So I’m a freshman right now at Emory University in Atlanta, and I’m lookin’ to transfer. I’m applying to Brown, NYU, Barnard, and Colorado College, all of which I chose not only for academics and location and whatnot, but also because Emory is basically filled with generic greek life types, and I really want a place with bizarre, quirky people. Can you speak to a.) those traits in Brown’s student body and b.) (if you know anything about it) Brown’s transfer community?
Brown is full of weirdos. There’s definitely a culture of being passionate about what you do, even if that thing is being passionate about pigeons (we have a pigeon club, not joking). I really enjoy talking to people about their diverse experiences and interests here, because it’s all so different from what I now realize is my fairly narrow world-view. The one downside to this is that being ordinary or mainstream is pretty frowned upon but c’est la vie.
I swear, even the Greek community is weird, in response to your “generic Greek life” issues. We have Zete, a co-ed fraternity that supports freedom of sexuality and hosts naked parties in their common rooms. One of the biggest frats on campus is traditionally Jewish. There are only three sororities and they’re (gasp) not catty or cliquey. The Greek community is really diverse and funky at Brown and people generally hang out with a lot of people outside of Greek life.
We used to have a transfer on staff, but she graduated! I always got the impression that though the transfer community is available, many people choose to go out and make friends with people they meet in classes and form close friendships that way.
Lost Soon-To-Be Freshman
I was reading one of the post and I was wondering how exactly the housing thing worked? Is it like a lottery before school starts or do you fill out a housing app with like top choices? Thanks!
You fill out a roommate preference form and if you have a really specific need (a disability or something) you note that, but you have no control beyond that. There’s really very little difference between freshman dorms. Take what you get.
My Interview with Brown University
Ok so this morning I had a Skype interview with an alum from Brown University and it’s a super prestigious school and I figured this was probably my most important college interview so I was expecting someone very serious and professional and I was just generally very anxious.
But then the interview started and well…here’s some highlight quotes from the Ivy League alum:
- "If you get accepted you should really go to the Room Visit Day because then you get to see how crappy the rooms are and how crappy the food is."
- "We don’t like to accept those 16 year old protegees; the campus gets pretty wild and we can’t have little kiddies running around.”
- "Room advisers are useless. The only thing they’re good for is selling you more pot."
- "FUCKING COMMON APP!"
Basically this was kind of the best interview ever and the moral of the story is that life is full of surprises.
Pretty standard. Good advice.
Q:How necessary is it to take the 5 core classes for IR by sophomore year. It's looking like I may take one of them my senior year. Is that absolutely shunned upon?
No way! I had seniors in some of my core classes. I did, personally, take them all before I finished sophomore year, but that’s because I wanted all the background knowledge before taking the upper level “track” courses. It’s pretty important to complete Principles of Econ if you’re going to do the Political Econ track, but other than that, these classes are just meant to give you the proper theoretical background. POLS0400 is the second most valuable, imo. Missing one isn’t going to destroy you though.
Claudia might be a little annoyed, but sometimes you can’t help it. The big problem for you is going to be doing an honors thesis, but no one wants to do that in IR anyway. Except me. I’m a nut.
Q:hi there! could someone explain the difference between getting an AB in computer science versus an Sc. B? and which one is better?
So the difference between an A.B. and and Sc.B lies largely in the amount of courses you need to take. Any Sc.B at Brown requires a certain amount of core science and math classes, while the A.B. does not. Getting an A.B. generally allows a concentrator to take a second concentration (you can only double with two A.B.s at Brown) or do more extensive coursework in other areas, thus giving them a more rounded, but less scientifically intensive education. Generally, an A.B. is enough to get a decent job in C.S., but if you really want to be a programmer, you should probably either do a lot of C.S. internships or do the Sc.B. Personally, I would only recommend the A.B. if you’re pretty sure you want to incorporate C.S. into your future career but do not planning on coding for your job.
Check out the requirements list (the only real difference between these concentrations) here.
Q:What are the main dining halls at Brown? What about libraries? Do students have any nicknames for either of them? I want to make sure to see the main sites when I come to visit campus :)
The two main dining halls are the Sharpe Refectory (called the Ratty) and the Verney-Woolley (V-Dub) dining halls.
The two main libraries are the Sciences Library (SciLi) and the Rockefeller Library (the Rock). You also might want to check out the John Hay (right next to the Rock), because it’s crazy cool.
If you get a chance to visit other eateries, check out the Blue Room or the new eatery, Andrew Commons.
Where to room?
Hey, so I don’t know anyone who goes to Brown, but I am going next year as a freshman, and I’m really excited (a little nervous, too)! I was wondering if there is some kind of overall consensus of a “Best Residence Hall” for freshman or just general housing suggestions. I haven’t made it to Brown yet, so I really only have the website descriptions to go on! Thanks!
Well, unless you really want to be an entitled pain in the ass and annoy ResLife into giving you a room change, you have no control over where you live. Any “suggestions” I could give you would be totally useless! All the residence halls have their pros and cons. Keeney is closer to main campus and the frats, Pembroke has a sense of community. Some areas are quieter, some are louder. We released a freshman dorm guide a while back, and although it’s not totally up-to-date, feel free to check it out here.
Q:Sooo... Brown extended their deadline but didn't set a date... Would it be a douchebag move to apply now? Admissions usually gives anyone who's been deferred 'til Jan 31 to submit extra documents and the like... So if I send in my app and pay for it, am I still good technically?
Uh, I have no clue how this is working. If you want to apply late, apply. The worst thing that happens is that you don’t get in.
Q:All these people writing in asking about the "stoner Brown" stereotype seem really worried/concerned, but I think it's rad that Brown is the kind of school that defies those pothead stereotypes. Just because you like getting high doesn't make you a burnout or a hippie, haha.
Q:Does Brown have an architecture program?
Yes! Check out an older answer about architecture here.