Some students have emailed me about the Concurrent Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree at Brown University. The University (likely on purpose) does not publicize this program much—the Deans told me that at most 8–12 students complete this program every year—and so there’s not too much information available about the program. But, if you can wade through the hard-to-find documentation about the program, it’s a pretty attractive program if you’d land up completing (or getting close to completing) the requirements anyways.
First, Eric Jang has a great blog post detailing his Concurrent Degree petition from 2015. This post contains some information about my specific program that attempts to build off of Eric’s post with new information, reaffirm still-relevant information, and also just provide an example of the course plan I went through.
There are several requirements to complete the Concurrent Degree:
- Credit Requirement: You must complete 38 credits. You can count two courses from your undergraduate degree towards your masters degree, if any are applicable—doing this reduces your credit requirement to 36.
- Breadth Requirement: You must complete 10 courses outside of your concentration. Of these 10 courses, you must take 2 courses within each of the “areas of study” outside of your concentration. The areas of study are defined as Humanities, Physical Science, Life Science, and Social Science, and the departments contained within those areas of study are detailed in the Concurrent Degree application. These 10 courses must be completed by the end of your 6th semester (when you apply).
- Depth Requirement: Of the 10 breadth courses, you must complete 2 courses (outside of your concentration) that are at the 1000-level or greater in a single department.
It’s worth noting that the breadth requirement refers to courses that are not applied towards your undergraduate concentration requirements or masters requirements.
Statement of Purpose
You’ll be asked to submit a “statement of purpose” (SOP) with your application that does the following:
The statement should discuss how this program will enhance your undergraduate education; a description of the graduate program you intend to pursue, including a tentative description of the final research project for the master’s degree (if any); and your professional goals. This statement is comparable to the statement of purpose in a regular graduate school admissions process.
If you’re a student at Brown who’s thinking about pursing this program and want to read my SOP for reference, feel free to email me and I’ll happily send you a copy.
In general, my statement hit the following topics in about 1000 words:
What my professional goals were (in general);
How the Concurrent degree program would help me achieve those goals;
Why I was ready for the program.
I found that the best way to communicate my SOP’s “story” was to dedicate 40% of my SOP to #1, 20% to #2, and 40% to #3, though do what works best for you. Like any SOP, make sure your plan (research, courses, etc.) for the “advanced” component of the Master’s requirements (i.e. the Research track or the Coursework track) connects to the story you’re trying to convey.
Below are all of the courses that went towards my Concurrent Degree application. I had a somewhat unusual course plan during my first three years, and my unexpected leave of absence in Fall 2019 complicated my degree completion a bit further—I almost gave up on candidacy after I returned from leave—but then I stretched the requirements to their limits to get accepted into the program in my sixth semester.
|Fall 2017||CSCI0190||Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science|
|CSCI0330||Introduction to Computer Systems|
|CSCI1300||User Interfaces and Experience|
|Spring 2018||CSCI0220||Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability|
|CSCI1660||Introduction to Computer Systems Security|
|CSCI1950Y||Logic For Systems|
|Fall 2018||CSCI1230||Introduction to Computer Graphics|
|CSCI1570||Design and Analysis of Algorithms|
|CSCI1575||Algorithms: In Depth|
|CSCI1730||Design and Implementation of Programming Languages|
|TAPS1280C||Stage Lighting II|
|Spring 2019||CSCI1670||Operating Systems|
|CSCI1690||Operating Systems Laboratory|
|CSCI2951O||Foundations of Prescriptive Analytics|
|CLPS0620||Social and Moral Development|
|EDUC1130||Economics of Education|
|Spring 2020||APMA1650||Statistical Inference I|
|CSCI1380||Distributed Computer Systems|
|CSCI1970||Individual Independent Study|
|CSCI2300||Human-Computer Interaction Seminar|
|PHIL1880||Advanced Deductive Logic|
|Fall 2020||CSCI1973||Independent Study|
|CSCI2951E||Topics in Computer Systems Security|
|ECON1090||Introduction to Game Theory|
|PHP1690||Technology and Health Behavior Change|
|CSCI1650||Software Security and Exploitation|
|Spring 2021||CSCI1970||Individual Independent Study|
|CSCI2540||Advanced Probabilistic Methods in Computer Science|
|ECON0110||Principles of Economics|
|Fall 2021||APMA0350||Applied Ordinary Differential Equations|
|CSCI0081||TA Apprenticeship: Full Credit|
|CSCI1510||Introduction to Cryptography and Computer Security|
|CSCI1970||Individual Independent Study|
Sc.B. in Computer Science
|Introductory Sequence||19 Track||CSCI0190|
|CSCI1730 (1000-level substitution with CSCI0190)|
|Additional||Electives||CSCI1575 / CSCI1690 (half-credit substitutions)|
|CSCI1970 (thesis as capstone)|
|CSCI1970 (thesis as capstone)|
Sc.M. in Computer Science
|CSCI1660 (double-counted from Sc.B.)|
|Breadth||CSCI1670 (double-counted from Sc.B.)|
Concurrent Degree: Breadth Requirement
|Area of Study||Course||Title||Semester|
|Humanities||TAPS0260||Stage Lighting||Fall 2017|
|JAPN0100||Basic Japanese||Fall 2017|
|JAPN0200||Basic Japanese||Spring 2018|
|TAPS1280C||Stage Lighting II||Fall 2018|
|PHIL1880||Advanced Deductive Logic||Spring 2020|
|Life Science||CLPS0620||Social and Moral Development||Spring 2019|
|PHP1690||Technology and Health Behavior Change||Fall 2020|
|Physical Science||CSCI1300||User Interfaces and User Experience||Fall 2017|
|CSCI2300||Human-Computer Interaction||Spring 2020|
|CSCI1973||Independent Study||Fall 2020|
|Social Science||EDUC1130 (depth)||Economics of Education||Spring 2019|
|ECON1090 (depth)||Introduction to Game Theory||Fall 2020|
|ECON0110||Principles of Economics||Spring 20211|
Close inspection of my breadth courses will look a little strange if you’re familiar with the requirements as I counted CSCI courses towards my breath requirement in order to fulfill it by the end of my 6th semester. This was technically allowed because the breadth requirement specifically refers to courses that are not applied towards your undergraduate concentration requirements or masters requirements, though I was asked to complete an additional breadth course by the end of my 7th semester (Spring 2021).2 I don’t really recommend attempting this strategy. ↩
This appears to be consistent with this newly added (as of January 2022) wording from the official University page: “In extremely rare instances, a student who would otherwise be a strong candidate for the concurrent degrees program, can be granted provisional approval in their 6th semester (or equivalent semester) based on the following three criteria: (1) The student’s application has been approved or endorsed by the department’s Master’s program. (2) The student will have no more than two breadth requirements remaining by the end of their 6th semester. (3) The student will have completed all breadth requirements prior to starting their 8th semester of enrollment. ↩