Additional Departments

Biology & Medicine

The Division of Biology and Medicine, or BioMed, is one of Brown's largest and most active divisions, with a mission of understanding and improving the health of humans and their environment. BioMed encompasses the Alpert Medical School, the Program in Biology, and the Public Health Program. Within these larger divisions, students have access to a highly diverse range of departments, many of which focus on environmental themes. For example, in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, students can study biological systems on a macroscopic scale, and even spend a semester doing hands-on research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.  The Division of Biology and Medicine is brimming with opportunities for student involvement. For more information about research opportunities, see the BioMed research website.


Chemistry frames much of our understanding of the natural world and continues to deliver technologies that touch nearly every aspect of human life. Research in the Chemistry Department at Brown pursues new insights into structure, reactivity, and molecular functions, promising to redefine the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Fundamental research in this department yields knowledge that is the basis for new technologies and methods of practical value. Environmentally minded students with an interest in chemistry can pursue research on fuel cells, hydrogen storage, catalysis, biofuels, and carbon dioxide utilization. For more information, check out the Chemistry Department's website.




The School of Engineering is where research, design, and building come together to work for innovation. Engineering students take courses in a variety of subjects, including electricity, materials science, mechanics, and thermodynamics. Faculty members work on the cutting edge of research in their respective disciplines. The research has wide applications in the field of sustainability, from more efficient LEDs to viable and cost-effective carbon sequestration and storage (CSS). Efforts are also active in the areas of grid integrated distributed storage, district level sustainability strategies, and solar thermal for industrial processes.


Geological phenomena affect our daily lives as well as the future of our planet, whether it be a major earthquake in California or a volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean. Fundamental knowledge of the Earth and planetary sciences has direct bearing on matters of urgent interest to the public, policy makers, and other scientists. Our naturally fluctuating climate is being modified by human activities in ways that we don't understand, with consequences that we cannot predict. Geology students will gain a deeper understanding of geological phenomena, which can help them pursue research interests in subjects like environmental geophysics, global climate change, hydrology, and estuarine processes.  For more information, see the Geology Department's site



Physics provides a foundation of crucial ideas for other scientific fields, and many of the underpinnings of modern technology.  Research in the field focuses on new phenomena occurring on scales ranging from the subatomic to the cosmic. Many physicists collaborate across disciplines working with biologists, chemists, engineers, geologists, and mathematicians.

Physics offers environmentally minded students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the principles at the core of environmental and climate science.  Those interested in renewable energy can benefit from courses on electromagnetism, thermodynamics and the physics of energy.  Physics concentrators will also be introduced to nano-science; a field pushing boundaries in order to help solve numerous environmental problems. There are many outstanding research opportunities available to physics students. For example, Brown research teams work on nano-science projects that could lead to new technologies and apply physics principles to climate modeling.