Nuts and Bolts Packet -Final

Nuts & Bolts
A brief guide to life at Brown University
Aneesha Mehta, Anthony Pellegrino, Benjamin Wolkon, Caitlin Kennedy, Camille
Briskin, Chelsea Boyd, Elizabeth Fuerbacher, Emily Connor-Simmons, Gabriel Thomaz,
John Ryan Hoskins, Lizzy Kinnard, Louisa Kellogg, Natalie Ring, Nick Petersdorf,
Piervito Williams, Samuel Paci, Tom Shaw, Tomonobu Kumahira, Whitney Flynn with
Deans Besenia Rodriguez and Maitrayee Bhattacharyya
Academics: Concentrations and
Shopping Period
Start Here: How to Use this
Welcome to Brown! This guide
will introduce you to Brown's
basic offerings as well as the
"need-to-know" stuff about the
University. Maps are provided
with major points of interest; a
full map is available at:
ities_Management/maps/. This
packet is not comprehensive;
feel free to contact your
counselors or one of the
Transfer Deans if you have
additional questions.
Upon coming to Brown, many of you will
have already narrowed the focus of
your undergraduate education. Thus,
declaring a concentration will be a
straight-forward process. However,
many of you might be unsure of the
scholastic path you wish to travel and
must assess where your strongest
interests lie. Fortunately for both groups
of students, Brown offers significant
resources and support to help guide the
selection of your concentration.
Be focused!
Academic liberty is imbued within the
University’s DNA; the open curriculum is
a unique facet of our education that we
deeply prize. However, all students must
“concentrate,” or major, in at least one
discipline. Brown currently offers 78
concentrations, covering the sciences,
social sciences, and humanities.
Brown also boasts interdisciplinary
concentrations that transcend
departmental boundaries. Examples
include Applied Math-Economics;
Business, Entrepreneurship &
Development Studies; Modern Culture &
Media; and Science & Society. It is
important to note that these
interdisciplinary concentrations are not
double concentrations, but rather
specific tracks involving coursework from
multiple departments that comprise one
single concentration. Furthermore, even
within specific fields, students may
customize their concentrations or pursue
studies that emphasize certain themes.
It is important to note which
credits from your previous institution can
be applied towards the completion of
your concentration. This is especially
crucial, as declaring a concentration
requires mapping out future classes you
would like to take. Speak with a transfer
dean or a Concentration Advisor (a
faculty member assigned to you by your
department) about reconciling your
previous coursework with classes at
Brown. You should expect to take the
majority of your concentration
requirements here.
Whether you have a solid idea of the
concentration you will pursue or have yet to
pinpoint an area of study, Focal Point
rations) is an excellent resource. It has links
to all the department home pages, as well
as important information regarding
requirements, capstone opportunities, and
specialized tracks. You can also filter
searches by your own academic interests or
professional plans.
Most Brown students complete a
single concentration. It is not uncommon,
however, to complete two. If you have
interests spanning distinct academic realms,
or you think two courses of study would
complement one another, a double
concentration may be appropriate. On the
other hand, double-concentrating will
restrict your ability to explore diverse
academic areas. Generally, no more than
two classes may be “double-counted” for
students who choose to concentrate in
more than one field. Consult with the
respective departments for their policies.
Brown also offers the option of
creating an independent concentration,
one that is centered around a broad theme
or question. This must be carefully proposed,
supported by a professor, and approved by
the College Curriculum Council.
Second semester sophomores and
incoming juniors must declare a
concentration by October 15 (or April 1, if
arriving as midyears). You will use ASK, the
“Advising Sidekick,” to do so
Even for those of you who have
Interest and
entered Brown with a clear idea of your
academic plans, it is important to strategize
and think critically before declaring a
concentration. All students must propose a
list of future classes, write a meaningful
essay that explains your choice and then
meet with a concentration advisor. While it
may seem cumbersome, this can be an
enlightening task that elucidates what you
hope to achieve at Brown. Ask yourself,
“Should I take advantage of capstone
experiences such as an honors thesis or an
independent study? What electives really
interest me? Is there a professor with whom I
would like to do a research project?” Keep
in mind the classes you would like to take
outside your concentration so you will
graduate with a well-rounded education.
