Independent Concentration


The Independent Concentration program is for exceptionally dedicated students who are willing to spend extra time and effort creating a “new” concentration, representing a coherent field of study that Brown does not offer. Such fields may include emerging topics, such as "sustainable technology," or broader interdisciplinary areas, such as "Deaf and Disability Studies." The IC proposal process consists of: 1) Meeting with the Curricular Resource Center's IC Peer Coordinators; 2) Completing a draft IC Application and soliciting feedback from the Peer Coordinators; 3) Identifying an approved Faculty Sponsor (an advisor) and obtaining a letter of support; and 4) Submitting the application and letter of support by the deadline (Optional: Students interested in pursuing honors should read the IC Honors Thesis Guidelines). 
Deadlines: The IC subcommittee of the College Curriculum Council reviews proposals six times per year; applicants must have satisfied two requirements: (1) submission of their first IC proposal by the end of their 5th semester; (2) meeting with at least one of the IC Peer Co-Coordinators before submitting their proposal.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Design a curriculum around a broad problem or theme not covered in the Brown curriculum
  • Collaborate closely with faculty sponsors
  • Produce a significant piece of original research or creative work


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

All concentrators must complete either a one-semester capstone project or a year-long Honors thesis. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science are required to complete a two-year project, either as a capstone or an honors thesis. Consult the program's website for admission procedures and requirements.

Liberal Learning

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

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201312 12 
201417 17 
201525 25 
201628 28 12 
201715 15 

Alumni Pathways

Alumni who have created their own concentration at Brown have gone into a variety of industries, including medicine, architecture, and finance. Continuing the entrepreneurial spirit that led them to create their own concentrations, many are now chief executive officers and presidents of their firms.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Alex Vidmar
  • Ruth Foster
  • Dorothy Jiang

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