How Hard Is It to Get Into Brown-RISD Dual Degree?

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If you are a high-achieving and ambitious student, you must be considering exploring the Brown-RISD Dual Degree program. But what is it, and how difficult is it to get admitted into the program? This guide will decode the admission process, requirements, and the unique blend of creativity and academia.

Throughout this article, you can discover the basic requirements for the Dual Degree program and what extends beyond it. We will dive into the challenges, admission requirements, and how to boost your chances of getting into the program.

What is the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program?What is the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program?

The Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program is a unique academic collaboration between two excellent institutions: Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It is a five-year program that was established in 2007.

This program is a unique experience that offers students the chance to pursue a dual degree. A dual degree allows you to earn two distinct credentials in two fields. Through this program, you can combine the academic rigor of the liberal arts education at Brown with the artistic excellence of art and design at RISD.

The primary objective of this program is to build interdisciplinary learning and creativity. The program’s design aims to provide students a platform to explore and merge interests in different fields, including humanities, social sciences, and innovation.

Brown-RISD encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of both disciplines by offering such a dual degree opportunity. This makes you a more versatile and innovative professional.

We can dive deeper into the points below to further understand how the program works.

Application and Admission

Students who want to enroll in this Dual Degree Program must apply to both institutes separately. Moreover, an additional essay must be sent in during the application to be considered for the Dual Degree Program.

Admission to each institution is independent of the other. That means that you must meet the rigorous admission criteria of both schools to be accepted into the Dual Degree Program. Since the process is highly selective, there are a limited number of spots on an annual basis.

In a gist, you might get accepted into Brown, RISD, or both. You might get into both but not into the Dual Degree Program. Hence, make sure you submit all the required material to have a chance at getting accepted.

Interdisciplinary Coursework

Once admitted, you will embark on an excellently curated academic experience. It integrates courses and experiences from both institutions. You will also be free to choose from a wide range of subjects, from traditional liberal arts to design fields. This enables you to tailor your education to suit your interests and career aspirations.

Close-Knit Community

Since the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program is competitive, a small number of individuals get into the program. Hence, the result is a close-knit and supportive community. Students benefit from the resources and faculty of both institutions, enriching their professional and personal experiences.

Completion of Degrees

Upon successfully completing the 5-year program, you will receive two separate degrees. The first will be a Bachelor of Arts from Brown. The second would be a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RISD. This enhances your marketability in various industries and prepares you for distinct career paths.

How Hard Is It to Get into the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program?

How Hard Is It to Get into the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program?

How hard is it to get into Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program? Well, the process is exceptionally challenging and incredibly competitive. With its prestige and unique opportunity of blending between institutions, it attracts many highly accomplished, ambitious applicants.

We can further reflect upon the limited chances of examining the class size. According to Brown University, only a class of 15 students is enrolled annually. That means that only 15 new students get into the program each year, which translates into a minimal number of the total pool of applicants.

For example, for the class of 2024, 725 students applied. Out of all these individuals, only 20 students were accepted into the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program. The most important thing to remember when applying is that you need to send in two separate applications to be considered for the program.

What is Brown-RISD’s Acceptance Rate?

What is Brown-RISD’s Acceptance Rate?

The Brown-RISD acceptance rate varies from one year to another. However, if we take the statistics mentioned in the earlier section, we can reflect upon the numbers from the class of 2024. Out of 725 applicants, only 20 were accepted into the program. Hence, the Brown-RISD Dual Degree acceptance rate for the class of 2024 was 2.76%. This translates to approximately 3 people accepted per 100 applicants.

But what about the Brown acceptance rate? For Brown University, according to the statistics for the class of 2027, 51302 people applied to the university. Of those, only 1730 got admitted. That is equal to 3.37% of the total number of students.

However, the Brown acceptance rate early decision was significantly higher. According to Crimson Education, the early acceptance rate for Brown for the class of 2027 stood at 13%. That means you have considerably better chances of getting accepted if you consider the early application option.

But what about RISD? According to College Board, the RISD admission rate is around 26%. That means it generally has a higher, quite substantially higher, acceptance rate compared to Brown University.

Admission Requirements at Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program

Before diving into the specific admission requirements for the dual degree program, we should highlight, once again, that you must submit an application to both institutions and supply an additional essay for the dual degree program. That said, let us dive into the general requirements that you should consider:

  • Submit an application to both institutions
  • Submit your academic transcripts
  • Send in your standardized test scores
  • Supply your artistic portfolio since RISD is an art and design-focused institution
  • Supply letters of recommendation
  • Complete the questions and personal statements

However, the specific requirements will slightly differ from one institution to the next. Below, we will discuss the particular needs according to the university.

