FAQs and tips for the BEO Concentrator

Contents

  1. Pre-Requisites and Preparation
  2. Course Selection
  3. Concentrating in BEO
  4. Outside the Brown Classroom
  5. Graduating and Life after BEO
  6. Course Sequencing by Track

1. Pre-Requisites and Preparation

Are there prerequisite courses for BEO?

No, all courses required for BEO are stated under foundation courses in the concentration page of this website. Note that all foundation courses must be completed prior to taking the senior capstone. 

What is the math requirement for BEO?

Students who desire to pursue the Business Economics or Organizational Studies tracks of BEO in the graduating class of 2021and beyond, need to take MATH 0100. Students who desire to pursue the Business Economics or Organizational Studies tracks of BEO in the graduating classes of 2018-2020 need to take MATH 0090. (Or, if a student has taken the appropriate AP classes, you must have credit for it included in your Brown transcript)


Students who want to pursue the Entrepreneurship and Technology Management track of BEO need to take MATH 0200 or APMA 0330. The math requirement can be met in various ways and is the calculus requirement for this track. One way would be MATH 0190/MATH 0200; another would be MATH 0100/MATH 0180/APMA 0330.

If I took the AP exam in Math, do I still need to take the BEO required Math class?

In order to obtain credit for MATH 0090, you need a score of 4 or higher on the AB Calculus exam or a score of 3 or higher on the BC Calculus exam. In order to obtain credit for MATH 0200, you need a score of 4 or higher on the BC Calculus exam or a score of 5 or higher on the international baccalaureate (IB) HL exam in Math. 

This would fulfill your Math requirement for the Organizational Studies or Business Economics tracks and must be documented on your transcript in order to get credit. For the Entrepreneurship and Technology Management track, you would get credit for MATH 0090 but would still be required to take MATH 0200 to fulfill the Foundation course Math requirement for this track.

I took a course in economics in high school. Do I really have to take ECON 0110?

ECON 0110 (Principles of Economics) is a required foundation course in BEO. It is also a prerequisite for ECON 1110 (Intermediate Microeconomics), and 1110 is a prerequisite for most advanced courses in Economics.

The Economics Department will place you out of ECON 0110 if you have taken Advanced Placement tests in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, have scored at least 4 on both, and have submitted those scores to Brown. In this case, AP credit for ECON 0110 will appear on your transcript, and you will not have to take an additional economics course in its place. We will also place you out of ECON 0110 if you have taken the international baccalaureate (IB) HL exam in economics, and scored a 6 or 7. If you have taken British A-levels, we may place you out of ECON 0110, but this is done on a case-by-case basis by the department‘s transfer credit advisor 

Can I take ECON 1130 instead of ECON 1110 or ECON 1630 instead of ECON 1620 to fulfill the Intermediate Microeconomics and Statistics foundation requirements?

Yes, you may. Both courses are more mathematical versions of the foundation courses ECON1110 and ECON1620 and are good substitutes. 

2. Course Selection

Should I take ENGN 0020 or ENGN 0030?

If you are interested in the Business Economics or Organizational Studies tracks, you need to take ENGN 0020 as a foundation course but could take ENGN 0030 if you prefer. Students who want to pursue the Entrepreneurship and Technology Management track of BEO must take ENGN 0030. 

Which Statistics course should I take?

Students who desire to pursue the Business Economics track of BEO must take ECON 1620 (Introduction to Economic Statistics).  Students who want to pursue either of the other two BEO tracks may choose between SOC 1100, APMA 0650, or ECON 1620. All of these courses cover the probabilistic and statistical concepts encountered in the program. 

Do ENGN 0090 and ENGN 0900 count towards BEO?

No. ENGN 0090, ENGN 0900 and several other courses in management are offered for students in BEO or in other concentrations who wish to take business management courses. In terms of fulfilling BEO requirements, ENGN 0090 and ENGN 0900 are not needed. 

Will “foundation” and “track” courses be offered every semester?

Foundation courses in Economics, Math, Statistics and ENGN 1010 are offered every semester. ENGN 0020 is offered every spring. Other foundation courses and many track courses are also offered once a year. The variety of options is large and we recommend that you plan accordingly. 

May I take courses with an S/NC option?

Students are discouraged, although not prevented, from taking concentration courses S/NC. Graduate programs do not look with favor on S grades, especially in courses in, or related to, your primary field of study. When calculating GPA to determine honors eligibility, an S grade will be calculated as a 3 and S with Distinction as a 4. 

Is there any recommended sequence of courses in the BEO tracks?

