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Brown University Diversity Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Brown University Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Overview

Let’s unpack Brown University’s diversity statistics! Brown University, an Ivy League institution in Providence, Rhode Island, was founded in 1764, making it the seventh-oldest university in the U.S. It is known for its unique open curriculum, allowing students to craft their own academic path without required core courses.

Brown offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs across a variety of fields. It has a vibrant campus life with a wide range of extracurriculars and competes in the Ivy League for athletics. The university is also engaged in significant research activities across various disciplines.

How many students attend Brown University?

Brown University is home to a diverse student body totaling 10,737 individuals. 

This population is made up of 7,222 undergraduate students, 2,920 pursuing graduate degrees, and 595 enrolled in medical programs. The latest diversity statistics from fall 2022 reveal an undergraduate enrollment of 7,639, reflecting Brown University’s vibrant academic community.

One of the distinctive features of Brown University is its low student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1. This means that for every six students, there is one faculty member available, ensuring that students receive ample individual attention and support throughout their studies.

This ratio highlights Brown’s commitment to promoting intimate classroom environments and prioritizing quality education. The university believes that such a setting enhances personalized learning and mentorship opportunities and significantly improves the overall educational experience for students.

This focus on maintaining small class sizes and ensuring a high level of faculty engagement underscores Brown University’s dedication to its students’ academic and personal development.

Brown University Undergraduate Population

Brown University boasts a vibrant undergraduate community of 7,222 students. 

The university offers a wide array of academic opportunities, including more than 80 undergraduate majors (concentrations) for students to choose from. Each year, Brown provides over 2,000 undergraduate courses, ensuring a rich variety of learning options across different disciplines.

A significant aspect of Brown’s educational environment is its commitment to small class sizes; 68% of its classes consist of fewer than 20 students. This facilitates more personalized interaction between students and professors. 14% of Brown’s undergraduates are pioneering their family’s college education journey, being the first in their families to attend college.

Brown University also places a strong emphasis on community building and integration for new students. It ensures that 100% of first-year undergraduates have the opportunity to live on campus, giving a sense of belonging and community from the very start of their college experience.

For the undergraduate Class of 2027 at Brown University, there were 51,316 applications submitted. Out of these, the university offered admission to 2,686 students, which is about 5.2% of the applicants, indicating a highly selective admission process. From those admitted, 1,699 decided to enroll, forming the incoming class.

The class includes ten students joining through the Resumed Undergraduate Education program, which is designed for individuals who have taken a break from their academic pursuits or started their higher education journey later.

There are also 77 students who will be joining Brown as transfer students from other institutions. Altogether, this brings the total number of new undergraduate students for the Class of 2027 to 1,786. This data showcasing the diversity statistics of incoming students underscores Brown University’s dedication to providing educational opportunities to a broad spectrum of learners, encompassing those from non-traditional educational backgrounds.

Brown University Graduate Population

Brown University is home to a graduate student population of 2,920, offering a broad range of advanced study options. 

Brown offers 29 master’s degrees and 40 doctoral programs, allowing students to further specialize in their fields and research pursuits.

The outcomes for graduates of Brown University are notably positive. An impressive 96% of graduates from the class of 2021 secured employment or continued their education in graduate or professional schools within nine months of finishing their degrees.

For those aiming for specific professional paths, the success rates are particularly high: 86% of 2022 graduates who applied to law schools were admitted, and 81% of those applying to medical schools in the same year gained admission.

According to diversity statistics, Brown’s alumni network extends globally, with 119,650 former students residing in 152 countries. This widespread community reflects the university’s international impact and the diverse opportunities available to its graduates worldwide.

In Fall 2023, Brown University welcomed around 1,235 new graduate students across a broad range of programs, including 46 doctoral and 35 master’s and executive master’s programs. This diverse group of students showcases Brown’s commitment to inclusivity and global representation in higher education.

Notably, 32% of the new graduate students from the U.S. belong to groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education, reflecting the university’s efforts to promote diversity and equal opportunity.

