Q:hi! do you know about the modern culture & media major? do you know an estimate of how many students graduate from the department each year?
Hello! I do happen to know quite a bit about the MCM concentration. The undergrad concentration is divided in to two tracks: one which focuses on more theory and the other on production. Each requires 11 courses, which are pretty easy to satisfy because for many requirements you can go outside the department.
Everyone has to take Intro to MCM which, admittedly, pretty much blows if you are not in to very long/hard readings and a not-so-great lecturer but do not be perturbed! Most of the other MCM classes rock and are well worth having to sit through one semester of a bad intro class. Electives usually cover very interesting themes and have great professors who are very experienced.
Many classes require screenings which are kind of a pain because they take three hours out of whatever night you go to. (But, you can usually just watch the movies/clips online, although your professors will tell you not to.) Classes tend to be 50 minutes and have discussion sections with TAs.
The number of graduates varies from year to year, but there are currently 28 MCM concentrators in the senior class if that helps.
Q:hello! prospective brown student here, and i just want to say thank you so much for creating this blog ^^ also just a quick question... would you consider brown to be "cliquey"? my brother went to uva and is at carnegie mellon now for grad school and he tells me that he definitely sees a distinct trend in the social life between these two colleges. made me wonder about my dream school :)
It depends on what you mean by “cliquey.” Are there groups of people with similar interests that tend to hang out together? Yes. Sports teams usually are always together, people who do theatre, etc.
Brown is not cliquey in the high school sense. There are no “popular kids” and being friends with someone in particular has approximately zero influence on your social status, mainly because social status does not exist. People hang out with who they like, there’s not much else to it.
Q:hi! I was wondering whether when registering for classes if we get some help choosing classes!? I'm really confused and worried I'll mess up! I would really appreciate if you could answer my question! Thank you so much!(:
For you? Why not.
You absolutely do get help. Before your first semester starts you will be assigned two advisors; one faculty advisor and one student advisor. You will meet with them at the beginning of the year to discuss classes and get advice.
Don’t be worried! I know it seems confusing, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly I assure you.
Q:Do any of the freshman dorms have semi-private bathrooms? Or are they all community style?
Yes, Emery-Wooley and Morris-Champlin have semi private bathrooms, I believe. Also, there are like three super secret/special rooms in Keeney that have their own bathrooms. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Q:I am trying to plan what to buy to decorate my dorm room in the fall. Can you give me an idea about what freshman dorm rooms look like? (Size, any pictures, etc)
You can check out floor plans and room dimensions of dorms here.
Q:How does choosing classes work? When are we able to register for classes typically?
So you choose classes through registration on the banner website.
First, there’s a pre-registration period. During that period, you put classes into a your cart (or onto your mock schedule). Then, you register according to grade, so seniors first, then juniors, etc. Pre-registration happens in the semester before the one you’re registering for. (Expect for freshmen fall, when you do this during orientation week, I believe.)
Then, during shopping period, you go to these classes and others. You can drop/add classes to your schedule until shopping period ends (it lasts about two weeks).
Q:Going off what the previous anon said, is it okay if I just submit my ACT scores plus the writing supplement and don't submit the SAT at all, even if I took it?
That’s absolutely fine, you only have to do one or the other.
Q:What are the different a cappella groups on campus and what are their reputations?
Luckily, I happen to know a lot about this. So, first of all, you should know that the vibe of groups can change year to year depending on whose in it at the time i.e. the seniors. Having said that, there are lots of groups, but the main groups are the IGCAC (Intergalactic Community of A Capella) groups. They’re all so amazing and I personally love going to all their concerts/arch sings/whatever. So…
There are all male groups…
- Jabberwocks (oldest, most likely to sing at graduation and spend a lot of alumni donation money, wear blazers)
- Brown Derbies (sing a lot of 80’s music, wear cool hats, most likely to throw a rager, always seen together)
- Bear Necessities (wear suspenders, have amazing songs aka early 00’s throwbacks, most likely to include serious twerking into dance routines)
All female groups…
- Chattertocks (basically female Jabberwocks, most likely to be mistaken for sisters, wear plaid often)
- Brown’s Tones (diversity, most likely to sing something that includes lots of riffs, the definition of fierce)
- Ursa Minors (wear black dresses, most likely to throw condoms into the audience, have current music)
And co-ed groups:
- Madrigals (no explanation necessary)
- Alef Beats (jewish group, seem like they have lots of fun, most likely to sing about Chanukah)
- Harmonic Motion (half-RISD therefore hipster, artsy AF, wear lots of leather, most likely to sing Beyonce)
- Higher Keys (sing jazzy classics, most likely to seduce the audience, seem like they would drink only champagne and wine with meals)
Q:What type of clothes should I pack for fall semester? I read that sometimes people don't necessarily bring their winter clothes ( they bring them after Thanksgiving). Does it get hot during September?
