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How to get into Brown University—General Information

Brown University is an Ivy League university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, Brown University is a private research university. The undergraduate enrollment at Brown is 6,792, with 2,561 graduate students. Brown University is ranked #14 in national universities by U.S. News and #26 in the Forbes Top Colleges 2021 list. 

Here is what we’ll cover in the How to Get Into Brown University Guide:

  • GPA requirements for Brown University
  • Brown University acceptance rate
  • Brown University application deadline
  • Optimal Brown SAT scores and ACT scores
  • Brown Early Decision deadline
  • Writing Brown supplemental essays
  • Brown video portfolio

When thinking about how to get into Brown University, you want to make sure you consider all parts of the application. This includes the Brown University GPA requirements, Brown SAT scores and ACT scores, Brown supplemental essays, and Brown video portfolio. You should strive to maintain a high GPA, prepare for the SAT or ACT, and engage with extracurriculars you’re passionate about. In order to maximize your chances against the Brown University acceptance rate, start thinking about your personal narrative well before the Brown University application deadline or the Brown Early Decision deadline. 

Figuring out how to get into Brown University takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Brown graduates. Want to maximize your Brown admissions odds?  Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272. 

How hard is it to get into Brown?

Brown University is a competitive college. The undergraduate Brown University acceptance rate is 5.5%. For the class of 2026, the Early Decision Brown University acceptance rate was 14.6%. This is a drop from the class of 2025 Brown Early Decision acceptance rate, which was 15.97%

The Brown University acceptance rate is a competitive one. This means you should submit the strongest possible application to maximize your chances. You will want to pay attention to the Brown University GPA requirements, Brown SAT scores and ACT scores, your Brown supplemental essays, and your Brown video portfolio well before the Brown University application deadline. 

Brown is an Ivy League university, which means it will be a “reach” school for every applicant. If you want to know how to get into Brown University, know that your entire application will play a role in your admissions result. You want to focus on meeting the Brown University GPA requirements and hitting the target Brown SAT scores and ACT scores. You should also ensure you submit strong Brown supplemental essays and, when necessary, a solid Brown video portfolio.

What is the average GPA for Brown University?

Of course, a pressing question is the Brown University GPA requirements. Brown University does not publish the average GPA of its incoming student body. However, they confirmed that 94% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. So, although there is no exact number, clearly there are still Brown University GPA requirements.

In order to be in the top 10% of your graduating class, you should strive to keep a high GPA for all four years of high school. If you are applying to Brown Early Decision, your junior year GPA will be more important than if you are applying through Regular Decision, in which case your fall senior year GPA will also be important. You should keep your timeline in mind when considering the Brown University GPA requirements.

Make sure you choose a strong course load, particularly in your junior and senior years, to meet the Brown University GPA requirements. Succeeding in challenging courses, like AP or IB courses, is a great way to maintain a high GPA and stay within the top 10% of your class. However, you also want to make sure that you set yourself up for success and don’t overload yourself. Try to balance your courses with an appropriate level of rigor across your schedule in order to fulfill the Brown University GPA requirements.

If you’re concerned about meeting the Brown University GPA requirements, check out our article about how to choose the best course load for college applications.

What is the acceptance rate for Brown University?

The Brown University acceptance rate is 5.5% for undergraduate students. However, if you apply Early Decision, you may face slightly better chances. For the class of 2026, the Early Decision Brown University acceptance rate was 14.6%. This is a drop from the Early Decision class of 2025 Brown University acceptance rate, which was 15.97%

Applying Early Decision means you will commit to attending Brown University if you are accepted. If Brown is your top choice, consider submitting an ED application instead of waiting until the regular Brown University application deadline. This will show Brown that you are very excited about their school.

The Brown Early Decision deadline is November 1st. The Regular Decision Brown University application deadline is January 5th. The Brown Early Decision deadline is around two months before the regular Brown University application deadline; however, if you feel you can have your application ready in time, you should consider applying to Brown Early Decision. Otherwise, prepare everything for the RD Brown University application deadline.

What do I have to do to get into Brown?

Want to know how to get into Brown University? This section will break down all aspects of the Brown application. We’ll discuss the Brown University GPA requirements, Brown SAT scores and ACT scores, Brown University acceptance rate, Brown Early Decision, and the Brown University application deadline. But those are not the only things you will have to think about when thinking about how to get into Brown University; you also need to think about Brown’s SAT scores and ACT scores. 

We have yet to discuss Brown SAT scores and ACT scores. On its website, there’s a breakdown of Brown SAT scores and ACT scores submitted by applicants. The middle 50% of admitted students’ Brown SAT scores were between 1480 and 1560 on the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portions of the SAT. 

If you took the ACT instead of the SAT, there is a similar breakdown of scores on the Brown website. The middle 50% of admitted students scored between 33 and 35 on the ACT. 91% of admitted students submitted an ACT score of 32 or above.

But your Brown SAT scores and ACT scores are not the only part of your application. In fact, for first-year applicants in the 2021-2022 admission cycle, Brown is test-optional. This means that you do not need to submit your test scores if you do not feel they reflect who you are as a student. 

If you want to send your test scores but are worried about applying with a lower-that-average score, check out this article. The Brown SAT scores and ACT scores aren’t everything when it comes to how to get into Brown University. You will want to think about your GPA, your Common App personal essay, the Brown supplemental essays, your extracurriculars, and your Brown video portfolio. 

What does the Brown application look like?

If you’re thinking about how to get into Brown University, the most important part is that you complete the entire application with strong and personal content that allows admissions officers to really get to know you. Like many other schools, the Brown Early Decision deadline is November 1st. The Regular Decision Brown University application deadline is January 5th.

Your application must include:

  • The Common Application or Coalition Application
  • The Brown supplemental essays (three required 250-word responses)
  • An official high school transcript
  • A school report
  • Midyear School Report and Transcript
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Evaluations/Recommendations
    • Bachelor of Science and PLME Recommendations (optional)
  • SlideRoom Brown video portfolio (optional)

Brown Early Decision specific requirements:

  • First Quarter/Trimester Grades
  • Brown Early Decision Agreement

Be sure you have all your application materials prepared before the Brown University application deadline. For example, if you are considering a STEM field or Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), at least one of your recommendations should come from a math or science teacher. If you are an artist, you should submit a supplemental Brown video portfolio for the arts. 

The SAT and ACT are optional for applicants applying in the 2021-2022 admission cycle. However, all of the Brown supplemental essays are required. So, spend an appropriate amount of time crafting your answers to those questions. 

For advice on how to ace the Common App, check out our guide here

What extracurriculars do I need for Brown?

A big tip on how to get into Brown University? Get involved with extracurriculars that you care about. Brown admissions officers will be more impressed by your commitment to something you actually enjoy than a laundry list of clubs you signed up for to pad your resume. 

Your extracurriculars are a great way to show colleges who you really are. They play a big role in your candidate profile. A candidate profile is a 1-2 sentence description of who you are and why a college should admit you. What comprises your candidate profile is what sets you apart from other applicants—your unique story and background. 

The answer to the question “How to get into Brown University?” has many steps, and a strong extracurricular list is one of them. You want to make sure your extracurricular list reflects who you are and what you value. Aim for quality over quantity—the number of activities you do doesn’t matter as much as your genuine interest in them. 

The best advice on how to get into Brown University is to be yourself. Authenticity and a genuine candidate profile will be your best path to success. Continue to work hard and strive for a good GPA, write strong answers to the Brown supplemental essays, and prepare long before the Brown University application deadline. These steps will give you a good chance against the Brown University acceptance rate.

Does Brown University require interviews?

When investigating how to get into Brown University, many students might expect there to be an interview as part of the admissions process. In previous years, Brown University offered alumni interviews for applicants. However, for the 2021-2022 admission cycle, Brown has discontinued alumni interviews. 

Instead of an interview, Brown allows students to submit a two-minute video introduction. This lets Brown admissions officers get to know you beyond your application. In your video, you should convey both who you are and why you are interested in Brown. Note that this is different from the optional Brown video portfolio.

Brown video introduction

There is no topic that Brown requires you to talk about in your introduction. It offers a list of suggestions on its website, but you could choose to discuss anything. If you are struggling to get started, try recording a few demo videos and see which one sticks out as the most “you” when you watch them back. 

Brown also offers a list of recording tips:

  • Start your video in front of the camera saying, “Hi, my name is [insert name] from [high school].” 
  • Simple and unrehearsed is fine, and you are welcome to be creative.
  • Dress casually as you would for a school day or school event.
  • Be sure that you are visible and audible during your video, and film in landscape. 
  • Limit your video to no more than two minutes.

If you follow all of these tips and create a compelling and enjoyable video, you will be sure to ace this part of the Brown application. This video introduction should not be confused with the Brown video portfolio, which is a different aspect of the application.  

How do you write a Brown supplemental essay?

The Brown supplemental essays consist of three required 250-word questions. Essay requirements are subject to change each year. This means you might have to adapt your “how to get into Brown University” essay strategy to the most current essay prompts. 

You should focus on crafting clear and strong responses to the three Brown supplemental essays. Since the Brown University acceptance rate is very low, you want to use every aspect of your application to make yourself stand out. 

In order to write the strongest possible Brown supplemental essays, you should do research on the school to understand what types of students Brown looks for. Specifically, you can look into the First-Year experience on both the Brown website and from the perspective of a CollegeAdvisor Brown alum

When you write your Brown supplemental essays, make sure you demonstrate that you did your research. For more advice on the Brown supplemental essays, check out our Brown essay guide

How does Brown University review applications?

Brown University evaluates applications in a holistic manner. There are no confirmed minimum Brown University GPA requirements and no SAT or ACT score minimum. Instead, Brown looks at what achievements and growth you have accomplished in the context of your high school environment. This indicates how successful you can be as a member of the Brown community.

Just like there is no formula for how to get into Brown University, there is no formula for how an acceptance to Brown is determined. Brown does confirm, however, that your accomplishments as a high school student are the most important part of the application process. All admissions decisions are made collectively by the admission committee.

Brown also does not track your demonstrated interest in the school. Demonstrated interest (DI) is a gauge used by schools to measure how interested you are in attending their program. This can be important at some other schools, but Brown does not track your engagement with their school through tours, information sessions, or interactions with the admissions team. 

If you want to learn more about the Brown University admissions process, you can read the Brown University admissions process FAQs

Will Brown look at my social media accounts?

When considering how to get into Brown University, and how to get accepted into any school, students may turn to their social media accounts. As part of the holistic admissions process, colleges have been known to evaluate student social media presence and even make decisions informed by what they find. Your social media reflects your character. This means you want to behave in a way that would not be a stain on an otherwise strong personal and academic record. 

You should probably avoid posting any insensitive, offensive, or generally irresponsible content on your social media channels. Even if colleges aren’t looking, employers and internship directors could be. You wouldn’t want to risk missing out on opportunities that you would otherwise have been a great candidate for over a social media post. 

While there’s no guarantee that Brown will check your social media or that social media could impact your admissions decision at all, there is no 100% guarantee that they won’t check your social media, either. When thinking about how to get into Brown University, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to social media. 

Is Brown the school for me?

Brown University is a competitive school to get accepted into, so sometimes students focus on the “How to get into Brown University” aspect rather than the “Should I go to Brown University” aspect of college admissions. As you research how to get into Brown University and craft your application, you should stop to consider if the school is right for you. 

Brown prides itself on educational innovation with its open curriculum. At Brown, you are the architect of your own education. This kind of curriculum is flexible and student-centered. Brown also offers over 500 student organizations to get involved with. 

Before applying, do some research on the Brown University experience; you can learn more about Brown by exploring their website. Find more of our resources on Brown University here. You can also watch our Brown University Webinar for more information. 

If you do decide that Brown is the school for you, you can find Brown University on the Common App

Additional tips to get into Brown:

There is no easy way to answer the question “How to get into Brown University.” But, here are some additional tips to creating the strongest application possible:

1. Be yourself

The trick to knowing how to get into Brown University is understanding that the Brown admissions process is holistic—that means they want to learn about who you are at your core. What values did you grow up with, how do you formulate opinions, and what are you passionate about? Focus on these questions as you craft your candidate profile, complete your Brown video portfolio, write your Brown supplemental essays, and think about how to get into Brown University. 

2. Use your resources

Brown places a heavy emphasis on how you use the resources available to you in your high school community. You want to make sure you are getting everything you can out of your environment. Getting involved at your high school and in your community shows that you will continue to do so at Brown. Brown is a world-class institution with incredible opportunities and resources; show admissions officers that you want to take advantage of this if accepted.

3. Start early

Don’t wait until the last minute to put together your application. Instead, keep an eye on the Brown University application deadline. If you are applying to Brown Early Decision, that deadline will be even earlier. A rushed application won’t set you apart from other applicants, which is especially important in light of the Brown University acceptance rate. Think about the Brown University GPA requirements and Brown SAT scores early on in the admissions process. Write strong Brown supplemental essays and, if applicable, submit a Brown video portfolio. 

Brown University is a selective school, and there’s no one trick to getting accepted. If you want to go to Brown, apply! You can also review Brown’s Tips for Completing your Application, and consider Brown’s Early Decision if Brown is your number one choice. Good luck!


This guide was written by Laura Frustaci, Harvard ’21. If you want to know how to get into Brown, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Brown graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.