International students make up 44% of the incoming graduate class, emphasizing Brown’s appeal to students from around the world. These students hail from 45 U.S. states and territories and 54 different countries, bringing an array of perspectives and experiences to the university.

Brown University International Student Population

Brown University is a global academic hub, hosting over 2,700 international students, scholars, and their family members from more than 100 different countries according to its diversity statistics. 

Among the newest members, the undergraduate students of the Classes of 2026 and 2027 come from 98 diverse nations, showcasing the university’s wide-reaching appeal.

The proportion of international students at Brown fluctuates between 12% and 17.7% of the entire student body, reflecting a significant international presence on campus. For instance, the Class of 2025 saw 11% of its students coming from abroad, with the highest numbers from China, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, and Turkey.

A closer look at student visa data from 2020 reveals that around 606 Chinese students were studying at Brown, potentially making up between 6.1% and 34.4% of all students. This diverse community contributes to a rich culture, with 54% of students identifying as people of color.

The students of the most recent classes hail from 76 countries and collectively speak 89 different languages as reflected in its diversity statistics, highlighting the different perspectives and experiences they bring to the university.

Brown University Gender Distribution

Brown University’s student body consists of 10,696 students, with a gender split of 48.71% male (5,210 students) and 51.29% female (5,486 students) according to diversity statistics.

This distribution spans both undergraduate and graduate levels, with 3,536 male and 3,813 female undergraduates, and 1,674 male and 1,673 female graduate students. This gender balance is distinctive among Ivy League schools, where Brown stands out for its nearly equal representation of male and female students.

Brown Student Population

Men Women

Total

Undergraduate

3,536 3,813 7,349
Graduate 1,674 1,673

3,347

Total

5,210 5,486

10,696

The trend of more female applicants than male applicants is notable in Brown’s admissions process. For example, for the Class of 2026, there were 31,710 female applicants compared to 18,939 male applicants, making the applicant pool 62% female and 37% male.

Despite the female-dominant applicant pool, Brown has managed to maintain a balanced gender distribution within its admitted freshman class, with 48% male and 52% female students. This demonstrates Brown’s commitment to gender parity, ensuring a diverse and balanced student body even in the face of skewed application rates.

Brown University Age Distribution

At Brown University, a majority of the students, specifically 61.62%, are within the traditional college age range of 18 to 21 years.

This is slightly higher than the national average, where about 60% of college students fall within this age bracket, as reported in its diversity statistics. This data highlights the fact that Brown’s student body is predominantly made up of young adults who are in the typical age range for undergraduate studies.

Age Range

Undergraduate Graduate

Total

Under 18

76 76 0
18-19 3,137 3,135

2

20-21

3,412 3,353 59
22-24 1,858 695

1,163

25-29

1,475 63 1,412
30-34 476 10

466

35-39

142 8 134
40-49 95 5

90

50-64

25 4 21
Total 10,696 7,349

3,347

Brown University Diversity Statistics and Racial/Ethnic Demographics

Brown University stands out for its commitment to diversity, with its undergraduate community representing different backgrounds. Students hail from across the globe, with over 100 nations represented on campus.

Race/Ethnicity

Men Women

Total

American Indian/Native American

14 19 33
Asian 816 843

1,659

Black/African American

322 469 791
Hispanic 504 585

1,089

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

6 9 15
White 2,098 1,946

4,044

Two More

250 390 640
Unknown 196 243

439

Total

5,210 5,486

10,696

This international presence is complemented by students from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The linguistic diversity is notable, with students speaking a multitude of languages. Within the U.S. student population, a significant portion, approximately 42%, identifies as a person of color, illustrating the rich cultures and experiences that enrich the Brown University community.