Have fun!
Remember that you are at Brown and are
encouraged to explore all of your varying
academic and professional interests. A
concentration may be the scholastic
fulcrum upon which your collegiate career
rests, but it does not necessarily overshadow
other learning experiences. Exploit the open
curriculum and ascertain where your
interests lie. Who knows? Perhaps you will
discover new topics that pique your
curiosity! Even if your plans change, be
assured that Brown provides many
resources--advisors, University deans, faculty
members, and student counselors--who are
here to support you. Learning is not a static
event; it’s a dynamic process.
Mocha is a great resource
for researching courses and
professors. Get to know this
You cannot register for
courses through Mocha; use
this website as a research
tool, and then use Banner to
both design your schedule
and to register for classes.
Shopping Period
Shopping period is the time when you get
to “test-drive” the classes you are interested
in taking for the upcoming semester. Some
people love shopping period and “shop”
up to 8 or 9 classes. Others will barely utilize
the time, having most, or all, of their classes
already selected. You’ll find what works
best for you, but here are a few tips.
During shopping period, it is okay to
get up and leave a class if you come
to realize that it isn’t right for you. The
professor won’t mind. However,
whether or not you are registered for
a class you would like to take, attend
every single session throughout
shopping period. If you are registered
but do not attend, some professors
may assume you have decided not
to take it and your spot may be
offered to another student. If you are
not already registered, attending is a
great way to demonstrate your
interest in taking the course. The
professor may give you permission to
Use Mocha
and Critical Review
( to
learn more about a course and to
see how other students have rated it.
When registering, sign up for capped
classes first, as they can fill up quickly.
It is best to “shop” unlimited
enrollment classes (those that show 999
seats available on Banner), as they will
always be available to sign up for later.
If you weren't able to register for a
course you really want to take, be
persistent. Talk to the professor and tell
them you are a transfer or visiting
student. In many cases, they will give
you an "override" for the
class. Overrides are often necessary to
enroll in courses that either have
prerequisites or are highly sought
after. Be sure to provide your Banner ID
number to request an override. There
are some courses, such as Literary Arts
and English courses, where it is
necessary to attend class during
shopping period, as professors might
collect writing samples or have an "in
class write" to determine which students
would form the best class. Email the
professor before shopping period to see
how this works for a particular course.
Advising and Academic
Opportunities: Research, Study
Abroad and Academic Resources
Research Opportunities
it takes some time and effort to
secure a position as a research
Every academic field in the
assistant. Students take one of
physical, social and life
two approaches to find a
sciences, as well as the
humanities offers opportunities
Search Brown's research
for undergraduates to conduct
research. The University
( by
currently has thirty-four centers
keyword or topic area.
and institutes, such as the
This is a great way to get
International Health Institute,
a sense of the variety of
the Center for Computational
research interests
Molecular Biology, the
represented by Brown
Environmental Change
(campus- and hospitalInitiative, the Taubman Center
based) faculty.
for Public Policy, and the
Approach a professor
Watson Institute for
that you’ve taken a class
International Studies, through
with, or that you have
which students may venture
already established a
further afield into specific areas
connection with through
of interest. However, according
other means. Build
to professors across multiple
rapport with them by
departments, large amounts of
going to office hours or
funding for undergraduate
speaking to them after
research remains untapped.
class. Familiarize yourself
While engaging in
with their research
research with a Brown
beforehand to
professor is a tremendously
demonstrate that you
rewarding experience,
have a genuine interest.
Throughout this process, it’s important to remain
persistent. Do not be discouraged if you do not hear
back from researchers who you have tried to contact.
If a professor is currently not taking on any
undergraduate assistants, ask him or her to
recommend a colleague who is conducting similar
research. Continue to reach out actively.
The University offers college fellowships, support
for national fellowships, and research awards. Close
to 80 internal and nationally-competitive fellowships
are supported at Brown, and the Fellowship office
( offers
assistance in both finding and applying to fellowships.
