Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy

Engaged Scholars Program

Engaged scholarship is premised on the idea that reciprocal exchanges between academic and non-academic partners — on campus and in the community — create rich opportunities for problem-solving that advances scholarship and helps create a more just and equitable society. Brown's Engaged Scholar Program (ESP) will support participating students through 2022, while the program transitions to an Engaged Scholarship Certificate, which will begin accepting declarations in Fall 2021. More information is available from the Swearer Center, which houses both ESP and the new Certificate.

Course and Program Requirements

All Engaged Scholars are required to take Modes of Social Change as well as an additional "engaged" course from the list below. These two courses may also count toward the general elective requirements for the concentration.

1) Modes of Social Change (PLCY 1800)

2) Plus, one of these electives:

  • Social Change and Building Powerful Organizations (PLCY 1824)
  • Social Entrepreneurship (PLCY 1910)
  • Engaged Research (PLCY 1802)
  • Alternative elective: To be eligible as an ESP elective, a course must: 1) Incorporate experiential learning opportunities to advance specific course goals; 2) Develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes students need to work effectively with community partners and other external stakeholders; and 3) Provide opportunities for students to apply course concepts and methods in real-world settings.

3) Practicum: ESP students complete significant experiential work with community partners and non-academic stakeholders via an engaged practicum.

4) Programming: ESP students are part of an interdisciplinary community of undergraduate scholars that meets informally as well as in a required 1-credit interdisciplinary seminar, SOC 0310: Theory and Practice of Engaged Scholarship, usually taken in the fall semester of junior year.

5) Capstone: The ESP experience culminates with an engaged capstone project which can count as your public policy concentration capstone.

Application Process

New applications to the Engaged Scholars Program are no longer being accepted. Declarations to the Engaged Scholarship Certificate will be accepted in ASK beginning in Fall 2021.

For more information contact: 

Madi Hough, ESP Department Representative/Peer Advisor