Brown University, located in Providence, Rhode Island, is the 11th school in the United States. In the Ivy League, it offers up to doctorate and is also a private not-for-profit with semester terms. Currently 11,200 students attend both undergraduates and graduates.

Although founded in 1764 in Newport and known as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”, Brown actually got its start in 1761 when residents signed a petition aimed at securing an institution for the area. The college is the 7th oldest in the country, one of the original Colonial Colleges, and the first to allow students from any religion.

The Brown family became very influential for the college’s future. In 1803, the school offered the name of the college to the graduate who donated $5,000. College treasurer Nicholas Brown answered the call, and would give over $160,000 to the school in later years. It was also during this time that Brown moved to Providence.

The university’s motto is In Deo Speramus (In God We Hope) with a coat of arms featuring four sectors with books separated by a red cross (thought to be Saint George’s Cross). Brown’s alumni list is long featuring many foreign leaders, Nobel Prize laureates, Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, eight billionaires, and 53 members of the US Congress. John D. Rockafeller, Emma Watson, Ira Glass, Mary Chapin Carpenter, S.J. Perelman, Nathanael West, and Thomas O. Paine all graduated from the school as did Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach, and Heisman Trophy namesake John W. Heisman.

Brown University would go on to have the first engineering program in the Ivy League schools (1847) and adopt the New Curriculum in 1969, which allowed students to choose their own paths for concentrations, doing away with general education requirements. Later, in 1971, the Pembroke College for women, would merge with Brown. Today, the university sits on a total 143 acres located in the heart of the bustling city of Providence.

Campus Overview

  • Locale City: Midsize

  • Highest degree offered Doctor's degree

  • Academic calendar Semester

  • Religious affiliation Not applicable

Student Enrollment

Total Students
7,639 (68.3%)
3,550 (31.7%)
Undergraduate Students
Male 3,666
Female 3,972
Graduate Students
Male 1,704
Female 1,846

  • Campus Location

    One Prospect Street Providence, RI 2912

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