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6 Summer Opportunities at Brown University in 2023

Attending a pre-college program is one of the most popular ways for high school students to get a taste of the college experience. It can help you explore your interests, and give you a headstart on earning college credit.

In this blog, we’re covering 15+ pre-college courses offered under 6 programs at Brown University. Keep reading to learn about their diverse course offerings, from 1 to 6-week online and in-person courses.

Pro-tip: While summer programs can be valuable ways to learn about your admissions, because most are not highly selective they are not seen as highly differentiating activities. From an admission perspective, it’s usually better to spend your time building a project or doing something independently!

Brown’s six summer programs for high school students

  1. Pre-Baccalaureate Summer Program for High School Students

  2. Summer@Brown & Summer@Brown Online

  3. Brown Environmental Leadership Labs (BELL)

  4. Brown Experiential Education (BEE)

  5. Leadership Institute

  6. STEM for rising 9th and 10th-grade students

If you are seeking to earn college credit at Brown, check out Brown’s highly competitive Pre-Baccaluareate program. This program is open to rising high school seniors or recent high school graduates who are ready to tackle the rigors of credit-bearing undergraduate studies. Participate in classes alongside Brown undergraduates, since courses offered to first- and second-year undergraduate students are ones available to you.

These classes cover a range of academic disciplines, including natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and fine and performing arts. Dedicated students attend the program from all over the world and across the country.

Course offerings

  • From Octavia Butler to N.K Jemisin, Black Feminist and Queer Theories in Science

  • Thinking Globally: Colonialism and the Making of the Modern World

  • Medical Diagnostics: Observation, Interpretation, the Art of Being a Better MD

  • Ancient Greek Theater Production

View all their courses here.

Cost & eligibility

  • Program Cost:

    • 1 course: $4,882

    • 2 courses: $9,168

  • Eligibility: Rising or recently graduated High School Seniors, age 17 by June 18, 2023 may apply

Brown’s largest summer program for high school students. In this program, students select from 25 categories of classes, from 200 non-credit courses in a variety of subject areas, providing high schoolers a glimpse into the depth and breadth of classes available to Brown undergraduates.

In addition to a wide selection of courses, Brown offers several different ways to experience the program. There’s a residential option and a commuter option, online pre-college programs, on-campus programs, off-campus programs, one-week courses, seven-week courses, and everything in between. You can take multiple courses, and you’ll pay per course.

Pro tip: I’d highly recommend using the filters to find courses that align with you (the list is a lot less overwhelming that way). Additionally, find multiple courses you are interested in case some might get full! Admission does not guarantee registration in a specific course or program.

Course offerings

Cost & eligibility

  • Program Cost:

    • Residential Students (includes room and board): $6,124

    • Commuter Students: $4,330

  • Eligibility: Unless otherwise noted, students completing grades 9-12 by June 2023 may register

Brown Environmental Leadership Labs (BELL) is a unique summer camp for high school students that explores environmental topics through hands-on outdoor learning, community service, and art projects. These labs provide new ways for students to learn about science subjects like biology or environmental science through hands-on activities with live animals or plants. Students also get to explore their community by participating in community service projects like planting trees or helping clean up local parks.

BELL is committed to providing an educational experience that is both fun and engaging. In fact, they offer active and experiential learning on three beautiful campuses.

Course offerings

Learn more about BELL here!

Cost & eligibility

  • Program Cost:

    • Alaska: $6,628

    • Eastern Sierras: $5,190

    • Rhode Island: $5,284

  • Eligibility: Students completing grades 9-12 by June 2023 may register

The Brown Experiential Education (BEE) is a two-week language program for students who are either looking to learn Italian or level up their Spanish! The aim of this course is to encourage students to organically learn a language by exploring another country – whether through acts of ordering coffee or gelato in Rome or exploring Spain’s rich history through museums and other experiences.

This program is much smaller than the other programs and really only for those interested in languages.

Course offerings

Learn more about BEE here!

Cost & eligibility

  • Program Cost: $7,176

  • Eligibility:

    • BEE Rome: Students completing grades 10 to12, ages 16 to 18 by June 2023

    • BEE Segovia: Students completing grades 10 to 12, ages 16 to 18 by June 2023 who have had at least three years of Spanish language instruction

This program aims to equip students with the tools necessary to enact change within our ever-evolving society. The three key values addressed in their programs are (1) the study of a compelling academic topic, (2) the exploration of socially responsible leadership, and (3) the development of a meaningful action plan.

Course offerings

  • Brown Leadership Institute | Leadership and the Future of Science, Technology, and Medicine

  • Brown Leadership Institute | Leadership and Conflict Resolution

  • Brown Leadership Institute | Leadership and Global Health

  • Brown Leadership Institute | Law and Social Change

Cost & eligibility

  • Program cost: $4,508

  • Eligibility: Unless otherwise noted, students completing grades 9 to 12, ages 15 to 18 by June 2023, are eligible

This is a hands-on, two-week program where you’ll get a chance to be surrounded by other rising 9th and 10th graders who are as passionate about advancing their knowledge of the STEM disciplines. There will be team research projects, experiments, and design-build challenges.

If you’re looking for a program where you can focus on your interest in STEM and prepare for success in a rigorous academic environment. Without the pressure of formal grades, this could be your summer plan. Although, keep in mind that due to the different structure of each program, students interested in enrolling in STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders are not eligible to participate in Summer@Brown on-campus programs prior to their STEM for Rising 9th and 10th graders program experience.

Pro-tip: All students receive a Course Performance Report and Certificate of Completion when once successfully finished.

Cost & eligibility

  • Program Cost: $5,218

  • Eligibility: Providence-area students entering the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade. Students as young as 13 can apply!

All in all, if you’re interested in attending Brown University, we hope that our tips and resources will help you decide on the right high school course for your needs. Remember that there are many factors to consider when deciding what type, of course, will best prepare you for your future at Brown – or anywhere else!

Here’s a link to program dates and costs if you’re ready to dig deeper into Brown’s pre-college educational treasures.

If you are interested in a selective, individually customized research program, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, an online high school program for students founded by Harvard and Oxford researchers. The program pairs you with a full-time researcher to develop your own independent research project, in any discipline of your choice. Last year over 2100 students applied for 500 slots in the research program! You can find the application form here.

Looking for college programs beyond Brown? Check out our other blogs on 15 Best Free Summer Programs for High School Students and 15 Virtual Research Opportunities for High School Students.

Dhvani (the-one-e) is a program manager at Lumiere, in addition to being an entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator, and boxer. She graduated from UC Davis where she studied design, psychology, and sustained dialogue. She has a passion for all things education, inclusion, and empowerment.



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