Brown University Transfer Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

Students looking for curricular flexibility, study-abroad opportunities, a socially diverse community, and access to state-of-the-art research facilities will find a welcome home at Brown University. 

Each year, over 1,600 of Brown’s students participate in the Swearer Center community engagement programs, the purpose of which is to deepen and nurture relationships with people and organizations based in Providence, Rhode Island (where Brown is located).

The research opportunities at Brown are unparalleled – current explorations range from developing treatments for fibrosis, understanding how gospel music fueled the Civil Rights Movement, and using computer models to predict migration patterns that accompany the rise of seawater.

In this article, we’ll discuss the Brown University transfer student acceptance rate (similar to its first-year student acceptance rate), required application materials, essential deadlines, and compelling reasons to choose Brown University over other elite institutions.

Brown University Transfer Acceptance Rate

Brown University
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Brown University Pembroke campus, CC BY-SA 4.0

In 2021, Brown University’s transfer acceptance rate was 4.3% – out of 2,746 applicants, only 118 were admitted, and 68.6% of those admitted decided to enroll. 

This acceptance number is slightly higher than their 3.4% rate in 2020, and considerably lower than their 9.4% rate in 2019.

Transferring to Brown University is a competitive process – in the past four years, Brown’s Office of Admission has admitted international students from over 130 colleges and universities.

Application Requirements & GPA for Brown University Transfers

Brown accepts the best of the best from its transfer applicants – the average GPA of admitted transfer students in 2021 was 4.0.

 Additionally, the middle 50% of applicants achieved an ACT composite score between 33-35, an SAT Math score between 750-790, and an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score between 730-770.

Brown is explicit in what they are looking for in transfer applicants. The Office of Admissions has shared that the most critical components of a Brown transfer application are the college transcript, letters of recommendation, high school transcript, and standardized test scores. 

The university desires to enroll those who will contribute in meaningful, tangible ways, who demonstrate long-term investment in extracurricular activities, and who will dedicate themselves to similar academic, athletic, and philanthropic pursuits at Brown.

It costs $75 to apply to Brown as a transfer student, though the fee can be waived for those who are experiencing financial hardship, or those who take the SAT. 

That being said, sharing SAT and ACT scores is not required as part of a student’s application.

The application checklist includes the Common Application for Transfer Students, as well as official copies of high school and college transcripts. 

The transcript from the applicant’s current institution should include their grades from the prior semester, as well as their current class enrollments.

Transfer applicants must also share a College Report (also known as a Report of Good Standing), which provides reassurance to the admissions team that the student selects to attend rigorous classes and maintains excellent grades, attendance, and participation. 

The applicant will need to send two evaluations from faculty members at their current institution – professors or TAs are preferred.

The admissions team will rely on the Mid Term Report, which must be uploaded by April 1. Applicants for financial aid should also submit their FAFSA and/or CSS Profile at the time they complete their application.

There are rare circumstances where an applicant may be asked to send additional materials in their transfer application. For example, if a student is accomplished in music or performance, they may send materials that showcase their talents. 

Those seeking to transfer to Brown should have completed at least a full year of college study. 

Part- and full-time students at two- and four-year accredited institutions are eligible to apply for transfer admission, as well.

Brown discourages applications from those who have earned more than four semesters of college credit due to a university transfer policy.

Transfer applicants will not be given an opportunity for an in-person or video interview; however, they can submit a 2-minute personal video introduction, along with their application materials, by March 15. 

The admissions team explains that the video can include discussion regarding an applicant’s academic interests, connections to family or friends who have personally influenced them, or experiences within a community.

Brown University Transfer Deadline

11:59 PM on March 1 is the strict application deadline for those applying to transfer to Brown University. 

At this time, applicants should have submitted the Common Application and Brown supplement; other application components may be received after March 1, but students should be sure to submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile by this date to receive a timely financial aid notification.

If students are missing essential elements of their transfer applications, they will be notified in early March. These materials must be submitted as soon as possible.

What is the Decision Date for Brown University Transfers?

Transfer admission decisions are released online in early May of each year. Transfer applicants will receive an email from Brown University when their admission letter is available for online viewing. 

Admitted transfer applicants must indicate their commitment to attend Brown in late May, and mid-June is the deadline for submitting final transcripts from the spring semester of the institution from which the student is transferring. There is no enrollment deposit, and transfer students can expect to begin orientation and classes in early September.

Deciding Whether You Should Transfer to Brown University

Brown University Engineering Center
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Brown University Engineering Research Center, CC BY-SA 4.0

Brown is currently ranked as the #3 Best College for Veterans and #4 Best Undergraduate Teaching College, according to the 2022 U.S. News rankings. 

Students interested in computer science, biology, history, and international affairs may also gravitate towards Brown, as those are some of their most popular majors.

Brown touts its undergraduate Open Curriculum as one of the main incentives why students choose to attend the institutions; while most universities stipulate a rigid set of core courses, Brown undergraduates create their own personalized program of study and have more flexibility to take classes among a broader range of topics.  

Students seeking a more intimate classroom environment will enjoy the 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio at Brown, where 70% of the institution’s courses have fewer than 20 students.

Many students seek to transfer to a new university because their current college residential setting does not meet their desire for a stimulating college experience. 

Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island where, despite its small-town geography, it maintains a culture similar to a large city.

Providence has been ranked as the #3 Favorite U.S. City, #4 Quirkiest City in America, and Best City for Foodies by a variety of publications. 

At any given week in the academic year, a Brown student may have the option to attend an art festival, a historic lighthouse tour, or an excursion through one of the infamous Newport Mansions.

One of the neatest features of the city was actually designed by a Brown graduate – Waterfire features 100 bonfires that line the banks of the downtown rivers, and plays music from countries worldwide. 

Students desiring to get away for the weekend will be happy to find that Boston is only 50 miles away, and New York City is 180 miles from campus.

RECAP: How to Apply As a Transfer Student to Brown University

To review, the most essential application components for incoming transfer students include their college and high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores (if submitted). 

While standardized test scores are optional, taking the SAT can, at the least, help a transfer applicant waive the $75 transfer application fee.

Brown admissions officers want to see evidence that students will contribute to the Brown community in meaningful ways, and submitting a personal video introduction is a great way to demonstrate that promise.

Applicants should submit their Common Application for Transfer Students, transcripts, College Report, and two letters of recommendation by March 1, along with their financial aid documents. The video introduction must be submitted by March 15.

Once an applicant’s materials have been submitted, it is important for them to remember to maintain their high grades at their current institution.

Brown stipulates that students must send their Mid Term Report by April 1, which serves to show them that the student is able to maintain a rigorous course load with excellent grades.