Based on the specific track, course sequencing recommendations follow in the tables below. Students who plan to study abroad in their junior year need to be especially mindful of the need to complete concentration requirements early. 

3. Concentrating in BEO

What courses do I need prior to declaring BEO as my concentration?

The general recommendation is to take four foundation courses before your declare BEO as your concentration, with one course in each of the three BEO disciplines—ECON, SOC, and ENGN. 

How do I declare BEO as my concentration?

Once you state your interest in BEO in the ASK System, you will be assigned an advisor. You need to do two things to declare BEO as your concentration: (1) meet with your advisor to discuss your interests and plan of study, and (2) fill out the online concentration declaration form in ASK. Once your advisor approves the form, the University will officially consider you a BEO concentrator. The general recommendation is that you should complete 4 foundation courses by semester 4 (or before your declare), with one course in each of the three BEO disciplines—ECON, SOC, and ENGN. 

What should I do to transfer credits from another university?

You must meet with the transfer credit advisors that pertain to the BEO track you want to pursue (Prof. Rachel Friedberg for Business Economics, Prof. Michael Kennedy for Organizational Studies and Prof. Eric Suuberg for Entrepreneurship and Technology Management). Only these professors can approve transfer credit for BEO courses taken at other institutions. The Registrar's office has forms for both preliminary approval as well as retroactive approval. When you meet with the BEO professors to request approval, you must bring with you the Registrar's transfer credit forms, plus the following: (1) a course description that explains in some detail the subject, approach, required reading, and assignments of the course for which you're seeking credit, and (2) an official transcript with grade received (if you've already taken the course). It may be necessary for you to provide the course syllabus. Typically, students get concentration credit for around one course per semester, and up to 3 courses per year, while studying abroad. 

Should I pursue Business Economics in BEO or concentrate in Economics?

The answer to this question depends on your interests. Economics helps students understand the functioning of markets, firms, households, economies, etc.; it helps you understand debates about economic policy; it prepares you for graduate study in fields like business, law, economics, and public policy. In turn, Business Economics within BEO complements the study of markets and finance with the basic principles and approaches of organizational theory, technology management, and innovation. BEO-Business Economics requires Accounting, Finance, and Investments whereas these courses are not required but can be counted as electives for the Economics concentration. It is designed to give students a number of integrated ways to problem-solve and become innovative leaders in fields of their choice. BEO also prepares students for graduate study in fields like business and law. 

Is it possible to make BEO one of two concentrations? And, do course credits count toward two majors?

You may pursue two concentrations. You may not, however, pursue concentrations with very similar courses, such Economics and the Business Economics track, or Sociology and the Organizational Studies track. If you pursue two different concentrations, BEO's policy is that you may have up to two courses count toward required courses in both concentrations. Students interested in double concentrating should provide their two concentration advisors with a copy of their plans indicating courses that are being counted for both concentrations.  

Is there an option to complete the Sc.B. degree within BEO? 

No. Upon completion of all foundation and track concentration requirements student receive the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations.

4. Outside the Brown Classroom

Can I study abroad and pursue the BEO concentration?

Yes. BEO is an interdisciplinary concentration and, as such, it has more courses required than other concentrations. However, if you plan your coursework well you may take a semester abroad to pursue different curricular interests. You may also continue to pursue courses within BEO’s curriculum during your semester abroad. Brown programs abroad offer a variety of economics, business, sociology, and engineering classes (see OIP-Brown Programs Abroad). If you intend to transfer concentration credit, you must check with your advisor(s) prior to departure. Obtaining concentration credit for courses taken abroad is a two-step process requiring the preliminary approval of your course selection before you go and final approval when you return to Brown. Students seeking concentration credit are required to bring all course materials (transcripts with grades, syllabi, notes, papers, exams) back to Brown. 

Are there opportunities to become a teaching assistant in BEO?

Yes. Once you’ve done well in a class, liked the field, and become identified as an excellent student within your cohort, approach the professor and ask about TA opportunities. 

Does BEO issue course credit for internships?

No. As a general rule, Brown does not give course credit for internships. In some instances, students can obtain credit for internships by linking the internship to an independent study. As with any independent study, a student must get the approval of a faculty member to serve as an advisor, and develop a proposal that is approved by the faculty advisor and at times, the department. Independent study plans must include goals, deliverables, and readings. Note that independent studies are considered full courses at Brown so student proposals must demonstrate sufficient academic content and rigor to secure the approval of a faculty advisor. For more information, please speak to your BEO track advisor. For foreign students that need documentation for the purposes of CPT, please contact BEO for assistance.  

