Brown University

Annual Report 2016

Expanding our Vision

The School of Professional Studies meets the needs of students who seek to engage their curiosity, advance their knowledge, develop personal strengths and make a difference in the world. Our students experience transformative learning in diverse, intellectually rigorous communities and prepare for lives of purposeful action. With Brown’s world-class faculty, SPS creates innovative, multidisciplinary programs for emerging leaders who are creating sustainable solutions to pressing challenges in business, cybersecurity, education, healthcare, science and technology, and other fields.

Working with colleagues in Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Graduate School and across campus, SPS welcomed more than 9,140 students to Brown in 2016. Our expanded portfolio of Executive Master’s degree programs attracted highly accomplished, mid-career professionals. More than 580 undergraduates completed Summer Session courses on campus and online, and a record 5,240 pre-college students sampled college life and learning on campus, online and in global locations. Every year SPS extends Brown’s reach and impact by attracting new students who are proud to be part of this university.

2016 was a hallmark year for SPS. We welcomed the first cohort of Executive Master in Cybersecurity students and launched the Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership, Brown’s fourth executive program. Our executive programs tap the expertise of faculty in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, and attract prominent corporate leaders to advisory committees that help ensure their relevance to high achieving practitioners.

SPS helps Brown envision the future. To advance digital teaching and learning, SPS is introducing faculty and students to innovative tools and developing online learning. Through a new partnership with edX, the MIT/Harvard-sponsored digital learning organization with 100 higher education partners, Brown faculty are experimenting and reaching new learners worldwide. SPS is also advising researchers who use online outreach for grant funded projects.

Acting on our commitment to Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan, we recruit and welcome staff and students from diverse backgrounds, enrich programs with multiple perspectives and provide substantial scholarship support for hundreds of students.

SPS is creating the future. With every student, we expand our vision and fulfill our mission to inspire through education.

Karen Sibley, EdD

Karen Sibley

Karen Sibley, Ed.D.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Dean, School of Professional Studies

SPS by the Numbers










International Students


Countries Represented

Personal. Powerful.

“SPS creates rich, intensely engaging learning opportunities for diverse populations of pre-college students, some of whom never dreamed that Brown would help shape their futures.”

Adrienne Marcus, MFA
Associate Dean
Pre-College & Undergraduate Programs

Getting connected. Increasing our impact.

Joi Danelle-Whitehead, Assistant Director, Pre-College Programs & Diversity Initiatives at SPS, connects with bright, curious pre-college students to explore their hopes and concerns, and help them build soft skills critical for college success.

Timely. Relevant.

“There's an urgent need globally for cybersecurity leaders in all sectors - government, finance, healthcare and industry. Brown's new exeuctive program is meeting that need.”

Alan Usas, PhD
Program Director
Executive Master in Cybersecurity

Executive and Professional Education: Drives creativity, innovation and results.

  • Accelerate your career.
  • Magnify your impact.
  • Hone leadership skills.
  • Confront real time challenges.

IE Brown Executive MBA student presents his project to faculty and peers.

Executive Master in Cybersecurity

  • High profile inagural class, 2016.
  • Integrate technology, human factors, law and policy.
  • Build resilient organizations.
  • Lead with the best.
The EMCS Program »

Executives collaborate on a pressing industry challenge.

Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership

  • Achieve the Triple Aim: Access, Cost, Quality.
  • Create tangible solutions.
  • Build a powerful, professional network.
The EMHL Program »

Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership Commencement, May 2016.

Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership

  • Experience personal leadership development.
  • Enhance business acumen and broaden impact.
  • Prepare to lead globally focused teams.
The EMSTL Program »

Executives address global leadership challenges.

IE Brown Executive MBA

  • Become a reflective leader.
  • Leverage humanities for business impact.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in Cape Town, South Africa.
The IE Brown MBA Program »

IE Brown Executive MBA Commencement, May 2016.

Summer Session:
On Campus & Online

Intellectual rigor. Mind expanding experiences.

Every summer graduate and undergraduate students from Brown and other universities, and select pre-baccalaureate students earn college credit in Summer Session. These highly motivated students expand their knowledge and discover new interests.








Online Courses

Expanding Brown's Digital Presence

The Choices Program engages with the scholars of the Watson Institute and wider Brown community to develop curriculum resources on international issues for the secondary level. Choices resources are used in public, private, parochial, urban, suburban and rural schools throughout the US and in about 200 international schools abroad.
Choices offers more than 40 published curriculum units and a range of Open Educational Resources including more than 1,300 videos, and a series of timely Teaching with the News online lessons. An estimated 1.3 million high school social studies teachers used Choices resources last year and 2,600 teaches participated in professional development offered by Choices.

A student prepares her poster for a group presentation on a policy option in the Choices unit, Climate Change and Questions of Justice.

What is climate change?

Choices' new video portal allows teachers and students to browse, search and share videos from the Choices library of 1300 video interviews and makes it easy to incorporate these videos into upcoming digital curriculum editions.

Learn about Choices »

Pre-College Programs:
On Campus. Online. Abroad.

  • Experience University-level life and learning.
  • Prepare for college - your next big step.
  • Test new ideas with students from around the world.








Online Courses


Countries Represented


Global Locations

Alaska, Costa Rica, Florida, Rhode Island, Segovia

The Cloud Forest: Costa Rica
Adventurous students with a passion for science and nature study the hyper-diverse canopy of the tropical montane cloud forest and hone their understanding of the natural world.

So You Want to Be a Doctor?

Is a career in medicine right for you? This popular pre-college course is designed to help high school students explore that question.

Pre-College Programs at Brown University

Talented students from around the world choose Brown University Pre-College Programs to prepare for success and experience the challenge of college-level academics.

From the Solar System to the Universe: Intro to Astrophysics and Cosmology

The Solar System. Black holes. Galaxy clusters. Quasars. Look at astrophysical mysteries through geology, physics, mathematics with demonstrations and observation. Probe the questions of modern cosmology about the Universe’s first fifteen minutes and its fate.

The Secret Lives of Animals: Brain and Behavior

Are human abilities to learn, communicate and solve problems unique? Students study behavior from genetic, neural and hormonal perspectives in labs that include termite communication, pill bug movement, and other fascinating innate and learned behavior.

Engineering Biomedical Systems

Scientists mimic living systems and improve lives with artificial joints and hearts, prosthetics, insulin pumps and an array of biomedical technologies. Students learn about design and tissue engineering, and propose improvements to current technologies.

Unpacking Race in the US: Theory, Concepts and Lived Experience

Where does the concept of race come from and how does it change? With open minds, students examine this sensitive topic and use historical and contemporary texts to frame constructive conversations.

Pre-College Programs »

Athletic Programs: Winning Results