The M.S. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) builds on the diverse backgrounds and interests of our faculty, internationally renowned for their social understanding of science and technology, and for their global reach, theoretical breadth, and ethical engagement. The degree is well suited to students who are seeking positions in the public policy arena or who wish to continue in a Ph.D. program in STS or related discipline at other institutions.
The M.S. in STS was born of the realization that urgent social challenges are rooted in scientific world views and technological practices. It is a multidisciplinary social science and humanities degree devoted to critical inquiry about the mutual shaping of science, technology, and society. STS at Rensselaer is globally renowned for research on the cultural, historical, economic, political, and social dimensions of scientific and technological society.
The co-terminal M.S. is designed for academically strong Rensselaer students pursuing an undergraduate degree in Science, Technology and Society, Sustainability Studies, or Design, Innovation, and Society, and who wish to continue their studies toward a master’s degree. Students take graduate STS courses during their fourth and fifth years of study at Rensselaer.
Graduates of the M.S. in STS will demonstrate:
- Conversant knowledge of the history and diverse branches of the field of STS. This includes demonstrating:
- Familiarity with basic concepts in STS.
- Conversance in the broader theoretical and scholarly traditions that inform and intersect with STS.
- Knowledge of faculty interests and expertise.
- Familiarity with significant and/or emerging areas within STS (example: disaster studies, design research, engineering studies, disabilities studies)
- Awareness of ongoing scholarly conversations in STS and cognate fields.
- Deep understanding of at least one of the broad, constitutive disciplines of STS or major theoretical traditions that are recognized in STS.
- Recognition of the moral/political/normative/intersectional dimensions of research, including one’s own.
- Awareness of diverse pathways for academic and other research-oriented careers, and the professional orientation and skills necessary for entering those careers.
- Knowledge and skills for collaborative, participatory, and/or community-based research and design.
Graduates of the M.S. in STS may enter directly into the Ph.D. program on the recommendation of the Admissions & Awards Committee and with the approval of the Graduate Program Director