Extracurricular activities at Brown

August 6, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Extracurricular activities at Brown

At Brown, the community places a high value on each member’s unique identity. The community is held together by a common appreciation for recognizing and appreciating one another’s unique qualities and points of view. With extracurricular activities at Brown, Brown University promotes healthy debate in which participants treat one another and the topic under discussion with respect.

At Brown, you will have a vibrant social life with classmates who are deeply concerned about the work that they do and the world in which they live. We will learn more about some of the different extracurricular activities at Brown for its students to join in.

What is Brown known for?

What is Brown known for, and where exactly is it situated? Brown University, which is the seventh-oldest higher learning institution in the United States, holds the distinction of being the first college in North America to accept students regardless of the religious affiliations they held.

Brown University is a prestigious private university that was established in 1764. It has a total of 6,792 students enrolled in its undergraduate program (fall 2020), Thayer Street, which serves as a center of activity for shopping and dining, is located in Providence, Rhode Island, atop College Hill, and Brown University has a campus size of 146 acres.

University building surrounded by trees.

Brown University has the feel of a college town and is located in Providence. It has maintained its position as one of the nation’s top 20 universities year after year.

Although Brown is an Ivy League institution, its admission rates are among the most competitive in the country at 5 percent, and its undergraduate population is just a hair under 10,000. On the other hand, the academic requirements for admission to Brown are a little less stringent than those at the other Ivies, with the exception of Cornell.

Brown University places a high value on students who have reached a certain academic threshold and have unique and diverse academic interests. These students are the ones who stand to benefit the most from Brown’s open curriculum. For instance, a bright student might be interested in combining computer science and classics in order to recreate ancient artifacts through the use of digital modeling.

Brown also places a particular emphasis on the applicant’s extracurricular activities and essays; the university seeks students who are dynamic and who are highly involved in their respective passions.

The university places a high value on the arts and looks favorably upon applications that contain some element of the arts, such as a portfolio showcasing creative writing or visual arts. Even for students interested in studying STEM fields, Brown places a high value on students who are active participants in the liberal arts.


There are eighty different majors, or “concentrations,” as they are known at Brown University, which students can choose to study at the Ivy League school.

An education at Brown is built on the Open Curriculum, which serves as its foundation. Students who follow this liberal educational philosophy are not required to study any particular core curriculum or distribution of subjects. The only things necessary for them to graduate are if they:

  • You are required to finish the requirements associated with a concentration.
  • Complete at least 30 courses
  • You must have a minimum of eight semesters of active enrollment.
  • Provide evidence that you are capable of writing

Students are given the opportunity to investigate a wide variety of topics and experiences, including those that may not appear to be directly related to their area of concentration.

Students have the option of pursuing an independent concentration, which they design with the guidance of the faculty and with their approval, rather than selecting one that is already established in the program.

In addition to this, Brown is well-known for its illustrious and highly competitive Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME). Students participating in this eight-year program of undergraduate education and professional studies in medicine spend the first four years of the program working toward either an AB or ScB degree. The remaining four years of the program are spent working toward an MD.

The Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program is another noteworthy program that is offered. Students attend both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) concurrently over the course of five years, exploring their academic and artistic interests along the way, and ultimately graduating from both institutions with an AB or ScB from Brown and a BFA from RISD.

Students must submit an application to both Brown University and RISD, as well as a separate admissions committee for the Brown|RISD Dual Degree program, in order to be considered for participation.

What’s it like to attend Brown?

What’s it like to attend Brown as a student? The Open Curriculum at Brown University is very popular among students there. It was established in 1969 as a direct result of student lobbying efforts.

The Open Curriculum, in its purest form, does away with the concept of obligatory requirements and instead encourages students to chart out their own educational courses. At Brown, rather than being required to take five to ten classes that you despise, you will only be required to take one to five of these classes (for your major).

Students walking in the school campus.

This indicates that the vast majority of people enrolled in a class have chosen to be there voluntarily. Because the content is more interesting to you as a student and because your classmates are interested, the level of engagement in the class increases.

In addition, students have the option to take any course on a pass/fail basis. You don’t have to worry about your grade point average if you want to take a class just for fun; this won’t affect your overall grade point average. You could, as an alternative, try your hand at something novel that has always piqued your interest.

If you end up taking classes for grades (which you really ought to do for the majority of them), then there is no way to get a grade higher than an A, B, or C; there are no pluses or minuses. This is essential because you will no longer need to worry about each individual percentage point on your exams. The only thing you need to be concerned about is whether you fall into the A, B, or C range.

If you are getting a solid B, at least you aren’t worried about getting that B+/B- grade like everyone else who is on the A/B border is doing; however, this does mean that everyone on the A/B border is freaking out.

Your levels of stress resulting from classes are significantly reduced when you compare pass/fail grades to straight letter grades. Even though you still have to do the work, which is stressful, at least the measuring stick is no longer intimidating you. (There is also less of an opportunity for competition.)

Brown University, in contrast to many other prestigious educational institutions, does not place a premium on academic achievement but rather seeks out individuals who are unique and fascinating. The majority of Brown students are genuine, and odd, and have peculiarities, random hobbies, and distinctive points of view.

Imagine enrolling in a school where more than seventy-five percent of the people you meet completely astound you because you had no idea that people like them could possibly exist. That adds to the experience. Because the vast majority of students are vibrant people in their own right, the student body possesses a vitality that cannot be found anywhere else. This is due to the fact that the students themselves are vibrant.

Brown University has a student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1, which means that students receive significantly more individualized attention from their instructors than their counterparts at other educational institutions. In addition to this, the quality of instruction is very high; in fact, Brown University was recently ranked fourth for having the best undergraduate teaching.

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at Brown?

What extracurricular activities are available at Brown? As part of the extracurricular activities at Brown, you’ll have ample opportunities to pursue your extracurricular passions, regardless of whether they are brand-new endeavors or have been lifelong pursuits, whether they are connected to your studies or take place in an entirely different universe.

The diversity of interests held by Brown’s student body is reflected in the institution’s more than 500 student organizations, which range from a cappella groups and ultimate frisbee to student government and community service. Students who are unable to locate the organization or club that they are looking for have the option of creating their own.

Arts and Culture

The social and extracurricular life at Brown University places a particular emphasis on the arts as well as political activism. In addition to the many students who are active in political demonstrations and other political events and activities, there are also a significant number of students who are involved in performing arts, visual arts, and writing groups.

Moreover, Brick quadrangles, picturesque greens, towering modern architecture, and centuries-old structures can be found on the campus, providing students with an authentic New England college experience. The Brown-to-Brown home ownership program allows many members of the faculty and staff to purchase historic homes near the university that are then renovated and put up for sale.

All of this is situated in the center of historic Providence, which serves as the bustling capital of Rhode Island and is well-known for its cutting-edge arts scene, exceptional culinary offerings, and laid-back atmosphere.

Art at Watson

As part of the extracurricular activities at Brown, Art at Watson is an initiative of the Watson Institute that aims to enhance social science inquiry through the medium of the arts. This initiative sheds light on the mission of the Watson Institute. Brown University students, faculty, alumni, and staff, in addition to works by artists from outside of this community, are among the artists whose works are on display at Art at Watson.

Sports and Athletics

Student-athletes at Brown compete on one of the university’s 34 varsity sports teams, and Brown teams are consistently ranked among the best in the nation in terms of academic honors bestowed by the NCAA.

Brown University’s Department of Athletics and Recreation provides students with numerous opportunities to participate in a wide range of club sports, intramural sports, physical education classes, fitness programs, and recreational activities. The athletics complex at Brown University is expansive, and the university also features a state-of-the-art fitness center that is 10,000 square feet in size.

Brown Recreation

The Brown University Department of Athletics and Physical Education houses the Recreation Center on campus. Group Fitness Classes, Instructional Programs, Intramural Sports Program, Club Sports Program, Personal Training, General Recreation Program, and Management of Satellite Fitness Centers and Olney-Margolies Athletic Center (OMAC) are all under the purview of Brown Recreation, which is also responsible for overseeing the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center (OMAC).

As part of the extracurricular activities at Brown, Brown Recreation takes great pride in the fact that there is something for everyone to do. Their capable staff is dedicated to achieving excellence and is attentive to the Brown community’s requirements for personal growth and advancement.

Group of students talking in a library.

They work to encourage and advance the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices by providing opportunities for participation, educational experiences, and supportive services. Each and every one of the programs has been developed to encourage maximum participation and to cater to a diverse set of interests and skill levels.

They provide more than sixty-four different group fitness classes each week, including aerobics, fitness, and mind/body classes. Our Group Fitness Program sees an annual participation rate of over 2,700 people on average. Their intramural sports program consists of 25 different offerings, including a variety of team, dual, individual, and special event programs.

Over 4,100 members of the Brown community are registered to take part in these programs. There are hundreds of student-athletes who participate in their 33 club sports teams. They work hard to provide an environment that is competitive, well-structured, and organized for Brown University students who are interested in participating in club sports.

Varsity Athletics

Varsity athletes at Brown go after both national titles and Ivy League titles in their respective sports. Visitors from all over the region come to campus to watch the Bears play. And Brown athletes advance in their careers to the point where they compete for gold at the Olympics, win Super Bowls, and move on to play in the highest level of leagues and competitions. The following is a list of sports in which Brown University’s athletes compete.

Men’s Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Sailing (Coed)
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Water Polo
  • Wrestling

Women’s Sports

  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Sailing (Women’s & Coed)
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Best Clubs at Brown University

A significant number of Brown’s most unforgettable experiences take place outside of the classroom. Brown University has more than 400 student organizations, giving students the opportunity to pursue activities they’ve always enjoyed, find new passions, and connect with others who share their interests. As part of the extracurricular activities at Brown, here is a sampling of organizations and best clubs at Brown University.

