Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations


The IR Program has numerous advising resources, as described below. Students are encouraged to seek advice whenever the need arises and as often as necessary. Students tend to seek advising freshman and sophomore year when they are considering filing a concentration, planning courses, and discussing study abroad options and junior and senior years when they are seeking approval for abroad courses, working on capstone projects, finalizing their undergraduate career at Brown, and considering their future after graduation.

Advising helps ensure that students pursue an intellectually coherent and challenging program of study rather than just any collection of courses that might happen to formally meet the requirements.

Ivan Arreguin-Toft

Director and Concentration Advisor
Watson Institute 222
+1 401 863-3318

Office Hours
Make an appointment

Concentration Director & Security Track Advisor

Professor Arreguin-Toft is the IR concentration advisor and is available to speak with students on all matters concerning the concentration. This includes:

  • comprehensive concentration planning
  • course selection
  • grade options
  • planning study abroad or time away
  • study abroad and transfer credit approval
  • the Honors Program (thesis)
  • independent study and capstone projects
  • fulfillment of IR graduation requirements
  • postgraduate plans and applications
  • CPT application approval
  • fellowship and grant advice
  • university resources
  • other procedural or academic issues that may arise with the university administration
  • Brown-RISD Dual Degree (BRDD) advising

Anita Nester

Anita Nester

Academic Programs Manager
Watson Institute 220
+1 401 863 3244

Office Hours

Make appointment
Connect via Zoom

Program Advising and Concentration Filing

Anita Nester is a resource for all IR students (both current and prospective), and is typically the first stop for inquiries concerning the IR concentration. All new concentrators will file their IR concentration with Anita. She also provides support and answers questions regarding:

  • filing IR
  • IR requirements
  • IR policies
  • processes (e.g., how to file IR, transfer credits, ASK system, CPT applications)
  • course lists
  • general program information
  • funding opportunities
  • IR website
  • IR newsletter

Please feel free to contact her with questions about the points above as well as ways to get involved with IR and the Watson Institute. Drop by during open walk-in hours, make an appointment, or request a Zoom videoconference meeting.

claudia elliott

Claudia Elliott

280 Brook St, ofc 218
+1 401 863 1071

Office Hours
Make an appointment
Connect via Zoom

Honors Program, Fulbright and Carnegie 

Dr. Elliott directs the Honors Program in IR and teaches the Thesis Seminar in the fall.

In addition, Dr. Elliott is a knowledgeable resource for students who are considering applying for Fulbright Study/Research Scholarships as well as to the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Ellie Papananou

IR Student Assistant
Watson 215
+1 401 863 3318

Office Hours

Peer Advising - IR Student Assistant

The IR Student Assistant and also serves as a peer advisor, providing advice and helping current and prospective IR concentrators navigate IR and Brown. Contact Claire with questions about:

  • the IR concentration declaration process
  • course selection
  • faculty teaching in the IR Program 
  • internship experiences
  • study abroad experiences


Peer Advising - IR DUG

The IR Departmental Undergrad Group (DUG) leaders are a resource for students exploring the IR concentration. They lead and organize events for IR concentrators and others interested in international relations. IR DUG activities include:

  • annual themed speaker series
  • concentration information sessions and social events
  • professor dinners
  • advising hours
  • career events

Visit the IR DUG web page for more information and send them an email to be added to their mailing list.