11 Brown Pre-College Programs

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

One of the gates in the Brown University

11 Brown Pre-College Programs

Brown University’s pre-college programs offer high school students a chance to experience advanced learning in various fields. These programs provide insights into the academic life at a prestigious university, helping students discover and develop new academic interests. From science and engineering to creative writing and international relations, each program aims to challenge and broaden young minds.

The list below includes 11 Brown Pre-College Programs, each unique in its content and focus. These programs cater to a diverse range of interests, whether you are interested in science, writing, or leadership. Explore what Brown University offers for aspiring young leaders and scholars.

1. Brown Experiential Education: Oxford, England

  • Location: St. Edmund’s Campus, Oxford, England
  • Cost: $7,534
  • Program Date: July 8, 2024 – July 19, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students who have completed grades 10-12 and are between 16-18 years old by June 18, 2024. Candidates should exhibit academic excellence and proficiency in English and effectively communicate their thoughts in a well-crafted application essay.

Oxford’s Brown Experiential Education pre-college program provides an exceptional educational experience combining rigorous academics and deep cultural exploration. Located in Oxford, this program immerses participants in the intricacies of public policy, surrounded by the historic environment of a renowned university. It encourages students to engage in critical and innovative thinking, emphasizing creating effective policies and understanding global policy, economics, and politics.

Group of students talking to a teacher in a library.

During two weeks, students engage in hands-on lectures and workshops led by field experts and practitioners. This program extends beyond theoretical knowledge, giving students practical insights and applications in public policy. They will also visit sites of historical importance, enhancing their comprehension and offering a distinct view of the relationship between history, culture, and policymaking. More than a typical educational course, this program is a transformative experience to provide young learners with the necessary skills and knowledge to influence global policy positively.

2. Brown Global Programs: Bolognia, Italy

  • Location: Bologna, Italy
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Dates: For the academic year 2023-2024, the program runs from August 28, 2023, to May 24, 2024. The Fall Semester is from August 28 to December 18, 2023, and the Spring Semester is from January 8 to May 24, 2024.
  • Eligibility: Applicants should be in good academic standing and have completed Intermediate Italian (third-semester college-level Italian language) or its equivalent.

This is a study abroad pre-college program offered by Brown University in Bologna, Italy. It focuses on full immersion in Italian language and culture, managed by Brown’s Global Partnerships & Programs team. The program includes a mandatory pro-seminar in Italian language, history, and culture and offers enrollment in various courses at the University of Bologna. Options for special studio or visual arts courses at the Accademia di Belle Arti are also available for spring semester students.

Female law student walking in the library.


The Brown in Italy Bologna Program is an academic pursuit and a culturally immersive experience. It enables students to deepen their understanding of Italian culture and language while maintaining their academic goals. Participants are involved in various interactive activities and receive personalized guidance to aid their integration into the Italian university system. The program’s unique structure allows students to adapt to different academic offerings and schedules at the University of Bologna, encouraging flexibility and openness to a diverse educational approach.

3. Brown Global Programs: Germany

  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Cost: $32,828 for the spring semester, $65,656 for the academic year, resources fee of $502 for the spring semester and $1,004 for the academic year
  • Program Dates: September through mid-August, and spring semester is from mid-February to mid-August
  • Eligibility: Good academic standing and offering two tracks based on German language proficiency: the Intermediate track, necessitating completion of Intermediate German I/GRMN 0300 or equivalent, and the Advanced track, requiring Twentieth-Century German Culture/GRMN 0500 or equivalent proficiency

The Brown in Germany pre-college program, a joint initiative by Brown University and Humboldt University in Berlin, offers students an exceptional educational journey. This program transcends the typical study abroad experience, merging academic rigor with cultural immersion in Berlin, a city known for its vibrant atmosphere and rich history. The program begins with a comprehensive month-long orientation, including a German language course for credit and various cultural activities, laying the groundwork for an immersive academic endeavor. Students then progress to their semester at Humboldt University, where they must earn at least 25 ECTS credits. Successful completion awards them a Schein, acknowledging their academic efforts and accomplishments.

beautiful building and fountain located in Munich, Germany

The Brown in Germany pre-college program extends beyond academic pursuits, offering numerous personal and professional development avenues. Situated in the heart of Berlin, students are exposed to a city teeming with life and steeped in historical significance. The city is an exceptional backdrop for engaging in internships and practical experiences across various fields, including art, academia, and diplomatic institutions like the American embassy.

