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The Major Program

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) major brings the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences to bear on the analysis and synthesis of science, technology, and medicine. It considers science, technology, and medicine, in tandem with their social, political, economic, and cultural contexts and implications. The major draws on the research programs of faculty in a wide range of departments, including American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Science and Policy, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Science and Technology Studies, and Sociology. The major is suitable for students pursuing a broader understanding of science than is available within a traditional science major and for students in the social sciences interested in interpreting science, technology and medicine as part of society and culture.

The Program. Graduation with a degree in Science and Technology Studies requires completion of introductory courses in the social sciences and humanities, in the natural sciences, and introductory, laboratory and seminar courses in STS. Upper division work includes twelve units from each of two different, complementing areas of concentration (“modules”) and twelve units (plus prerequisites) providing depth, concentration and field work opportunities in the sciences. The modules are: (1) Cultural Studies of Science and Technology; (2) Ethics, Values, and Science Policy; (3) History and Philosophy of Science; IV. Medicine, Society, and Culture. Courses in the modules require careful selection to make the best use of the STS major. Prerequisites for courses in the sciences can be extensive and require substantial advance planning for timely completion. Students are encouraged to take advantage of faculty and staff advising to plan their course of study.

Career Alternatives. The STS major will create an opportunity to analyze science and allied practices from historical, philosophical, sociological, political, anthropological, and cultural perspectives. STS prepares students for careers that must address the broader social, cultural and political ramifications of science, technology and medicine such as law, journalism, public policy, economics, government, and science education. Careers that students of STS from many universities nationwide have pursued, in addition to academic careers in STS, include employment in: systems engineering, website design, science museums, non-profit health organizations, government service, libraries, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, teaching, public health administration, media companies, management consultant practice, and the Peace Corps.

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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM