Watson Institute at Brown University
International and Public Affairs

Junior Seminar

All International and Public Affairs concentrators, having completed at least one Gateway course, take a junior seminar during the fall or spring semester of the junior year. The seminars focus on issues in international and public affairs that can be studied in comparative global perspective, that can be subjected to multidisciplinary analysis, and that often cut across concerns about development, governance, and security. The seminars are intended to help students hone skills of critical analysis, argumentation, and the design and operation of social science research and scholarship.  They simultaneously help students focus on the topics that can later be pursued as capstone or thesis projects.

Are junior and senior seminars interchangeable?

No, Junior and senior seminars can’t just be switched; they have different purposes. 

Junior seminars are taught by Watson Faculty, Fellows and CIP Affiliates. This includes classes offered by the various Watson Centers, Initiatives and Programs, such as Southeast Asia or Latin American and Caribbean Studies, at a level of 1700 or higher.

  • Junior seminars must be taken junior year.
  • Junior seminars are WRIT designated.
  • Junior seminars cannot be substituted with other courses offered through IAPA or through other concentrations.

Taking junior seminars S/NC

The junior seminar is an important intellectual building block for concentrators; we would prefer it as a graded option, but it may be taken as S/NC if there are good reasons for doing so.