These opportunities are crucial for broadening students’ horizons, fueling their passions, and influencing their academic and career paths. The program deepens students’ academic understanding and enhances their cultural awareness, language skills, and global outlook. The Brown in Germany program is a transformative journey, redefining the college experience and equipping students for a future in a globally connected world.

4. Brown University’s Experiential Education: Rome, Italy

  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Cost: $7,534
  • Program Dates: Monday, June 24, 2024, through Friday, July 5, 2024.
  • Eligibility: The program is designed for students who have completed grades 10 through 12, catering specifically to young scholars between the ages of 16 and 18 as of June 16, 2024. It seeks students who excel academically and can showcase their intellectual inquisitiveness, social maturity, and self-motivation through a thoughtfully composed application essay.

Brown University’s Experiential Education program in Rome, Italy, is a two-week adventure for high school students. It’s not just another school trip – it’s an exploration of the Italian language and Rome’s rich history. This program is perfect for students who want to learn outside the usual classroom walls and get to know one of the world’s oldest and most exciting cities.

Students will stay in the Monteverde Vecchio neighborhood, turning the city of Rome into their classroom. There are two main parts to this program. First, there’s the ‘Beginner Italian’ course, where students learn Italian by using it in real life. The second part, ‘Making of an Eternal City,’ takes students on a historical journey through Rome. They’ll visit famous places like the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Vatican Museums. The students will dig into the stories behind these places and understand how they’ve shaped Rome over thousands of years. This course helps students see how Rome’s history, buildings, and art tell a story about power and change over time.

Happy female student travel in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

This program allows students to connect with a city full of history and life. They’ll learn about different cultures and ideas, develop new skills, and better understand the world. At the end of the program, students don’t just go home with memories; they get a report on how they did and a certificate to show what they’ve learned. It’s a truly special way to learn and grow.

5. Brown in Paris Program

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Cost: $32,828 (program fee) plus $502 (Student Resources Fee) per semester
  • Program Dates:
    • Fall Semester: Early September to third week of December
    • Full Academic Year: Early September to end of May
    • Spring Semester: Early January to end of May
  • Eligibility: Students must be in good academic standing, have completed FREN 0600/sixth-semester college-level French with a grade of B or higher

The Brown in Paris pre-college program by Brown University offers students a chance to study in Paris, blending rigorous academics with cultural immersion. It’s designed for students who are good at French, letting them enroll at the University of Paris to study a wide range of subjects. A key part of the program is the pro-seminar course, focusing on French language and culture. This prepares students for their studies and life in France. The program includes cultural activities like opera visits, museum tours, and excursions, helping students understand French culture.

Three students smiling at the camera.

Students can choose between Sorbonne Université Faculté des Lettres, known for arts and humanities, and Paris VIII, famous for its interdisciplinary approach. The program requires a pro-seminar course and other university courses, totaling 24 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. Students need good grades, especially in French, and must show interest in French culture to apply.

6. Brown Experiential Education: Barcelona

  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Cost: $7,534
  • Program Dates: June 24 to July 5, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students completing grades 10 to 12, ages 16 to 18 by June 16, 2024

The Brown Experiential Education Program in Barcelona is a unique opportunity for students to learn beyond traditional classrooms. It combines academic studies with practical experiences in the culturally rich city of Barcelona. The program includes two main courses: Intermediate Immersive Spanish and Barcelona in Ten Buildings. The Spanish course improves conversational skills and understanding of Spanish and Catalan cultures through real-life situations and community projects. The Barcelona course explores the city’s history and architecture through ten significant buildings, each representing a different facet of the city’s past.

Group of students walking to go to school.

