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 2024-2025 academic year will be held December 23, 2024 - January 21, 2025.

Dates for Winter Session

December 23, 2024 to January 21, 2025

Registration for Winter Session Courses

November 20 to December 18, 2024

For questions not addressed on this page, please contact

For Students

Winter Session is open only to current Brown University undergraduates. Students must be enrolled at Brown in the preceding Fall term to be eligible to enroll in Winter Session courses. 

For Brown RISD dual degree program student, please contact your academic advisor to confirm eligibility.

Information will be available in CAB. PINs are not necessary for registration.

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.

Academic Advising

If you have academic advising questions, please contact, or reach out to your academic advising dean. More information related to specific academic advising deans.


Registration for Winter Session 2025 will take place November 12 to December 18, 2023. Students may view and register for courses using the Courses@Brown site. 

No PIN necessary to register for Winter Session courses. 

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.


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 7, 2024. Grade options cannot be changed after this date.

Winter Session Fees and Refunds

Please visit the Bursar Office website for Winter Session fees and refund policies.

Dropping a Winter Session Course

Registered students who would like to drop a course during the University break (December 20, 2024 - January 6, 2025) should see the refund schedule. Students who wish to withdraw from a Winter Session course should complete this form (available Fall 2024). The registrar will process the course withdrawal request during University business hours. The University is closed from December 20, 2024 [end of business day] - January 6, 2025 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 6, 2025. If you have any questions, email

Housing and Dining

Any questions related to Dining and Housing should be directed to those offices accordingly.


If you have any questions, please email

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 students. Brown-RISD Dual Degree students should contact their academic advisor to confirm eligibility. 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 (

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.

Fully Online courses must meet the following criteria, per the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines for distance education issued in July 2021:

1. The syllabus should identify regular opportunities during the term for students to engage in two or more substantive interaction activities, initiated by instructors, drawn from this list:

  • Direct instruction (e.g., synchronous Zoom lectures or discussions)
  • Assessment with feedback that is provided by the course instructional team (e.g., papers, projects, tests, quizzes or homework)
  • Opportunities for students to ask questions (e.g., regularly scheduled office hours, invitation in a syllabus to email questions with noted response time)
  • Group discussions (e.g., Canvas, synchronous)

2. The syllabus should identify at least one way that instructors are attuned to student participation and performance, and support is offered when needed. Although possible demonstrations could go beyond this list, common examples include:

  • Participation in synchronous class sessions is detailed, including how a student might get midway feedback about their performance
  • Student activity on course websites or materials is noted (e.g., weekly discussion posts), including how a student might get periodic feedback about their performance
  • Instructors evaluate and give feedback on assignments and assessments
  • For fully asynchronous courses, the syllabus would note a schedule where an instructor would check in with a student to discuss progress in the course

For more information and resources, please visit Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning.

Course development funds can be requested the first time a course is taught or when there are significant revisions to a course that was previously taught. These funds can help to support instructional needs of the course, for example, books, specialized software or translation of course specific materials. These funds do not support the compensation for TAs, as that is covered elsewhere. Request course development funds using this budget form.

The budget will be reviewed and approved by the Division of Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs (PCUG) after a course is approved by the College Curriculum Council (CCC). It may be the case that some requested budget items are approved and others are not. Additional information may also be requested. Funds may not be distributed until the course is approved by CCC. Questions about course development funds can be directed to

The Winter Session 2025 Course Proposal Form opens April 15 to May 31, 2024.


If you plan to propose a Global Experiential Learning and Teaching (GELT) Winter Session Course, please follow this link to submit course materials.

Information about instructor compensation for Winter Session 2025 can be found at this link.

Date Event
November 20, 2024 Winter Session registration opens
December 18, 2024 Winter Session registration closes
December 23, 2024 Winter Session classes begin
January 7, 2025 Last day to change a grade option declaration
January 14, 2025

Last day for students to drop a course or request an incomplete from a course instructor

Last day for students who wish to initiate a Course Performance Report in ASK.

January 20, 2025

Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

No University exercises

January 21, 2025

Final exams

Last day of Winter Session

January 27, 2025 Final Grades Due