Development Studies


Development Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration whose mission is to provide students with the knowledge, critical perspectives and skills they need to engage with the issues of economic and social development, especially as they relate to the Global South. The concentration is grounded in the social sciences – anthropology, sociology, political science, and economics – but it also heavily draws from history, art, and other disciplines in the humanities. The requirements are designed with three goals in mind: first, provide concentrators a solid foundation in the question of development; second, allow concentrators to develop expertise in a specific region that is of interest to them; third, give concentrators access to a wide range of courses in a large number of disciplines of interest to them. Concentrators are encouraged to do their own original field research. During the senior year, concentrators complete a capstone experience tailored to their interests in some aspect of international development. Towards this end, they benefit from extensive faculty and peer support.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the issue of international development
  • Experience all social science disciplines
  • Develop fluency in a second language
  • Engage in original fieldwork
  • Produce a substantial piece of original research or creative work


Requirements are listed here.

Honors and Capstones

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All concentrators must complete a senior capstone experience. Students may choose to complete a senior thesis or complete a senior capstone seminar. Those who wish to complete a senior thesis must secure approval at the end of the junior year. All students who fulfill the following requirements will be recommended for honors: a minimum grade average in concentration courses of 3.5 and a senior thesis judged by both advisors as meriting Honors. Please see the program website for more information.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201316 16 
201519 19 13 
201614 14 
201716 16 10 

Alumni Pathways

Development Studies alumni have gone on to work as university faculty and researchers for domestic and international non-governmental organizations, a well as in finance and public health.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Visit this DUG's website to learn more.

Student Leaders:

  • Zachary Witkin
  • Grace Mano

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.