Brown also offers both university-wide and
departmental funding for students interested in
conducting research. University-wide awards include:
the Mellon Mays Fellowship, the Royce Fellowship, the
Brown International Scholars Program, hip Awards,
Research at Brown Grants, Dean’s Discretionary
Grants, and Undergraduate Teaching and Research
Awards (UTRAs). These awards are usually awarded
on a per-semester basis (e.g. for the fall, spring
Study Abroad
The Office of International
Programs is located in J
Walter Wilson (pictured on
previous page).
As part of its academic mission, Brown offers
undergraduates the opportunity to study
abroad through a wide variety of academic
programs, some offered directly by the
University and others sponsored by Brownapproved institutions for academic credit.
Well over 500 Brown students study outside of
the United States each year and are
transformed by their experiences in the most
positive and profound ways.
Students seeking to study abroad
should ask themselves about the kind of
experience they want. Would the students like
to spend the time in a traditional classroom
setting or would they like different, hands on
adventure; would they like to take coursework
in a native language or would they like to
take classes in English? A detailed description
of the opportunities available to students as
well as program costs and financial aid can
be viewed on the Office of International
Affairs homepage
Planning for study abroad semesters should
begin a year before the program start date.
Because of Brown’s 4 semesters inresidence enrollment requirement, study
abroad is only available to incoming
Sophomore-transfers. Junior transfers who
must utilize each of their remaining 4
semesters at Brown may explore summer
study abroad.
Some important study abroad resources are:
The OIP Resource Library (J. Walter Wilson
Hall 420A)
Peer counselors (returned study abroad
students who staff the OIP Resource
OIP Study Abroad Advisors
Brown Morning Mail often promotes
country-specific information sessions and
the study abroad programs fair (usually in
the fall)
A word for Spring Semester Transfers: it is
often a popular choice to study abroad in
the fall before you matriculate at Brown in
the spring. This author highly recommends
it. For more information, please see OIP's
special page for Midyear Transfers > Programs
The University of Edinburgh is a good
choice. Several of your counselors spent
time at the uni, and over a dozen spring
transfers last year took a semester there.
Academic Advising and Resources
Academic support is abundant at Brown. The University has
eight libraries where you may study, find nearly seven million
books and films, or seek research support from librarians. Visit
the Library’s homepage ( and don't
hesitate to reach out to subject librarians, who are
particularly helpful for locating sources for papers, projects or
theses. Feel free to chat with them online, if they are
available. Most students frequent the Rockefeller Library (the
Rock)—Brown’s main humanities and social sciences library—
or the Sciences Library (the SciLi). Computer clusters are
available at both, and they are also located in Brown’s
Center for Information Technology (CIT), which is directly
adjacent to the SciLi.
The University also offers an extensive advising
network for students. As a transfer, your immediate points of
contact are your transfer counselor and coordinators. For
questions about transfer credits and class standing, Deans
Maitrayee Bhattacharyya and Besenia Rodriguez are your
biggest allies. The Dean of the College office is a further
resource for students; academic deans are best sought for
matters concerning pre-professional plans, research, and
curriculum planning. Stop by their drop-in office hours
You can also drop-in and meet with a dean or a
Randall Advisor (knowledgeable faculty from a range of
disciplines who specialize in issues of interest to
sophomores) in Advising Central on the 3rd floor of J. Walter
Wilson. Advising Central is also home to other resources
such as drop-in academic coaching (time management,
note-taking, etc.) (Monday – Fridays 1 – 3 PM) and Coffee
and Careers (Mondays 10 AM – 12 PM). Check out the
Advising Central website for event calendars and more:
Several advising resources exist within each
concentration as well. A key resource is your
In the Dean of the College Office, which may be found in
University Hall, several very important people (but by no
means all of the deans!) are:
Katherine Bergeron, Dean of the College
Maitrayee Bhattacharyya, Associate Dean of the College for Diversity
Programs and Transfer Dean
Linda Dunleavy, Associate Dean of the College for Fellowships
Ann Gaylin, Associate Dean of the College for First-Year and
Sophomore Studies
Besenia Rodriguez, Associate Dean of the College for Research and
Upperclass Studies and Transfer Dean
George Vassilev, Assistant Dean of College, Director of Pre-Professional
Concentration Advisor, who you
will become your official advisor
once you declare your
concentration. The Department
Undergraduate Group (DUG)–
essentially a club for a particular
concentration—also serves as a
resource for learning about
classes, professors, or internship
opportunities. Finally,
departmental secretaries are
often very, very, very helpful in
picking courses and plotting out
your education at Brown. They
typically hold office hours, which
may be found on department
websites. However, do realize
that, despite their helpfulness, it
is not the primary role of the
departmental secretaries to
advise students—that is the
responsibility of your
concentration advisor.
