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Brown Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Brown university campus

Brown Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

For prestigious institutions like Brown University, supplemental essays are windows into the applicant’s personality, aspirations, and fit. As we delve into the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s essential to understand their significance, how the university perceives them, and how you can make your application stand out.

How many supplemental essays does Brown have?

Brown University requires all first-year and transfer applicants to complete three supplemental essays as part of their application process. These essays allow students to convey their unique stories, academic interests, and personal reflections, providing a comprehensive view of their candidacy beyond the standard application materials.

young asian woman looking at mirror looking happy

Each essay is designed to capture different facets of the applicant’s experiences and aspirations, allowing the admissions committee to understand the individual behind the application better. Brown seeks to identify students who demonstrate academic excellence and embody their community’s diverse and dynamic spirit with these three essays.

What are the Brown Supplemental Essays 2023-2024?

The Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024 reflect the university’s commitment to holistic admissions and its desire to understand applicants beyond their academic achievements. This year, Brown University has presented three thought-provoking prompts that delve into the applicant’s academic interests, personal background, and sources of joy.

Each of these prompts offers a unique lens through which the admissions committee can view the applicant, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of their potential fit with the university’s ethos and community.

The following are the prompts for Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024:

  1. Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you and how you might pursue them at Brown. (200-250 words)
  2. Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on their origins. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (200-250 words)
  3. Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and significant discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

How to Write the Brown Supplemental Essays 2023-2024?

According to Brown, the prompts are designed to elicit specific information from applicants, which helps the admissions committee evaluate the applicant’s suitability for the program. Brown’s extensive experience in admissions has led them to believe that careful consideration of each prompt is crucial to crafting a well-rounded application.

Brown Supplemental Essay Prompt 1 (Open Curriculum)

When diving into the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s essential to understand the ethos behind each prompt. The Open Curriculum essay showcases your academic interests and demonstrates how you would thrive in an environment that offers academic freedom.

Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you and how you might pursue them at Brown.

logo of Brown University as seen through a magnifying glass

Remember, the admissions committee seeks students who will benefit from the Open Curriculum and contribute to the academic community. Therefore, balancing what you hope to gain and what you can offer is crucial.

Understanding Prompt 1

Brown University stands apart from many other institutions with its distinctive Open Curriculum, a philosophy rooted in the belief that students should be the architects of their education. Instead of adhering to a rigid set of general education requirements, Brown believes in fostering a love for learning by allowing students to explore subjects that genuinely intrigue them.

This approach stems from the idea that when students are genuinely invested in their coursework, they are more engaged, innovative, and successful. The Open Curriculum also promotes interdisciplinary learning, encouraging students to draw connections between disparate fields and cultivate a holistic understanding of the world. As you approach the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s essential to grasp this philosophy, as it’s at the heart of Brown’s academic experience.

Brainstorming Your Response: Prompt 1

When brainstorming your response to the first prompt of the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s crucial to reflect on your academic passions and how Brown’s Open Curriculum can help you explore them. Here’s a listicle of ideas to kickstart your brainstorming:

  1. Identify Your Academic Passions: List subjects or topics that genuinely excite you. These could range from specific disciplines like Astrophysics or Comparative Literature to broader themes like environmental sustainability or social justice.
  2. Explore Interdisciplinary Connections: Think about how your interests intersect with different fields. For example, if you’re interested in Computer Science, consider how it intersects with healthcare, education, or art.
  3. Research Brown’s Unique Offerings: Look into Brown’s specific courses, departments, and faculty members that align with your interests. This could include unique majors, special research programs, or innovative course offerings.
  4. Consider Extracurricular Opportunities: Beyond academics, think about clubs, organizations, or projects at Brown that could complement your academic pursuits. This might include specific clubs, community service groups, or research opportunities.
  5. Reflect on Personal Experiences: Recall any past experiences, such as projects, internships, or readings, that fueled your interest in these areas. Consider how these experiences have shaped your academic journey.

Structuring Your Answer for Prompt 1

Once you have a clear idea of your academic interests and how to pursue them at Brown, the next step is to structure your answer effectively. Start with an engaging introduction that briefly introduces your main academic interest or the unique intersection of multiple interests. Use a narrative style to make your introduction compelling – perhaps start with a moment or experience that sparked your interest in the subject.

