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Brown 2020 Freshman Transfer Applicant -- a few questions

WintergatanWintergatan 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hi everyone.
This is my first time posting, so let me know if there is a better place for this.

I am a college freshman applying for transfer to the Brown class of 2023 (among other schools, of course), and I have a few questions.

I go to an engineering school right now. When I applied, I thought I would be fine just pursuing a degree in comp sci, but now that my life is nothing but comp sci and math I'm really starting to miss art. Of course I still create art as often as I can possibly find time to, but I think that I will be a lot happier if I pursue a degree that somehow combines art and computer science or just individually get a degree in art and comp sci. That's my main reason for transferring, as my school does not offer any art classes or an art degree of any sort.

I found that there was a RISD+Brown dual degree program which would let me pursue a degree in both art and computer science. I am very interested in this opportunity, but it is only open to first-year applicants.

If anyone here understands the nuances of this, I would greatly appreciate the help.

1. Can I apply to Brown (and RISD) as a first-year applicant, even though I'm going to complete a year of school at my current institution?
Before you react, I want to clarify. By asking this, I mean that I will not transfer the courses I completed this year, and come in as a fresh student. I have many, many concerns about this, one being that this paints me as someone who doesn't care about the work and money they put into this year of education. In reality, I just really want to learn as much as I possibly can while in undergraduate education, and if I get to go back a year to do a 5 year long program, then I actually find that pretty exciting. The one thing that I want right now is to get a formal art education in addition to my cs education, and my time as an undergrad is the best way to do this, as it seems to me. I just turned 17, so I guess I won't be older than everyone else or anything like that.

2. Would doing this weird "apply as a first-year" thing screw up my chances? In other words, is it best to just apply for transfer? Even if I can't apply to the dual-degree program (which I know is absurdly selective, but at this point I'm just going to give all of this my best shot), I know that Brown can offer the exact art/cs education that I am looking for.

Also, I guess I would appreciate feedback on the things I am doing right now to see if I can do anything better before the March 1 deadline rolls around. Feel free to skip over this if you're just interested in answering my above questions.

My statistics:
I applied to Brown as a senior, but didn't prioritize it at all. I focused on MIT wayyy more, because for some reason I thought I wanted to go all-out CS, which I have learned isn't the case now. Rejected from both. My SAT was 1360, which is abysmal.

Took the ACT over the summer, got a 33. Hoping to improve that over winter break if I can.

High school GPA: 4.26 weighted, 3.85 unweighted.

Current college GPA: Really trying to get a 4.0. If not, then 3.88 for first semester. My calc 3 honors may be on the brink because it's a pretty tough class, but I'm gonna give it all I have to keep an A. Math is not my favorite (I've always done much better in writing), but for some reason I'm at an engineering school. All other classes I have an A in currently.

Extracurriculars:
I just started a game development club. I think there's a lot of potential at the intersection of art and cs, and I'm trying to teach other students at this school the art, writing, musical, and design skills needed to make games so they can see how cool it is. Again, this school lacks an art education, so I'm trying to show others how art can interface with cs in case they may be interested like I am.

Involved in 3 clubs I really, really, really love:
-The newspaper club, where I write controversial articles about pumpkin spice and hazing,
-The art journal club, where I vet and design for a journal containing art submissions we get from students at this school (again, really trying to promote art at this school),
-The undergraduate research journal, which I design and vet undergrad research abstracts for.

I am doing research in the human-robot interaction lab. I do super cool VR experiments to see how people react to interaction with virtual robots.

Also working on making an art portfolio based on RISD's guidelines, because why not. I think it's fun. I'll put it on my website that I'll link in my transfer application.

Hope to get letters of recommendation from my professor from the lab, the cs department head (which I know well through a scholarship group I'm in), and the faculty member in charge of the art journal club, who I am working with for guidance on my art portfolio.

I probably missed something, but I think that's it.
Thanks for reading. At this point, I'm taking this year as a challenge for me to overcome (generally not having a great time, roommate problems, etc haha) but I think I can do it. I want to at least have a positive influence here.

Let me know your thoughts!
2 replies
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Replies to: Brown 2020 Freshman Transfer Applicant -- a few questions

  • bvbchampsbvbchamps 86 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I'm pretty sure Brown requires you to apply as a transfer if you've taken a year's worth of credit. You might be able to decline transferring credit once you're accepted, but I believe you'd need to petition for that.
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  • dreamcatcher3dreamcatcher3 170 replies7 threads Junior Member
    You sound like a great applicant. My DD is a transfer this year and starts in the Spring (my understanding is that most of the sophomore transfers get spring admits). Honestly, with Brown's open curriculum you can concentrate with both CS and Art. Most of your classes would be at RISD anyway. I believe that you may be stuck applying as a transfer but peruse the website or call admissions and ask. Good luck.
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