they think: if you aren't able to write in a way that's clear (and persuasive) no one else will know what you think either!

Summer@Brown's writing courses are modeled on the University's "Critical Reading and Writing: The Academic Essay," a course taken by nearly every Brown undergraduate. The three different courses - offered over one, two and three weeks - break the content of that course into three distinct areas:

Taking all three courses effectively exposes students to the full range of writing taught in "Critical Reading and Writing: The Academic Essay." Students may take a single one of these writing courses, or any two, or all three, and may take them in any order that suits their schedule.

Find your way in:

Sayles Hall

Campus Life

A Summer@Brown experience goes way beyond the classroom.

While classes meet for three hours each day and may require up to three additional hours for out-of-class assignment, 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), Residential Assistants (RAs), and Resident Programming Assistants (RPAs) 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 Summer@Brown.

Popular campus events and activities like the Silent Disco, Movie Nights, Pawsox games, recreational activities, 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. There are also a variety of workshops and presentations lead by professionals including sessions on writing the admissions essay, SAT/ACT preparation, and healthy relationships.

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.

Off-site trips give students opportunities to socialize with new friends and to explore the greater Rhode Island area. Every Sunday students will have the opportunity to attend an afternoon excursion to places like Boston, Newport, and Scarborough Beach. Each week has a different calendar of events and all of this information can be found in the Guidebook app. Be sure to pay close attention to the registration information as space on these trips is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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. Information about times and locations will be available during the Activities Fair each week.

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. Information about times and locations will be available during the Activities Fair each week.

Beyond the Book Organizations

Finding community through common interests and joining together in fun and interesting activities like Board Games and Card Games, Going Global - Study Abroad, TEDxBrown Club, and Open Mic nights. Information about times and locations will be available during the Activities Fair each week.

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.

Joi-Danelle Whitehead

Associate Director, Pre-College Programs and Diversity Initiatives

Received her B.A. in History with a concentration in African-American history from Tufts University, and her M.S. in Urban Education from Mercy College. Prior to joining the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs in 2016, Joi worked as a public school teacher (middle and high school), an AmeriCorps Program Director, and the Director of a college access and success program, where she supported and advocated for students of color, low-income and first-generation college students attending colleges and universities across the country. In her current role with Brown Pre-College Programs, she is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing diversity recruitment efforts in regards specifically to students from historically underrepresented groups, low-income and first-generation college students.

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.

Campus Tour
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

Application opens December 3 for Summer 2020

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.

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.

picture of campus
Back to Top