Brown Dining Services, where
you may change your meal
plan, is located behind/below
the Sharpe Refectory (the
Ratty, pictured above). Enter
on Thayer.
The eateries are given on the
maps below: Vdub (1), the
Gate (2), the Blue Room (3),
Campus Market (4) the Ratty
and the Ivy Room (5), Little Jo’s
and Jo’s (6), Friedman Café
(7), and Rock Café (8)
Campus Life: Meal Plan, Housing, Clubs,
Athletics and Volunteering
Dining at Brown
Meal plans at Brown consist of two types: Weekly Plans and Flex Plans. Weekly plans
allow for a certain number of meals per week, and Flex plans allow for an allotment
of points to be used for purchasing food throughout the year. All of the necessary
information regarding meal plans can be found at the following link:
Check out the Brown Dining to peruse menus:
Make sure to supplement on-campus dining with all that Providence has to offer.
There are tons of great restaurants and specialty food stores, especially if you’re
willing to make the trip off College Hill. On-Campus Eateries:
Room Changes: Generally, ResLife only grants room changes in
exceptional cases. If you are very unhappy with your living
situation, we recommend that you approach your Community
Assistant (CA), who is specially trained to handle roommate
conflicts and other housing-related issues.
Housing Lottery: When you arrive at Brown, you will be assigned
housing. For your second year at Brown, you will need to enter the
Housing Lottery. To enter the Housing Lottery you will form a
housing group that applies together. Each student is assigned a
lottery number. The average of the lottery numbers of each
student in a given housing group will be the number of the group.
On the assigned Housing Lottery day, housing groups will be
called up in numerical order and allowed to choose their housing.
DO NOT miss your number being called, as you will lose your spot
in line. If you cannot make it you may appoint a proxy to select
your housing for you. *Suites will have an additional fee
Program Housing: If you choose to join any of the program or
Greek houses on campus you will be exempt from the housing
lottery and will instead participate in the program or Greek
house’s internal housing lottery.
Off-Campus: Brown has a two-year residency requirement.
HOWEVER if you are an incoming junior you may receive an
exemption for your senior year. Most students live on campus
through their junior year. Many seniors choose to live off campus
and as a senior you are guaranteed off-campus permission if you
apply by the December deadline. There is an off-campus fee that
you are required to pay ResLife. Housing Leases go from June to
June and students generally sign leases for the next year between
September and December of the previous year. Check ResLife
website for more info & deadlines (
On-campus housing options are shown above.
Upon arrival at Brown, please collect you keys to
your room (and, in general, get your bearings) by
stopping by Brown Housing at Wayland Arch
(located in Wayland House), which is just above
Wriston Quad.
The Student Activities Fair occurs
every September during the first
week of classes. Almost all clubs
take out booths in the OMAC to
show off their wares. In the spring, a
smaller—but also representative—
fair is held.
Clubs and Volunteering
Whatever you do, don’t miss the
activities fair at the start of the
semester-it’s the best way to
explore Brown’s ridiculous amount
of activities, clubs, and service
opportunities! We’ve got it all, from
a cappella groups, to literary arts
magazines, radio shows, tutoring
programs, martial arts, political
organizations, and pre-professional
groups-and getting involved is the
best way to meet new people and
get situated here at Brown. So go
out there, try some things you know
you’ll like and experiment with
some new ones! There’s no harm in
signing up for things, and you never
know what you’ll find!
