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Brown University stands out as a unique institution in the landscape of higher education. One of its defining features is the Open Curriculum, which grants students the freedom to design their own academic path and encourages exploration across disciplines, allowing students to shape their education based on their interests and intellectual curiosity. The university prides itself on its diverse student body, which brings together individuals from various backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences and encourages students to engage in meaningful dialogue and embrace differing viewpoints. Brown also places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, providing students with extensive opportunities to collaborate with faculty mentors and pursue original scholarly work.


The Brown University supplemental essays aim to give applicants the opportunity to showcase their unique qualities, perspectives, and aspirations. Applicants are encouraged to reflect on their academic interests and engagement in intellectual dialogue, and explore what brings them joy. The essays provide a platform for students to demonstrate their passion for learning, their ability to think critically, and their alignment with Brown's values of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, and personal growth. The prompts emphasize the importance of embracing diverse perspectives, pursuing interdisciplinary connections, and making meaningful contributions to both academic and extracurricular spheres. Ultimately, the Brown University supplemental essays allow applicants to present a holistic picture of who they are and how they would thrive within the vibrant and intellectually stimulating community at Brown.



How to Write Brown University Supplemental Essay 1


PROMPT: Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar.  (Between 200 and 250 words.)


This essay is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your academic passions and demonstrate your enthusiasm for Brown University's Open Curriculum. Begin by identifying your academic interests. Take some time to reflect on the subjects or fields of study that truly excite you, and consider both your existing knowledge and experiences as well as any emerging interests or curiosities. Make a list of these academic interests, and choose one or two that you are most passionate about to focus on in your essay. Once you've identified your academic interests, dive into why they excite you. Share personal anecdotes, experiences, or moments that sparked your passion for these subjects, and articulate why you find them intellectually stimulating and why they are significant to you. Be sure to convey your genuine enthusiasm and dedication. Next, discuss your eagerness to explore beyond the boundaries of your chosen academic interests, and explain how the Brown University Open Curriculum appeals to your desire for intellectual exploration and interdisciplinary learning. Discuss how the flexibility of the Open Curriculum will allow you to pursue your academic passions while also embracing unfamiliar topics. Since Brown's Open Curriculum encourages students to make connections across disciplines, write about how your academic interests intersect with other fields of study or areas of knowledge. Demonstrate your ability to identify potential interdisciplinary connections and explain how pursuing these connections would enhance your learning experience and broaden your understanding of the subjects you are passionate about. After that, mention specific courses, programs, or resources at Brown University that align with your interests and goals. Explain how you would integrate different disciplines, take advantage of research opportunities, or engage in experiential learning to deepen your understanding and achieve your academic aspirations. Throughout your essay, subtly highlight how your academic interests and approach align with Brown University's core values, such as intellectual curiosity, academic freedom, and independent thinking. Also, show how the Open Curriculum at Brown is uniquely suited to support and enhance your academic journey. In summary, your response to this prompt should showcase your passion for your chosen academic interests, highlight your eagerness to explore beyond your comfort zone, and demonstrate how the Brown University Open Curriculum will enable you to pursue your passions while embracing interdisciplinary opportunities.



How to Write Brown University Supplemental Essay 2


PROMPT: Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (Between 200 and 250 words.)


Begin your essay by recounting a relevant incident or experience. Choose an event that had a significant impact on your understanding and growth. It could be a conversation, a debate, a group project, or any situation where you were challenged by an opposing viewpoint. Next, share your initial thoughts and feelings when you encountered this different perspective. Did it surprise you, challenge your preconceptions, or evoke a strong emotional response? Be honest and authentic in describing your initial reaction, as it sets the stage for your subsequent actions. Discuss how you responded to the challenge with an open mind and a genuine desire to understand the opposing perspective. Next, describe how you actively listened, asked questions, and sought clarification to gain a deeper understanding of the other person's viewpoint. Highlight your willingness to engage in a thoughtful and respectful dialogue, and share how this experience impacted you personally and intellectually. Did it broaden your perspective, challenge your assumptions, or change your beliefs? Reflect on the lessons you learned from engaging with this different perspective, and discuss how this encounter fostered a deeper and clearer understanding of complex societal issues. Make sure to highlight the importance of dialogue and community, and emphasize how this experience aligns with the culture at Brown University. Connect your personal experience to the broader concept of fostering a community where individuals challenge and are challenged by diverse ideas. Discuss the value of open dialogue, active engagement, and the impact it can have on personal and societal growth. You should conclude with a forward-looking statement: highlight how this experience has influenced your approach to engaging with differing perspectives in the future, and discuss how you intend to continue seeking out opportunities for dialogue, embracing intellectual challenges, and promoting a deeper understanding of complex issues.



How to Write Brown University Supplemental Essay 3


PROMPT: Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (Between 200 and 250 words.)


To effectively answer this prompt, choose something that genuinely brings you joy and holds significance in your life. It could be an activity, a hobby, an interest, or even a personal experience. Select a topic that allows you to delve into the details and convey your passion and connection to it. Once you've identified the topic that brings you joy, paint a vivid picture for the reader by using descriptive language to help them understand the experience or activity. Next, share specific anecdotes, sensory details, or emotions associated with it. The more specific and detailed your writing, the more engaging and memorable your essay will be. Now, go beyond describing the source of joy and reflect on how it has impacted your personal growth and development. Discuss how this activity or experience has shaped your perspective, values, or goals. Has it taught you important life lessons, provided a sense of purpose, or influenced your aspirations? Show the admissions committee how this source of joy has contributed to your personal journey. As you discuss the joy it brings you, explore how it aligns with Brown University's values. Connect your topic to concepts like intellectual curiosity, community engagement, or the pursuit of meaningful work. Explain how this joyous aspect of your life resonates with Brown's culture and how it can enhance your overall experience at the university. Throughout your essay, let your genuine passion and enthusiasm shine through by sharing your authentic voice and personal experiences, allowing the reader to connect with your narrative on a deeper level. In the concluding few sentences, reflect on the broader significance of finding joy, and how this contributes to your overall well-being, satisfaction, and sense of fulfillment.

what's next?

Would you like one-on-one expert assistance with crafting amazing supplemental essays that help you stand out from the crowd and get you admitted? Whether you need help brainstorming ideas, structuring your essays, or refining your writing, we're here to provide personalized guidance every step of the way.


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