1. Sailing Club

Join the Sailing Club if you are looking for a place to go on exciting adventures. You will find others who share your enthusiasm for sailing here, and you will be able to learn how to sail alongside them. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore new places and try out different activities.

2. A Capella Club

If you have a passion for singing, you might enjoy participating in an a cappella group. You will be able to improve your singing skills or learn how to sing from the instructor here. You are welcome to become a member of the band and appear at events with them as a performer.

3. College Hill Independent

College Hill Independent is the publication for you if you feel that writing is your true vocation. Your talents as a journalist will be put to good use here as you contribute to the school newspaper by writing articles. You have the ability to alter the way people think or to assist people in better understanding various aspects of campus life.

4. Taekwondo Club

Taekwondo Club is a good option for you to consider if you want to expand your skill set in martial art. A different style of martial arts and methods of self-defense are both teachable here. In addition to that, it is a wonderful opportunity to get some exercise outside of the classroom.

Taekwondo athlete tightening his belt.

5. Brown Dance Club 

Brown Dance Club is the place to be if you enjoy dancing as much as they do. You will have the opportunity to dance freely here and express yourself. The best part is that you don’t need any previous experience to sign up; anyone can do it.

6. Social Innovation Fellowship

The Social Innovation Fellowship is the best option for you to participate in if you are looking for a way to become more involved on campus. You will have the opportunity to participate in helping the school while also gaining access to a confidential discussion space here. This club brings together a diverse group of individuals and facilitates the formation of new friendships among them.

7. Swimming Club

Participating in a swimming club is an additional enjoyable way to get in shape. You will have the opportunity to learn how to swim or improve your swimming technique while you are here. You also have the option to engage in some healthy competition by going for laps.

Young woman swimming in a pool.

8. Storytellers Fellowship

The Storytellers Fellowship is yet another well-liked club on the university’s campus. You will have the opportunity to read aloud to younger students who are in need of assistance here. This is an excellent opportunity to become more involved in the community and lend a helping hand to those in need.

9. Running Club

You will have the opportunity to run with your whole heart at Running Club. You are going to be educated on the various advantages of running as well as the most effective ways to run. This is a wonderful opportunity to get some exercise while also meeting new people.

10. Journalism Club

The Journalism Club is the place to be if you have a passion for writing. You will have the opportunity to learn more about yourself as a writer as well as receive advice in this section. You can also share your writing with others by going to meetings and presenting it there.

Events During the School Year at Brown University

1. Opening Reception: Joy + Justice

Participating in this event is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. You will have the opportunity to view a brand new exhibition that was recently put on by the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. You will have the opportunity to attend the reception that will follow the display of works by more than 20 different artists here.

2. Film Screening: “Melancholia”

Brown University frequently hosts film screenings for the benefit of its students. Students are invited to attend this event for free to watch a classic film from 2011 about three sisters who must survive on a new planet. In addition to that, it will be presented by a well-known professor of humanities at the university.

3. Reading: Poets Rosmarie Waldrop and Kate Colby

If you enjoy podcasts, you might enjoy attending a live reading. There will be a reading where the well-known poets Rosmarie Waldrop and Kate Colby will read their works from the Writers on Writing Reading Series. The reading will take place in the afternoon. This is an excellent opportunity to exercise your brain outside of the confines of the classroom.

4. A Conversation with Chris Hayes

Hearing Chris Hayes talk about his book, which is about democracy and policy, is another entertaining event that you can attend. This author of a New York Times best-selling book will respond to any and all questions you have regarding his life and work. Additionally, it is a wonderful way to increase one’s knowledge.

5. Sacred is Sacred: The Art of Protecting Bears Ears

This is a display that was set up on campus to pay homage to the holy ground in Southern Utah. They are going to demonstrate the significance of the abundant oil and gas in the “Bears Ears” region here. They are going to talk about how it is revered by the people who live there and how it helps the land recover from damage.

What are some traditions at Brown University?

What are some traditions at Brown University?  Brown University was established in 1764 and serves as the keeper of many traditions. The Van Wickle Gates, which are located at the top of College Street and bear the University shield, are considered to be among the more superstitious of the university’s landmarks.

Three students talking in a bench while holding their notes.

Students who walk through the Gates more than twice, once during the freshman convocation procession and once during commencement, are said to bring bad luck upon themselves, according to a local urban legend.

The Campus Dance is another tradition that takes place at the beginning of Commencement and Reunion Weekend. It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate.

At the more adult end of the spectrum is the Naked Donut Run (NDR), in which students distribute donuts while running naked through the school’s libraries during Reading Period.

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Why are extracurriculars important to Brown students? The participation of students in extracurricular activities is highly valued at Brown University due to the fact that it assists students in adjusting to academic life, developing relationships with others, and building community. It enhances leadership abilities, motivates service, and raises self-esteem all at the same time.

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications, or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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