skip to content

Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2010-11 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; COMM 131; ENGLISH 176
      2. Historical Perspectives: STS 128; CLASSGEN 123, 133; ECON 116; HISTORY 31/131, 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; CS 181; COMM 168/268; ECON 224, 225, 226; FRENGEN 265; EDUC 358X; HISTORY 243G; ME 214/314; 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 a 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 themes have been pre-certified as declarable fields of concentration on Axess:
    • Interactions of Technology and Science with Aesthetics
    • Development
    • History and Philosophy
    • Information and Society
    • Public Policy
    • Social Change
    • Work and Organizations.

    These concentration themes appear on the transcript but not on the diploma.

    Course lists for these thematic concentrations areas 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, meet the student's special interests, and are approved by the STS director and thematic concentration adviser.

    Alternatively, subject to program approval, the student may choose to design a unique thematic concentration topic and course package. 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 or student services specialist 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 junior year and finishing by May of senior year. Students who want their projects to be considered for University awards must complete their theses by early May. STS projects usually involve researching and writing an original scholarly essay, although occasionally students have chosen to produce a technical artifact or carry out some other work that itself represents original, creative thinking. When an honors project results in a work other than an essay, the student 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 research grant should enroll in STS 190, Junior Honors Seminar, in Winter Quarter of the junior year. Work done in STS 190 will enable submission of a research grant proposal that meets the University deadline in early April. Each student seeking admission to the honors program must submit a research proposal to the 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 at 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 public 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
    • COMM 131: Media Ethics and Responsibility
    • ENGLISH 176: Science Fiction
  2. Disciplinary Analysis: Historical Perspectives
    • CLASSGEN 123. Urban Sustainability
    • CLASSGEN 133. Invention of Science
    • ECON 116. American Economic History
    • HISTORY 31/131: Science, Technology and Art: The Worlds of Leonardo
    • 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 168/268. 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
    • FRENGEN 265. The Problem of Evil in Literature, Film, and Philosophy.
    • HISTORY 243G.Tobacco and Health in World History
    • ME 214/314. Good Products, Bad Products
    • SOC 115. Topics in Economic Sociology

© Stanford University - Office of the Registrar. Archive of the Stanford Bulletin 2010-11. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints