The Brown BEO Concentration
Large red brick building on Brown University's campus

The Brown BEO Concentration

Large red brick building on Brown University's campus

Although some interviewees at Brown have mentioned that they do not feel that there is a “business-focused” major, students in the BEO concentration would disagree.

Brown University has a unique business-focused concentration called Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations, otherwise known as “BEO.” It’s one of the most popular concentrations at Brown, and it’s easy to see why when there are so many directions you students can take it.

The BEO concentration is sponsored by the departments of Economics and Sociology and the School of Engineering. This combination prepares students well for life after college because it builds well-rounded skills in sociology, entrepreneurship, finance, economics, and statistics.

There are three tracks to pursue in BEO: BEO Economics, BEO Organizational Studies, and BEO Entrepreneurship & Technology.

The BEO Economics track is more finance-focused with classes in Investments, Accounting, and Corporate Finance.

The BEO Organizational Studies track, along with the base entrepreneurship and management courses, has more of a sociology and research methods focus, so the student learns lots of statistics skills.

The BEO Entrepreneurship & Technology Management has management courses but requires higher-level mathematics courses. Students can elect to have specializations in Biotechnology/Biomaterials, IT and Computer Engineering, and Energy and the Environment. Students can also combine this with an AB in Engineering.

Due to the open curriculum at Brown and the highly customizable nature of this major, students can really gear it to whatever their business wants may be. This is why many students who are interested in business but not sure what specific part of it major in BEO. One student said, “I knew I was interested in business but didn’t know what, so I chose it because it’s so open-ended.”

For the BEO Capstone, students target real world problems and challenges of a sponsor organization, such as a small start-up, government agency, social or educational institution, corporation, or NGO.

Students interested in business can also opt to major in Math or Economics, which, with the open curriculum at Brown, can gear towards a business major.

“I was interested in finance and consulting, and then I kind of found out along the way that Brown doesn’t really have a business school and for some reason they are not really big on finance. I [prepared for finance] mostly by majoring in both math and economics. But I wish I kind of knew that there was this kind of stigma around Brown not really being finance centered, just so I could adapt and maybe work harder along the way to break away from that.”

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