Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Society

Master of Science: 45.0 quarter credits

About the Program

The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program investigates the co-production of science and society; this is, the many ways cultural, economic, historical, and political contexts influence science, technology and medicine, and how science, technology and medicine influence these contexts. Questioning the taken-for-granted, students hone their skills in humanities and social science research methods to examine the interactions among among science, technology, identities, relationships, and how these are rooted in larger structural relationships. Through this program, graduate students explore the impact of new technologies and scientific knowledge, as well as their many social, ethical and legal implications.  The program also provides a unique international orientation, which recognizes the crucial context of globalization in the advancement of science and technology and the broad implications of scientific research and innovation in the politics and history of the contemporary world.

The STS program takes on some of our most important questions in contemporary science, technology and medicine with a multidisciplinary toolkit. Faculty from a range of disciplines contribute to a curriculum that features a broad set of perspectives, all grounded in a foundation of critical thinking, strong research methods expertise, and clear writing and presentation skills. The STS program emphasizes three interrelated areas: environment and sustainability; health and medicine; and information, identities and networks. Working with a primary adviser, graduate students develop an individualized plan of study that allows them to pursue their interests in depth. 

Prospective students for the MS in STS see this educational opportunity as an essential factor in their skill enhancement and career advancement. They are recent college graduates in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and engineering; middle and high school teachers; and professionals in businesses, city and state government offices, and area hospitals. Students can attend full time or part time and complete all coursework in the evening.

For additional information, visit the Master's Program in Science, Technology, and Society web page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at Drexel. Applicants whose undergraduate grade point average is below 3.0 must provide GRE scores.

Prospective students must also submit a 500-word essay explaining why they want to enter the program. These statements are read carefully by the faculty screening committee to evaluate each applicant’s sense of purpose. Entering students typically begin during the fall quarter.

Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about requirements and deadlines, as well as instructions for applying online.

Degree Requirements 

The program requires 45.0 credits of coursework which must be in the Department of Science, Technology and Society. Required courses total 27.0 credits (including a 3-credit research seminar, a 3-credit practicum, and 6 credits of research and writing for the thesis, which may be tied to the practicum). Remaining credits are chosen from a list of electives.

Basic Requirements
SCTS 501Introduction to Science, Technology and Society3.0
SCTS 502Research Methods3.0
SCTS 503Advanced Research Methods3.0
SCTS 504Science, Technology & Society Theories3.0
Advanced Requirements
Ethics, Values, Identities, and Culture6.0
Select two of the following:
Contemporary Feminist Theory
Material Culture
Medical and Healthcare Ethics
Technology, Progress, and Determinism
The Biopolitics of Health
Medicine, Technology and Science
Global Subjects of Biocapital
Transnational Science & Technology
Information Ethics
Public Health Ethics
Science and Technology Policy3.0
Select one of the following:
Environmental Policy
Science and Technology Policy
Risk and Disaster Policy
Contemporary Stem Workforces:Organizations of Labor in Lab, Shop and Clinic
War and Technoscience
Telecommunications Policy in the Information Age
Sustainability & Public Policy
Information Policy
Science, Technology & Society Lab3.0
Select one of the following:
Connected Mobility Lab
Identity and Intersectionality
Special Topics in Science, Technology and Society Lab
Thesis and Electives *21.0
Master's Thesis
Suggested Electives **
Historiography of Science
Politics of Life
STS Perspectives on Risk and Disaster
Theoretical and Sociological Aspects of Measurement
Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science
Internship in Science, Technology and Society
Special Topics in Science, Technology & Society
Independent Study in Science, Technology and Society
Special Topics
Contemporary Social Theory
Research Methods in Communication
Data Analysis in Communication
Critical Theory
Seminar in Contemporary Theory
Managing Technology Innovation
Introduction to Public Health
Methods of Policy Analysis
Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction Design
History and Systems
Total Credits45.0

*

Students who elect to pursue the Thesis option should complete 9.0 credits of SCTS 798 - Master's Thesis and select 12 credits from the list of suggested electives.

**

Additional electives may be taken from other schools and colleges in the University with approval from the Director of the MS in Science, Technology & Society program.

