Departmental Undergraduate Groups (DUGs)

Thank you for your interest in the DUGs Program! 


DUGs Co-Coordinator Office Hours
Please email [email protected] with any questions regarding Departmental Undergraduate Groups.

What is a DUG?

Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG) is a group of concentrators that plans events and activities intended to build a sense of community within the concentration.

In the past, Departmental Undergraduate Groups were attached to departments at Brown (hence the name). However, not all concentrations and undergraduate educational offerings are housed in departments (some concentrations exist as standalone programs or are part of divisions, institutes, or centers), and some academic units offer multiple concentrations (the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, for instance, houses seven undergraduates concentrations as of 2020). In most cases, today's DUGs are attached to a concentration (such as Linguistics or Portuguese and Brazilian Studies), although some DUGs represent multiple concentrations that are related (for example, the Mathematics DUG represents the concentrations in Mathematics, Mathematics-Computer Science, and Mathematics-Economics). Occasionally, DUGs are attached to tracks within concentrations (such as Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). Finally, some DUGs do represent the actual academic units themselves (such as Center for Language Studies or Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences).

A DUG needs at least one student leader working in tandem with a faculty member (DUG sponsor) and the academic department's manager/coordinator. DUGs help students make and strengthen connections with other concentrators, professors, and concentrator alumni, provide a means for first-year and sophomore students to explore the concentration, and enable concentrators to explore potential co-curricular and career-related opportunities related to their field of study. DUGs help students make and strengthen connections with other concentrators, professors, and concentrator alums; provide a means for first- and second-year students to explore the concentrations; and enable concentrators to explore high-impact learning opportunities as juniors/seniors, and career pathways related to their field(s) of study.

New for 2020-21: Due to the difficulties of planning in uncertain times and the potential for higher DUG leader turnover than usual, we are moving to three application cycles for DUG funding, one for each semester this academic year. DUG student leaders and the DUG faculty sponsor must submit their joint proposal via UFunds

Concentation advisors & Directors of Undergraduate Studies:  We encourage you to join the DUG Google Classroom if you want to see the messages and materials we send to the leaders. 

What do DUGS do?

DUGs organize events ranging from study breaks for concentrators, meals or teas with faculty members, field trips to relevant sites (such as museums or documentary screenings), panels with guest speakers, workshops with alumni, capstone/thesis celebrations, movie nights, and more!

Some ideas for virtual events or community-building activities include: meet-and-greets with faculty online; virtual guided tours of department-affliated spaces (e.g., libraries or museums) or research labs; career event with alums; an event for pre-concentrators; raffle prizes such as journals or books by faculty in the concentration.

For help with event planning, visit the SAO Event Planning Guide, the Virtual Events Planning Guide from University Events and Conference Services, or email the DUG Co-Coordinators at [email protected]

Additionally, most concentrations expect that a member of the DUG will be at their table for the Concentration Fair for sophomores. 

How do I get involved with a DUG?

Please contact the DUG leaders of the group you are interested in. If your concentration does not have a DUG and you are interested in starting one, please contact your Director of Undergraduate Studies and [email protected]

DUG Program Overall Learning Goals:

  • Facilitate building relationships among prospective concentrators, current concentrators, and faculty within a concentration.
  • Provide meaningful academic and personal experiences through diverse and innovative student-centered programming.