Dec 15, 2018  
Rensselaer Catalog 2018-2019 
    
Rensselaer Catalog 2018-2019

Science and Technology Studies


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The Science, Technology, and Society bachelor’s program of study is designed for intellectually curious, socially conscious, and self-motivated students who seek a well-rounded education.

Science, Technology, and Society is a multidisciplinary social science and humanities degree devoted to critical inquiry about the mutual shaping of science, technology, and society. In Rensselaer’s undergraduate STS program, students investigate developments in areas such as biology and medicine, information technology, and engineering, while examining how people live, think, and solve problems in different regions of the world. The program prepares graduates for careers in public policy, management, and the nonprofit research and advocacy sector as well as graduate study in a range of fields, including law and medicine.  

STS majors complete a sequence of eight courses (32 credits), including an internship and a research project. They also pursue a 16-credit Complementary Area of Study (CAS).

The program is designed to facilitate dual majors with programs such as sustainability studies, physics, engineering, economics, or a wide array of other choices. The STS program has a pre-med track for students headed for medical school, and that program can also be combined as a dual major in areas such as biology or biomedical engineering. The STS program also has a pre-law track for students headed for law school, with dual major options in management or information technology among others. Speak to an adviser in HASS Student Services for details about the curriculum for specific dual majors.

 

Outcomes of the Undergraduate Curriculum

Students who complete the Science, Technology, and Society B.S. will be able to:

  • think critically about contemporary social problems, recognizing the matrix of factors (economic, technical, biophysical, cultural, etc.) that shape problems and constrain solutions.
  • research, write, and communicate effectively about complex social issues.
  • identify applications of social science and humanities knowledge to careers in industry, law, medicine, and public policy.
  • develop a research project that can launch graduate and professional studies.

First Year


Fall


  • Science Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
     

Spring


  • Science Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
  • Intermediate STS course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 2 below)

Second Year


Fall


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)
  • Math/Science Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 6 below)

Spring


  • CAS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 8 below)
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)
  • Math/Science Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 6 below)

Third Year


The Arch Summer Semester*


*For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, The Arch Summer courses would be taken during the fall semester. For listing of the exception process go to: http://info.rpi.edu/arch/students/#ExceptionProcess

  • Advanced STS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 3 below)
  • Advanced STS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 3 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)

Fall OR Spring


  • CAS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 8 below)
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)

Fourth Year


Fall


  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)
  • CAS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 8 below)

Spring


  • CAS Course Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 8 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
     
    (See footnote 7 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)

Footnotes


  1. STSS 1110 Science, Technology and Society may be substituted with ITWS 1220 IT and Society.
  2. Intermediate STS course options include STSS 2400 Medicine and Society, STSS 2300 Environment and Society, and other STSS or STSH courses at the 2000 level.
  3. Advanced STS Courses include STSS 4330 21st Century Risks: Robotics, Nanotechnology, Cloning, and Other Technologies, STSH 4510 History of American Technology, and other STSS or STSH courses at the 4000 level.
  4. STSS 4980 Research Design is a prerequisite for STSS 4990 Senior Project.
  5. STS majors expand their cultural horizons and learn to analyze the social world with 24 credit hours in arts, philosophy, literature, sociology, economics, psychology, history, and/or communication. Follow Institute guidelines for the “HASS Core.” For dual majors, the HASS Core is automatically satisfied by the STS program requirements.
  6. All Rensselaer students must complete a 24-credit “Science Core.” This includes at least 2 mathematics courses (8 credits), such as MATH 1010, MATH 1020, MATH 1500, MATH 1520, MATH 1620, or others with approval of adviser. Dual majors should follow the math and science requirements of the other major.
  7. STS majors can go further in their studies of science policy, the politics of technology, bioethics, sustainability and the law, or other specialty areas in STS—or complete a minor—with 28 credit hours of free electives.
  8. The 16-credit Complementary Area of Study (CAS) provides STS majors a depth of understanding of an external field that will inform their STS research and coursework. The CAS courses should come from a single department (not STS). Two must be at the 4000 level.

 

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