Courses

SCTS 501 Introduction to Science, Technology and Society 3.0 Credits

This seminar introduces students to the study of science, technology, and society. Students will investigate different approaches to the study of STS, including methods of problem selection and research questions.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 502 Research Methods 3.0 Credits

This graduate seminar will provide an in-depth exploration of many of the research methods used by science and technology studies [STS] scholars. Participants will learn how to define a meaningful research question and to identify which methods will best answer that question. They will also learn how to design interview guides and conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups, fieldwork, content analysis, experiments and archival research. Strategies for analyzing data will also be addressed. A thorough understanding of research design and methodologies is crucial to the STS toolkit.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 503 Advanced Research Methods 3.0 Credits

This course focuses on a single social scientific research method. The course takes students through the inception of research ideas, research design, implementation and data-analysis in order to understand the limitations and possibilities of the research process according to methodology. The method focused on will vary according to instructor. Course may be repeated for credit.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 504 Science, Technology & Society Theories 3.0 Credits

This course is designed to provide participants with a rigorous introduction to important social theories used in the study of science, technology and society. In this course, we will read work by classical and contemporary theorists, exploring a variety of explanations and critiques of contemporary social life. Wrestling with these ideas will allow students to experience the diversity and richness of social theory and to explore how theory allows us to see topics in new, unique ways.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 570 Environmental Policy 3.0 Credits

This interdisciplinary seminar investigates how interests and ideas interact in environmental policymaking. Students will explore how conceptual and political innovations play out across several environmental issues, including wildlife management, energy development, and the regulation of environmental risks.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 571 Science and Technology Policy 3.0 Credits

This graduate seminar examines the relationship between science and technology policy and democracy. Students will tackle basic questions about the degree to which science and technology policies have advanced or compromised core goals of a democratic society, including economic prosperity, public health, environmental justice, and political equality more generally.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 584 Historiography of Science 3.0 Credits

This course is an introduction to the advanced study of the history of science and will explore major themes, debates, and theoretical approaches in the discipline.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 600 Contemporary Feminist Theory 3.0 Credits

This course surveys contemporary feminist theory with an emphasis on “new materialist” approaches to sex and sexual difference. An umbrella term, new materialism refers to a variety of recent attempts to re-imagine nature, sex, body, and matter. During the “linguistic turn” of the 20th century, many postmodern feminists retreated from these materials and their associated sciences; enamored of texts but allergic to bodies, postmodern feminists tended to embrace radical constructivism and reject scientific methods and knowledges. Today, new materialists return to biology, nature, sex, body, and matter in order to move beyond the logics of essentialism and somatophobia. This course will survey the results of this return with a special emphasis on understandings of sex and sexual difference.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 610 Material Culture 3.0 Credits

This course explores the relationship between human beings and material objects. Drawing from literature in anthropology, archaeology, cultural studies, and science and technology studies, we will explore the cultural and social life of things: how they move across borders, accumulate and disperse, and lend our lives weight and meaning.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 612 Medical and Healthcare Ethics 3.0 Credits

This course will introduce students to a range of topics including the role of explanatory narratives and patient experience in healthcare, the ethics of the design and conduct of clinical trials, the evolution of diagnostic categories, and the problem of healthcare access both in the US and in a global context.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 614 Technology, Progress, and Determinism 3.0 Credits

In this course, students will examine multi-disciplinary approaches to the meaning of technology. Students will focus on two major themes in the history of technology: progress and technological determinism. Students will examine the historical context of contemporary technologies as well as criticism of technology and industrialization.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 615 The Biopolitics of Health 3.0 Credits

This course explores theories of biopolitics and its application to ethical debates in health and medicine. Biopolitics is a powerful lens for examining how modern societies shape and define life itself.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 620 Medicine, Technology and Science 3.0 Credits

This graduate seminar focuses on the social dimensions of medicine, health and illness. Students will explore how definitions and experiences of health and illness are shaped by technology use, cultural contexts, institutional practices, health care policies, and inequalities. Students will examine social trends in medical technology and science as well as how illness categories are created, negotiated, and resisted. Participants in this course will gain the ability to assess the changing role of science and technology in medicine as well as think critically about the social dimensions of the experience of health and illness.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 639 Politics of Life 3.0 Credits