Here is a brief primer of what we’ve got.
Explore more at
Academic groups: many
concentrations have Departmental
Undergraduate Groups (DUGs).
Comedy: Brown has lots of
opportunities for improv, sketch,
stand-up, satire, and humor writing,
through performance groups,
literary organizations, and radio
shows like the Brown Barrel show.
Community service: The Swearer
Center for Community Service
offers a crazy number of
opportunities to give back to the
community, no matter your specific
interests, so check out their table at
the fair, or head to their building at
25 George St (around the corner
from the Rock!)
Cultural ethnic groups: a great
chance to embrace your heritage,
or learn about someone else’s
while eating yummy food! Need I
say more?
Dance: hip hop, jazz,
choreography, salsa, swing dance,
Bollywood-Bhangra fusion, contra,
folk…so many ways to get your
move on! Most groups either have
auditions each semester or are
open to everyone
Gender and sexuality: explore the
spectrum of gender through
Greek and residential groups: Frat
parties are mostly for freshmen and
sophomores and only 2 sororities
exist--Alpha Chi Omega and
Theta. They all rush in the spring,
and it's a good way to meet
Journalism/writing: Brown has a
daily paper, The Brown Daily
Herald, and a weekly periodical,
The College Hill Independent.
There's also a weekly arts and
culture magazine, Post- that
transfers are heavily involved in (by
coincidence). There are also
several literary and satirical mags.
Music: Brown has the highest
number of a capella groups per
capita, including our very own sea
shanty-singing pirate group,
ARRRRcapella! Our music
department also has an orchestra,
band, jazz bands, and chorus.
Religious and spiritual groups: They
exist! But try Brown Meditation
Group for something new and lifealtering.
Theater: Production Workshop
(PW) is a completely student-run
theater that puts on great, free
shows all semester long. Musical
Forum, BrownBrokers, Sockin Buskin,
Gilbert and Sullivan, Brown Opera
Productions are other groups if this
is your area of interest.
Brown is an NCAA Division I university with 37 men’s and
women’s varsity teams, as well as 17 club teams. Unlike at
other larger universities, Brown’s Bears are truly integrated into
the Brown community, and student support for their
classmates is rather good for an Ivy League institution.
According to a 2011 poll, Harvard is the Bears’ number one
rival. A big upcoming sporting event is the third annual
“Under the Lights” homecoming football game in September.
If you are not a native of the Northeast, go attend a hockey
game—televised games do not do this sport justice.
In April, 2012 Brown proudly opened a state-of-the-art
athletic complex (with 168 thermal and solar panels)
including the Nelson Fitness Center, the Katherine Moran
Coleman Aquatics Center (with a 56-meter pool that holds
one million gallons of water) and the Zucconi ’55 Varsity
Strength and Conditioning Center. The 10,000-square-foot
fitness room houses everything from weight machines to
cardio equipment, including stationary bikes equipped to
simulate an actual trail race. The complex also houses a café
and workout studios. It is easy to sign up for a variety classes
from yoga to spin sessions and TRX resistance training, and
schedules are posted at or in Morning Mail.
Intramural sports also are offered through the OMAC, and
you may form a team at
This summer the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center
(OMAC), what used to be the primary gym, is gaining a newly
resurfaced indoor track as well as basketball courts that hold
intramural games. The Pizzitola Sports Center houses squash,
(indoor) tennis, and basketball courts. There are also a few
satellite gyms around campus (Bear’s Lair in Grad Center,
Bigelow, and Emery). They are smaller and have basic cardio
and weight equipment, but can be less crowded and more
Sport facilities, including satellite gyms, are located at the
Nelson Fitness Center, Emery Hall, Grad Center (Bears’ Lair)
and the Keeney dorms
Brown’s newly completed Nelson Fitness Center
and Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.
It’s beautiful.