Brown University Racial/Ethnic Diversity Among Faculty

At Brown University, the faculty composition includes around 2,355 female teachers and 2,112 male teachers according to diversity statistics. This distribution shows a balanced gender representation and underscores the university’s broader commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Faculty Race/Ethnicity

No. of Faculty

Percentage

White

3,044 72%
Black or African American 302

7.14%

Asian

251 5.94%
Multi-Ethnic 89

2.11%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

7

0.17%

The significant number of faculty members from various racial and ethnic backgrounds illustrates Brown’s dedication to creating a learning environment where diversity is embraced and valued. This commitment to inclusivity ensures that students are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and experiences, enhancing the educational experience for everyone at the university.

Brown University Geographic Diversity

Brown University is highly ranked for its geographic diversity, standing in 3rd place among 2,183 institutions as reflected in its statistics.

A substantial 95.54% of its students originate from outside the state, while 14.18% come from international locations. This wide-ranging geographic representation underscores Brown’s global appeal and its commitment to creating a diverse academic community.

The university has put in place a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan that highlights the importance of understanding the demographic makeup of its students, faculty, and staff. This plan is a foundational step toward developing effective strategies to attract, retain, and support a diverse community. In line with this commitment, the faculty at Brown is also notably diverse, with 60.99% of its members identifying as people of color.

Brown’s dedication to improving statistics and diversity extends beyond mere numbers; it is about creating a learning environment where everyone is valued and can thrive. This approach reflects the university’s belief in the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms to enrich the educational experience and prepare students for a global society.

Brown University Financial Diversity

Brown University is dedicated to enhancing financial diversity within its campus and making higher education accessible to students from varied backgrounds. It proudly meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for students through grants and scholarships, rather than loans.

For the Class of 2027, over half (52%) received need-based financial aid according to diversity statistics. Despite these efforts, a report highlighted that Brown ranks lowest among Ivy League schools in terms of socioeconomic diversity, with a small percentage (4.3%) of its student body coming from the highest income bracket.

In response to this challenge, Brown has implemented several measures to improve accessibility and affordability. These include removing home equity from financial aid calculations and offering full-tuition scholarships to families earning $125,000 or less annually.

These actions are part of Brown’s broader Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which aims to foster a more equitable and inclusive learning environment through research and policy changes.

Beyond financial aid, Brown encourages community engagement and academic excellence, as evidenced by its 58 Rhodes Scholars and 806 Fulbright Scholars. Over 1,600 students annually participate in community engagement programs through the Swearer Center.

Brown’s financial aid policy is need-blind for domestic applicants, emphasizing the university’s commitment to enrolling a diverse student body regardless of financial background. The average financial aid package at Brown is $59,749, comprising grants and scholarships that do not require repayment. This approach underscores Brown’s commitment to removing financial barriers to education, ensuring students from all economic backgrounds can pursue their academic goals without the burden of student loans.

How diverse and inclusive is Brown University?

Brown University is recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by various initiatives and programs aimed at fostering an inclusive academic and social environment. The university’s efforts span across multiple dimensions of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and international representation.

Brown University is actively working to enhance diversity and inclusion across its campus through a variety of initiatives. Key among these efforts is the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP), a detailed strategy aimed at building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive academic and research environment.

The DIAP sets forth clear objectives, such as increasing the representation of underrepresented groups among students, faculty, and staff; fostering a more welcoming campus culture; and significantly growing the numbers of faculty and graduate students from these groups. This plan underscores the critical role that diversity, equity, and inclusion play in achieving academic success and enriching the university community.

Brown also meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need for admitted undergraduate students through grants and scholarships, not loans. This need-blind admission policy for domestic students helps ensure that students from all financial backgrounds can afford to attend.

a woman talking to a student about most popular degrees in us

About faculty and graduate student diversity, Brown aims to double the number of faculty and graduate students from underrepresented groups, showing a commitment to diversifying those who teach and conduct research.

According to diversity statistics, Brown University’s undergraduate student body is also diverse, with students coming from a wide range of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. International students represent a significant portion of the student body, further adding to the cultural diversity on campus.

The university supports several cultural and resource centers, such as the Brown Center for Students of Color, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center. These spaces offer support, advocacy, and community for students from diverse backgrounds.