In this course students will explore the sociological implications of advancements that have been made in genetic engineering, biotechnologies and other areas of biomedical research. Starting with earlier examples of "power over life" from the 18th and 19th centuries, we will explore themes, dilemmas and complications embedded in the scientific control over life. Topics to be explored include biopower and biocapital, eugenics, race and class, stewardship and bioengineering, new reproductive technologies and reproductive choice, among much, much more. Consideration to feminist, queer and critical race theories will frame much of our discussion in class. This is a reading and discussion-intense course.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 640 STS Perspectives on Risk and Disaster 3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to critical debates and methods of analysis in science, technology, and society (STS) through the consideration of the modern history of global risk and disaster.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 641 Risk and Disaster Policy 3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to critical debates and methods of analysis in science, technology, and society(STS) through the consideration of public policy formation around global risk and disaster concerns.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 643 Contemporary Stem Workforces:Organizations of Labor in Lab, Shop and Clinic 3.0 Credits

In response to a growing national concern with STEM workforce development, this class critically analyzes scientific and technical labor and management practices in factories, laboratories, and clinics, and the social implications of STEM training and education. US and global cases are explored through the study of primary documents, artifacts, and the spaces of STEM work.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 645 War and Technoscience 3.0 Credits

Students will examine technology in the context of warfare and military institutions. Students will study major questions in the history of military technology, including the Revolution in Military Affairs, arms races and technological determinism. Students will also examine the technological relationships between military institutions and the broader societies in which they are embedded.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 650 Global Subjects of Biocapital 3.0 Credits

Students explore issues related to capitalism based on biotechologies, the life sciences, medicine, agriculture and other related industries globally. Students consider specific cases of human trafficking, the global trade in human organs, global agribusiness and biotech, global clinical trials and medical tourism. The experiences of workers, farmers, research participants, and donors will be a central focal point. This is an intensive reading, writing and discussion course.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 651 Transnational Science & Technology 3.0 Credits

This course will explore the importance of considering the “transnational” in understanding the historical role of science and technology in the making of the modern world.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 660 Theoretical and Sociological Aspects of Measurement 3.0 Credits

This course familiarizes students with theoretical and sociological issues related to measurement by focusing on topics at the crossroads of the history and philosophy of science and technology such as the notion of theory, the nature and epistemology of experiments, and related themes of instrumentation, measurement and coordination.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 665 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science 3.0 Credits

This course studies advanced topics in the philosophy of science such as confirmation theory and theory choice, rationality and objectivity, scientific realism, laws of nature, scientific models and representation, explanation, reduction, computer simulations and climate change.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 697 Internship in Science, Technology and Society 0.5-3.0 Credits

Internships provide opportunities for students to clarify career interests; synthesize prior academic knowledge with direct experience; and sharpen critical thinking, analytical, and observational skills. Learning from and networking with professionals in the field is enhanced. This course requires formulation and investigation of a research problem and a written paper.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 703 Connected Mobility Lab 3.0 Credits

This course will address the large-scale transitions toward “sustainable” and “smart” technologies in transportation systems with an emphasis on how new information and communication technologies are transforming or disrupting the transport sector. Unlike other courses, it will do so through an innovative problem-based, hands-on, interdisciplinary “lab” experience in which students collaborate with others to work on “real-world” problems and solutions.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 705 Identity and Intersectionality 3.0 Credits

The practices of modern science, technology and medicine are deeply raced and gendered. This class moves beyond studies of singular social categories to explore intersections among individuals’ identities (race, class, gender, sexuality, [dis]ability, age, etc.) through critical reading of primary and secondary sources undertaken in a social-science “laboratory” setting.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 710 Special Topics in Science, Technology and Society Lab 3.0 Credits

In this course, students, faculty and community members team up in a hands-on, immersive social science laboratory setting to address contemporary social issues. Course covers on a rotating basis a variety of topics related to science, technology and society.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 790 Special Topics in Science, Technology & Society 3.0 Credits

Course covers on a rotating basis a variety of topics related to science, technology and society, including(though not limited to) environmental issues, the social dimensions of health and medicine, and the ethical, cultural and political dimensions of new technologies and scientific practices. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.Course content will vary so syllabus will be designed based on topic related to science, technology and scociety.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

