An academic concentration is the focal point for a student's undergraduate educational experience at Brown. It is an in-depth study centering on a discipline or disciplines, a problem or a theme, or a broad question. Concentrations aid intellectual development by encouraging conceptual and methodological study on a sophisticated level. Such in-depth study allows students to gain command of an area of knowledge sufficient to equip them to engage in meaningful creative efforts in that area. The unity of the subject matter helps develop students' abilities to use concepts and methods in a coherent manner.
Students must declare a concentration online using Advising Sidekick (ASK) no later than the middle of their fourth semester (usually spring semester of sophomore year). Students must have an approved concentration on file in order to pre-register for the 5th semester. Transfer students who enter Brown with 4th or 5th semester standing must declare a concentration in their first term at Brown. The declaration functions as a kind of contract, and it is the student's responsibility to ensure that it has been approved prior to the deadline. Once the declaration has been approved, the departmental concentration advisor becomes the student's academic advisor for the remainder of the student's time at Brown.