5.Graduating and Life after BEO

How can I be certain that I've completed the BEO concentration requirements for graduation?

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has met all of the requirements for the BEO concentration. During the fall semester of your senior year (your seventh semester), you should verify what requirements you have already completed, or plan to complete either in the fall or spring semester, so that you are set for graduation. To facilitate this, you can fill out the student worksheets for the Foundation courses and your track (Business Economics, Organizational Studies, or Entrepreneurship and Technology Management) and bring them with you to meet with your advisor to ensure everything is documented accordingly. 

How do I go about graduating with honors in BEO?

To graduate with Honors in BEO you may write a thesis if you meet the minimum GPA (see the "Honors" page for guidelines) and find a faculty member to work with. Honors theses are an excellent way to deepen your knowledge of a field and test your liking of research. In general, you work on your thesis for all of senior year under the supervision of a professor.

 

There is flexibility in the content and form of BEO theses. Theses can be oriented toward facts, theory or policies. They may focus on one BEO discipline or more than one. Similarly, you may have an advisor from one department or two. Finally, your thesis may be mathematical, descriptive, statistical, or historical.

 

In terms of a timeline, recent BEO thesis writers contacted possible advisors in the spring of junior year, had a general idea of the topic going into the summer, communicated with advisors over the summer, finalized the topic in early fall, and worked on their research in their senior year. They provided final copies of their work to their advisors by mid-April.

For more information regarding the specific requirements for each of the tracks, see the Honors page.

Will BEO prepare me for business school and law school?

Graduate programs in business and law draw their students from a wide variety of undergraduate concentrations and do not insist that their students have extensive backgrounds in a particular field. Economic and organizational analysis plays a major part in the teachings of graduate business schools, while a good understanding of technology management and innovation is a key new ingredient of their curriculum. Legal studies also draw from economic and organizational analysis, while issues of property rights and technology dissemination are at the forefront of current legal debates. Brown students who have taken classes that are now in BEO’s program have traditionally gone on to business and law schools and have found Brown’s liberal arts education useful. 

What type of jobs will BEO prepare me for?

BEO prepares its students to work in almost any area that they choose, from corporate jobs in well-established companies to start-up ventures, global companies, local services, non-profit institutions and governmental entities. BEO gives you a coordinated, synergistic approach to examine problems in the workplace, formulate solutions, and suggest actions. These skills, grounded in a strong liberal arts tradition, will help you become a flexible contributor and leader in your organization. Our recent graduates are working as analysts for companies such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs; conducting marketing and research for 454 Sciences and the Brookings Institute; consulting for Citrix Systems, Capital One, and Bain; or are in the process of starting up their own companies. Here's what concentrators from the classes of 2013 and 2014 reported they were doing in their first year after graduation. 

How can I give feedback on my experience in BEO?

Please contact BEO's Academic Program Manager at 863-6348.


6. Course Sequencing by Track
Organizational Studies: Recommended Course Sequencing
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Fall (only) Spring (only) Fall (only) Spring (only) Fall (only) Spring (only) Fall (only) Spring (only)
Fall or Spring Fall or Spring Fall or Spring Fall or Spring
ECON 0110 ECON 1110 ENGN 1010 Capstone BEO 1930A Capstone BEO 1940A
MATH 0090 or 0100 (as required) Statistics Advanced Research Methods (ARM)    
SOC 1311     SOC 1315 Advanced Org Studies (AOS)    
  ENGN 0020   SOC 1020 One Organization-Relevant Elective (ORE)
        One Organization-Relevant Elective (ORE)
 
Business Economics: Recommended Course Sequencing
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
ECON 0110
ECON 1110
ENGN 1010
Capstone BEO 1930C (required)
Capstone BEO 1940    (optional)
MATH 0090 or 0100 (as required)
ECON 1620
ECON 0710
Data Methods Elective
SOC 1311
   
SOC 1315
ECON 1720
One Upper Level ECON Elective
 
ENGN 0020
ECON 1210
EOCN 1710
   
 
Entrepreneurship & Technology Management Track: Recommended Course Sequencing
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall (only)
Spring (only)
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
Fall or Spring
ECON 0110
ECON 1110
ENGN 1010
Capstone BEO 1930B
Capstone BEO 1940B
MATH 0200
Statistics 
       
 
ECON 1210
       
SOC 1311
   
SOC 1315
       
Gateway Course
       
ENGN 0030
5 Specialization Courses