About Brown College

About Brown College

What is Brown?

Here at Brown, we believe that your home should be equal parts engaging, interesting, and fun.

Our tight-knit community of nearly 300 undergraduate residents mingle with resident staff, administrative faculty, and faculty fellows to engage in deep conversations around meals about a wide variety of topics, from international politics to the nuances of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Located at the heart of Central Grounds on Monroe Hill, Brown is situated snugly between Newcomb Hall and the rest of the university, sitting less than one block from the Lawn and many of the academic buildings. As a part of Monroe Hill, Brown residents live and study in the historical buildings around the Hill that are deeply involved in the complex history of the university, encouraging thoughtful conversations about the legacy of the university and the way Brown residents continue to made it their own.

Brown also features one of the university’s most robust student governments, colloquially known as GovBoard, which manages a sizable budget and hosts dozens of events for the fun and growth of the residents.

Life at Brown College…

Fosters connections

Residents have many opportunities to connect with each other, including events hosted by the governance board, eating together in the Brown College Dining Room in nearby Newcomb Hall, gathering in the lounges to study or play games, and much more!

Encourages new perspectives

Residents engage with a wide variety of majors and student organizations, introducing each other to new and exciting hobbies. Each resident brings their unique background, creed, beliefs, and interests to the college, creating lively discourse and allowing residents to express themselves freely.

Enriches academic growth

Students engage with speakers, special seminars, and community initiatives to grow academically, fueled by the wide variety of passions brought to the community by residents and faculty. Through these enriching experiences, residents broaden their education and become well-rounded students and citizens of the university.

Academics and History

In 1986, Monroe Hill opened its doors as the first modern residential college at the University of Virginia. Renamed Brown College in honor of the endowment donated by the Brown family, Brown is led by a small group of dedicated resident faculty, including the Principal and two Directors of Studies. Brown's 40 non-resident faculty fellows hail from a variety of University departments, interact with residents on a daily basis, participate in Brown events, and act as informal advisors.

The unique variety of formal and informal programs offered by the students and faculty of Brown College include, among other things, a handful of short classes and thought-provoking seminars. Based on critical thinking and discussion, these courses are tailored to discuss current events and engage the interests of our residents.


Brown’s twelve buildings, or portals, offer heated and air-conditioned semi-private rooms for each student. Each portal of 20-30 residents develops a unique identity that helps make the college feel like home.

In addition, Brown features many communal spaces, including multiple lounges, a kitchen, a library, laundry facilities, a music room, and more. A series of underground tunnels connect all the portals and communal spaces in Brown College; these tunnels keep students connected and make visiting convenient, even in the worst weather.

Although the location of Brown College is unparalleled, the community is what truly sets Brown apart from other residential areas. Residents are creative, scholarly, social, and inclusive, and the community is governed and supported by residents who engage and volunteer their time for the benefit of the college and the University.


Brown College suites each contain a pair of two 12’ x 11' 6" rooms adjoined to one, two, or three other suites via a common bathroom. Each suite comes furnished with two 80” x 36” (extra long) beds, two three-drawer dressers, two closets (6' 9" x 2' 10" x 1' 7"), four overhead shelves, two desks with bookcases, two chairs, and a wireless connection to the University's computer network. More information can be found on our FAQ page.

Apply for Brown

Brown College requires a separate application in addition to the Housing Agreement form. However, the application is unlike any college application; designed to be interesting and entertaining, the application encourages prospective residents to show off their personality and demonstrate that they would be a good fit for the community.

Applications are always read by current and former residents, and the identities of the applicants are kept anonymous to ensure a fair scoring process.

Get Involved

Student self-governance is one of the key pillars of Brown College. Four elected officers oversee a budget of over $30,000 and the efforts of over a dozen programming co-chairs, collectively called GovBoard, all of whom organize a variety of social events and activities. These include two semi-formals, trips to performances and art exhibitions, athletic events, community outreach, and Hauntings, Brown’s annual haunted house for charity.

Positions on the governance board are open to all residents, and elections are held annually. Residents can earn voting rights by attending weekly GovBoard meetings, which are held in the Brown College Dining Room every Sunday.


For more information, please visit our FAQ page.

If you have other questions, please contact [email protected].


Interested in Brown? Watch this promotional video, filmed by a resident during Carnival in Spring 2014: