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Your search will automatically find the most recent review for the given course. For example, if you search for ECON 1530, you will be brought to the Fall 2016 review for ECON 1530 because that is the most recent review the CR has on record. From this page, you can click the 'view all reviews' button to load past reviews.

Don't worry about capitalization or small typos, as a dropdown box will populate below the search boxto help you find the closest match that exists in the Critical Review database. Note that since all courses have their reviews submitted, there may be instances where the course you are looking for does not appear. However, if you notice any inconsistencies in our records, please let us know!

Reading the Critical Review

The Written Review

The prose review consists of four paragraphs that describe the experience of the course as related by the students who responded to the questions on the back of the Critical Review questionnaires. Instructors' comments are also incorporated into the written reviews where applicable and when appropriate.

The first paragraph provides a sense of the curricular content of the course and the required background. It also explains how the course contributed to respondents' overall educational experiences at Brown. The second paragraph summarizes students' comments about the teaching methods of the instructor and about their opportunities to get as much as possible out of the course. The third paragraph notes the reading and assignments in the course, with feedback about how helpful these materials were and about how they could be improved. The fourth paragraph provides information about the course workload and general suggestions from the class to fellow students thinking about enrolling in the course and to instructors interested in possible ways of improving it.

All writers' reviews undergo three rounds of editing, during which they are checked for accuracy and objectivity: we do not tolerate bias in the writing process. Please use this portion of the review as much, if not more than, the bar graph: overall it is more indicative of the character and structure of a course than the bar graph and averages, which can only provide information from the student responses about particular questions, some of which are hardly applicable to certain courses.


The instructor average is the average response given to questions in the instructor section of the questionnaire. The course average is the average response given to the questions in the Structure and Content sections, apart from "Class was difficult" and "Good for non-concentrators."

The averages should not be interpreted as an absolute method of judging courses. They will not reflect the experience of every student in a particular course or with a particular professor. The degree of variation in the responses provided by students, as evident from the bar graph itself, is much more important than the averages in determining the degree of student satisfaction with a particular course.

Remember that higher numerical ratings signify stronger agreement with the statements on the questionnaire. In other words, a rating of “5” is better than a rating of “1”.


For help with the content of a review, or for questions about the organization, please contact