About Brown College

About Brown College

Imagine yourself thriving in UVA's premier residential college. Brown College at Monroe Hill: boundless opportunity.

We believe that home should be as stimulating as it is comfortable. Ours is a socially engaging community that provides each resident with space to call their own. Brown Residential College is an active, closely-knit community of nearly 300 undergraduate residents of all years and majors, 2 resident faculty scholars, and 40 non-resident faculty fellows. Located in the heart of Central Grounds, on Monroe Hill, Brown College is situated snugly between Newcomb and McCormick Roads, less than one block from the Lawn.

Brown's twelve buildings, or portals, offer air-conditioned single rooms for each student, in addition to a study lounge, kitchen, computer lab, library, laundry facilities, and two TV lounges. While a prime location and enviable living space are among Brown's most attractive traits, the community is what truly sets us apart from other on-grounds housing options. Creative, active, scholarly, eclectic, relaxed, social, open-minded: Brown College is the product of its residents.


Davis, Smith, Mallet, Long, Venable, Gildersleeve, McGuffey, Harrison, Tucker, Holmes, Rogers, Peters: each portal, housing 21-30 residents, has its own identity. Students create both a community and a home at Monroe Hill, infusing Brown with their passions, talents, and energy. 

A series of underground tunnels connect all the portals in Brown College; the tunnels keep students connected and make visiting convenient, even in the worst weather.

Life in Brown College

Sets the table

Residents share informal meals every day, and the camaraderie established in the dining hall extends into each part of residential life.

Breaks routine

Residents create their own opportunities, from lectures to intramurals. Novel prospects arise constantly.

Broadens horizons

Residents represent a wide variety of majors, student organizations, backgrounds, creeds, political beliefs, and interests, all living and interacting in one place.

Sets the ball rolling

Residents can explore the backstage of academia through special student-taught courses.

Opens doors

Brown fosters a relaxed and receptive environment among students, faculty fellows, friends, and alumni.

Meal Plan

Modeled after the residential colleges of Cambridge and Oxford, Brown believes that dining is about more than sustenance. A special seating area in the Newcomb Dining Hall is a major hub for both residents and faculty to discuss, banter, and relax—fostering the sense of a smaller college within the context of a large university. Students are required to purchase a Brown College Meal Plan, which includes monthly, catered banquets for residents and faculty fellows.Banquets feature different monthly themes (and related entertainment), good food, and great company.

Academics and History

In 1986, Monroe Hill, the first modern residential college at the University, opened its doors. Now named Brown College in honor of the endowment donated by the Brown family, it is led by a principal and two Directors of Studies. Brown's 40 non-resident faculty fellows hail from a variety of University departments. Faculty fellows interact with residents on a daily basis, participating in Brown events and acting as informal advisors.

The unique variety of formal and informal programs offered by the students and faculty of Brown College includes short courses and Great Books seminars, among others. Based on critical thinking and discussion, these courses are small, digestible, ever-changing, and built to suit. 

Get Involved

Keeping with the tradition of the University, Brown College has its own student self-governance. Three elected officers oversee a budget of over $35,000 and the efforts of over a dozen programming chairs, all of whom organize a variety of social activities. These activities include semi-annual semi-formals; trips to the circus, ballet, and orchestra; community outreach; and Hauntings, the annual haunted house for charity.

Lectures, parties, film screenings, road trips, intramurals, cookouts: all residents can create any kind of intellectual and social opportunities.

Live in Brown

Brown College requires a separate application in addition to the Housing Agreement form. The application itself, though, draws students in more than any other factor. Why? It's creative, original, and fun.

Current residents choose future ones. During the application process, we read applications stripped of the applicant's personal identifiers. The selection process is anonymous and private.


Brown College suites each contain two 12 x 11' 6" rooms adjoined to one, two, or three other suites via a common bathroom. Each air-conditioned suite comes furnished with two 80 x 36 (extra long) beds, 2 dressers with three drawers, two closets (6' 9" H x 2' 10" W x 1' 7" D), four overhead shelves, two desks with bookcases, two chairs, and a wireless connection to the University's computer network.

For First Years attending Brown College during the 2018-2019 Academic Year, most First Year Suites are composed of a single bedroom outer room, with a bunked double bedroom inner room. The inner bunked room comes furnished with 2 beds, 2 desks, 2 drawer sets and 2 chairs. The outer single room contains a wardrobe (72"H x 42"W x 24"D), bed, desk, chair, and drawer set.