Brown University - Providence, RI | Rhode Island Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

Brown University

School Summary
One Prospect Street
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-1000
Degree Type:
Bachelor's degree; Postbaccalaureate certificate; Master's degree; Doctor's degree - research/scholarship; Doctor's degree - professional practice
Campus Setting:
City: Midsize
Campus Housing:

About Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island is an exciting cultural and academic hub. Brown University sits among Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute, and Trinitry repertory Company. All these schools are vital forces in the community. Students enjoy the city's history and the charming four-acre Waterplace Park and Riverwalk; as well as the shops, cafes and galleries on Wickenden Street, the Italian section on Federal Hill, and the hip College Hill area.

The focus here, however, is on Brown University and the opportunities it provides for design students. The Department of visual art shares a building with the Bell Gallery, the History of Art and Architecture department, and the Slide Library. Courses in the visual art concentration include, but are not limited to: drawing, photography, printmaking, papermaking, color theory, filmmaking, and digital imaging. The History of Art and Architecture concentration provides an undergraduate and graduate degree.

Undergraduates study history of art, architecture and visual culture as a humanistic discipline. They receive essential training in perceptual, historical and critical analysis that will allow them to pursue career opportunities in art and architectural history as well as a range of other professions. Graduate study in this department is geared toward earning a PhD in the history of art, architectural studies, and many areas of visual culture from the medieval period through the present.

Art and architecture students often take classes at the Rhode Island School of Design for credit toward Brown degrees. While study at Brown can be more expensive than most schools, students can find financial aid to help in most cases. However, Brown does push an early deadline schedule for application and financing, so be sure you note the deadline dates. Financial aid at the graduate level at Brown is merit based.

Brown University has a long history, as it was established in 1764. Its major accreditation is from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE). Although this is an Ivy League school, many students feel comfortable within an environment that seems to alck that "nose up in the air" feel you might experience elsewhere.

Brown University is a four-year Ivy League institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees. Brown has approximately 5900 undergraduate, 1500 graduate, and 340 medical students. The university is located in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is the capital and largest city in Rhode Island and was founded in 1636. Providence sits at the mouth of the Providence River on Narragansett Bay. The city is divided into 25 official neighborhoods, which are often grouped together into larger areas. There is plenty to eat and drink in Providence as it has the highest number of restaurants and coffee/doughnut shops per capita of any U.S. city. Providence boasts a 1200 acre parks system, multiple historic buildings, the RISD museum, and the minor league hockey team, the Providence Bruins For evening entertainment, the city offers the Trinity Repertory Company, the Providence Black Repertory Company, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.

Brown was founded in 1764 and originally called the College of Rhode Island. It was the third college in New England and the seventh in the U.S. It began as a Baptist college in response to Yale and Harvard, which were Congregationalist and Princeton, which was Presbyterian. Unlike its contemporaries, however, Brown accepted students of any religion. Today, Brown is no longer affiliated with any church.

The department of the history of art and architecture offers a bachelor's degree in architecture studies. The program prepares students for further graduate study of architecture and for careers in architecture or urban studies. Students must take four lecture courses and two seminars within the department. One seminar serves as a capstone experience and involves completing a project. The rest of the courses are determined by students, but a design course form the visual art department, as well as courses in engineering, math, archaeology, and American civilization are encouraged. Students may also participate in a study abroad program to gain first-hand knowledge of architecture. If qualified, students can complete the degree through the honors program.

Students can also earn a degree in visual arts through the department of visual art. Students are prepared to practice art and for a career in studio art. Courses teach students a variety of techniques and skills such as design, painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, and digital imaging. Students are encouraged to develop a personal vision and individual style. Some courses can be taken at the nearby Rhode Island School of Design.

The financial aid department at Brown believes that financing education is a partnership between the university, students, parents, and federal and state governments. Aid from Brown is based solely on need, never on academic achievement or athletic ability. For those students without financial need, different payment options are available. Students interested in applying for financial aid must be sure to fill out appropriate forms by the deadlines listed by the university.

Brown University is reaccredited every ten years by the New England Association of Schoolsl and Colleges.

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Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,