Winter Session

Winter Session at Brown

Brown University’s Winter Session immerses undergraduate students in a distinctive educational experience, allowing for intensive learning in an energizing and engaging environment.

Brown University's Winter Session for the 2022-2023 academic year will offer in-person and online courses.

Dates for Winter Session: December 22, 2022 – January 24, 2024

Registration for Winter Session courses: November 17, 2022 – December 5, 2023

For questions not addressed on this page, please contact wintersession@brown.edu.

For Students

Information will be available shortly on this page and in CAB.

Why Take a Winter Session Course?

  • Learn in a highly focused environment that allows for immersion in a specific topic
  • Take an innovative course not available during the academic year
  • Spread out coursework throughout the year or earn the additional credit
  • Have more time for an internship or research during the academic year or summer

​Enrollment and Credit

Winter Session courses may count towards a concentration or elective. Students will earn one unit of credit, equivalent to four semester hours.

Registration

Registration for Winter Session 2022 will take place November 17 – December 5, 2022. Students may view and register for courses using the Courses@Brown site. 

Note: Courses may be canceled if they do not meet the minimum number of students required. Active courses will be confirmed in early December after the initial registration period.

Grading

Unless otherwise indicated in the course description, Winter Session courses default to the ABC/NC grading scale. Students may change their grade option before January 10, 2023. Grade options cannot be changed after this date.

Dropping a Winter Session Course

Registered students who would like to drop a course during the University break (December 22, 2022 - January 9, 2023) should see the refund schedule. Students who wish to withdraw from a Winter Session course should complete this form. The registrar will process the course withdrawal request during University business hours. The University is closed from December 23, 2022 - January 9, 2023. If you submit your request during the time that the University is closed, the timestamp associated with your request will be used to process any refund (if applicable). Your request will be processed when the University reopens on January 9, 2023.

If you have any questions, please email wintersession@brown.edu.

Winter Session Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to enroll in a Winter Session course?

A: At this time, Winter Session is only open to enrolled undergraduate Brown and Brown-RISD Dual Degree students. Students must have been enrolled at Brown for the fall semester (on campus or on an approved study abroad program) in order to register for and attend Winter Session. December completers (0.5-ers) may be eligible with approval from the DOC Office. 

Note: Upon request, doctoral students may be eligible to enroll in Winter Session courses, pending instructor permission and Graduate School approval. Doctoral students who are approved to enroll in a Winter Session course will be responsible for paying tuition independently for that course. Master's students are not eligible to enroll in Winter Session courses. Please direct questions to Vanessa Ryan, Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Q: Can I enroll in a Brown Winter Session course if I have already taken four Brown summer courses?

A: Students may count up to four Brown courses taken outside of the academic year (i.e., Summer and/or Winter Session) towards their degree completion. If you have already completed four summer courses, you may enroll in a Winter Session course for enrichment; however, the Winter Session course will not count towards the thirty courses you need to graduate. 

Q: How many courses may I take?

A: Due to the intensive nature of these courses, students may only enroll in one course per Winter Session.

Q: Will any academic support services be available during the Winter Session?

A: Academic coaching may be offered, pending individual availability. For more information, please visit the Academic Support Services website (https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/support/academic/).

Q: Is it possible to study off-campus during the Winter Session and transfer the credits?

A: No. Brown will only accept credits earned during the winter break if the course is taught as part of the Brown Winter Session or the RISD Wintersession.

Q: Why does Brown charge tuition for the Winter Session? Couldn’t I take a course at RISD for no added tuition cost?

A: Brown charges tuition for Winter Session courses for four important reasons that differentiate it from the RISD Wintersession.

  1. Brown students do not have priority for RISD courses, but they do enjoy priority for Brown Winter Session courses. Brown’s Winter Session is only open to Brown students, so course registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no waiting period for enrollment, as no students get preference over others. Contrary to Brown’s Winter Session, RISD's January term is only available to Brown students on a space-available basis, which often means that students cannot enroll in a RISD course.
  2. Unlike RISD’s wintersession, Brown Winter Session courses count as a separate term for enrollment purposes. This means that students who take a Brown Winter Session course can choose to take five spring courses. Brown students who enroll in a RISD winter course use one of their five spring course slots to do so.
  3. Brown’s Winter Session course offerings are unique educational opportunities for intensive engagement. Rather than merely condensing semester-length courses into a shorter time period, courses taught during the Brown Winter Session have been developed with pedagogical innovation in mind.
  4. The Brown Winter Session calendar does not overlap with the start of the spring semester, so students do not need to juggle multiple schedules at once.

 

For Faculty

Brown's Winter Session, a four-week session, offered to Brown undergraduates both in-person and online courses, is an exciting opportunity for instructors who are looking to work with talented students and experiment with new material and pedagogies.

Winter Session extends the undergraduate curriculum into December and January, offering a range of courses from across the disciplines. All courses offered must be currently approved courses or be submitted via the course proposal portal and approved by College Curriculum Committee as well as by the offering department.

The four-week session provides students an intensive learning experience, enabling them to achieve a degree of focus that is for many a challenge during the fall and spring semesters.  Since students have chosen their classes freely and take only one course, they have time to focus on a limited set of objectives. Indeed, students regularly report that the compressed session, the small class size, the availability of the instructors, and the absence of distraction during the winter session significantly facilitates their learning.  The engagement of students, the compressed session, and the (relative) freedom from distraction also provides faculty an opportunity to experiment with new course content and to experiment with teaching a new course.  

The instructional staff of Winter Session consists primarily of Brown faculty, supplemented by visiting faculty and graduate students.

Information about instructor compensation for Winter 2023 can be found at this link.