How Does Brown’s Ph.D. Application Work?

December 24, 2022
By AdmissionSight

How Does Brown’s Ph.D. Application Work?

What are the Ph.D. programs at Brown?

What kind of Ph.D. programs does Brown University offer? There are fifty different Ph.D. programs available to students at Brown University. These programs can be found in the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies. If you want to start the Brown Ph.D. application process, you should investigate the following study areas and unique training possibilities offered by the university:

  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Archaeology and the Ancient World
  • Behavioral and Social Health Sciences
  • BioMed: Biology
  • BioMed: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
  • BioMed: Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
  • BioMed: Neuroscience
  • BioMed: Pathobiology
  • BioMed: Therapeutic Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biostatistics
  • Brain Science
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
  • Economics
  • Egyptology and Assyriology
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Epidemiology
  • French and Francophone Studies
  • German Studies
  • Health Services Research
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • History of Art and Architecture
  • Italian Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Culture and Media
  • Music and Multimedia Composition
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
  • Primary Care-Population Medicine Program
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Slavic Studies
  • Sociology
  • Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Who are eligible for Brown Ph.D. admissions?

Who can apply to the Doctor of Philosophy program at Brown? More than two hundred doctors of philosophy degrees are handed out each year by Brown University. The Ph.D. program at Brown is primarily focused on research. There are numerous doctoral programs that place a significant emphasis on the teaching component, and many departments require candidates for the Ph.D. to have prior teaching experience.

a female student reading a letter

These are the primary prerequisites to fulfill in order to be awarded the doctor of philosophy degree:


The individual needs to have already been accepted into the degree program that they are applying for.


The standard criteria for residency are the completion of an additional three academic years of full-time study beyond the level of a bachelor’s degree. When sending the Brown Ph.D. application, students who already have a master’s degree in a relevant discipline are subject to a residency requirement that is equivalent to two academic years of full-time study.

It is necessary to obtain permission from the program’s Director of Graduate Study in order to count an already-obtained master’s degree toward the reduction of the residency requirements for a Ph.D. With the approval of the program’s Director of Graduate Study, graduate work completed at other institutions that were not used in the fulfillment of the requirements for any doctoral degree elsewhere may be counted in fulfillment of up to, but not exceeding, one year of the residency requirement.

However, this number cannot exceed the maximum allowed. A student who has completed work elsewhere and wishes to get credit for it must submit an application to the program Director of Graduate Study in a timely manner. Forms for transferring credit can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Advancement To Candidacy

When a student has fulfilled all of the requirements, both departmental and general, necessary to begin work on the dissertation to the professor’s satisfaction, that student is eligible to advance to the candidacy stage of the Ph.D. program.

The department or program of study is responsible for determining candidate status, and the Registrar is responsible for providing certification of that status.

Before any student can be considered for candidacy, a preliminary examination is necessary for the majority of departments. Most departments also demand a final examination or defense.

The test is administered by professors within the department, in addition to any other members of the faculty who could be designated for the role.


The candidate for the Brown Ph.D. application is required to deliver a dissertation on a subject that is connected to his or her area of specialization. The dissertation should show the findings of original research and demonstrate good scholarship.

Both the instructor or committee that supervised the writing of the dissertation, as well as the Graduate Council, need to provide their stamp of approval for the final product. After promotion to candidacy, students have a maximum of five years to fulfill all of the prerequisites for the doctoral degree.

What are the application requirements for the Brown Ph.D. program?

In order to participate in the Brown Ph.D. program, what are the prerequisites for the application? The Brown Ph.D. application is crucial and so preparing for the requirements is mandatory.

Three students talking while using a laptop.

It is important that you verify the departments’ listings because they could need more information. In general, however, it is the responsibility of candidates to supply the following items:

Personal Statement

The personal interests and/or anticipated fields of study of each applicant must be addressed in a statement that must be included with their application. In the personal statements that applicants submit for some programs, they are expected to respond to certain questions. If you would like more information, please look over the listings for the doctoral program that you are interested in.


Applicants are highly encouraged to send a scanned copy of the transcript at the time of application, which can speed up the processing of the application; nonetheless, a final, official transcript will be needed for all admitted students who matriculate at the institution.

Applicants who have attended schools located outside of the United States are required to provide transcripts or verified attestations of study, along with certified translations into English.

After the translation has been completed, both the original transcript and the certified translations have to be delivered to the admissions office of the Graduate School.

Prior to matriculation, college seniors are expected to submit their most recent transcripts, followed by a final official transcript demonstrating that they have been awarded their baccalaureate degree.

Letters of Recommendation

The Graduate School requires applicants to submit three letters of recommendation written by individuals who are well qualified to speak from personal experience on the applicant’s prospects for graduate studies.

Each letter should include a comment about the applicant’s capacity to do research and perform well in the required coursework for the program.

Young woman studying in front of a laptop.

At least two of these letters should be from faculty members at the educational establishment where the applicant is currently enrolled, or at the educational establishment where the applicant most recently attended.

It is up to the discretion of individual programs whether they require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from academic or non-academic references; please visit the program listings for specifics.

The submission of recommendation letters must take place online. If you are sending your recommendations electronically, the guidelines for doing so can be found on the Interfolio website.


