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.
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:Does Brown have an architecture program?
Yes! Check out an older answer about architecture here.
Q:(Shoot, I accidentally 'submitted' a post instead of asking a question. I'm stupid, sorry.) I read on your other post that it's hard to do concentrations in science and English. I want to Major in Astronomy and Minor in Creative Writing - would I need a 5 year program? How are the Astronomy and Creative Writing programs at Brown? Has anyone really raved about them?
Well, first of all, it is impossible to minor at Brown, so you’d have to double concentrate.
Secondly, the Astronomy concentration is an A.B. degree, not a Sc.B, which means that it has less requirements (11 to 12 depending on prerequisites). The Literary Arts (creative writing) concentration has a similar amount of requirements (10 to 11). Fulfilling both should be fairly easy if you plan out your semesters well.
If Astronomy had been an Sc.B, you would have had to take a 5th year.
Q:Do all families attend family weekend at Brown?
Not everyone’s family comes, but a lot tend to. It often depends on the geographical proximity of one’s hometown to Brown. Your family shouldn’t feel obligated to come, but it’s definitely a fun experience for them to have!
Q:What's the best thing about Brown? Are any of the "pothead" "hippie" Brown stereotypes true?
I love the overall atmosphere at Brown. In my experience (Lil Jo writing), everyone is really laid back and no one is competitive. People are also supportive of one another and accepting, so you’re never afraid to be yourself or try something new. Also, everyone is constantly trying to make themselves better and learn more; I’ve definitely learned the most from conversations among peers. It is truly paradise. There are so many amazing other amazing things about Brown, too. For instance, the open curriculum, the professors, Providence, and more!
There are definitely a lot of people who smoke. There is also a very liberal feel on campus, which some might say is hippie-like. That being said, there are also plenty of people who do not smoke or who are less liberal. Your experience is what you make it.
Bruno: I also want to mention that even though I definitely have met some people who smoke their share of weed and walk around without shoes talking about free love and unity, I’ve also met people who can’t wait to start their jobs at Bain. Like any school, Brown has a diverse student body, and I wouldn’t say that there is one stereotypical “type” that dominates the campus.
Q:Is it possible to create an independent major in nursing at Brown?
Possibly? Becoming an RN takes a lot of practical classes that would be basically impossible to fulfill at Brown, but a Bachelors of Science in Nursing is a little more liberal. I really doubt that it’s realistic though. Go for a Bachelors in Public Health or Biology.
Q:are classes ever cancelled if snow gets too bad?
Brown has indeed had its fair of snowdays. Do whatever snow dance ritual you can think of, because it looks there’s a chance of a cancellation tomorrow!
Q:Is it possible to double concentrate in neuroscience and journalism?
There is no journalism concentration at Brown.
Question: What is your Spring weekend like? Fun? What usually goes on/who has played there in the past?
A: Here is a complete list of people who have come in the past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_University_traditions#Spring_weekend
Spring Weekend is one of the greatest traditions at Brown and certainly a night to remember (if you can, obviously). Artists play, many people are comfortably drunk/high, there’s a carnival, slip-n-slide, BBQs, laughter, dancing, and just all around fun. Also: Dave Binder is a legend. To truly understand, you have to experience it. Words certainly don’t do it justice.