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:

  1. What my professional goals were (in general);

  2. How the Concurrent degree program would help me achieve those goals;

  3. 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.

Semester Course Title
Fall 2017 CSCI0190 Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science
  CSCI0330 Introduction to Computer Systems
  CSCI1300 User Interfaces and Experience
  TAPS0260 Stage Lighting
  JAPN0100 Basic Japanese
Spring 2018 CSCI0220 Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability
  CSCI1660 Introduction to Computer Systems Security
  CSCI1950Y Logic For Systems
  MATH0520 Linear Algebra
  JAPN0200 Basic Japanese
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
  CSCI1973 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

Degree Plan

Below is how I used these courses to fulfill the 2020 ScB requirements and the Masters requirements.

Sc.B. in Computer Science

Category Sub-Category Course
Introductory Sequence 19 Track CSCI0190
    CSCI1730 (1000-level substitution with CSCI0190)
Intermediates Foundations CSCI0220
  Systems CSCI0330
  Mathematics APMA0350
Pathways Systems CSCI1380
  Security CSCI1650
Additional Electives CSCI1575 / CSCI1690 (half-credit substitutions)
    CSCI1970 (thesis as capstone)
    CSCI1970 (thesis as capstone)
  Breadth CSCI1230
Capstone   Honors Thesis

Sc.M. in Computer Science

Category Sub-Category Course
Pathway Theory CSCI1570
Additional Electives CSCI1510
    CSCI1660 (double-counted from Sc.B.)
  Breadth CSCI1670 (double-counted from Sc.B.)
Track 2000-Level Coursework CSCI2951E

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
  1. 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. 

  2. 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.