Brown University School of Engineering


Engineering Concentrations

Concentrations offered by the School of Engineering are designed with four aims in mind:

  • To prepare graduates for professional practice in engineering, for graduate school, or to use their engineering expertise in non-technical fields
  • To enable graduates to work across disciplinary boundaries
  • To provide students with a wide range of options from which to construct a program
  • To enable students to combine their engineering programs with Brown's rich offerings in the arts, humanities and social sciences

Students may choose from several Sc.B. degree programs, which are intended to prepare graduates for professional practice or graduate school in engineering and science. Alternatively, they may elect to pursue an A.B. program, which is designed to allow graduates to combine their engineering studies with other interests. The A.B. engineering degree is an excellent foundation for careers in entrepreneurship, technology management, public service, architecture, teaching, or patent law, among many others.

All Brown's engineering degree programs share a similar structure:

  • The Engineering Core: During freshman and sophomore year, students take foundation courses in several engineering disciplines, together with courses in computer science, mathematics, and physical and life sciences. The core is intended to prepare graduates to work across disciplinary boundaries, and to help students to decide on an area of specialization. Students choose their degree option ('Concentration') at the end of their sophomore year.
  • Specialization: The Sc.B. degrees include a set of six or seven specialized courses in an engineering discipline. At least one of these must be a 'capstone' course in which students complete a major realistic design or research project. A.B. degree candidates take at least two specialized courses, and also have the option of completing a capstone course.

Sc.B. Degree Programs include:

The Sc.B. programs in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

A.B. Degree Programs include:

The A.B. and Sc.B. programs may be combined with a number of electives and options:

  • Combined A.B./Sc.B. degree: Students who wish to earn a combined A.B. and Sc.B. degree may do so in a five-year program in which work for both degrees proceeds concurrently. Requirements>
  • Five-Year Master's: Undergraduates in engineering with high academic standing may enter an integrated program leading to a Master of Science degree after completing an Sc.B. or A.B. degree. Requirements >
  • PRIME Sc.M. program: The Sc.B. or A.B. degree may be combined with the master of science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. PRIME is a year-long program that supplements the student’s technical background with a background in key aspects of business and entrepreneurship. More information>
  • Concurrent Baccalaureate and Master's Degree: Exceptionally capable students may be permitted to petition to complete an Sc.B. or A.B. degree concurrently with a Master's degree in four years. Requirements>
  • Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP): Engineering concentrators in this program may receive R.I. certification for teaching high school physics. More information >
  • Brown-Rhode Island School of Design dual degree program: Students may receive a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree from Brown and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree from RISD. The program is five years in length. An engineering A.B. and RISD B.F.A. provides a particularly strong preparation for industrial design or architecture. More information >
  • Honors: Based on their academic performance up to the end of the junior year, students may apply for admission to the Honors Program.  Applying for Biomedical Engineering honors> Engineering honors>
  • Study Abroad: The global nature of the engineering profession makes a study abroad program particularly attractive. More information>
  • Research and Independent Study: There are many ways for students to work together with faculty on research and design. Many students spend one or more summers working in a lab, supported by an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Assistantship (UTRA); a Royce Fellowship; or an external grant. They may also elect to use a research project for course or concentration credit by arranging an Independent Study course.
  • Engaged Scholar Program: “Engaged scholarship” refers to a partnership between students, faculty and community members outside of the academy. Its goal is to create learning experiences and research partnerships that address major social challenges and produce tangible public benefits. More information>
  • Professional Tracks: Students must complete two full-time professional experiences, lasting two to four months each (or two part-time experiences of equivalent total effort), doing work that is related to their concentration program. More information>

The formal curriculum is only a small part of your experience at Brown. Students at Brown participate in athletics, music, theater, politics, community outreach, teaching or mentoring, among many other activities. Engineering students also run several engineering related organizations and clubs, such as Women in Science and Engineering, student chapters of honor societies and professional societies, the Formula SAE race-car design team, the Brown Building Society, and Brown Space Engineering, among many others. Graduates often find their experience in these activities as valuable in preparing them for life after Brown as their formal degree program. More information >

Additional Information