The College

Declaring a Concentration

As an undergraduate at Brown, you will choose at least one area of in-depth study.

As an undergraduate at Brown, you will choose an area of in-depth study.

You must declare a concentration no later than the middle of your fourth semester, before pre-registering for semester five (usually spring semester of sophomore year). If you are a transfer student matriculating with fourth- or fifth-semester standing, you must declare a concentration in your first term at Brown. Below is a step-by-step guide to the declaration process.

  1. Review the concentration's requirements on Additional instructions for prospective concentrators may be listed on department websites.
  2. Make a list of taken and intended courses that might count toward the concentration. Map out the remaining semesters of study to account for course availability, study abroad, etc.
  3. Seek approval for non-Brown courses relevant to the concentration. Begin by obtaining syllabi and a copy of the transcript.
  4. Contact a concentration advisor in your chosen area to discuss your proposed course plan. Check the concentration's website for instructions about the preferred process for meeting with prospective concentrators. If it is unclear from the website, email the concentration advisor or director of undergraduate studies to ask for an appointment. Other topics for discussion might be study abroad, senior capstone projects, research opportunities, and approval of any transfer courses.
  5. Log into ASK to complete your declaration (see instructions and screenshots in the IT Knowledgebase). In addition to the course plan, there are a few short answer questions. You might review the questions and draft your answers in an external document to allow yourself sufficient time to consider your responses. Submit your proposed course list and short answer responses. Your concentration advisor will then review your declaration and either approve or request a revisions.  You will need to resubmit your declaration after you make any required revisions. 
  6. Pay attention to deadlines. Students are not allowed to register for fifth-semester courses unless a concentration has been approved by the deadline. Entering fifth semester transfer students are granted an exception. Check the Academic Calendar for the deadline in a given semester.

Bear in mind that the declaration is a blueprint subject to revision (with the concentration advisor's approval, of course).