This program offers more than academic knowledge. It immerses students in a new culture, broadening their perspective and understanding of the world. The relaxed academic environment focuses on learning and personal development rather than grades. Successful participants receive a Certificate of Completion and a Course Performance Report, adding value to their educational records. This program demonstrates a student’s eagerness to learn and adapt to new environments for college admissions. It can enhance college applications by showing students’ ability to handle college-level courses and readiness for higher education. The program also provides opportunities for networking, potential recommendations, and experiences for college essays.

7. The Brown University Pre-Baccalaureate Program

  • Location: Online through Canvas, Brown’s Learning Management System
  • Cost: TBD
  • Program Dates: June 17 to August 2, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising or recently graduated high school seniors, age 17 by June 16, 2024

The Brown University Pre-Baccalaureate Program is an enriching initiative for high school seniors and recent graduates. It allows students, or “Pre-Baccs,” to take a range of undergraduate courses at Brown during the Summer Session. The curriculum includes natural sciences, math, social sciences, humanities, and arts, drawing in a diverse group of dedicated learners. The program’s courses mirror the content and rigor of full-semester courses but are compressed into a seven-week summer period.

A man is holding a book standing in the foreground while other students in the background are chatting.

Beyond academics, the pre-college program focuses on the overall growth of its participants. It offers flexible and interactive learning options, including online courses. Small class sizes foster a collaborative environment, encouraging student engagement and connection with peers and faculty. The program demands significant commitment, preparing students for the academic rigor of college. Extracurricular activities and events are also part of the experience, enhancing the sense of community.

Participating in this program signals to colleges a student’s readiness for university-level challenges and a commitment to academic excellence. It helps develop vital skills like time management, critical thinking, communication, and independence. These experiences, when shared in college essays, can highlight personal growth, learning achievements, and alignment with future educational goals.

8. Brown Intensive English Language Program

  • Location: Brown University
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: August 7-18
  • Eligibility: Non-native English speakers seeking to improve their language proficiency

The Brown Intensive English Language Program (IEP) at Brown University offers a unique opportunity for international students to improve their English. This program is designed for those whose first language isn’t English, helping them communicate effectively in various settings. Unlike typical language courses, Brown’s IEP combines language learning with cultural understanding and critical thinking skills. Students in this program are immersed in an English-speaking environment, which helps them become more fluent and confident. The program is flexible, catering to different levels of English proficiency. Besides classroom learning, the Brown IEP includes activities and events to practice English in real situations and learn about American culture.

The curriculum of the Brown IEP is comprehensive, focusing on essential language skills and offering elective courses to match students’ interests. The teaching approach emphasizes using English in practical situations, not just learning from books. This method enhances students’ communication abilities and critical thinking. To join the Brown IEP, applicants must complete an online application, provide a personal statement, and, in some cases, English proficiency scores. The program is open to all non-native English speakers and values applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Group of students seated around a table having a discussion

9. The Brown University Leadership Institute

  • Location: 2-week residential program at the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island; 4-week online program through Canvas, Brown’s Learning Management System from wherever you are
  • Cost: $5,498 (Residential), $4,318 (Cost – Commuter), $5,314 (Online)
  • Program Dates: On Campus: Sunday, June 23 to Friday, July 5, Sunday, July 14 to Friday, July 26; Online: Monday, June 24 to Friday, July 19
  • Eligibility: Students completing grades 9 to 12, ages 14 to 18 by June 16, 2024

The Brown University Leadership Institute offers a pre-college program for high school students interested in leadership. This program provides practical skills and knowledge for students to become effective leaders and positively impact their communities. There are two options: a two-week session on campus and a four-week online session. Both offer a chance to connect with students worldwide and discuss various social issues.

The program includes courses on topics like Women and Leadership, Sports Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, and Global Health. These courses focus on current social issues and encourage critical thinking about leadership in these contexts. It emphasizes developing skills such as public speaking, problem-solving, and teamwork. A key part of the program is creating an Action Plan, a project students can implement in their communities or schools.