Applicants to programs requiring the Graduate Record Examination are required to submit their results to the Graduate School or, if applying to one of the programs in the School of Public Health, to a separate Brown University code. GRE Applicants to programs not requiring the Graduate Record Examination are not required to submit their results. For more information, kindly refer to the GRE website as well as the particular program listings for either the master or the doctoral degree.


The Graduate School requires that any overseas applicant whose first language is not English submit an official score report from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Application Fee and Waivers

Each application that is submitted to the Graduate School is subject to a processing fee that is not refundable. When you submit your Brown Ph.D. application, you will be required to pay the cost of $75. If the application fee is not paid, then the application will not be processed.

Applicants who are interested in being considered by more than one graduate school need to submit separate applications to each graduate program to which they would like to be submitted for consideration.

The Graduate School is not responsible for any mistakes that may occur during the application process on the part of prospective students so there will be no reimbursements of the application fee.

Under specific conditions, applicants may request that their application fees be waived. Applicants to Brown’s graduate programs who are able to provide evidence of their financial hardship are eligible to petition for a waiver of the application fee.

Paper Credentials and Other Documentation

All application documents that are not submitted electronically as part of the online application process should be mailed to the Graduate School admission office, which can be found at the following address: 47 George St., Box 1867, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912.

You should not send any application materials directly to the program to which you are applying because doing so will simply slow down the process of reviewing your application.

Material submitted in support of the application, including transcripts and writing samples, will not be returned to the applicant.

What is the admission process for the Brown Ph.D. program?

So, what is the process involved in getting accepted into the Ph.D. program at Brown?


When applying, use the online application. The online application provides tools for gathering and submitting part of the essential information and documents for the application.

Admission Requirements and Criteria

Admission to the Graduate School is determined at the program level, although the Graduate School maintains oversight of the process. Each program is responsible for determining its own admission requirements and does so in conjunction with the Dean of the Graduate School.

Evaluation of admissions applications is handled independently by each academic program. After carefully considering all of the information provided in the application, admissions choices are made. The programs look at previous records, test results, and recommendations and try to find clear evidence that the applicant is capable of performing advanced work of the highest quality.

The decisions regarding admission are final. There is no provision for filing an appeal.


It is reasonable for applicants to anticipate being notified between four and eight weeks after the application deadline for their respective programs.

It is up to the discretion of each program to decide whether or not to consider applications that are submitted after the deadline that has been established for the program.

While each academic program does conduct its own review of applicants, the only admissions decisions that are legally enforceable are those made by the Dean of the Graduate School and are communicated in writing.

Delaying enrollment is an option in certain circumstances; however, financial aid packages cannot be postponed.

Explore the several areas of study that are available as well as the unique chances for training that Brown provides.

How do you get a Ph.D. admission to Brown?

How exactly does one go about enrolling in the doctoral program at Brown? After reviewing the criteria for entry into Brown University and gaining familiarity with the application process, we are able to draw the conclusion that gaining entry into an Ivy League institution is not a walk in the park.

Two students talking near a building.

The following are some pointers that can make the procedure of applying less uncomfortable and more seamless than it otherwise might be.

Find Good Recommenders

The admissions committee at Brown University places a great amount of weight on recommendations made by teachers. They want to gain more than just a general impression of who you are from these letters of recommendation; they want to hear from a trustworthy source what you excel in and what makes you stand out.

Choose your recommenders wisely. Inquire with instructors who have a deep understanding of you and who are likely to write exceptional and sincere things about you.

Avoid Getting Obsessed With Admissions Data

It may appear to be an insurmountable task, and the amount of information may be simply too overwhelming to ignore, but you shouldn’t allow the data to let you down.

Instead, you should concentrate on your best qualities and the things you have to give. Switch from a pessimistic to an optimistic way of thinking; the first step toward achieving your goal is to convince yourself that you are capable of achieving it.

Spend a significant amount of time on the writing. You might already be aware of the fact that they place a significant amount of importance on planning and going through previous work.

These two stages of the writing process are absolutely necessary in order to produce an excellent essay.

If you want to have success in the admissions process, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait until the last minute to start working on the essays.

Start Early With Your Application.

When it comes to gaining admission to Brown University, your most reliable ally will be extensive preparation on your part. We can’t emphasize this point enough: get started as soon as you possibly can, whether you’re gathering documents or coming up with ideas for the essay prompts.

Brown University is one of the nation’s most illustrious and selective educational institutions. It is well-known for its Open Curriculum, and it provides its students with a warm and diverse environment in which they can thrive academically despite the difficulty of schoolwork and the responsibility that comes with making critical decisions on one’s education.

View of young woman writing next to a laptop.

It won’t be simple to differentiate yourself from the other applicants during the application process, but doing so will be necessary if you want to be one of the select few who is admitted.

Remember to be yourself along the route and demonstrate how you are distinctive and why you would be a strong candidate for Brown University. Being consistent, focused, and dedicated can help you get there; but, being yourself is more important.

It is time for you to go to work now that you have finished learning everything there is to know about Brown University and the admissions process. Don’t forget to get an early start, see yourself succeeding, then take action.

Should you find yourself struggling and in need of assistance, AdmissionSight got you covered. The AdmissionSight program, developed over the course of more than a decade, will put you in the best possible position to get admission to the university of your interest like Brown. Contact us to book your initial consultation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.