Education Studies Requirements

(Concentration Requirements for students entering Brown on or before Fall of 2012)

The Education Studies concentration requires you to take ten courses, meeting the following specifications:

   1. Methods Course (1)
   2. Area of Emphasis Courses (5)
   3. Breadth Courses (2)
   4. Electives Courses (2)

1. Methods Course:

Students must take one of two methods courses.

EDUC1100 - Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
Designed for sophomores or juniors concentrating in education studies, but also open to other undergraduates interested in qualitative research methods. Through individual research projects, readings, class exercises, discussions, and written assignments, issues related to the nature of qualitative research methods that are commonly used in education, psychology, anthropology and sociology are examined. Enrollment limited to 20. S/NC.

-- OR --

EDUC1110 - Introductory Statistics for Education Research and Policy Analysis
Introduction to the key ideas underlying statistical and quantitative reasoning. A hands-on pedagogical approach utilizing examples from education research and public policy analysis. Topics include the fundamentals of probability, descriptive and summary statistics, statistical inference, bivariate and multivariate regression, correlation, and analysis of variance. Computer-based data analysis reinforces statistical concepts. Enrollment limited to 24. Written permission required.

In occasional years, one of these courses may not be available. Concentrators should plan ahead carefully with the aid of the Concentration Advisor. If the Education Department course is not available, Concentration Advisors will suggest the substitution of a comparable course in another department.

2. Area of Emphasis:

Students must take no fewer than five courses in their chosen area of emphasis (Human Development or History/Policy).

Courses must be taken in the Education Department at Brown University. No substitutions, Independent Studies courses, or GISPs will count toward the emphasis requirement.


The History and Policy area of emphasis provides the historical underpinnings and fosters the intellectual skills that allow students to think clearly and analytically about education questions and issues that can arise in many different settings and contexts. Students who study in this area will be introduced to the leading education policy topics of the day and will develop an understanding of the tight relationship between education policy and practice. Courses in the History and Policy area of emphasis are taught by social scientists—historians, political scientists, economists, sociologists, and anthropologists—whose research interests often overlap with, and thus enrich, course topics.

Students with an emphasis in History/Policy must choose five or more courses from the list below (new or temporary courses may be announced occasionally).

  • EDUC0400- The Campus on Fire: American Colleges and Universities in the 1960s
  • EDUC0410B- Controversies in American Education Policy: A Multidisciplinary Approach
  • EDUC0410D - Brown v. Board of Education
  • EDUC0850 - History of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • EDUC1020 - The History of American Education
  • EDUC1030 - Comparative Education
  • EDUC1040 - Sociology of Education
  • EDUC1050 - History of African-American Education
  • EDUC1060 - Politics and Public Education
  • EDUC1130 - Economics of Education I
  • EDUC1150 - Education, the Economy and School Reform
  • EDUC1160 - Evaluating the Impacts of Social Programs
  • EDUC1200 - History of American School Reform
  • EDUC1650 - Policy Implementation in Education
  • EDUC1730 - American Higher Education in Historical Context
  • EDUC1740 - Academic Freedom on Trial: A Century of Campus Controversies
  • EDUC1750 - Contemporary Social Problems: Views from Human Development and Urban Education
  • EDUC2020 - Educational Leadership in Diverse Settings: Research, Policy and Practice
  • EDUC2130 - Issues and Trends in Education
  • EDUC2350 - Economics of Education

Human Development

Human Development, a well-established interdisciplinary field, is grounded in psychology and other social sciences that have a foundational connection to education.  Undergraduates in this “area of emphasis” take courses and work with faculty to learn about psychological, social, and cultural processes in a variety of contexts, including schools, families, peer groups, and neighborhoods.   Human Development at Brown pays particular attention to analyzing these processes in urban settings, where children often face especially significant challenges because of their race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Students with an emphasis in Human Development must choose five our more courses from the list below (new or temporary courses may be announced occasionally).

  • EDUC0410C - Literature of Children and Young Adults
  • EDUC0410E - Empowering Youth: Insights from Research on Urban Adolescents
  • EDUC0800 - Introduction to Human Development and Education
  • EDUC1260 - Emotion, Cognition, Education
  • EDUC1270 - Adolescent Psychology
  • EDUC1430 - The Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender
  • EDUC1450 - The Psychology of Teaching and Learning
  • EDUC1580 - Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Development
  • EDUC1710 - History and Theories of Child Development
  • EDUC1750 - Contemporary Social Problems: Views from Human Development and Urban Education
  • EDUC1850 - Moral Development and Education
  • EDUC1860 - Social Context of Learning and Development

3. Breadth:

At least two Education Department courses at Brown, outside the area of emphasis.