Students at Brown come from over 100 countries and all 50 U.S. states, bringing a wide array of perspectives and experiences to the university. This global representation is a testament to Brown’s inclusive admissions policies and its appeal to students worldwide.

Through the Swearer Center and other initiatives, Brown encourages students to engage with diverse communities locally and globally, emphasizing the importance of social responsibility and cultural exchange.

Despite these efforts, Brown, like many institutions, continues to work on addressing challenges related to diversity and inclusion. Reports and assessments, including external rankings and internal surveys, help the university to identify areas for improvement and measure progress toward its goals.

Is diversity important at Brown University?

At Brown University, diversity is a fundamental part of the university’s identity, deeply woven into its operations and ethos. This commitment is clearly outlined in its strategic plan, “Building on Distinction,” showcasing how integral diversity is to the university’s vision.

Brown believes that a diverse community enhances every facet of the educational experience, enriching both the social and academic aspects of campus life, as well as bolstering the university’s research initiatives.

The principles that guide the university community emphasize the importance of an open-minded approach to learning and growth. Brown prioritizes creating a space where free inquiry is encouraged, reflecting on and adapting practices for improvement, and actively promoting a culture where diverse voices are heard and valued. This approach fosters an environment ripe for innovation and positive change, driven by the blend of different perspectives and ideas.

Brown’s approach to diversity is embedded in the university’s culture and influences the experiences and opportunities available to students. This includes efforts like the Diversity at Brown Initiative, which aims to enhance understanding and inclusivity across the campus, and a need-blind financial aid policy that ensures students from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to attend.

Through these and other initiatives, Brown University demonstrates its unwavering commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community, essential for advancing knowledge and equipping students to make meaningful contributions in a diverse world.

Clubs at Brown University that promote diversity

Brown University supports a variety of programs and student organizations focused on enhancing diversity and providing an inclusive community. Among these efforts are:

Regional Brown Clubs

Brown University boasts an extensive network of over 100 regional clubs worldwide, designed to keep alumni connected to the university and each other. These clubs create a sense of community among Brown’s graduates, spanning both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, across various class years.

Throughout the year, these clubs host a wide array of events aimed at bringing alumni together. These events range from social gatherings and professional networking opportunities to volunteer projects, educational talks, and cultural experiences.

Club members often commit to leadership or participation roles for multiple two-year terms, sometimes extending their involvement for two to three terms in a row. This continuity helps sustain the clubs’ activities and goals, including initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion within the alumni community.

These regional clubs act as a vital link for alumni to stay engaged with the Brown community, offering them chances to network, share experiences, and contribute positively to the university’s ongoing mission and values.

The Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC)

The Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC) at Brown University serves as a dedicated space for students of color on campus. Its primary mission is to create an inclusive and supportive environment where students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds can come together, celebrate their identities, and engage in meaningful dialogue.

The BCSC plays a big role in this regard by hosting a variety of events and programs that not only celebrate the rich tapestry of diverse identities but also provide a platform for open discussions and learning. This center offers a range of facilities, including lounges and classrooms, as well as dedicated spaces such as the Black, Latino, Asian American, Native, and Multiracial rooms that student groups can reserve for their meetings.

One of the center’s key objectives is to encourage students to form meaningful connections across racial and ethnic differences. It aims to foster a sense of racial and ethnic awareness, enabling students to better understand and appreciate the diverse backgrounds of their peers. The BCSC is also committed to addressing the unique needs and interests of all students of color at Brown.

Established in 1976, the BCSC has a rich history of serving the interests of Third World students and promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. It stands as an integral part of Brown University’s broader commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive academic community, emphasizing the importance of equity and representation in higher education.

African Students’ Association (ASA)

The African Students’ Association (ASA) is a student organization found on numerous college and university campuses throughout the United States. These associations have a clear mission: to establish a welcoming and inclusive environment for African students who are already enrolled, those considering attending the institution, and even non-African students interested in African culture.

