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Office: Science, Technology, and Society
Mail Code: 94305-2120
Phone: (650) 723-2565
Web Site:

Courses offered by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society are listed under the subject code STS on the ExploreCourses website.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Science, Technology, and Society

The Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary framework through which to understand the complex interactions of science, technology and the social world. To major in STS, students work through a common core of courses drawn from the social sciences, the humanities, the natural and physical sciences and engineering. Students pursue coursework in one of seven specialized areas:

  • Catastrophic Risks and Solutions

  • Communication and Media

  • Innovation and Organization

  • Life Sciences and Health

  • Politics and Policy

  • Social Dynamics of Data and Information 

  • Self-Designed Concentration

Students may also undertake research in affiliated laboratories and through the honors program for course units. All students complete a capstone project, either by taking one of the senior capstone courses (STS 200) or by applying for and completing an STS honors thesis. Students are encouraged to pursue mastery in at least one field from within the humanities or social sciences and at least one field from within the sciences or engineering. Majors may declare either a B.A. or a B.S. degree (see the specific requirements for each degree).

The Program's affiliated faculty represent over a dozen departments, including Anthropology, Communication, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, History, Law, Management Science and Engineering, Political Science and Sociology. By learning to bring such a rich collection of disciplinary approaches to bear on questions of science and technology, students graduate uniquely equipped to succeed in professions that demand fluency with both technical and social frameworks. Recent graduates of STS have entered top-ranked Ph.D. and MBA programs and forged successful careers in a variety of fields, including business, engineering, law, public service, medicine and academia.

Advising and Course Selection

The Program in Science, Technology, and Society offers an advising process that includes faculty, staff and peer advisers. Prospective majors must first meet with a peer adviser and then with the Program’s Student Services Officer to determine which degree they will pursue (the B.A. or B.S.) and how they will fulfill the Program’s basic requirements. When they are ready to declare, they meet with the Program's Student Services Officer to submit their degree plan and then the Associate Director reviews the coursework for intellectual coherence. Majors are then assigned to a faculty adviser who serves as an intellectual mentor and helps them identify the core questions driving their interest in the field. The Program also sponsors a wide variety of events designed to help students meet their colleagues and Program alumni, discover research and internship opportunities, and make their way toward the career of their choice.

STS Affiliated Faculty

Director:  Paul N Edwards

Associate Director:  Kyoko Sato

Executive Board: Paul N Edwards (STS and CISAC), Paula Findlen (History), Mark Granovetter (Sociology), Stephen Luby (Global Health), Rob Reich (Center for Ethics in Society), Gabrielle Hecht (History), Pamela Hinds (Management Science and Engineering), Michael Lepech (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Fred Turner (Communication)

Affiliated Faculty and Staff: Jeremy Bailenson (Communication), Adam Banks (Graduate School of Education), Thomas Byers (Management Science and Engineering), Angèle Christin (Communication), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (French), Paul N. Edwards (STS and CISAC), Paula Findlen (History), Duana Fullwiley (Anthropology), Mark Granovetter, (Sociology),  Hank Greely (Law), Ann Grimes (Communication), James T. Hamilton (Communication), Gabrielle Hecht (History) Pamela Hinds (Management Science and Engineering), Hector Hoyos (Iberian and Latin American Cultures), Miyako Inoue (Anthropology), Sarah Lochlann Jain (Anthropology), Robert Laughlin (Physics), Pamela Lee (Art and Art History), Michael Lepech (Civil and Environmental Engineering),  Helen Longino (Philosophy), Henry Lowood (Stanford University Libraries), Thomas Mullaney (History), Brad Osgood (Electrical Engineering), Walter Powell (Education), Robert Proctor (History), Jessica Riskin (History), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Kyoko Sato (STS), Londa Schiebinger (History), Michael Shanks (Classics, Anthropology), Mitchell Stevens (Education), Fred Turner (Communication), John Willinsky (Education), Xiaochang Li (Communication), Aileen Robinson (Theater & Performance Studies), Daniel McFarland (Education)

Emeriti: James Adams (Management Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Barton Bernstein (History), Martin Hellman (Electrical Engineering), Robert McGinn (Management Science and Engineering), Eric Roberts (Computer Science), Walter Vincenti (Aeronautics and Astronautics), Gavin Wright (American Economic History)