The body of your essay should delve into how you plan to explore and deepen this interest at Brown. Discuss specific aspects of Brown’s Open Curriculum that appeal to you, such as the freedom to design your course of study or the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary learning. Be sure to mention specific Brown courses, programs, or resources that align with your interests, demonstrating that you have done your research and are making an informed decision.

Conclude by tying your academic interests to your future goals. Explain how pursuing these interests at Brown will help you achieve your long-term objectives, whether they are career-oriented, academically focused, or centered around personal growth. This conclusion should leave the admissions committee with a clear understanding of why Brown is the right fit for you and how you intend to make the most of its opportunities.

Brown Supplemental Essay Prompt 2 (Upbringing)

The prompt about upbringing is particularly poignant, as it seeks to understand the nuances of an applicant’s background and how it might influence their contributions to the Brown community. When addressing this essay, it’s essential to be reflective and authentic.

Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on their origins. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community.

three female students talking joyously inside a library

The key is to narrate your story in a way that highlights its significance to you and underscores its potential influence on your future interactions and contributions at Brown.

Understanding Prompt 2

Every individual’s worldview is a mosaic of their experiences, teachings, and interactions, deeply rooted in their background. Our upbringing, encompassing our cultural, socio-economic, and familial contexts, plays a pivotal role in molding our beliefs, values, and perspectives.

It influences how we perceive challenges, how we interact with diverse groups of people, and how we approach learning and growth. For instance, someone raised in a multicultural environment might develop a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives, while someone who has faced economic hardships might value resilience and hard work.

As you approach the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s crucial to recognize and articulate the unique lens through which your background has shaped your worldview and how this lens can enrich the Brown community.

Brainstorming Your Response: Prompt 2

For the second prompt of the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, you are asked to reflect on your upbringing and how it has shaped you. This prompt invites you to delve into your personal history and share a unique aspect of your life that has influenced who you are today. Here’s a listicle of ideas to help you brainstorm:

  1. Cultural Heritage: Reflect on how your cultural background has shaped your worldview. Consider traditions, languages, or customs that have significantly impacted your life.
  2. Family Dynamics: Think about your family structure and dynamics. How have they influenced your character, values, or goals?
  3. Geographical Influences: Consider how the place you grew up in has affected your perspective. This could be a city, a rural area, a specific neighborhood, or even a country.
  4. Educational Experiences: Reflect on your unique educational experiences or opportunities and how they’ve shaped your academic interests or career aspirations.
  5. Challenges Overcome: Think about any obstacles or challenges you’ve faced and overcome. How have these experiences made you stronger or changed your outlook on life?

Structuring Your Answer for Prompt 2

When structuring your response to this prompt, start with a clear and engaging introduction that sets the scene for the aspect of your upbringing you will discuss. This could be a brief anecdote, a vivid description, or a reflective statement that draws the reader into your world.

In the body of your essay, delve deeper into how this aspect of your upbringing has inspired or challenged you. Be specific and provide details to paint a clear picture for the reader. Discuss the lessons you learned and how these experiences have shaped your character, values, or goals. This is your chance to show personal growth and self-awareness, essential qualities Brown looks for in its students.

Next, discuss how these experiences will allow you to contribute to the Brown community. Think about the skills, perspectives, or ideas you can bring to campus. This could be in leadership qualities, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, a unique artistic or creative talent, or an ability to foster dialogue and understanding among different groups. Make a clear connection between your upbringing and the contributions you envision making at Brown.

Conclude your essay by reflecting on the importance of these experiences in your life and how they align with your future aspirations at Brown. This conclusion should tie back to your introduction and provide a cohesive end to your narrative, leaving the admissions committee with a clear understanding of who you are and what you will bring to their community.

Brown Supplemental Essay Prompt 3 (Approach to Life and Learning)

The prompt about one’s approach to life and learning is particularly insightful, as it delves into what truly brings joy to the applicant. When addressing this essay, think about the moments, big or small, that have brought you genuine happiness.

Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and significant discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy.

four students lounging on the steps outside

As you narrate your story, ensure that it offers a window into your personality and how you might engage with the Brown community and its values.

Understanding Prompt 3

Personal joys, whether from monumental achievements or everyday moments, offer profound insights into an individual’s character and values. They highlight what one cherishes, what motivates them, and what they prioritize in life.