Student Resources: Health, Psych and Religious Services
Health Services – 13 Brown Street
Brown offers on-site health services to all students, regardless of whether you have Brown insurance or are
independently insured. Health Services offers medical appointments, free HIV testing, nutritional consultations, referrals to
local dentists, dermatologists, and other specialists, and an on-site lab with x-ray. It's also home to a convenient pharmacy,
as the nearest CVS with a pharmacy is located on Wayland Square. Call ahead for a same-day appointment: 401-8633953. Hours for the pharmacy and for routine and urgent care appointments are online: Students can also call 401-863-1330, 24 hours a day for advice from a
medical professional. If you or someone you know has a medical emergency or experiences signs of alcohol poisoning call
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at (401) 863-4111 for immediate ambulance service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Psych Services – JWW 516
Brown Psych Services (open M-F 8-5) offers all students up to 7 free and completely confidential therapy sessions. Call
(401) 863-3476 to schedule a counseling appointment. In urgent situations, crisis response is available 24 hours a day. When
calling the number above, follow the prompts for immediate attention. What you discuss and the fact that you’ve visited
Psych Services can’t be shared with anyone—parents, professors, deans, etc—without your written authorization. Tons of
students utilize Psych Services for a variety of reasons. A counseling session can really help if you are feeling overwhelmed
academically, if you’re dealing with problems in your personal life, or if you just need someone to talk to. If you think a friend
is struggling, Psych Services offers free consultations to students. Get advice at If your friend’s behavior is significantly out of
control, or you believe that someone’s life may be in danger, call the Department of Public Safety (401-863-4111).
Religious Life
Brown was originally a Baptist institution (who knew?) and up until 1926 all of our presidents were ordained Baptist
ministers! Since then, Brown has changed dramatically and shed its association with any particular faith. There are plenty of
opportunities on campus for dozens of faiths and beliefs. Various buildings on campus are used for multi-denominational
events and services. Zen Meditation, Catholic Mass, Imani Jubilee, and Protestant services are held in Manning Chapel
weekly. You can find a full schedule of religious services at
Brown has full-time staff members dedicated to students’ religious needs, including a Catholic reverend, a rabbi, a
Protestant reverend, and a Muslim chaplain. We even have an impressive Religious Studies department if your religious
needs are more academically-inclined. There is also a campus blog dedicated to the promotion of religious literacy for all,
found at
Here’s a small sampling of religious clubs on campus: College Hill for Christ, Baha’i Group, Brown/RISD Hillel, Hindu
Students Association, and Brown Quakers. Many of these groups lead service and religious-themed trips around the country
and around the world during the school year.
Social and Greek Life
What Greek organizations can I join at
Sorority houses on campus: Alpha Chi
Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta; Fraternity
houses on campus: Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha
Epsilon Pi, Delta Phi, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma
Chi, Theta Delta Chi, Delta Tau; Co-Ed
houses on campus: Delta Psi (St. Anthony
Hall), Zeta Delta Xi; Sorority houses off
campus: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta
Sigma Theta; Fraternity houses off
campus: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha
How do I join a Greek organization?
The process of rushing and pledging is
painless at Brown. Here’s what you need
to know: Brown fraternities and sororities
only recruit in the spring semester. To join
an on-campus sorority, you must attend
events of both houses. Houses will use
flyers and Morning Mail to let you know
about Rush events. Rush is a week-long
period where you visit the different houses
and decide where you would be most
happy and comfortable, so go to as
many as you can! Fraternities, on the
other hand, have a rush period of 3 – 4
weeks with no requirement to attend
events at every house.
Fraternity rush events are not widely
advertised, so it’s often up to you to take
the initiative. After Rush events, which can
range from casual snacks at the Blue
Room to more formal parties, the
fraternities and sororities deliberate on
who they’d like to admit into their brotheror sisterhood. If a fraternity or sorority
chooses you, you will be given a bid and
can decide whether to accept or
decline. Keep in mind that receiving a bid
from a Greek house is not binding on you
at all. Upon acceptance, you begin the
pledging process, a fun period of time
when you learn about your organization
on the way to becoming a member.
Brown University organizations do not
haze. Fraternities and sororities at Brown
are not like what you see in movies. Sure,
many of the frats have parties (that
anyone may attend!) during the
weekend (sororities are dry), but they are
fun, inclusive, and non-intimidating.
