Healthy Brown


Brown’s housing plans will reduce density, allow for single occupancy of rooms and create small “pods” to reduce the number of students who need to be quarantined when an infection is identified.

Student Housing

The three-term academic calendar established for 2020-21 provides many benefits to reduced density on campus, including in residence halls. The University has developed both a general model for housing on-campus residential students and plans specifically for isolation and quarantine needs.

Overall, the approach to housing is guided by the general principle of reducing density, allowing for single occupancy of rooms in the fall term to reduce the number of students living in proximity to each other. This includes limiting and assigning the number of students using common restroom facilities. Brown anticipates using approximately half of its available beds on campus in the fall.

In addition to the benefits of reduced density for limiting the transmission of virus, the University will be able to cluster students into small, identifiable “pods.” This will reduce the number of students who need to be quarantined if an infection is positively identified.

While final plans for housing will be determined over the course of the summer, we anticipate the following:

  • De-densified housing based on single-room occupancy in the fall term and types of bathrooms for appropriate ratios of students to bathroom facilities to reduce density of use.
  • Allocation of an adequate number of beds for isolation and quarantine.
  • The potential need to identifying additional beds in apartment buildings or hotels as needed.
  • Enhanced cleaning by University custodial staff of all bathrooms from once a day to twice a day.
  • Limited use of common spaces with clear signage on occupancy, social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning.
  • Access to communal kitchens in on-campus residences will be restricted, and the occupancy of gathering spaces will be limited.

Housing FAQs

Housing Assignment Process

To de-densify the residences and provide a single room to every student returning to campus this fall, most previous housing assignments and pending housing requests will need to change.

And to supplement its supply of on-campus housing, the University assign some students (primarily seniors) to leased off-campus apartments located near Brown shuttle routes in Providence. These units will be assigned and billed as if they are on-campus housing, but may have additional policies set by the private property manager

Students who received a housing assignment prior to the Spring 2020 transition to remote learning, as well as those who were eligible for the housing lottery at that time, will receive an email from the Office of Residential Life with instructions specific to housing circumstances.

Students will receive new fall housing assignments no later than August 10; some may have different housing assignments next spring in order to accommodate students arriving on campus.

Students who will live on campus must move into assigned residences on a staggered schedule between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1, 2020. Those who leave campus for Thanksgiving break will not be permitted to return to campus for the remainder of the term. Additional information is available on the Office of Residential Life website:

Office of Residential Life website

Move-In Planning

As a residential campus, the move-in period at the beginning of the fall term is a logistical and organizational priority in any year. In the context of COVID-19, the necessity of precise organization and maintaining social distancing is paramount. Our plans include the following to adjust a crowded process into one that allows for social distancing:

  • Minimize interactions and allow for social distancing — modeled on the consolidation of students who remained on campus in early April.
  • Stagger the move-in schedule by geography and residence hall, staged over several days on a staggered schedule between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Provide detailed signage for drop-off and check-in instructions and explore the possibility of using professional movers to assist students and families.
  • Allow students to ship some belongings pre and post move-in to make move-in day more efficient.
  • Limit the amount of belongings students can bring with them and/or limit the number of people who may accompany the student to campus.

Off-Campus Housing

Students must be approved to live off campus and/or to be released from Brown’s six-semester residency requirement. Off-campus students are required to provide their local address and telephone number for the academic year via Banner Self-Service.

Brown students living in local neighborhoods represent the University, and their actions and conduct have an immediate impact on neighbors and reflect back upon Brown. All students approved to live off campus must abide by a details rules and regulations. And the principles of the Brown University Community and the Standards of Student Conduct apply to students in their off-campus lives.

Last updated July 7, 2020. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.