For instance, someone who finds joy in volunteering might value community and empathy, while another who delights in reading might prioritize continuous learning and introspection. As you reflect on the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, it’s essential to recognize that this prompt is not just about the source of your joy but also about the underlying values and character traits it reveals. By understanding and articulating these, you present a more authentic and comprehensive picture of yourself to the admissions committee.

Brainstorming Your Response: Prompt 3

For the third prompt of the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024, you are invited to share what brings you joy. This prompt lets you showcase your personality, passions, and what truly matters to you. Here’s a listicle of ideas to help you brainstorm:

  1. Hobbies and Interests: Reflect on any hobbies or activities you are passionate about. This could range from painting to coding or gardening.
  2. Academic Pursuits: If a particular subject or field of study excites you, discuss why and how it brings you joy.
  3. Community Engagement: Consider any community service or volunteer work you do. How does contributing to the community make you feel fulfilled?
  4. Personal Achievements: Think about any personal milestones or achievements that have brought you joy, whether overcoming a challenge or reaching a goal.
  5. Interpersonal Relationships: Reflect on your relationships with family, friends, or mentors. How do these relationships contribute to your happiness?

Structuring Your Answer for Prompt 3

When structuring your response to this prompt, start with a compelling introduction that vividly describes the source of your joy. This could be a detailed description, a narrative of a specific moment, or a reflective introduction that sets the tone for your essay.

In the body of your essay, delve into why this particular thing brings you joy. Describe your experiences, feelings, and impact on your life. Be specific and use descriptive language to bring your narrative to life. This is your opportunity to connect with the reader emotionally and show a side of yourself that goes beyond academic achievements and extracurricular activities.

Next, consider expanding on how this joy shapes your perspective on life or influences your approach to learning and interacting with the world. This is where you can connect your happiness to the broader context of being a student at Brown. Discuss how this aspect of your life will contribute to your experience at Brown and how it aligns with the values and community at the university.

Conclude your essay by reflecting on the importance of this joy in your life and how it will continue to inspire and motivate you. This conclusion should tie back to your introduction and provide a cohesive end to your narrative, leaving the admissions committee with a clear understanding of what brings you happiness and how it shapes who you are.

Additional Essays or Short Answer Questions?

Beyond the primary essay prompts, the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024 also include concise answer questions designed to glean more specific insights into the applicant’s personality, passions, and perspective.

View of a student using her laptop while writing.

While shorter, these questions are equally significant in the admissions process. They offer applicants the opportunity to showcase different facets of their character, experiences, and aspirations in a more focused manner. Given their brevity, it’s essential to approach these questions with clarity and precision, ensuring that each word is chosen deliberately to convey the intended message.

Brown Additional Short Answer Questions

The short answer questions for the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024 are as follows:

  1. What three words best describe you? This question seeks to capture the essence of the applicant succinctly.
  2. What is your most meaningful extracurricular commitment, and what would you like us to know about it? Here, the university is keen to understand the activities that have had a profound impact on the applicant outside the classroom.
  3. If you could teach a class on any one thing, whether academic or otherwise, what would it be? This question delves into the applicant’s passions and expertise, offering a glimpse into what they value and cherish.
  4. In one sentence, Why Brown? This is a direct query to understand the applicant’s motivation and fit for the university.

The Purpose Behind These Additional Writings

Including these concise answer questions in the Brown supplemental essays 2023-2024 serves multiple purposes. Firstly, they allow the admissions committee to gain a more holistic understanding of the applicant quickly.

The university can glean insights into the applicant’s character, values, passions, and motivations by asking short questions. Secondly, these questions test the applicant’s ability to concisely convey complex ideas and emotions, a valuable skill in academic and real-world scenarios.

Lastly, they offer applicants the chance to showcase aspects of their personality or experiences that might have yet to be covered in the primary essays, ensuring a comprehensive portrayal of their candidacy.

Elevate Your Brown University Application with AdmissionSight

Ready to make your Brown University application stand out? With the competitive college admissions landscape, having expert guidance can make all the difference. At AdmissionSight, we specialize in helping students craft compelling narratives, ensuring their applications resonate with authenticity and impact.

From refining essays to offering personalized strategies, our team is dedicated to your success. Don’t leave your dream school to chance. Partner with AdmissionSight today and confidently step towards your future at Brown University.

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