Joining a Greek organization means more
than partying. It means connections,
networking, fun, and lasting relationships.
Of course… there is absolutely no pressure
to join a Greek house. Only about 10% of
Brown students are members, but many
more enjoy the events and have good
friends in houses.
If joining’s not for you, there are tons
more ways to have a healthy and active
social life at Brown: You do not have to drink
alcohol to have fun at Brown! It’s even easy
to be in a Greek house and not drink. This is
a respectful community that will allow you to
have fun however you feel comfortable.
However, if you are 21, a great place to
hang and relax on campus is the Grad
Center Bar (the GCB), located in the heart
of Grad Center dorms.
Program Housing
Program housing at Brown provides an
alternative to the Greek system, regular
dorm-style living, or off-campus housing.
Each house puts on activities throughout the
term about that topic of interest. Houses are
required to put on two events open to the
whole campus in each semester as well as
participate in two community service
activities during the year. Most houses put
on many more events than just the bare
minimum, making program housing at
Brown an important part of campus culture.
Brown currently has nine program
houses. Three are cultural houses: French
House and Hispanic House celebrate the
French- and Spanish-speaking worlds,
respectively, with food, movies, and other
cultural events, while Harambee House
holds events related to African diasporic
The other six are devoted to themes that
interest the members. Art House's events
pertain to studio art, creative writing, fine
arts, and music. Buxton International House
is devoted to international affairs. Interfaith
House promotes the discussion of religion,
while King House is a literary fraternity.
Technology House holds events about
technology, science, and math, while West
House focuses on environmentalism. More
information about what the houses do, and
how you may join them, may be found on
Most of
of Brown
Brown Greek
Greek Life
and Program
Program Housing
offerings are
are located
located on
Wriston Quad
Quad and
and Patriot’s
The GCB is located in
Grad Center E:
Providence and RISD
Waterfire (above) is one of
Downtown Providence’s main
attractions, but its
entertainment value is highly
debatable. Go see for
yourself—shows are usually on
Friday and Saturday evenings.
Rhode Island School of Design
Right down the hill from Brown is RISD, the
Rhode Island School of Design. They offer
majors from industrial design to ceramics
and animation, and RISD kids can often
be found walking through Brown to our
common source of entertainment, Thayer.
It's easy to forget how close we are to
RISD, but it's a great idea to try and meet
a few kids there and consider taking a
class if you're artistically inclined.
Students from both schools are able
to take a limited number of classes at the
other. Up to 4 RISD classes may count
toward students' graduation requirements
at Brown. Registration for RISD courses is
on a space-available basis and courses
are available under Brown course
numbers. To take more than 4 classes at
RISD for credit, you have to petition the
Committee on Academic Standing. There
a few
in a RISD
in order
up a crossto enroll
a RISD course.
form from
Most Brown's
in J.up
a cross-registration
Wilson, and once
a class,
its first
you select
its first session
from the
to enroll.
permission from the instructor to
Providence was founded in the late 1600's
by Roger Williams on land purchased from
the Native Americans. The city reached its
peak population of about 250,000 in the
mid-20th century due to a manufacturing
boom. Since then, the population has
ebbed and flowed, settling around
180,000. Providence used to be one of the
biggest mob cities in the country. The
Patriarca family ran operations selling
alcohol and pretty much anything else
that was illegal. Today the mob basically
doesn’t exist, but corrupt Italian men still
have a major presence in local politics.
The average age of a Providence
resident is just 28 years old as a result of
the five colleges in Providence and the
large immigrant population, which tends
to be younger and have children.
Providence is one of the most diverse
cities in New England with large
populations of Italian, Irish, Portuguese,
Cape Verdean, and Dominican residents.
Brown is the second highest employer
after Rhode Island Hospital, employing
4.4% of the city. Providence is known for its
outstanding restaurants and quirky arts
culture, and it’s a worthwhile place to get
to know.
Downtown Providence
Grocery stores
Down the hill past RISD is downtown Providence, less
than a 10 minute walk away. There you can find lots of
shopping and cafes, as well as the Dunkin Donuts Center
and the Convention Center. It also has a pretty fun
nightlife, with lots of bars and Lupo's, a big music venue
(always a good place to check for upcoming shows).
