Science and Technology Studies
The Science and Technology Studies (STS) major examines science and technology as they shape and are shaped by their social, political, economic and cultural contexts. The program draws upon faculty from a wide range of departments, including American studies, anthropology, economics, environmental science and policy, history, philosophy, political science and sociology. The major offers students a broader understanding of science than is available within traditional science majors and is also suitable for students of the social sciences who are interested in interpreting science, technology and medicine as part of society and culture.
STS prepares students for careers that address the broader social, cultural and political ramifications of science, technology and medicine such as law, journalism, public policy, economics, government and science education. In addition to academic careers in STS, students have pursued careers 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.
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 12 units from each of two different, complementing areas of concentration ("modules") and 12 units (plus prerequisites) providing depth, concentration and field work opportunities in the sciences. The modules are: I. Cultural Studies of Science and Technology; II. Ethics, Values and Science Policy; III. 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 courses of study.