Watson Institute at Brown University
Development Studies


11 courses + language

CORE (5 courses)

All CORE courses must be taken prior to the senior year. 


Choose one or two disciplinary:

SOC 1620 Globalization and Social Conflict   - OR -   SOC 0150 Economic Development and Social Change
ANTH 0110 Anthropology and Global Social Problems  - OR -  ANTH 0100 Intro to Cultural Anthropology

Choose one interdisciplinary:

AFRI 1060U An Introduction to Africa
AMST 1600C The Anti-Trafficking Savior Complex
DEVL 1803R Bringing Small States in
PHP 1680I Pathology to Power: Disability, Health, and Community
POLS 1240 Politics, Markets in Devel World
POLS 1280 Politics, Econ, Society in India
POLS 1325 Political Organizations and Social Change in America
POLS 1440 Security, Gov, and Dev in Africa
POLS 1730 Politics of Globalization 
UNIV 1089 
Global Dynamics and Critical Perspectives on Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the United States

To be taken sophomore year. Students are strongly encouraged to have previously completed SOC 1620, POLS 1240, ANTH 0110, or ANTH 0100

DEVL 1000 Sophomore Seminar in Development


ECON 0510 Development in the International Community (For students with little to no economics background), OR

ECON 1510 Economic Development (For students with strong economics background or double-concentrating in economics)

Prerequisite: ECON 0110,  or AP Microeconomics 4 and AP Macroeconomics 4, or IB HL Economics 6

Prerequisite: ECON 1110 or 1130; and APMA 1650 or ECON 1620 or 1630.

This course is to be taken in the spring semester of the Junior year and is designed to both introduce students to a variety of research methodologies, as well as help them develop their thesis/capstone project proposals.

DEVL 1500 Methods in Development Research


Students must take two (2) courses that focus on a particular theme or specific region of the developing world. Ideally, students should concentrate on a theme or in a region of the world on which they hope to conduct their capstone project research. 


Students must take three (3) courses from a list of pre-approved electives or by special approval. The elective course list is updated each semester on the Development Studies Program website.


All DS concentrators must pursue the study of a foreign language through the equivalent of three full years of university study. This covers advanced understanding, speaking, reading, and writing capabilities. 

CAPSTONE (Two Options)

A. Senior Thesis
All students are strongly encouraged to write a senior thesis. Students must secure a primary thesis advisor by the end of the Spring semester  Junior year and seek approval from the DS Concentration Advisor and DEVL 1500 instructor. If a primary thesis advisor has not signed on to the student's project by the end of the spring semester junior year the student will not be permitted to write a thesis.


i. DEVL 1980: Thesis Writing Seminar, offered in the Fall of the Senior Year
ii. DEVL 1990: Independent Study under the Thesis Advisor, to be taken in the Spring of the Senior Year

Consider the thesis as being conducted over three semesters, beginning with DEVL 1500 in the spring junior year.

B. Senior Capstone Seminar
This option is for students who did not receive approval for a thesis or who have chosen not to complete such a project. The senior capstone seminar will require that the student in their senior year write a research paper utilizing one’s thematic or regional expertise and foreign language skills and be about 20-25 pages in length. A capstone course may be a pre-approved WRIT-designated senior seminar, an independent study, or a group independent study (GISP) with the approval of the director of Development Studies.