Health & Wellness
Health Services

Brown University aims to support students by offering reproductive healthcare and family support services. Sexual health and reproductive decisions are a personal matter, and we seek to provide students with comprehensive and individualized care, resources, and education. Students are supported in their decisions to engage in contraception, carry a pregnancy, start a family, pursue adoption, or to choose an abortion, as allowed by law. The State of Rhode Island passed a law in 2019 that grants someone who is pregnant the right to choose an abortion up to the point of fetal viability or to “preserve the health or life” of the pregnant individual. Students are encouraged to consult the laws of their state when considering options.

Health Resources 

Health Insurance: The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) covers the full range of reproductive services for enrolled students—from short-acting, long-acting, and emergency contraceptives that are available through the University, to prenatal care, maternity care, and pregnancy termination services for which University Health Services clinicians would refer students to a local provider. Students have coverage unless they waive it by demonstrating that they have comparable or better insurance coverage based in and administered within the U.S. Questions can be directed to studenthealthinsuranceplan@brown.edu.

University Health Services: Clinicians at University Health Services (UHS) routinely advise enrolled students regarding how to find a healthcare provider, whether or not the student is living or studying in Providence. UHS advises students how to find resources or clinicians who can help them make personal decisions. UHS provides contraceptive (birth control) offerings and our providers have expertise in gender-affirming and reproductive health.

Counseling and Support: Students can receive mental and emotional health support, therapy, and counseling from a range of offices:

  • The Administrator on Call (AOC) provides 24/7 support for Brown students needing assistance with urgent matters. To reach the AOC–which is staffed by members of the Division of Campus Life–call 401-863-3322 and ask to speak to the Administrator On-Call. 
  • BWell Health Promotion provides information on and resources related to abortion, adoption, and pregnancy. Contact BWell by emailing bwell@brown.edu
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a range of psychological treatment, prevention services and outreach. CAPS is available 24/7 for urgent needs; call 401-863-3476 to be connected on-demand with a professional. 
  • HealthiestYou allows students 24/7 access to telehealth and telemental health care via the HealthiestYou app from any location, especially while living, studying, or traveling outside of Rhode Island both nationally and internationally. 
  • The Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life is available to provide pastoral care and advice for students, staff, faculty, and alumni, and can be reached at 401-863-2344 or by email at ocrl@brown.edu
  • Student Support Services deans are available to assist undergraduates with personal or family emergencies. Deans can serve as a sounding board to help students consider their options and can help connect students to the right set of resources. Meetings can be held in person or via Zoom. Undergraduate students may schedule a meeting with a Student Support Dean by calling 401-863-3145 or emailing studentsupport@brown.edu. For similar services, doctoral and MFA students may contact Associate Dean of Student Support Services Maria Suarez at maria_suarez@brown.edu; master’s students may contact Associate Dean of Student Affairs Alicia LaPolla at alicia_lapolla@brown.edu

Additional University Resources

Family Benefits: Brown offers a range of benefits for students who carry pregnancies to term and/or choose to pursue a family. Programs are administered separately for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students; as outlined below.

Support for New Parents: Brown’s Parental Relief Policy provides eligible graduate students with short-term stipend support for the care of a newly born infant or adopted child under 16 years of age. For undergraduate parents, the College and Student Support Services provide academic advising, personal support, and connection to resources for parental relief.

Child Care Subsidy: The University offers various forms of subsidies and/or support to help pay child care expenses for degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate, and medical students with young dependents who meet the criteria for enrollment, as well as income and financial requirements. 

Insurance Coverage for Dependents: After qualifying events such as childbirth, the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) can be extended to cover dependent children of any student—undergraduate, graduate or medical—enrolled in SHIP, or who previously waived SHIP. Graduate PhD and MFA students supported by a stipend are eligible to receive a 75% subsidy to enroll dependents in SHIP, and also are eligible for a 75% subsidy to enroll dependents in dental insurance coverage. 

Adoption Services: For students who carry pregnancies to term and seek to explore or pursue adoption, BWell Health Promotion offers resources to help students understand their adoption options, including providing information for an external organization that offers free, confidential, birth-parent counseling and resource referrals. 

Housing and Travel Support: The University works with students living on campus to ensure appropriate housing for students who are carrying pregnancies to term. Students who are studying remotely and who need to travel for emergent health or medical circumstances should reach out to Student Support Services (SSS), which can serve as a first point of contact. Deans in Student Support Services routinely support and facilitate exploration of options for emergency travel, housing, and funding (for eligible students). SSS deans make referrals to staff in the Graduate School, School of Professional Studies, and the Warren Alpert Medical School, as appropriate.