Engaged Scholars Program

The Engaged Scholars Program (brown.edu/go/engagedscholars)  in Political Science is geared for political science concentrators who are especially interested in making deeper connections between their concentration curriculum and long-term engaged activities such as internships, public service, humanitarian and development work, and many other possible forms of community involvement. The program combines preparation, experience, and reflection to offer students opportunities to enhance the integration of academic learning and social engagement.

Requirements for Engaged Scholars in Political Science

To be an engaged scholar in political science, a student must be a concentrator.  Students need not take extra courses in political science to fulfill their engaged scholar requirements.  While fulfilling the standard concentration requirements, students must also complete the following requirements:

•        One departmental course designated as “engaged” by the faculty (see below) - courses that have a community engaged component as part of the course

•        A practicum: a significant long-term community-based project. Projects may be aligned with courses or pursued independently and are envisioned to last no less than 150-250 hours (projects can occur over the school year, in the summer, or both).  The practicum can be completed for credit or as an unpaid or paid internship (via the partner organization or Brown funding such as a LINK award). Credit can be awarded via an independent study if approved by ESP. More information about Engaged Practicums. 

•         ESP students are part of an interdisciplinary community of undergraduate scholars that meet regularly for workshops, lectures, and other programming. A required 1.0 credit  interdisciplinary reflection seminar ideally taken in the fall of junior year, is also required. More information about ESP seminar.   

•       Students’ concentration-based work culminates with a credit-bearing capstone project, which may be completed through a departmentally-sponsored capstone course, Departmental Independent Study Project (DISP), or a Group Independent Study Project (GISP).  The ESP capstone requirement may also be fulfilled through honors thesis work, if that work embodies core elements of an engaged capstone, delineated below, and meets specific concentration requirements (please check with your faculty advisor). ESP Capstones are for-credit and involve a faculty advisor.

Political Science courses that would qualify as an Engaged Scholar course

•        POLS1020 Politics of the Illicit Global Economy
•        POLS1280 Politics, Economy and Society in India
•        POLS1285 Duality of Democracy in Latin America
•        POLS1315 Social Groups in American Politics
•        POLS1320 Urban Politics and Urban Policy
•        POLS1380 Ethnic Politics and Conflict
•        POLS1500 International Law and Human Rights
•        POLS1530 Gender, Slavery and Freedom
•        POLS1560 American Foreign Policy

•        POLS1740 Politics of Food
•        POLS1820D Civil Liberties
•        POLS1820F Black Protest - Theory and Practice
•        POLS1820G Environmental Political Theory
•        POLS1820T Race, Crime and Public Policy

•        POLS1821S Women and Politics
•        POLS1822B Foundations of Political Economy
•        POLS1822I Geopolitics of Oil and Energy
•        POLS1823Z Gender and Public Policy
•        POLS1824C Political Communications
•        POLS1824G Farms, Fisheries and Politics
•        POLS1824K American Welfare State in Comparative Perspective
•        POLS1824M Politics of Race and Criminal Justice
•        POLS1824R Democracy, Race and Education in the US


Students apply to ESP when declaring their concentration in ASK, typically in second semester of sophomore year. The 2019 application is due mid-April. The application consists of two essay questions. Applications will be reviewed by the Political Science department and ESP staff. See the ESP website for more information.


Wendy Schiller, Professor of Political Science and International & Public Affairs