Independent Concentration

Although Brown offers nearly 80 concentrations, a small number of students have academic interests that fall beyond the scope of these offerings. Brown allows these students to design their own concentrations through the Independent Concentration (IC) program. The IC program is for exceptionally dedicated students who are willing to spend extra time and effort creating a “new” concentration, representing a coherent field of study that Brown does not offer. Such fields may include emerging topics, such as "sustainable technology," or broader interdisciplinary areas, such as "Deaf and Disability Studies." Students interested in pursuing an Independent Concentration are strongly encouraged to review the IC website, speak with the Curricular Resource Center's IC Coordinator and with the IC Dean (Dean Chang) and to review previous proposals in the CRC's library.

Independent concentration proposals are reviewed and approved by the College Curriculum Council.

Pre-Approved TracksIf the track is jointly offered it requires sign off from both departments. Prospective concentrators should complete the declaration process in ASK by selecting Independent Concentration, followed by the appropriate track and track advisor.

Modern Culture and Media-French Track (This pre-approved track has been discontinued effective Spring 2014)

This track is offered jointly by the Department of French Studies and the Department of Modern Culture and Media. It is intended for students who wish to receive special preparation in French language and literature, with emphasis on contemporary semiotic theory, and those students whose primary interest is in theory and who wish to strengthen their knowledge of French language, literature, and culture. In addition to a Senior Thesis, students will take five courses in French and five in Modern Culture and Media. Students wishing to declare this concentration must select an advisor from each of the two sponsoring departments.
Required courses:

Select two of the following:2
Writing and Speaking French I
Introduction to the Literary Experience
Writing and Speaking French II
A course from the FREN 1510 series
Three upper level courses in French literature, language and civilization.3
MCM 0110Theory and Analysis of Modern Culture and Media1
Two or three additional courses in semiotic theory2-3
One or two courses in semiotic production1-2
Total Credits9-11

Honors: Students who qualify for Honors in the Independent Concentration, Modern Culture and Media-French track are eligible to apply to do an Honors project or thesis. Applications will be screened by both MCM and French Studies. (Application forms should be submitted by prospective honors students in the beginning of the 7th semester. They are available in the MCM office.) If approved, a student must then register for or FREN 1990, a one-credit thesis course in which they complete the Honors project.

Modern Culture and Media-German Track (This pre-approved track has been discontinued effective Spring 2014)

This track is offered jointly by the Department of German Studies and the Department of Modern Culture and Media. It offers interested students an opportunity to explore the phenomenon of "Germany" using the approaches of cultural theory. Students will take a number of required courses through which they learn the basic theories and approaches to issues of language and meaning, subjectivity and identity, ideology and consciousness, gender and sexuality, and theories of narrativity. Other courses offer the student an overview of the German textual traditions in literature, philosophy, music, film, and the fine arts. German language proficiency is expected of all participants in the program and may be gained by a variety of approaches available within the German Studies Department. Overseas study at Berlin's Humboldt University or in special cases at an equivalent institution is considered a normal part of this joint concentration. All students will be required to complete a final project.

Requirements in addition to Senior Thesis:

Twelve courses are required.

Select two of the following:2
Theory and Analysis of Modern Culture and Media
Digital Media
Television Studies
Visuality and Visual Theories
Cinematic Coding and Narrativity
The Theory of the Sign
A course from the GRMN 0900 series1
Two courses in German Studies at the 1000-level with topics relevant to the focus area.2
GRMN 1990Senior Conference1
or MCM 1990 Honors Thesis/Project in Modern Culture and Media
Select six of the following:6
Introduction to the Theory of Literature (strongly recommended)
Modern Architecture
A course from the GRMN 1440 series: Studies in Literary Genre
A course from the GRMN 1450 series: Seminars in German Literature
A course from the MCM 1200 series: Special Topics in Modern Culture and Media
A course from the MCM 1500 Series: Senior Seminars in Modern Culture and Media
Total Credits12

Students are encouraged to examine the course offerings carefully in consultation with their advisors to select courses that augment their concentration and, in particular, inform their final projects. In addition, students will normally complete two to four of those electives while studying in Berlin or at another location approved by the concentration advisor.

Students who are unable to study in Germany will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of German.

Students are encouraged to consult with the concentration advisors for German Studies and Modern Culture and Media as early as possible in order to begin planning their course work sequences and their final project.

Modern Culture and Media-Italian Track (This pre-approved track has been discontinued effective Spring 2014)

This track is offered jointly by the Italian Studies Department and the Department of Modern Culture and Media. The program includes 11 courses.

