Science at Brown

Exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) at Brown

As a national science research university with an international reputation, Brown provides a unique curricular structure that encourages our undergraduate scholars to explore an ever dynamic world. Our unusually integrated campus environment furthers interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities that provide students with the skills and knowledge to succeed and to drive change in the future.

As a leader in research and innovation, Brown provides invaluable resources that enable faculty and students to leap forward in their fields. Our Science Center is a state-of-the-art facility that supports learning through curricular innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Research is also a vital part of the undergraduate experience: in the last four years, nearly 2,000 students have taken part in the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) program.  In addition, Brown consistently ranks in the top five Fulbright Fellowship-producing research institutions nationally.

Brown students are life-long learners and leaders; we invite you to join us on the exciting educational journey you will take as a member of the Brown community, and we encourage you to explore Brown's academic programs through the links provided at right. For the most part, you will find our undergraduate STEM concentrations supported by departments, programs, centers loosely affiliated as Physical Sciences, or Life & Medical Sciences.  But, do not be surprised if the science topic that catches your eye has multiple connections in Humanities or Social Sciences; interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary work has been  fundamental to Brown academic culture for decades.

For more news on Brown discoveries, please visit this page.

Featured Concentration: Engineering


Why Engineering at Brown?

Brown University’s School of Engineering is home to the oldest undergraduate engineering program in the Ivy League and third oldest civilian engineering program in the nation. Our historical roots include a unique structure organized around a core curriculum and collaborations across disciplines. As part of a community that encourages exploration and believes strongly in the value of interdisciplinary pursuits, the School of Engineering is an exciting place for learning, teaching, and research. With a world-class faculty, a multitude of invaluable collaborative associations, state-of-the art facilities, and an exceptional research environment, the School of Engineering fosters innovative scientific research while affirming its commitment to excellence in both undergraduate and graduate education.

Brown’s Engineering programs equip students with a solid foundation. Our core provides our graduates with the basis of theory, design, and analysis that will enable them to adapt to whatever may come along during their careers. At the same time, the core courses assist students in making informed choices in determining their concentration at the end of their sophomore year.  Our students study a core engineering curriculum because fundamental knowledge is used in all engineering disciplines. This enables students to foster integrated problem solving, thinking across boundaries, and a unified understanding of engineering methodology, leading to an informed choice of field of specialization. We provide a curricular focus on science as it is applied to practical problem solving, and the core courses satisfy accreditation requirements common to all engineering disciplines. The concentrations we offer are Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Environmental EngineeringMaterials Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering. Students interested in Civil Engineering can read about the developments in the program here.

Brown University and the School of Engineering encourage and expect students to form independent education goals for themselves and to seek the knowledge and experience they need to meet their objectives; we also provide a strong support network, through our first-year engineering advisors, Meiklejohn peer advisors, and affiliated student organizations, including SWE (Society of Women Engineers), BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society), AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers). Undergraduates also have the opportunity to join student-run groups such as the FSAE car team, Engineers Without Borders, and the Brown Building Society. Brown Engineering students are able to participate in creative activities such as the Food Network Edible Car Challenge and the Extreme Gingerbread House Competition.

The research environment in Brown’s School of Engineering is a dynamic place for faculty and students alike, with major government funding and industrial collaborations. Research opportunities exist for all interested undergraduate students, including summer research internships, part-time laboratory assistant positions, and independent study projects. We are involved in high-impact research, and our faculty have been recipients of many top awards in their field. We offer top-flight research facilities in areas such as electron microscopy, computing, imaging and signal processing, microelectronics, materials processing, and bulk/thin film growth.

Through the merging of teaching, scholarship, and practice, Brown’s Undergraduate Engineering distinguishes itself through the ample research opportunities for undergraduates, interdisciplinary curriculum, project-based engineering courses taught by dedicated faculty beginning in the first year, collaborative learning experience, and excellent graduate school and career placement.

Please watch a video below or at the top right of the page on Brown University's Brain Gate, devloped by Brown University scientists seeking to help people with paralysis regain independence and mobility.