SCTS 798 Master's Thesis 0.5-9.0 Credits

Independent research supervised by an STS faculty member toward completion of a required Master's Thesis.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCTS 799 Independent Study in Science, Technology and Society 0.5-3.0 Credits

Independent research supervised by a faculty member on a topic related to science, technology and society. May be repeated for credit.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 3 times for 12 credits

History + Politics Faculty

Lloyd Ackert, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Associate Teaching Professor. Russian history, history of science, history of ecology, history of medicine.
Phillip M. Ayoub, PhD (Cornell University). Assistant Professor. Transnational politics, social movements, gender and politics, international norm diffusion, and human rights.
Scott Barclay, PhD (Northwestern University) Department Head, History + Politics. Professor. Judicial systems, civil rights, public policy and administration.
Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD (Emory University). Assistant Professor. Modern South Asian history, urban environmental history, history of economic thought, and post-colonial theory.
Eric Dorn Brose, PhD (Ohio State University). Professor. German and European history.
Zoltan Buzas, PhD (Ohio State University). Post-Doctoral Fellow. International relations theory, international security, and international law and norms.
George Ciccariello-Maher, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. Colonialism, social movements, political theory, Latin America, and race and racism.
Rose Corrigan, PhD (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Women and politics, public law, American politics and policy.
Richardson Dilworth, PhD (Johns Hopkins University) Director, Center for Public Policy. Associate Professor. American political development, urban politics, public policy.
Daniel V. Friedheim, PhD (Yale University). Assistant Teaching Professor. International relations, comparative politics, democratization.
Erin R. Graham, PhD (Ohio State University). Assistant Professor. International organization and law, international relations theory, and global environmental governance.
Amelia Hoover Green, PhD (Yale University). Assistant Professor. Dynamics of conflict-related violence; intra-armed group politics and socialization; statistics in human rights.
Christian Hunold, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Associate Professor. Environmental politics.
Kelly Joyce, PhD (Boston College) Director, Master's Program in Science Technology & Society. Professor. Science, medicine and technology; aging and technology; qualitative social science methods, social theory.
Alison Kenner, PhD (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). Assistant Professor. Science, technology, and health; environmental health problems; cities and place; feminist theory; medical anthropology; digital humanities.
Scott G. Knowles, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Associate Professor. History of technology, disaster, and public policy.
Jonson Miller, PhD (Virginia Tech). Associate Teaching Professor. American history, military history, and history of engineering and technology.
Julie Mostov, PhD (New York University) Associate Vice Provost for International Programs. Professor. Modern political thought, democratic theory, nationalism, gender studies, South Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Joel E. Oestreich, PhD (Brown University) Director of International Area Studies. Associate Professor. International organizations, international finance, development, and human rights.
Elva F. Orozco-Mendoza, PhD (University of Massachusetts, Amhert). Assistant Professor. Political theory, feminist theory, comparative politics, and issues in Latin American politics.
Gwen Ottinger, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. Social studies of science and technology, environmental justice, science and engineering ethics, environmental ethics.
William L. Rosenberg, PhD (Temple University). Professor. Behavioral politics, public opinion, and political communication.
Tiago Saraiva, PhD (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). Assistant Professor. History of science and technology, transnational history, food and environment, history of the life sciences, science and fascism.
Jonathan Seitz, PhD (University of Wisconsin) Director of Undergraduate Studies for History + Politics. Associate Teaching Professor. History of religion, science, medicine, witchcraft, early modern Europe, Italy.
Amy Slaton, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. History of science and technology, race, disability, intersectionality, and labor.
Kathryn Steen, PhD (University of Delaware). Associate Professor. History of technology, history of industry and business, and comparative and transnational history.
Donald F. Stevens, PhD (University of Chicago). Associate Professor. Modern Latin American history.
Robert Zaller, PhD (Washington University). Professor. English history and early modern European history.

Emeritus Faculty

Richard L. Rosen, PhD (Case Western Reserve University). Associate Professor Emeritus. History of science, appropriate technology, and world history.
Michael J. Sullivan, PhD (University of Virginia). Professor Emeritus. Comparative politics and developing nations.
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