Brown’s housing plans 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.

Decisions about Spring 2021 Housing Assignments

Students who live in Brown-owned or Brown-leased off-campus housing in Spring 2021 will receive their Spring housing assignments in early December. When you receive your housing assignment you will be able to select your date and time of arrival from available time slots over a staggered move-in Jan. 9-12, 2021.

Undergraduate Options for Spring 2021 Location of Study

Brown undergraduates were provided with the following options for their location of study for the Spring 2021 semester, depending on their class year:

  • Maintain their fall location of study
  • Study remotely outside of the Providence area (defined at 30 miles from campus)
  • Move off campus in the Pprovidence area, except for first-year students and sophomores.
  • Move on campus to reside in Brown-owned or Brown-leased housing (with sophomores, juniors and students returning from personal leave given the option to reside in leased space in a downtown Providence hotel after existing housing reached capacity)

All undergraduate students enrolled in the fall term were given the option to maintain their fall location of study, though many students living on campus will need to relocate to a different room assignment in the spring.

In addition to the students who resided on campus in Fall 2020, incoming first-years, and seniors returning from remote studies, the following students were given priority to live on campus in Brown-owned or Brown-leased housing:

  • Residential Peer Leaders (RPLs) currently serving remotely who will be able to support the expanded residential community on campus in the spring;
  • Students who live in unsafe environments, who are returning from a medical leave, and those with other exceptional circumstances (students on medical leave wishing to seek readmission will do so through existing University processes);
  • International students for whom studying remotely will cause hardship due to travel restrictions, visas or access to employment training programs in the United States.

All other students could request to live in Brown-owned or Brown-leased housing, and a lottery was used to assign this housing. Students were given the option to live in Brown-leased hotel space in downtown Providence after other housing reached capacity.

Students choosing “remote” as their location of study did so affirming that you have no intention of visiting the campus or residing within 30 miles of Providence. It’s important to understand that, as a remote student, you will not be able to access campus, campus facilities or in-person resources, and you should not interact in-person with any members of the Brown community. Choosing remote as your location of study in order to live off campus within 30 miles of Providence without permission from Residential Life is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Only juniors and seniors are eligible to reside off campus in the Providence area.

Additional information is available on the Office of Residential Life website:

Office of Residential Life website

Overview of Student Housing During COVID-19

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 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. 

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

Housing is based on the following operating principles:

  • De-densified housing based on single-room occupancy 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 identify 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.
  • Restricted access to communal kitchens in on-campus residences, and limited occupancy of gathering spaces.

Housing FAQs

Off-Campus Housing

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 living off campus must abide by off-campus 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 Dec. 18, 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.