The Question: What are classes like at Brown?

Hi! I’m Nicole Fleming, and I’m a blogger for The Question. I’m here to share my answers to some common questions about Brown to show you why Brown is the best university on Earth!

Education. It’s (supposedly) the reason that people go to college. However, it’s not just as simple as one word. There are so many different forms that an education can take. So this week, I’d like to discuss the kind of education that Brown provides through its classes – and how it meets the needs of a diverse student body.

Let’s start with one of the most obvious questions: What kinds of classes does Brown offer? The answer: A lot!! Brown offers courses in dozens of departments on an incredibly wide range of topics. I’ve taken courses on everything from Abraham Lincoln (yep, just him) to French medieval literature (surprisingly fascinating!). Science, math, writing, foreign language, gender studies…Brown has it all.

We also have classes of all different sizes and teaching styles. I personally like my seminar-style classes the best, as the small size allows for interactive discussion. However, the material covered in larger lecture courses is also incredibly interesting. Plus these classes give students a longer chance to hear professors’ ideas (and, if class discussion isn’t your thing, you’re safe here).

The best part of all of this is that Brown has an open curriculum. In other words, although each concentration has individual requirements, there is no core curriculum or distribution requirement (other than taking two writing-designated courses, which is really no big deal, even for STEM concentrators). So, you’re free to take whatever courses you want, knowing that everyone else in the class wants to be there too!

So there’s the basic information. Pick four classes from many choices. However, you may be wondering, what are classes really like? Is the workload reasonable? Are classes enjoyable? Are professors nice? The answer to all three of those questions is a definite “Yes!!!” It sounds cheesy, but Brown professors are wonderful. All of my professors have been very willing to help and advise me. Courses are challenging, but the workload is not unreasonable. And the courses are way more interesting than the basic history, math, etc. often offered by high schools.

That’s the scoop on classes at Brown. They are enjoyable and generally do not have overwhelming workloads. The professors are great. Brown students have a lot of freedom in picking their courses. And, most importantly, I’ve learned a lot from my classes. I feel like my reading and essay-writing skills have improved dramatically, even just in one year. So, if you’re concerned about classes at Brown, don’t be. They’re nothing to worry about – and a lot of fun.

If you have questions about anything related to Brown, I would love to help! Please email me at


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