Visiting Campus

Amid the global pandemic, and aligned with public health guidance, a set of policies outlines the limits to accessing Brown's campus for visitors.

Visitors to Campus

Until health conditions and state guidance allow for less restricted travel to and from campus, all non-essential visitors and guests are not currently allowed on campus except as specifically approved in departmental Return to Campus and/or Return to Research plans. Parents and family members are considered essential visitors during the process of helping students move on or off campus. 

All in-person tours, information sessions and visits for prospective and admitted undergraduate, graduate and medical students, delegations and special groups are cancelled until further notice.

Visiting Brown

Non-Degree Visiting and Exchange Students, Visiting Faculty and Researchers

The University continues to carefully and thoughtfully consider the implications for non-degree visiting and exchange students, visiting faculty and researchers, and general visitors in its plans for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years.

Brown continues to value the contributions that visiting and exchange programs bring to our academic community, but the pandemic and related public health actions have significant implications for hosting non-degree visiting and exchange students, visiting faculty and researchers, and general visitors at Brown. Consequently, the suspension of non-essential visitors to campus — from locations both in the U.S. and internationally — remains in place currently, with some exceptions and some plans for next academic year noted below.

With the exception of those who are required and approved for essential on-site research, lab and instructional duties, the guidance below is currently in effect for non-degree visiting and exchange students, visiting faculty and researchers, and general visitors.

Exchange and Visiting Students

Current Guidance: Through Aug. 1, 2021, non-degree, visiting undergraduate, graduate and medical students (domestic and international) will not be allowed to attend classes or events in person. (Note: This restriction does not apply to Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs, Brown RISD Dual Degree programs, initiatives of the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership, undergraduate cross-registration programs with Wheaton College, graduate cross-registration programs with Harvard University, the Graduate School Exchange Scholar Program, or participants in the Employee Education Program.)

2021-22 Academic Year Guidance: Informed by public health guidelines and the University’s planning for the next academic year, Brown in March 2021 made policy updates related to visiting and exchange undergraduate, graduate and medical student programs that will enable the resumption of in-person enrollment next fall. Non-degree visiting undergraduate, graduate and medical students (domestic and international) will be permitted to attend classes that meet in-person as of Aug. 1, 2021. Non-degree, visiting undergraduate, graduate and medical students (domestic and international) should seek admission through the appropriate offices. To continue to safeguard the health and safety of all community members, all admitted non-degree students on campus will be required to comply with Brown and Rhode Island’s public health guidance and commit to following Brown’s COVID-19 campus safety policies and protocols. Students are required to sign a commitment that they will follow required public health practices, and that they understand that disregard of public health practices is a conduct violation that could result in removal from campus.

Visiting Faculty, Visiting Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows

Visiting and adjunct faculty, visiting research fellows and visiting postdoctoral scholars who are teaching and/or approved for essential on-site research, are excluded from the current on-campus visitors restriction. However, on-site research and teaching visitors should limit their time on campus to the research or teaching activities cited in their approved application to be on campus. The University has established detailed policies for on-campus operations for individuals with roles or work designated as essential. Approved on-site visiting and adjunct faculty and postdoctoral scholars must comply with University safety policies regarding COVID-19, complete any required training related to those policies, and may be subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19 depending on the nature of their role and amount of time on campus. For more information on designated essential roles, please consult your department chair and/or dean, as well as the FAQ for Staff and Managers, and Faculty Division.

Requests for required essential on-campus non-lab work should follow the Return to Campus guidelines and must be submitted to the appropriate oversight committee for approval.

Department chairs, center and institute directors, senior deans and administrative leaders can request exemptions for visitors to come to campus for non-teaching, non-research purposes, or for other reasons that are critical to Brown’s mission. All other options to engage with visitors should be exercised in order to limit the number of exempt visitors on campus. To request an exemption, please complete the Exemption Form for Non-Research Related Visitor to Campus.

The Provost will review all exemption requests and determine whether they should be approved. Exempt visitors approved by the Provost will be required to abide by Brown and Rhode Island’s public health guidance, and the hosting division will be required to track authorized visitors, including identifying the locations visited and any Brown employees and students they come into contact with, should contact tracing become necessary. Individuals who are approved to visit campus through this exemption process must consent to Brown’s COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy, including providing an acknowledgement to affirm their understanding and acceptance of this policy, complying with face mask and social distancing guidelines, completing a virtual workplace safety training (if applicable), participating in the COVID-19 on-campus testing protocol (if applicable), and maintaining a daily contact log.

While we are excited about the prospect of welcoming visitors through our domestic and international visiting and exchange programs as of Aug. 1, please be aware that Brown may need to make adjustments to these guidelines if public health guidance changes. The University will continue to monitor the evolving circumstances and will provide further guidance and updates to visitors as more information becomes available.

Admissions Tours

Campus tours and listening sessions organized through Brown’s Office of College Admission will remain suspended until health conditions and state guidance allow for these events to resume safely. Updates will be posted to this page and to the Undergraduate Admission website.

Brown does not track interest in the University demonstrated by prospective students, and students who are unable to visit campus in the absence of tours will face no disadvantage in the admissions process. And all prospective students and families are encouraged to connect with Admission Officers and current students and experience Brown through the University’s virtual campus tour.

The Office of College Admission can be reached at (401) 863-2378 or [email protected].

Virtual Information Sessions Hosted Virtual Campus Tour

Events and Conferences

The University encourages all campus community members and potential visitors to campus recognize the likelihood that in-person events and conferences will remain limited and small until public health conditions improve. All events continue to be shaped by reduced capacity of space, social distancing, hand washing, masks and other health protocols.

As changes in state guidance regarding crowd sizes are activated, the University adjusts its operations to accommodate the various levels of possible group sizes. For the most up-to-date information on the status of events, activities and socializing, consult the policies currently in effect on the Campus Activity Status page, and also consult the Healthy Brown Event Policy.

Given the importance of campus events in sustaining community on campus, Brown remains committed to supporting students, faculty and staff in developing virtual events while in-person activities are impossible or greatly restricted. Students are able to participate remotely in a variety of activities and events organized by student organizations, academic departments and centers, and other offices across campus. The Office of University Event and Conference Services has provided a guide to managing major events during this time.

Many of Brown’s virtual events are open to the public. The [email protected] calendar remains the most up-to-date source available to members of the greater community interested in events, whether in-person or virtual.

Among the common questions Brown continues to receive is whether the University has made final decisions about plans for graduation and reunion events in 2021. After consultation with public health experts, Brown announced its plans in January 2021 and provided further details in March 2021. Commencement for the Class of 2021 will take place on campus on May 1 and 2, 2021, in accordance with public health protocols, but families and guests will attend virtually rather than in person. The University expects that most graduates studying remotely during the spring will participate virtually. Despite the hope to welcome back Class of 2020 graduates this spring, the public health situation has made this infeasible; Brown’s Alumni Relations team is working now with class leaders to find a way to meaningfully honor their achievements. All alumni reunions will be held virtually for 2021, with a robust lineup of virtual events. Additional information and a list of FAQs can be found on the Commencement website.

Additional details about events and extracurricular activities on campus is available in the Life on Campus section of this website.

Healthy Brown Event Policy

Athletics Events

Updated information on athletics events at Brown will be made available throughout the 2020-21 academic year on the Athletics and Recreation page as well as the Brown Athletics website.

Last updated March 15, 2021. 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.