The Concentration index || concentration, capstone, electives || administration, contact   


Public and Private Sector Organizations (PPSO) is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines both private sector firms and public sector organizations, including government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and human services such as health care, educational, philanthropic, and social service organizations. The concentration trains students in theories of the internal structure and strategic management of firms, non-profit organizations, and public agencies. In addition, students gain perspectives on models of relationships between and among organizations and societies, as well as on multinational forms and nongovernmental programs in relation to states and the global economy.
Six Core Courses:

  • SO 103, Organizational Theories of the Public and Private Sectors
  • SO 105 (PP 104), Methods of Research in Organizations
  • One statistics course: SO 110, PY 9, PS 160, or ED 111.
  • One course in policy evaluation; PP 120 or ED 116, OR one course in political economy (EC125*/PS127, PS142, PS145, PS146, or SO160).
  • SO 106 (PP 106): Leadership in Organizations
  • EC 11: Principles of Economics
Five Electives
Electives may be chosen from a variety of departments and programs. Ideally, selection of electives should emphasize either internal management issues or macro linkage structures across both public and private sector organizations. Alternatively, students may concentrate within a sector to cover both internal and external management issues.
The following is a partial list of suggested electives. Students must consult with their advisor on elective choices: approved sections of AC161, BC152, BC 168, EC 111, EC 131, EC 135, EC 138, EC141, EC144, EC145, EC 146, EC 148, EC 176, EC 177, ED 104, ED113, ED176, EN9, EN90, ES141, PS105, PS111, PS 119, PS 139, SO117, SO126, S0154, SO155, approved sections of SO187.
Study Abroad:
Students wishing to study abroad are very likely to find one or even two courses that complement both their study of organizations and the study of the country they are visiting. Thinking about how organizations work in different parts of the world can be an extremely valuable component of PPSO training. Students should speak with the PPSO concentration Director or Associate Director when planning to study abroad about the possibilities for elective courses. We strongly recommend that students planning to study abroad during the junior year ensure that they will have completed the six required courses no later than the end of their fifth semester at Brown.
Concentration Resources
  • Facilities:   The PPSO concentration is housed within Maxcy Hall and is jointly supervised by the Department of Sociology and the Public Policy Center. Concentrators thus have access to all of the resources and facilities of both Sociology (i.e. urban studies, population studies, medical sociology) and Public Policy (i.e., policy and program analysis, program evaluation, the survey research laboratory).
  • Advising:   An Advisory Committee made up of faculty from Sociology, Public Policy and other interested departments and programs (such as Economics, Education, Community Health, Urban Studies, etc.) is responsible for student advising, program direction, and coordination with other departments.
Students may and should feel free to consult with any member of the Advisory Committee about their programs, and to ask any member to sponsor independent study, capstone project, and/or senior honors thesis work.
Concentration forms, available from the Registrar, must be discussed with, and signed by, the PPSO Director or Associate Director.