One of the primary objectives of these organizations is to raise cultural awareness about the African continent, its rich cultures, histories, and diverse political perspectives. ASA aims to create an atmosphere where individuals can learn, appreciate, and celebrate the vast diversity found within Africa.

ASA is committed to building a close-knit community among African students. It strives to provide a strong support system and valuable resources to help these students succeed both academically and socially during their time at college or university. ASA serves as a hub where students can connect, share experiences, and find the support they need to thrive in their academic journey.

Asian Sisters Empowered (ASE)

Asian Sisters Empowered (ASE) at Brown University is a student organization with a warm embrace, specifically catering to Asian/American womxn and womxn-aligned individuals. The group serves as a nurturing and supportive community, aiming to provide a safe haven for its members to share and explore their unique experiences.

One of the central objectives of ASE is to create a welcoming space where its members can not only find support but also form meaningful connections with one another. Through these connections, members can find a sense of belonging and empowerment.

This student organization is a vital part of the rich tapestry of diversity at Brown University. It embodies the institution’s commitment to embracing a multitude of perspectives and identities, fostering an environment where free inquiry is celebrated, and diverse voices are elevated. ASE’s activities and initiatives contribute to the vibrant culture of diversity and inclusion that thrives at Brown University, enriching the campus community​.

BOMBS

BOMBS, which stands for the Organization of Multiracial Biracial Students, is a student group at Brown University dedicated to providing a supportive space for multiracial and biracial students. This organization meets regularly, with bi-weekly general body meetings, to create a warm and welcoming community for undergraduate students at Brown.

The primary goal of BOMBS is to offer a safe and inclusive environment where students can explore and embrace their multi-identity. This is achieved through engaging discussions, social events, and the development of a close-knit community. By providing a platform for multiracial and biracial students to connect and share their experiences, BOMBS contributes to the diverse range of perspectives and identities that enrich the campus community at Brown.

In alignment with Brown University’s commitment to fostering an atmosphere of free inquiry and amplifying a multitude of voices, BOMBS plays an essential role in promoting diversity and inclusion on campus.

Chinese Students Association (CSA)

The Brown University Chinese Students Association (CSA) is a vibrant student organization at Brown that actively embraces and celebrates Chinese culture. Remarkably, this association stands as one of the largest student organizations on campus, boasting an impressive membership of over 700 students from various class years.

CSA plays a pivotal role in creating a rich cultural experience for the Brown University community. It achieves this by organizing a wide range of events, including sponsored lectures, annual celebrations of Chinese holidays, general body assemblies, and engaging social gatherings. These events provide valuable opportunities for students to immerse themselves in and engage in discussions about Chinese culture.

Mixed Asian/Pacific Islander Students’ Heritage Club (MASH)

The Mixed Asian/Pacific Islander Students’ Heritage Club (MASH) is a vibrant student organization at Brown University that serves as a nurturing space for students to explore and celebrate their diverse mixed Asian and Pacific Islander heritage and identities. This club plays a pivotal role in fostering a sense of belonging and community among its members.

MASH achieves this by organizing an array of engaging activities, including insightful discussions, enlightening workshops, thought-provoking speaker panels, and enjoyable social events. These gatherings provide valuable opportunities for students to connect, share their experiences, and learn more about their mixed heritage.

Three students talking while walking.

LGBTQ+ in STEM@Brown

LGBTQ+ in STEM@Brown is a dynamic student organization at Brown University that is dedicated to addressing and overcoming the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM fields. This organization plays a crucial role in promoting inclusivity and diversity within STEM disciplines and strives to create an environment where LGBTQ+ individuals can thrive.

One of the primary objectives of LGBTQ+ in STEM@Brown is to confront issues related to the underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM, negative workplace experiences, and the sometimes perceived or actual necessity to conceal one’s identity in these fields. By addressing these challenges, the organization seeks to make STEM fields more welcoming and supportive for LGBTQ+ students and professionals.

