The College of Brown University

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Manning Hall on Brown's Quiet Green

The College of Brown University is the undergraduate section and oldest school of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.


On March 3, 1764, James Manning and Ezra Stiles filed a charter to create the College of Rhode Island. Their mission, as stated in the charter, was to prepare students "for discharging the Offices of Life" by providing instruction in the Vernacular Learned Languages, and in the liberal Arts and Sciences."[1] Manning became the College's first president in 1765, and five years later the school moved to its present location on College Hill on the East Side of Providence.

In 1850, Brown President Francis Wayland wrote, "The various courses should be so arranged that, insofar as practicable, every student might study what he chose, all that he chose, and nothing but what he chose." However, the College did not make any major institutional changes for over a century. In 1969, the New Curriculum was implemented, eliminating distribution requirements and allowing students to take any course Satisfactory/No Credit. In addition, the University eliminated pluses, minuses, and D grades in the letter grading system.


Degrees granted[edit]

The College offers two different baccalaureate degrees: Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and Bachelor of Science (Sc.B.)


  • Africana Studies
  • American Civilization
  • Ancient Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Archaeology and the Ancient World
  • Architectural Studies
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Classics: Greek
  • Classics: Latin
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Science
  • Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship
  • Community Health
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Development Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Education Studies
  • Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethnic Studies
  • French Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Geological Sciences
  • German Studies
  • Greek
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • History of Art and Architecture
  • Human Biology
  • Independent Concentration
  • International Relations
  • Italian Studies
  • Judaic Studies
  • Late Antique Cultures
  • Latin
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literary Arts
  • Literatures and Cultures in English
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematical Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Medieval Cultures
  • Middle East Studies
  • Modern Culture and Media
  • Music
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy and American Institutions
  • Religious Studies
  • Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
  • Science and Society
  • Semiotics–French
  • Slavic Studies
  • Sociology
  • South Asian Studies
  • Statistics
  • Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
  • Urban Studies
  • Visual Art

Dual Degree programs[edit]


Students have the ability to graduate in five years with both an A.B. and Sc.B. degree, provided that requirements for each degree are met. This is distinct from a double concentration, when students only receive one degree.


The Program in Liberal Medical Education is a single eight-year program that allows students to complete both an undergraduate degree (A.B. or Sc.B.) from The College and subsequently an M.D. degree from Alpert Medical School. Admission to PLME is highly competitive; each year approximately 50 students matriculate out of an applicant pool of 1,970.[2]


While students at The College have long been able to cross register for classes at nearby Rhode Island School of Design, it is now possible to complete an A.B. from Brown and a B.F.A. degree from RISD concurrently over a five-year period. Students must be admitted to both institutions separately in order to matriculate.


  1. ^ Brunson, Walter C. (1972). The History of Brown University, 1764-1914. p. 500. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]