School of Professional Studies

Online and Blended Learning at Brown University

The Online Team at Brown’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) is responsible for the design, development, delivery, and facilitation of online and blended courses within three program areas at SPS: Executive and Professional, Undergraduate, and Pre-College. The team also collaborates with colleagues across Brown’s campus and at other peer institutions to advance online teaching and learning initiatives.

We believe that effective learning depends on high-quality instructional design – no matter whether in a traditional face-to-face classroom or in an online environment.  Brown’s online instructors are enthusiastic, imaginative educators working at the forefront of online teaching and learning. They work closely with the University’s instructional designers to develop and facilitate courses that exemplify best practices of student-centered design and inquiry-based learning.  Our courses foster exciting, dynamic learning communities that encourage one-on-one interaction, teamwork, and networking.

Online Programs and Courses at Brown

Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership

The Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership program is designed for mid-career professionals who seek to transform the healthcare industry. The 16-month program of blended study includes four on-campus sessions combined with online coursework.

IE-Brown Executive MBA

The IE-Brown Executive MBA program provides senior managers with the opportunity to develop and broaden their management and leadership skills in an intensive, international environment. The program brings together faculty from the IE and Brown, integrating leading management thinking with wider perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, engineering, and life sciences. The 15-month program of blended study combines online coursework with face-to-face sessions in Providence, RI; Madrid, Spain; and Cape Town, South Africa.

Undergraduate Summer Session for Credit

SPS partners with Brown faculty to develop fully online for-credit courses for Brown University undergraduates; the courses take place over seven weeks during Summer Session.

Brown launched its first fully online for-credit course for undergraduates in the summer of 2013. Building on that and the subsequent summer’s success and positive response from both student and faculty participants, Brown is continuing to grow this online offering for undergraduates.

Pre-College Online Courses

Pre-college online courses are rigorous, active learning experiences designed specifically for high school students and led by Brown instructors. Students engage in intellectual discussion and complete assignments designed to inspire curiosity and discovery, working closely with their instructors and with talented, motivated students from around the world.

In addition, since 2013 Brown SPS Online has offered a free, open, online engineering course to pre-college students through Exploring Engineering, hosted by Canvas Network. To date, over 6,300 students have participated.


For Faculty: Designing and Teaching Online Courses