Requirements in addition to Senior Thesis:

Six courses from the Italian Studies Department
ITAL 0950Introduction to Italian Cinema: Italian Film and History1
A course from the ITAL 1000 series: Studies in Contemporary Italian Culture1
A course from the ITAL 1060 series: Realism and Utopia in Italian Film1
Select three of the following:3
The Panorama and 19th-Century Visual Culture
A course from the ITAL 1350 series: Contemporary Italian Literature
Modern Italy
A course from the ITAL 1400 series: Special Topics in Italian Studies
Five courses from the Modern Culture and Media Department
Any three of the following:3
Theory and Analysis of Modern Culture and Media
Digital Media
Television Studies
Visuality and Visual Theories
Cinematic Coding and Narrativity
The Theory of the Sign
At least one course from the MCM 1200 series1
At least one course from the MCM 1500 series1
Total Credits11

Students are encouraged to consider study at the University of Bologna through the Brown Program in Bologna, though this is by no means a requirement for fulfillment of the program. Courses taken at the University of Bologna may substitute for Italian Studies and MCM courses (no more than 2 from either department) at the discretion of the student's advisors.

Honors: Honors will require a thesis and will normally be undertaken by signaling intent during the junior year.

Statistics Track

Statistics has a theoretical core surrounded by a large number of domains of application in diverse fields, including economics, psychology, biology and medicine, sociology, population sciences, government, anthropology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, and computer science. At Brown, graduate training in Biostatistics is available in the Department of Biostatistics and in Mathematical Statistics in the Division of Applied Mathematics. In addition, several other departments are offering introductory and even advanced courses in statistical methodology, including the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, Political Science and Computer Science.

The Undergraduate program in Statistics, established in 1997, is an interdepartmental program, administered by the Department of Biostatistics and leading to the Sc.B. degree. The program is constructed on several premises: that statistics is a scientific discipline in its own right, with its characteristic methodology and body of knowledge; that it is essentially concerned with the art and science of the analysis of data; and that it is best taught in conjunction with specific, substantive applications. To this end, the concentration is designed to provide a foundation of basic concepts and methodology, requiring students to take core courses in the discipline itself, and to expose students to a cross-section of statistical applications, through courses (of their own selection and subject to approval) in the social, biological, and natural sciences. In a senior honors thesis, each student will be required to carry out a major project of statistical data analysis in one of these disciplines. The program prepares students for careers in industry and government, for graduate study in statistics or biostatistics and other sciences, as well as for professional study in law, medicine, business, or public administration.

Requirements in addition to Senior Thesis:

The program begins with a foundation in mathematics and computing, combined with an elementary introduction to statistical thinking and practice. A set of three core courses builds on this foundation by providing a comprehensive account of the fundamentals of statistical theory and data analysis. At this point, the students in the concentration are ready to delve into more advanced material covering important areas of statistical methodology. In addition to formal coursework, students will have opportunities to acquire practical experience in study design, data management, and statistical analysis by working as undergraduate research assistants in projects in one of the participating academic departments or research centers at Brown.

The program requires twelve one-semester courses and participation in the senior seminar. The required courses are as follows:

Foundations courses:
Three courses, including courses in multivariate calculus and linear algebra3
APMA 0160Introduction to Scientific Computing1
Introduction to statistical thinking and practice
Select one of the following:1
Introductory Statistics for Social Research
Introduction to Econometrics
Essential Statistics
Core Courses in Theory and Data Analysis
PHP 2510Principles of Biostatistics and Data Analysis1
Choose one of the following series:2
Statistical Inference I
   and Statistical Inference II
   and Mathematical Statistics
Advanced Courses in Statistical Methods
APMA 1690Computational Probability and Statistics1
PHP 2511Applied Regression Analysis1
Two electives from the following courses:2
Social Sciences:
Econometrics I
Introduction to Econometrics I
Econometric Methods
Econometric Theory
Multivariate Statistical Methods I
Advanced Quantitative Methods of Sociology Analysis
Techniques of Demographic Analysis
Spatial Data Analysis Techniques in the Social Sciences
Information Theory
Computational Biology Methods for Gene/Protein Networks and Structural Proteomics
Experimental Design in Ecology
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics, I
Intermediate Methods in Epidemiologic Research
Statistical Inference I
Clinical Trials Methodology
Analysis of Longitudinal Data
Bayesian Statistical Methods
Total Credits12

Prospective students will be able to obtain Advanced Placement credit for the requirements in mathematics, computing, and introductory statistics. Students who have already completed an introductory course in statistics will be granted permission to proceed to Level II core courses if they meet the prerequisites in mathematics and computing.

Honors: Honors work in the Independent Concentration, Statistics track requires the completion of a senior thesis and a superior record in the program.

The program is administered by the Department of Biostatistics, located at 121 South Main Street, 7th floor.

For additional information please contact: Roee Gutman, Box G-S-121-7; Telephone: 401-863-2682; Fax: 401-863-9182; e-mail: Roee Gutman