To meet this requirement, students may take courses in another area of emphasis (Human Development or History/Policy) or select from a number of additional courses, which are not in either area of emphasis. View Education Course List

4. Electives:

Up to two additional elective courses.

These ninth and tenth courses for the student’s concentration will be either Education Department courses or appropriate, previously approved, courses taken in other departments at Brown or at another institution. Only one Independent Study or GISP will count toward this requirement.

To meet this requirement, students may take any additional courses offered in the Brown Education Department or selected relevant courses (from the list below) offered in other Brown Departments. The list does not exhaust the possibilities; other courses offered by other Brown departments may be suitable for many Education concentration plans, or perhaps just for yours in particular. Be sure to discuss other possibilities with the Concentration Advisor, whose approval will be required. Also, with the approval of the Concentration Advisor, courses taken at other Universities, including Universities abroad, may be included in this section of one’s concentration, provided that these courses clearly relate to the student’s topical, methodological, or disciplinary approach to the study of education.

Brown University Courses outside the Education Department that are already approved to meet the elective component of the concentration.

  • American Civilization 1610-6 - The Century of the Child? Child Welfare in Twentieth-Century America
  • American Civilization 1900, Section 02 (History 1980, Section 21) -Researching the History of Children and Childhood in America
  • Anthropology 0200 - Culture and Human Behavior
  • Anthropology 0250 - Growing Up Ethnic & Multicultural
  • Anthropology 1360 - Cross Cultural Perspectives on Child Development (cannot be taken for concentration credit along with Education 1580)
  • Cognitive Science 0630 - Children’s Thinking: The Nature of Cognitive Development (cannot be taken for concentration credit along with Education 0800)
  • Cognitive Science 1180 - Topics in Cognitive Development
  • Cognitive Science 1430 - Child Language Acquisition
  • Cognitive Science 1470 - Language Learning Disorders
  • Cognitive Science 1620 - Cognitive Development: Cognition, Perception and Language in Infancy
  • Cognitive Science 1860 - Intentionality
  • Computer Science 0920 - Educational Software Seminar
  • History 098C - Culture Wars in American Schools
  • Portuguese & Brazilian Studies 2020-02 - Problems and Current Issues in Bilingual/ESL Education: Cross-Cultural Growth and Development
  • Political Science 1090 - Children and Public Policy
  • Psychology 0210 - Social Psychology
  • Psychology 0300 - Personality
  • Psychology 0810 - Child Development (cannot be taken for concentration credit along with Education 0800)
  • Psychology 1740 - Relationships and Human Development
  • Psychology 1900 - Developmental Psychopathology
  • Sociology 0020 - Perspectives on Social Interaction: An Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Sociology 0170 - The Family
  • Sociology 1410 - Aging and the Quality of Life
  • Sociology 1430 - Social Structure and Personal Development

(Beginning with the class of 2017) 

The concentration in Education Studies requires a total of 10 courses.  At least eight must be taken in the Education Department at Brown University.  One course must either be a qualitative methods course (EDUC 1100) or a quantitative methods course (EDUC 1110 or an approved equivalent in another department).  Five courses must be taken in one of the two Areas of Emphasis, either Human Development or Policy-and-History.   Electives may be additional Brown University Education courses, courses chosen from a list of pre-approved Brown University outside the Education Department, or courses at Brown or other universities that receive specific approval in advance from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Students in the Human Development Area of Emphasis should note that because they must take a foundational course in History and another in Political Science and Economics, they will need only two additional Electives to meet the ten-course requirement.  Students in the Policy-and-History Area of Emphasis must take one foundational course in Human Development plus one additional Education course outside Policy-and-History, plus two Electives.

Beginning with the Class of 2017 (students enrolled in fall 2013 and thereafter), concentrators will be required to take at least one foundational course in each of four Core Categories:  Human Development, History, Political Science and Economics, and Research Methods.  Foundational courses taken in the Area of Emphasis count toward the total of 5 required for that Area of Emphasis.  View Concentration Requirements