This is also where you can catch buses to and from New
York and other big cities.
There is a Whole Foods about a 15-20 minute walk east
of campus, and another a short drive to the northwest.
East Side Market is a great, slightly less expensive
alternative about 15 minutes east of campus. Farmers’
markets and Brown’s market share program can be a
nice alternative to grocery stores, especially in the Fall
semester. You can find up-to-date information about
both of these at
Liquor Stores/Bars
There are a lot of restaurants and eateries on Thayer
Street including Nice Slice and Antonio's—pizza places
across the street from each other (most Brown students
have a strong preference between the two)—Kabob
and Curry (Indian), East Side Pockets (wraps), Baja’s (tex
mex), Spice (Thai), Meeting Street Cafe, FroYo World,
Starbucks, Blue State Coffee, and more.
On Brook Street, one block east of Thayer, there's
also a well-known diner called Louis, which is always
packed on weekend mornings—for good reason. About
a 10 minute walk south of campus is Wickenden Street,
which also has a lot of great restaurants including
Brickway (brunch), Sakura (Japanese), The Duck and
Bunny (cupcakes/crepes), Coffee Exchange, and more.
Scattered around campus are several food trucks,
which have become really popular recently. These
include Mama Kim's Korean BBQ, Providence Coffee
Roasters, M’ijo's Mexican BBQ, FanCheezical (grilled
cheese) and more.
If you have a car handy or you’re up for a walk,
Federal Hill also has some restaurants to check out. A 1015 minute drive from campus, it houses the city's "little
Spiritus is right off Thayer Street (although it is fairly
expensive). Darwin's is cheaper, and run by a really nice
couple down on Benefit Street. Madeira and Campus
Winery can be found down near Wickenden, and are
also fairly cheap. There are two main bars on Thayer
Street called Spats and Viva, which are pretty popular.
Farther from campus but also a popular location for
parties is Whiskey Republic (referred to as WhisCo).
Downtown you can find Roxy and Colosseum, as well as
Other Useful Places
On the north end of Thayer toward Pembroke there is a
CVS (no pharmacy) and a post office. There are a few
well-priced hair salons in the area including Salon Persia.
For all the hippie accoutrements you’ll need now that
you’re a Brown student, head to Spectrum India next to
the University bookstore.
Providence’s parks offer a great and free way to get away from campus. Head to Prospect Park for the best view in the city
or India Point Park (just past Wickenden St.) for a view of the bay as well as access to the beautiful East Bay bike path.
Getting Around
Many Brown students don’t venture beyond College Hill. However, Providence and areas beyond the city are easy enough
to navigate, even if you don’t have a car. Bike usage has been increasing steadily in recent years and the city of
Providence has taken some steps to increase bicycle safety and awareness. RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transit Authority) is a
great resource for Brown students because we can ride for free with our Brown IDs and can get just about anywhere in
Providence and the rest of Rhode Island. Check out for routes and schedules. If you do need a car, there
are also a number of Zip Car locations South of Brown’s campus (e.g. on Brook street), where one can rent cars at an hourly
Seekonk: a small town in Mass. about a 10 minute drive away that has a Walmart and a bunch of other big box stores
Providence Place: upscaleish mall with a movie theater, food court, apple store, and a ton of clothing stores that tend to
be a bit pricey, but there is an Old Navy and a Macy's.
Wickenden Street: Thayer's
smaller hipster cousin. It's about
6 blocks south of New Dorm and
has an array of eateries, art
stores, flower shops, and even an
erotic shop.
Wayland Square: about 10
blocks east of campus and there
is a UPS store and a CVS as well
as a few other upscale stores
and restaurants.
Brown is located on College
Hill. Walking down Waterman
Street will get you to East Side
Market; take the I195 to get to
Seekonk. Providence Place is
located in Downtown
Providence, about 10 minutes
on foot. Wickenden Street is in
the Fox Point neighborhood,
which is just south of campus.