What is Brown's PLME Program like for international students?
So Brown is my top choice and I am extremely interested in applying to their PLME Program. The requirements and prerequisites are extremely strict since the program is exceptional and very prestigious. In my country, we don't have AP or Honors classes and our 9th and 10th grade classes are restricted to 9 courses, while our 11th and 12th grade classes are restricted to 4 courses since the workload is so much. Out of these 4, one class is mandatory. The subjects I am taking now are Pure Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, along with Communication Studies which is the mandatory subject. All of my research experience and shadowing has been canceled due to COVID but this summer I've participated in virtual shadowing but I'm not sure if it will be enough to get into this program. The school also recommends that applicants take the SAT and at least 2 SAT subject tests but also due to COVID I haven't been able to take either. I'm super worried since I don't take biology and haven't since 10th grade since our system is very strict and also, that I haven't completed the recommendations for the program. I tried contacting Brown to ask if I could speak to a PLME student who came directly from the Caribbean education system but the student ambassador who kindly responded said that she isn't in contact with any Caribbean PLMEs. Does anyone have any advice, since gaining acceptance into Brown's PLME Program is my dream and I've worked so hard my whole life to gain acceptance into the school but due to unforeseen circumstances, things have gone a little wrong?
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I was not a PLME students but was able to find the admissions guidelines for this year:
Reading through their policies, I don't think you need to worry. The course recommendations are just recommendations (Brown emphasizes that they're not requirements), and they should have enough basic information about your high school not to count these gaps against you. They will likewise take COVID into account when assessing extracurriculars, and I think the fact that you made the effort to find a virtual shadowing position should actually impress the admissions officers. Lastly, Brown is still strictly test-optional due to COVID (and the SAT subject tests have been discontinued), so I wouldn't worry about that disqualifying you.
It sounds like you've been doing everything in your power to make up for the poor circumstances, which I think they will recognize, so the main thing I'd recommend now is to make sure you still have the best extracurricular profile possible. This blog below should give you some ideas and explain how COVID has impacted extracurriculars more broadly:
Hope this helps! If you still feel like you need to communicate your circumstances to the admissions office, the "additional information" section of the Common App would be the place to do it. Otherwise, you're doing great, and best of luck!
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