Importantly, LGBTQ+ in STEM@Brown is an integral part of the rich tapestry of perspectives and identities that students bring to the Brown University campus. This aligns perfectly with the university’s core values, which prioritize the promotion of diversity, support for free inquiry, and the elevation of voices from all corners of the campus.

The Brown LGBTQ Center plays a significant role in supporting LGBTQ+ initiatives on campus, including the Out in STEM (oSTEM) group, which is organized by graduate students. The LGBTQ Center offers a comprehensive range of services, including education, information, and advocacy, all focused on LGBTQ+ issues. Its mission is to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff at Brown University.

The LGBTQ Center provides valuable resources and organizes various programs for graduate students. These initiatives include events such as the QTPOC caucus, LGBTQ+ Graduate/Medical Student Dessert Social, and the LGBTQ+ Renn Mentor Program. These programs contribute significantly to the overall diversity and inclusivity of the campus and align with Brown University’s commitment to fostering an open and welcoming environment for all.

Is Brown University The Right Fit For You?

Determining whether Brown University is the ideal choice for your educational journey involves a comprehensive evaluation of various aspects. Here’s an in-depth exploration of key factors to consider, supported by facts and examples:

Academic Programs and Open Curriculum

Brown University is renowned for its distinctive open curriculum, which empowers students to take control of their education. This means you can design your own academic path by selecting courses across various disciplines. If you are interested in both computer science and art history, you can pursue both without rigid core requirements, offering a unique and flexible learning experience.

Location 

Providence, Rhode Island, is a city rich in culture, history, and opportunities. Students can explore renowned cultural institutions like the Rhode Island School of Design Museum or engage in community service projects within the city.

Campus Culture and Values

Brown’s campus culture is characterized by a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and free inquiry. The university actively promotes these values through initiatives such as the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. This commitment has resulted in good diversity statistics and an inclusive learning environment.

Financial Aid Policies

Brown University’s financial aid policies make it an attractive option for students concerned about affordability. The fact that the university meets 100% of demonstrated financial need with grants, rather than loans, is a significant advantage for those seeking financial support.

Extracurricular Activities

The university offers a plethora of student organizations and clubs catering to various interests. For example, the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) and LGBTQ+ in STEM@Brown demonstrate the commitment to inclusivity and providing platforms for students to engage with like-minded peers.

Class Sizes and Personalized Learning

With relatively small class sizes, Brown promotes a personalized educational experience. Students benefit from direct interactions with professors, facilitating in-depth discussions and individualized guidance.

Career Services and Opportunities

Brown’s CareerLAB provides extensive resources for career development. Alumni networks and internships in various fields offer concrete opportunities for students to transition successfully into their desired careers.

Female student holding her things while standing.

Community and Diversity

The diverse and inclusive community at Brown is exemplified by the presence of organizations like the Mixed Asian/Pacific Islander Students’ Heritage Club (MASH) and the African Students’ Association. These groups create spaces for students to celebrate their identities and share experiences.

Research Opportunities

Brown is a research-intensive institution, offering numerous research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students can engage in groundbreaking research projects in fields such as neuroscience or environmental studies.

Alumni Network

Brown has a strong alumni network, with graduates who have made significant contributions to various industries. This network can provide valuable connections and mentorship for your future career.

The decision of whether Brown University is the right fit hinges on your individual preferences, aspirations, and the values that resonate with you. To make an informed choice, visit the campus, speak with current students, and leverage the abundant resources available to gain a deeper understanding of what Brown has to offer.

Final Thoughts

Brown University takes pride in its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The diversity statistics speak for themselves: a diverse student body, a welcoming community, and initiatives that promote equality and celebrate different cultures.

Whether you’re a prospective student looking for an inclusive environment or someone interested in the university’s efforts to foster diversity, Brown University’s diversity statistics show that they’re dedicated to creating a campus where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.

Remember that Brown University’s commitment to diversity is more than just statistics – it’s a fundamental part of its identity and a promise to provide an enriching, inclusive experience for all.

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