A teacher helping her students in the library

The Brown University Leadership Institute allows young people to explore leadership roles, understand their leadership styles, and gain essential communication and teamwork skills. This experience equips students to be effective leaders and make meaningful societal contributions.

10. Brown Environmental Leadership Lab

  • Location: Rhode Island, Eastern Sierras, Alaska
  • Cost: $5,716 (Rhode Island), $6,958 (Eastern Sierras), $6,958 (Alaska)
  • Program Dates: July 7 to July 19 (Rhode Island), July 25 to August 4 (Eastern Sierras), July 14 – July 27 (Alaska)
  • Eligibility: Students completing grades 10 to 12, ages 16 to 18 by June 16, 2024

The Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) prepares leaders for environmental conservation and social justice. Its goal is to inspire action and meaningful change. Students learn about complex issues involving society, economics, and the environment, empowering them to become change-makers. BELL values compassion, teamwork, innovation, and integrity. Students are taught to empathize with the environment, collaborate on solutions, think creatively, and act ethically. The leadership team, experts in various environmental fields, guide, and mentor students, providing a well-rounded education.

Students in front of trees

BELL offers diverse programs on climate change, conservation, sustainable agriculture, and environmental justice. These combine classroom learning with fieldwork and internships, giving students practical skills and in-depth understanding. Graduates become advocates for sustainability, impacting their communities and beyond. BELL’s holistic approach emphasizes the connection between humans and the environment. Its programs go beyond theory, involving hands-on fieldwork and research. BELL’s influence extends globally, with alumni shaping environmental policies and practices.

Plans include new courses and partnerships, expanding BELL’s reach and impact. For those interested in joining, the process involves understanding BELL’s offerings, finding the right program, fulfilling application requirements, and actively participating. Financial aid is available for eligible students. BELL educates and builds a network of ongoing environmental leadership and advocacy.

11. Summer@Brown Online

  • Location: Online, through Canvas, Brown’s learning management system
  • Cost: $3,094 (2 weeks); $4,282 (3 weeks); $5,108 (4 weeks); $5,998 (6 weeks)
  • Program Dates: June 17 to July 26, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students completing grades 9 to 12, ages 14 to 18 by June 16, 2024

Brown Pre-College Online Courses, particularly the Summer@Brown Online program, provide a comprehensive educational experience for high school students. This program, echoing Brown University’s innovative curriculum, offers over 80 courses across various subjects, from sciences to arts. It’s led by skilled instructors creating a vibrant, challenging learning atmosphere. The program is flexible, with three learning options: entirely online, mainly with some live sessions, or a blend of online and scheduled live classes. This adaptability is key for students to balance their studies with other commitments. The focus is on intellectual exploration and building a community with peers worldwide.

Young woman working in front of a laptop in a room.

Summer@Brown Online doesn’t just challenge students academically; it also emphasizes individual feedback and includes workshops for a fuller learning experience. Without the pressure of grades, students can immerse themselves deeply in subjects they’re passionate about. The range of subjects available lets students explore and deepen their knowledge in areas of interest, preparing them for future academic and career paths. The program’s online format helps students develop vital skills like critical thinking and self-discipline. Before starting, students complete an orientation to familiarize themselves with the online system, ensuring they’re ready for the course.


Brown University’s pre-college programs offer a unique opportunity for high school students to broaden their horizons and prepare for future academic and professional success. These 11 programs cover a variety of interests and provide a glimpse into college life at a prestigious institution. They are more than just classes; they are experiences that shape students’ understanding of the world.

Participants in these programs engage in hands-on learning in diverse subjects, from language and culture to leadership and environmental issues. This enhances their knowledge and develops essential skills such as critical thinking and collaboration. These programs also expose students to new cultures and global perspectives, vital in today’s interconnected world.

Joining one of Brown’s pre-college programs can be a significant step for students. It shows a dedication to learning and a readiness for college-level challenges. The experiences gained, the people met, and the skills developed can influence their future education and career choices. Brown’s pre-college programs are an excellent choice for students looking to get ahead and make the most of their high school years.


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