Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
At its foundation, Brown was the first college in North America to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. The university's medical program is the third-oldest in New England, while its engineering program is the oldest in the Ivy League. The university was one of the early doctoral-granting U.S. institutions in the late 19th century, adding masters and doctoral studies in 1887. In 1969, Brown adopted its Open Curriculum after a period of student lobbying. The new curriculum eliminated mandatory "general education" distribution requirements, made students "the architects of their own syllabus" and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory or no-credit which is unrecorded on external transcripts. In 1971, Brown's coordinate women's institution, Pembroke College, was fully merged into the university.
Admission is among the most selective in the United States; in 2021, the university reported an acceptance rate of 5.4%.
The university comprises the College, the Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies. Brown's international programs are organized through the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and the university is academically affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Rhode Island School of Design. In conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown offers undergraduate and graduate dual degree programs.