Admission Requirements at Brown University

The admission process for Brown University can be split into four different sections. We further discuss them below.

1. Complete the application

You should complete the Brown application, which you can do so by creating an account on the Common Application. Throughout the application, you are expected to complete three different sections. The first is about information about your background and education. The second is regarding specific questions Brown University lists. The third part consists of forms that your teachers send in.

Since you are applying for the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, you must also complete an additional essay regarding the program. You can review the specific questions that you might run through on their official website.

As part of the application, you will have to pay an additional $75.

2. Requesting school forms

You need a list of records from your school, which include:

  • Your official high school transcript
  • The school report form
  • Your midyear school report and transcript
  • A counselor recommendation
  • Two separate letters of recommendation from teachers
  • Your final school report and transcript by the time you graduate
  • For early-decision students, the first-quarter or trimester grades should be submitted
  • For early decision students, they must complete the Early Decision Agreement form

But what about Brown University’s GPA requirements? While they firmly state that there are no minimum GPA requirements, they also say that anyone with a GPA below 3.0 should submit extra material to prove their proficiency and academic excellence. However, according to Campus Reel Organization, the average admitted GPA is 4.0.

3. Standardized tests

Currently, standardized test scores are optional at Brown University. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot submit your scores. In fact, they can increase your chances of acceptance, especially if your GPA is lower than expected.

So what are Brown University SAT scores? According to their statistics, 65% of admitted students scored within the range of 750-800 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section. On the other hand, 85% scores in the range of 750-800 in the Math section. To sum up, 50% scored earned a composite score in the range of 1500-1570.

But what about Brown’s ACT scores? 60% scores within the range of 35-36.

4. Supplementary material

Applicants with excellent music or visual arts accomplishments can include supplementary material through SlideRoom. As for the Brown-RISD dual degree program supplemental essays, they should be the same for both applications. Your essay should answer the prompt presented on Brown’s official website.

Admission Requirements at RISD

Now, let us dive into the RISD admission requirements.

1. Application

Once again, you need to use the Common Application to submit your application to RISD.

2. Academic transcripts

You need to submit all the grades and transcripts you have so far. That includes your coursework, grades, and GPA. According to College Board, more than 50% of applicants have a GPA of 3.75 or above for RISD.

3. Test scores

You have the option of sending in your SAT or ACT scores. For those who do submit the scores, the university will superscore the results. You should also submit the scores of an English language proficiency test if it isn’t your first language. You have the option of using TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo.

4. Portfolio

Part of the application process is the Brown-RISD dual degree portfolio. For this, you must supply 12-20 examples of your most recent work. You should showcase a diverse range of ideas and abilities. You should also consider adding examples of drawing from direct observation. That is because drawing is regarded as a fundamental skill for an art major. You can read more about the portfolio requirements here.

 5. College essay

You should also submit a personal essay through the Common App, which consists of writing up to 650 words.

6. Letters of recommendation

When writing letters of recommendation, you can submit up to 3 letters. However, only 1 is required for your application.

5 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting into the Dual Degree Program

5 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting into the Dual Degree Program

So, now onto the most significant part. How do you boost your chances of getting accepted? Well, learn how to get into the Dual Degree Program through the following tips:

1. Early decision

Apply through the early decision option. For Brown, the deadline is November 1st. As for RISD, the decision for early action will be around the same date, and the results will be released in mid-December.

2. Craft a powerful personal narrative

Write a compelling personal statement highlighting your unique journey and evolving interests. Also, list why this Dual Program is the perfect fit for your aspirations.

3. Pursue depth in academic subjects.

While the program values interdisciplinary exploration, it is also crucial to explore the core academic subjects.

4. Create an exceptionally good portfolio

Your portfolio should be the one thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It is a gateway to your creative world. Hence, curate a collection that exhibits technical skills as well as reflects your artistic originality. Include pieces that reveal versatility and willingness to push creative boundaries.

5. Engage with the Brown-RISD community

Immerse yourself within the community. Demonstrate your interest in the program by going to events, workshops, or exhibitions at both institutions. Do not limit your options to one university. Engage within the community to show your commitment to participating actively in the vibrant academic environment.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard Is It to Get Into Brown-RISD Dual Degree?

In a nutshell, the Brown-RISD Degree Program offers a unique and competitive opportunity for all students. For high-achieving individuals, this is a great chance to mix art and academia. Admission is challenging, mainly due to the limited spots and rigorous selection process.

However, that does not mean that getting admitted is impossible. Instead, you should follow several steps to boost your chances of getting in. For instance, to enhance your prospects, apply early, create a standout portfolio, and show your passion for learning. Emphasize academic excellence and engagement within the communities of the universities.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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