How it Works
The IR Program has a multiple advising system—students meet with track advisors, the IR concentration advisor, capstone advisors, and IR DUG student representatives 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 cosidering 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.
The track advisor helps students decide which track best meets the student’s interests, offers advice on course selection within a particular track, and gives substantive advice particularly as it relates to changes in the focus of the student’s academic program or critical decisions about studying abroad, planning for graduate school, or developing an appropriate academic program in preparation for a particular career path. The track advisor is the first step in filing an IR concentration.
The Associate Director of the IR Program acts as concentration advisor and is available to speak with students on all matters concerning the concentration. This includes course offerings and course selection for any given semester, planning courses over several semesters,changes in the student’s concentration program, study abroad plans, concentration approval of courses taken abroad and transfer credit from U.S. institutions, fulfillment of IR concentration requirements for graduation, the honors program, independent study, or other procedural or academic issues that may arise in dealing with the university administration. This is to ensure that students pursue an academically coherent and challenging program of study rather than just any collection of courses that might happen to formally meet the requirements. The concentration advisor helps students clarify and evaluate options and provides relevant information regarding postgraduate plans. Meetings with the concentration advisor are held during walk in hours and by appointments scheduled online. The concentration advisor also administers and teaches in the IR honors program.
Capstone advisors from the IR core curriculum are available to guide you in making your capstone a cumulative intellectual project. Students choose from a list of capstone advisors constituting the core disciplines in IR, although once an advisor has reached his or her quota, students will have to seek another advisor on the list. Students must select a capstone advisor from one of the advisors appointed by the IR Program. Capstone advisors are trained to make sure students are fulfilling capstone requirements, but are not overseeing project details or grading (that would be the seminar instructor, the thesis committee, or the independent study instructor). Capstone advisors may also hold group meetings to discuss advisees’ progress or to engage them in related intellectual activities.
Peer Advising is offered by representatives of the IR Departmental Undergraduate Group (IRDUG) throughout the academic year. Learn from student representatives about courses, internships, and study abroad experiences. The DUG holds weekly meetings, information sessions for prospective concentrators, and addresses student questions at the various concentration fairs organized by the Office of the Dean of the College. The DUG also runs two open houses each year and holds special advising hours during sophomore concentration filing season.