• Program Details

    At the heart of the BISR Certificate program is our Oxbridge-style tutoring model. Under the guidance of their faculty tutor, students will chart a personalized curriculum—ranging over four BISR courses specially curated to meet the student’s specific academic goals—and conceive, elaborate, and realize a capstone project, be it a piece of long-form writing or an off-the-page work in other media (video, audio, etc.) grounded in the learning they have engaged with throughout their coursework and individualized study. 

    Each month, for the first seven months of the program, students will meet one-on-one with their faculty tutor to discuss key course material, co-create possible lines of further study, and receive feedback and guidance with respect to their capstone project, which the faculty tutor will help to focus and shape. In the final five months, coursework should be mostly completed, and students will begin concentrated work on their project, with two additional meetings with their faculty tutor to review and discuss the project-in-process. At program’s end, students will have the opportunity to present their capstone project to an interdisciplinary committee of three BISR faculty, who will offer constructive analysis of the approach, claims, and creative form of the student’s work. 

    The BISR curriculum has been developed to meet the needs and conditions of adult learners from a diverse array of social, cultural, and educational backgrounds, who are looking to connect their experiences, existing practices, ideas, and speculations with focused, critical study. The BISR Certificate Program for Critical Study extends and enhances this objective with a course of study that is attuned to the rhythms of working life and with a faculty experienced in public-facing, community-based scholarship. BISR Certificate students have the unique opportunity to participate in a custom and collaboratively-tailored path through our curriculum, with concrete guidance, structure, and assistance toward their own self-determined goals outside the classroom. The program can be undertaken online or in-person in New York City, or some hybrid thereof, depending on the respective places of residence of the student and the faculty tutor.

    As a full-time creative professional, what attracted me to the certificate program at BISR was the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and course workload that fits into my schedule. … The experiences the certificate program has given me are invaluable because each course I take relates to each other in a critical way that continually expands my overall understanding.

     – Kenzie Rattray, ’22-23 Certificate Student

  • Broad Disciplinary Tracks

    Critical Theory
    For students interested in questions or topics in Marxism, historical materialism, Critical Theory in the Frankfurt School and related traditions, and contemporary critical thought across the world.

    Social and Political Theory
    For students exploring questions related to the theory and practice of politics, social analysis and theory, and canonical and contemporary questions in social and political theory. 

    Philosophy and Aesthetics 
    For students interested in exploring questions at the intersection of philosophy and aesthetic theory, from the history of aesthetics as a branch of philosophy to the unique moral and ethical problems that aesthetics brings to the fore.

    Literature and Criticism
    For students interested in exploring questions at the intersection of literature and criticism, from literary techniques and critical methodologies to their reciprocal histories and interactions, and their modes of production and reception.

    History and Social Thought
    For students interested in taking a broad survey of historical methodologies, with a particular emphasis on historical materialism, its critiques, and new iterations, within a specific geographical, temporal, or thematic frame.

    History of Philosophy
    For students interested in acquiring a broad foundation and syncretic, panoramic understanding of movements in the Western philosophical tradition, from its origins in Greco-Roman antiquity through the medieval, modern, and contemporary periods.

    Sociology and Social Movements 
    For students interested in studying the political and socioeconomic roots and dynamics of collective struggles in the capitalist periphery, with an emphasis on the Global South and attention paid to resonances with movements in the Global North.

    Sociology and Race
    For students interested in exploring the ways that race is constructed, from historical, social, economic, political, and cultural perspectives, as well as the wide-ranging effects of such constructions and how they intersect with the categories of gender and class.

    Heterodox Economics
    For students interested in economic thought and theory beyond neoclassical models, including institutional, evolutionary, ecological, socialist, feminist, Marxist, and post-Keynesian approaches and critiques.

    International Political Economy
    For students interested in blending questions of economic and political theory to explore the regional and local expressions of global capitalism, with particular emphasis on world-systems analysis and a Marxist approach to core and periphery. 

    Psychoanalysis and Theory
    For students broadly interested in questions or topics relating to psychoanalysis as theory and practice, as well as studies informed by psychoanalytic thought, observation, and speculation.

    Feminist and Queer Theory
    For students interested in exploring feminist and queer thought and politics, including contexts for first, second, and third wave as well as contemporary feminisms and queer/gender theory in multiple critical modes and in conversation with adjacent fields.

  • Over a set of amazing conversations, my faculty tutor has helped me sharpen my initial set of questions into a research program that I am not only deeply interested in personally but has informed how I think about the work I have done and hope to do.

     – Josh Wallack, ’22-23 Certificate Student

  • To Apply

    Applications to the Certificate Program are accepted on a rolling basis. 

    Application materials include:

    • Current CV
    • A 2-page statement that outlines a) your interest in the BISR Certificate program, b) your anticipated disciplinary track, and c) a preliminary project proposal, set of research questions, and/or personal narrative that contextualizes the proposed direction of your further study.

    Applications should be sent as PDF to certificates@thebrooklyninstitute.com, with APPLICATION in the subject line.

    All applicants are invited for a Zoom interview.

  • Tuition

    Tuition for the year-long Certificate Program is $10,515. This includes: four regular courses from the existing BISR curriculum, taken over the course of one calendar year; nine in-depth, one-on-one, Oxbridge-style tutoring sessions, monthly for the first seven months, followed by two more sessions over the project-drafting and -finalization period; the option to substitute single tutoring sessions with a faculty member specializing in a discipline related to the capstone project; and a concluding capstone conversation with a committee of three BISR faculty, including the faculty tutor.

  • Queries

    For general questions about the program, disciplinary tracks, Oxbridge-style tutoring, interdisciplinary or off-the-page capstone projects, pricing, or anything else, please email bisrcertificates@brooklyninstitute.com, with QUERY in the subject line. 

    The BISR Certificate Program for Critical Study is a non-credit bearing program. BISR is committed to a transparent, inclusive, and non-discriminatory educational environment. BISR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications from historically underrepresented groups and regardless of prior educational background.

    I wanted to find a way to connect my day-to-day thinking and work to a broader historical and political understanding… BISR coursework helped me take some of my long standing interests and doubts and articulate them as issues and questions I was excited to explore more deeply; but I didn’t have the time, resources, or need for a typical graduate degree. The BISR Certificate program was the perfect next step.

     – Josh Wallack