Frequently Asked Questions About IAPA

Absolutely. Language study, though not required, is strongly encouraged and rewarded in the International and Public Affairs concentration. Students may substitute one of the concentration’s two required research methods — either the qualitative or quantitative research methods course — by successfully completing a Brown or Brown-approved language instruction course at the 0400 level or above. Students cannot pursue this option on the basis of language study undertaken or language proficiency achieved prior to arrival at Brown.

As part of our effort to encourage language study for Watson Institute concentrators, the Watson Institute offers financial support for off-campus language learning, with priority given to immersive language programs and with special consideration given to the study of languages not formally offered at Brown. This funding is offered on a competitive basis, with one application period in the fall term and a second application period in the spring term.

Certainly, particularly through the electives in the concentration’s tracks of specialization, students may focus their studies on a particular region or country. Alternatively, students may focus their studies on themes or issues that cut across geographies. One of the benefits of the International and Public Affairs concentration is the flexibility it offers students to pursue the topics of greatest interest and concern to them. 

Yes. Research funds, particularly for summer research surrounding senior theses and capstone projects, are available for students in the International and Public Affairs concentration. See the Research and Funding page for more information and how to apply.

Concentrators in International and Public Affairs absolutely may study abroad. In general, two courses per semester — for a total of four if the study outside Brown extends over a full year — may be counted for International and Public Affairs credit. See Study Abroad for more information about applying and getting concentration credit.