Programs - Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Office Hours

Office Hours offers students an opportunity to pursue an individualized study project guided by one of our expert faculty members.

Ranging from individual sessions (in-person or online) to a full 12 week course, you will meet 1-on-1 with your faculty mentor as you read your way through a syllabus customized around your personal or professional areas of interest. Whether you want to read the works of Marcel Proust, learn the history of the Modern Middle East, understand Hegel, or explore contemporary technology and society, Office Hours provides structure and space for intellectual inquiry and development. For students who are interested Office Hours can also involve a writing component in which students produce an essay related to their subject of study.


Praxis is a unique, flexible program designed for non-profits, labor and political organizers, and other public interest organizations.

Praxis offers an opportunity to convene conversations, access new research and analytic frameworks, and discuss the critical topics and structural forces that inform organizing and public interest work.


OnSite offers advanced seminars to spark innovation, build community, and encourage creativity in commercial organizations.

Brooklyn Institute OnSite is a tailored seminar that brings scholars together with members of your team to spur meaningful collaborations, access new research and information, and expand critical thinking. OnSite program formats range from in-office meetings to special sessions for executive off-sites, team-building workshops, lunchtime seminars, or multi-week study groups. The timing and topic of each program can be designed to fit the needs of your organization.

All OnSite programs are led by Brooklyn Institute faculty, leading scholars and experts with specific experience in working between academic research and the needs and interests of working professionals.

Community Initiative

The Community Initiative is a program that offers free educational opportunities to some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens.

Working in partnership with other nonprofit organizations–particularly those that provide supportive housing and job placement services to homeless, low-income, or formerly incarcerated New Yorkers–we enable underserved populations to access humanistic learning outside formal (and expensive) university settings. The Community Initiative grows out of the recognition that access to and interest in the liberal arts are often not aligned, and a deep conviction that engagement with the humanities makes lives more meaningful and societies more vibrant.

BISR Network

BISR Network is a string of smaller Brooklyn Institute education centers located across the Midwest to increase access to critical community-based education and scholarship.

BISR Network regional centers engage in wide-ranging discussions from classical philosophy and literature to contemporary ideas and scholarship on pressing social issues. With the support of individual, foundation, and other donations, BISR Network is able to work in new rural, suburban, and smaller urban spaces, particularly those whose social fabric has been stretched by economic instability, demographic change, and racial tension. This initiative helps local scholars and organizations build on our years of public pedagogy experience to foster community-based education that is both rigorous and widely accessible.