When you first get to Brown, it will be hot as balls (especially if you live on a top floor of keeney like I did). Make sure to pack some light clothes for that. Otherwise, I would say it’s fine to leave winter clothes back home, but definitely get them by Thanksgiving just in case.
In general, I find it best to just have all my clothes there the entire year because Providence weather is just so unpredictable. You’ll want layering options. But, if space doesn’t permit, ditch the wool sweaters and heavy coats until November. Also, make sure to bring rain gear for August and September especially. It’ll probably snow before winter break, too.
Q:Are longboards/skateboards a thing on the Brown campus? I have a few, and I want to bring one of each next fall. but will there be anyone I can skate with (or will I just kind of be looked at weirdly)? ;-;
Longboards and skateboards are definitely a thing on campus (at least when it’s not raining and/or snowing).
Skate on, my friend!
Q:So, I'm looking at The Critical Review, and I noticed that some courses require significantly more hours than others. I'm trying to figure out what courses I might want to take in the fall, but I don't know what my "limit" is, I guess, for the number of hours that I want to take on, especially as a freshman. What would you say is a reasonable range? Thanks :)
So I think the secret to a good schedule is balance. Pay attention to what the work load requires—how much reading there is a week, what the assessments are (tests? papers? research papers?), how often does it meet, if there are weekly homework assignments besides reading, etc. Then, find a balance between them. If there are two classes that require a lot of work but are really interesting, take them! But then maybe take another class that you are interested in just for fun S/NC aka pass/fail. (I would even say to take at least one S/NC class every semester just as a rule.)
While critical review is pretty helpful for figuring these things out, classes do change from year to year and sitting in is the best way to know how much work they really are. I would say to load your cart up now with all the classes you have interest in, then go to all of them during shopping period. In the actual class they’ll give you an accurate curriculum detailing the work load. From there you can trim your schedule down to one that is perfectly balanced for you.
Q:I'm trying to figure out how many freshman seminars to take in the fall. Any advice?
I would say one or two. I loved my freshman seminar because it was small and allowed for lots of discussion. You also get to gain a more personal relationship with a professor. You don’t know when you’ll get another seminar opportunity, so definitely take advantage. (Some people don’t like there’s as much though, so be on the lookout for crappy ones.)
I would say try to get into one or two that you’re interested in, but if you don’t still shop them in the fall during shopping period. I got into my FYS by just showing up and talking to the teacher. You can also take them in the Spring.
Q:serious question how is the party scene at brown? and what are other fun social life activities you can do?
One of the most commonly asked questions the past week, and basically every year around admissions time! See this post: http://fuckyeahbrownuniversity.tumblr.com/post/20593096631/hows-the-social-life-at-brown
Q:How bad is it if I don't have the sat subject tests?
You should either have 2 subject tests or have submitted your ACT scores.
I am not entirely sure of the consequences of not having done so, but it is required for a reason.
As a side note, I submitted without the Subject Tests, primarily because the ACT is stressed in the south, and I had no idea what I was doing with the SAT. I’m sure they’ll still look at it, but I don’t know how much they’ll take it into consideration without the Subject Tests.
Q:Hi! I'm currently a year 11 IB student in Australia and I was wondering if it would be possible to take the SATs and apply to brown during my gap year? I feel as though I'd find it difficult applying during my senior year especially since school here starts in february and ends in november...I was also wondering if I would have better chances applying as an Australian or an American, seeing as I was born in America but have an Australian father/have been living here since I was 11.
If you would feel more comfortable applying during your gap year, by all means do that. It’s very common for international students to be older for that reason (gap year culture isn’t really a thing in America, but Brown knows it is in other nations). You want your application to be the best it can be and if you need to take some extra time to do that, I fully support it.
I think your better choice, in terms of financial aid, would be to apply as an American, but I know that most people I’ve spoken to said they HAD to apply as an international student if they’d been living abroad a long time, due to differences in tax forms and admissions criterion (you’re graduating with a non-American degree, even if it is IB). If you need financial aid and you can get American status though, go for it. For students who don’t need financial aid, I don’t think there’s a huge disparity in admissions between international and domestic students.