Development Studies

Development studies is designed to provide a comparative perspective on the long-term social, political, and economic changes which have accompanied industrialization and the growth of the modern state in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the historical experience of European countries. Course selection should balance analytic training with local and historical knowledge. In the latter respect, at least two courses should focus on the developing world. Courses must be taken in at least three social science disciplines in order to have an interdisciplinary approach to these processes of change. All DS students are required to write a senior thesis, DEVL 1990.

Since study abroad is a potentially important part of the concentration, the possibility of spending part or all of the junior year in a developing world country should be discussed with concentration advisors and the Office of International Programs at the earliest possible time. Acquisition of relevant foreign language skills is also considered an important part of training in the study of development, although language courses cannot count for concentration.

All Development Studies concentrators are required to demonstrate competency in a foreign language to the 0600 level and to incorporate their language into the senior project.

Disciplinary courses deal with the theory and study of development within a given discipline. Students will take at least two of these by the end of the junior year, focusing on different developing regions. Substitutions must be approved by the Deputy Director.

The advanced seminar course related to development will focus on the developing world; if that is not possible, DS concentrators are encouraged to write course papers that make the link with development.

At least TWO of the elective courses on developing regions must focus specifically on regions in the developing world. A list of pre-approved electives will be provided.

All concentrators must produce a senior project. Students should enroll in DEVL 1990: Senior Thesis Preparation (with their primary advisor as their instructor) while working on their thesis. Group projects undertaken by up to three students can constitute a senior project but are not eligible for honors. The non-thesis senior research project can consist of a video or audio documentary, provided that documentary is based on an analytical framework and a background chapter. If the senior thesis contains a documentary, by the end of the junior year students are required to take tow of the following courses in Modern Culture and Media: MCM 0100: Introduction to Modern Culture and Media, MCM 0710: Introduction to Filmmaking, MCM 1700D: Reframing Documentary Production: Concepts and Questions, or MCM 0780: Soundtracks: Sound Production and Visual Media.

Other forms of non-thesis projects are subject to the approval of the Director. Approval should be obtained by the end of the first semester of the junior year. If a senior thesis requires the use of quantitative methods, students should take at least one course in statistics for social sciences in any of the following departments: economics, political science, or sociology, by the end of the junior year.


Page last updated in February, 2011.

Back to Brown University Registrar's Home Page