Engaged Scholars Program

The Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) enables students who are passionate about communities and the challenges they face to design courses of study and action as part of their concentration requirements. Through guided coursework, advising and hands-on experience working with community partners, students in ESP are able to contextualize abstract theories, challenge assumptions and develop skills that prepare them for lives of effective action. Students who complete the program receive an academic transcript notation as Engaged Scholars.

If you are a current Engaged Scholar, click here for more program information.


Engaged Scholars complete four requirements:

1. Engaged Courses
2. ESP Practicum
3. ESP Seminar
4. ESP Capstone

Advising and mentoring is critical to the Engaged Scholars Program, from course selection to practicum development.  As a general rule, academic departments and programs provide advising through faculty advisors for course selection and capstone development.  ESP staff primarily advise on practicum development, and also provide ongoing advising about program requirements.

Student participation in the program is tracked by ESP staff and concentration advisors in ASK. We encourage ESP students to continually update their concentration course plan in ASK to include engaged courses.  Additionally, the ESP Canvas site, available to ESP students and viewable by advisors and ESP staff, provides more information about program requirements and is a platform for submitting program requirements, including practicum work plans and reflections.

More information about Program Requirements.


Students who are declaring in participating concentrations sponsored by Engaged Scholar Departments are eligible to apply to ESP. 


Students apply to ESP when declaring their concentration in ASK, typically in the second semester of their sophomore year. ESP is selective and applications will be reviewed by departments and ESP staff soon after the concentration declaration deadline. Students will be contacted by ESP staff directly about their application status. See exact application deadline in ASK (deadline is aligned with concentration declaration deadline). If you miss the application deadline, there is a mid-year review of applications in December; see ASK for exact deadline.

In line with Brown’s academic policies in effect for spring 2020, the deadline to apply to ESP has been moved to align with the deadline to declare a concentration, which is 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 1, 2020. Students are welcome to submit concentration declarations at any time, and are encouraged to submit as soon as their time permits.

While it is typical that students apply to the Engaged Scholars Program during sophomore year when declaring a concentration, you may revise your declaration to apply to the Engaged Scholars Program if you have enough remaining semesters at Brown to complete the program requirements. Please note that juniors whose applications are reviewed for the fall deadline will have only 3 semesters to complete the program.

Engaged Scholarship Program Application Questions

Why do you want to be in the Engaged Scholars Program? Describe how your experiences, coursework, research, and/or past community work (if any) provide context and a foundation for your participation in the program? (Please keep your response to 300 words or less.)

What do you hope to learn and what questions do you want to explore through the Engaged Scholars Program (about an issue, public challenge, community, etc.)? Please review the requirements of the ESP Program and list specific courses you might want to take and why, possible practicum projects you might want to pursue, ideas for capstones, etc. (Please keep your response to 300 words or less.)

For more information, visit our FAQ.


Jori Ketten, Associate Director, Academic Engagement, [email protected]. Schedule office hours here

Lynsey Ford, Program Manager, Academic Engagement, [email protected]. Schedule office hours here

General: [email protected].