Brown University Campus Tour: Summer Version

Founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh oldest college in the nation. But since 1770, when Brown University (then named Rhode Island College) moved from Warren, Rhode Island to its current location in Providence, Rhode Island, the campus has grown by leaps and bounds.

Students and families walking along the Main Green on a Campus Tour.
A gondola ride along the Providence River. Downtown buildings in the distance.

If you’re taking part in a Brown Pre-College Program this summer, there’s no need to be intimidated by the thought of navigating a college campus for the first time. There are plenty of people around once you get here, including your R.A. and course instructors, to point you in the right direction, as well as tours taking place regularly on check-in day.

But if you want to get a leg up on what awaits you, here are some of the most popular campus spots where you’re sure to spend time during your stay.

Here is a map to help guide you through this campus tour.


Pre-College students arriving on campus.
Faunce Arch, connecting the Main Green to Waterman Street
Plenty of seating outside the Blue Room for studying, dining, or socializing inside the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center

The Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center (entrance located in the Faunce Arch)

The summer student information desk is located in the Campus Center, right next to the Admissions welcome desk. Staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by Program Advisors, this is your go-to spot for questions large and small about where things are, when things are, and how to get there. Program Directors also hold office hours throughout the summer in a nearby space – for course questions and academic advising, or anything they can help with – and the student staff can put you in touch with one of them very easily.

A great place to study or socialize, the Campus Center is home to meeting and socializing spaces as well as the Blue Room, where you can purchase beverages and quick lunches or snacks all summer. Right on the College Green – and open on Sundays – it’s a great option for students and their parents needing to refuel on check-in day.


Sayles Hall, home to Sunday On-Campus Check In’s
Sunday evening activities fair on the Main Green.

The College Green

The main hub of life on campus, you’ll see students studying and socializing. It’s also where students check in for the majority of On-Campus Pre-College Programs. On the College Green sits University Hall, the first and oldest building on campus; Sayles Hall, where you’ll find portraits of Brown Presidents past and the largest Hutchings-Votley organ in the world; Salomon Hall; the John Carter Brown Library; and the Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center.


Brown Student Agencies Lounge

The BSA Lounge is located in the Lounge in North Wayland. The entrance is on the Wriston Quad. The organization’s Summer@Brown program aims to provide students on Brown’s campus with the necessary services to make their stay on campus as comfortable as possible, from fan rentals to a laundry program. Feel free to visit the BSA Lounge to speak with the student managers regarding any rental items or laundry issues.


Carrie Tower
University Hall
The Van Wickle Gates, open for Commencement. University Hall in view behind the Gates.

The Quiet Green

On the other side of University Hall is the Quiet Green, which is home to the Slavery Memorial, Manning Hall Chapel, Rhode Island Hall, Slater Hall, and Carrie Tower. The Van Wickle Gates lead from the Quiet Green to Prospect Street. The center gates are only opened twice a year: during Convocation in the fall, when the gates open inward and welcome the entire freshman class to the university for the first time, and during Commencement in the spring, when the gates open outward and the graduating class files from the College Green down College Street.


John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI
John Hay Reading Room
John D. Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

The John D. Rockefeller and the John Hay libraries

Across from the Van Wickle Gates are two of Brown’s libraries. The John D. Rockefeller Library, known as “The Rock,” is the primary humanities and social sciences library on campus and contains many different study areas, including a quiet room. The John Hay houses special collections, including the world’s largest collection of tin toy soldiers, an arrangement of dried flowers from Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, and three anatomical textbooks bound in skin.


Caesar Augustus Statue sits at the bottom of Wriston Quad in front of the entrance to the Ratty.
Wriston Quad looking towards the statue of Caesar Augustus and the Ratty.

Wriston Quad/The Ratty

Home to several Brown dorms, the centerpiece of Wriston Quad is the statue of Caesar Augustus. At the bottom of Wriston is Sharpe Refectory, known as “The Ratty,” one of the main dining hall on campus.

Ratty Hours: Open June 17th – July 27th
Monday- Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Sunday: Dinner
Holidays: Closed on July 4


Verney-Wooley (V-Dub) Dining Hall

The main dining hall on campus, located on the Pembroke campus inside Emery-Wooley Hall. The V-Dub is open on Sundays for Pre-College students.

V-Dub open June 2nd – August 12th


Residential Staff

Office of Residential Life

Located in the Graduate Center E on Charlesfield Street, this office is the hub of all co-curricular, extra-curricular and residential information for Pre-College students. While you can find a lot of great information on the Guidebook app and by talking to your Residential Advisor, Residential Life staff are always happy to have you stop by with questions Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Looking through Soldier’s Arch towards Science’s Park
Back of Sayles Hall where you will exit after checking-in. Statue of Marcus Aurelius.

Soldier’s Arch and Ruth J. Simmons Quad

When heading down Thayer Street, you can’t miss Soldier’s Arch, a memorial to the 42 Brown-educated soldiers who died in World War I. Pass through the Arch onto Simmons Quad, named after former Brown President Ruth J. Simmons, the first African American president of an Ivy League school. The blue light on the Quad marks the center of campus, from which everything is an easy 7-minute walk.


The Sciences Library and Sciences Park

Diagonally across the street from Soldier’s Arch is the Sciences Library and the adjacent Sciences Park. The Library is Brown’s primary sciences library and the tallest building on campus. Sciences Park houses most of the physical science departments, including the newly completed Engineering Research Center.


Meehan Auditorium, home of the Annual College Fair

Erickson Athletic Complex

Located on Hope Street, the athletics complex includes several facilities where Brown sports teams play and practice. It’s also home to the Pre-College Summer Sports Camps. Memberships are available to Pre-College students to access the Nelson Fitness Center, tennis courts, the Coleman Aquatics Center and other select facilities. In addition, Meehan Auditorium will host the annual summer college fair, which takes place on July 12, 2018.


Brown Bookstore on Thayer Street

Thayer Street

A student favorite, Thayer Street is a thoroughfare of restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops, as well as the Brown Bookstore, where you can purchase textbooks, supplies, and Brown gear. Thayer Street is also the home to many Brown buildings as it runs through the heart of campus. 


Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

The Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

Completed in 2011, the Granoff Center is an interdisciplinary arts center that contains several performance spaces, computer labs, art exhibitions and a recording studio. In the summer, Brown hosts community movie nights on the terraced steps.


The Walk (South) and Sidney Frank Hall in the background
Inside Sidney Frank Hall, is a two-story multilayer glass installation, Lines Of Sight.

Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences

Sidney Frank is the main center for the biomedical and life sciences on campus.


Andrews Hall
Smith Buonanno Hall

Pembroke Campus

Just north of Sidney Frank is the Pembroke Campus. Formerly a women’s college until it merged with the University in 1971, Pembroke is the location of several residence halls, including Andrews Hall, which is the check-in location for the STEM I and II programs and summer sports camps. Pembroke’s Verney-Woolley Dining Hall (a.k.a. V-Dub) is open on Sundays for Pre-College students.


Circle Dance

The Walk

Running north to south, the Walk is a grassy public space that connects Pembroke to the rest of campus. While strolling the space, stop to check out the public art sculpture “Circle Dance,” by American artist Tom Friedman.

Want to see more of campus? Take the virtual tour.

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