skip to content

Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, and Society

  1. STS Core (eight courses)—
    1. Interdisciplinary Foundational course: STS 101 or 101Q
    2. Disciplinary Analyses (five courses with at least one in each category):
      1. Philosophical/Ethical/Aesthetic Perspectives: STS 110, 112, 114; ENGLISH 176
      2. Historical Perspectives: STS 128; CLASSGEN 123, 133; ECON 116; HISTORY 41A/141A, 140A, 208A; POLISCI 116
      3. Social Science Perspectives: ANTHRO 82, 180; COMM 120, 169; ECON 113; MS&E 181, 185, 193; POLISCI 114S, 116; SOC 114
    3. Advanced courses (one course in each category):
      1. Disciplinary Analysis: STS 210, 211; CS 181; COMM 268; ECON 224, 225, 226; EDUC 358X; HISTORY 243G; ME 314; SOC 115
      2. STS 200. Senior Colloquium
  2. Technical Literacy (five courses)—
    1. CS 105 or 106A or equivalent; and
    2. A four-course sequence (minimum of 12 units) in one field of engineering or science (sample sequences available in the STS office); or
    3. Four of the following Engineering Fundamentals courses: ENGR 10, 14, 15, 20, 25, 30, 31, 40, 50, 50M, 60, 62, 70A (see course descriptions in the "School of Engineering" section of this bulletin).
  3. Thematic Concentration (minimum of 20 units, at least five courses, one each from among those designated on the appropriate concentration course list as foundational and advanced). Thematic concentrations are organized around an STS-related problem or area. The following thematic concentrations have been pre-certified as declarable fields of study on Axess: The Intersections of Technology and Science with Aesthetics; Development; History and Philosophy; Information and Society; Public Policy; Social Change; and Work and Organizations. These fields of study appear on the transcript but not on the diploma.

    Course lists for these thematic concentrations are available in the STS office. A student choosing one of the certified topics may include one or more courses not on the corresponding course list if they are germane to the concentration and meet the student's special interests.

    Alternatively, the student may choose to design a thematic concentration topic and course package subject to program approval. A self-designed thematic concentration is not declared on Axess.

    Each thematic concentration, certified or self-designed, requires the signature of an appropriate faculty adviser. See the program director for details.

  4. STS majors not writing an honors thesis must produce an original, 20-25 page senior paper on an STS topic of personal interest. Intended as a capstone experience, each student's senior paper is evaluated by an STS faculty committee and placed in the student's permanent STS major file.


STS offers students an opportunity to achieve honors through in-depth study of the interaction of science and technology with society. The honors program is open to students majoring in any field, including STS. Students accepted for this program carry out an honors research project, typically beginning in the Winter or Spring Quarter of the junior year and finishing by May of the senior year. Students who want their projects to be considered for University awards must complete their theses by early May. STS projects entail writing an original honors thesis, although occasionally students have also chosen to produce a technical artifact or carry out some other work that itself represents original thinking. When a project results in a work other than an essay, students must also submit an accompanying scholarly exegesis of the work in question. Past honors projects are on file in the STS office library.


Application for admission to the STS honors program is typically made during the last quarter of the student's junior year. By the end of that quarter, interested students must have a plan for completing all courses required to satisfy honors requirements 1-3 listed below. Students requiring a major grant should enroll in STS 190, Junior Honors Seminar, during the Winter Quarter of the junior year in order to submit a research proposal by the University deadline in early April. Each applicant must submit a research proposal to the STS Honors Director, Rebecca Slayton (, including the name of at least one potential thesis adviser. For proposal parameters, see the document STS Honors Program, available in the STS office and on the STS web site. Students are also encouraged to apply to join the STS contingent of the Bing Honors College in early September to get a running start on their theses. See for further details.


  1. Course Work—Non-STS majors must complete requirements 1 and 2 of the STS minor and either STS 190 and/or the Bing Honors College. STS majors must complete the STS core. Students pursuing STS honors must also sign up for STS 290 A,B,C, Senior Honors Seminar, in each quarter of the senior year for which the students are on campus. STS majors pursuing honors are not required to enroll in STS 200, Senior Colloquium, or to write a separate senior paper. The minimum GPA for courses taken to meet these requirements is 3.4.
  2. The Honors Project—An original critical essay or investigative project with accompanying explanatory essay on an STS topic of general importance. To earn honors, students must earn at least a 'B' on the completed thesis.
  3. STS Honors Day—All students present their research projects at a special event in early June of the senior year.

If all these requirements are met, the designation "Honors Program in Science, Technology, and Society" is affixed to the student's permanent record and appears in the Commencement program.


The following cognate courses offered by other departments may be used to fulfill STS major, minor, and honors requirements:

  1. Disciplinary Analysis: Philosophical/Ethical/Aesthetic Perspectives

    ENGLISH 176. Science Fiction

  2. Disciplinary Analysis: Historical Perspectives

    CLASSGEN 123. Urban Sustainability

    CLASSGEN 133. Invention of Science

    ECON 116. American Economic History

    HISTORY 41A/141A. Emergence of Medicine

    HISTORY 140A. The Scientific Revolution

    HISTORY 208A. Science and Law in History

    POLISCI 116. History of Nuclear Weapons

  3. Disciplinary Analysis: Social Science Perspectives

    ANTHRO 82. Medical Anthropology

    ANTHRO 180. Science, Technology, and Gender

    COMM 120. Digital Media in Society

    COMM 169. Computers and Interfaces

    ECON 113. Economics of Innovation

    ENGR 145. Technology Entrepreneurship

    MS&E 181. Issues in Technology and Work for a Post-Industrial Economy

    MS&E 185. Global Work

    MS&E 193/193W. Technology and National Security

    POLISCI 114S. International Security in a Changing World

    POLISCI 116. History of Nuclear Weapons

    PUBLPOL 194. Technology Policy

    SOC 114. Economic Sociology

  4. Disciplinary Analysis, Level II Courses

    CS 181. Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy

    COMM 268. Experimental Research in Advanced User Interfaces

    ECON 224. Science, Technology, and Economic Growth

    ECON 225. Economics of Technology and Innovation

    ECON 226. U.S. Economic History

    EDUC 358X. Developments in Access to Knowledge and Scholarly Communication

    HISTORY 243G.Tobacco and Health in World History

    ME 314. Good Products, Bad Products

    SOC 115. Topics in Economic Sociology

© Stanford University - Office of the Registrar. Archive of the Stanford Bulletin 2009-10. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints