Science and Technology Studies (STS) explores the human dimensions of science and technology.
We employ tools from the social sciences and humanities to better understand how science and technology develop, and how they can contribute to a sustainable, democratic, and just future for everyone.
We offer diverse courses, research opportunities, and degree programs that extend from the social sciences and humanities, drawing on history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and design studies. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how science and technology have developed over time, in different places, with both positive and negative impacts.
In STS, you'll be immersed in debates surrounding a wide range of controversial issues, including nanotechnology, stem-cell research, energy alternatives, and responses to climate change. You'll also identify solutions that integrate scientific and technical knowledge with insights from the social sciences and humanities. You'll think about the ethical implications of science and technology and about the local and global contexts in which science and technology can help address urgent problems.
Three Innovative Undergraduate Degree Programs
STS degrees provide a liberal arts education for the 21st century -- combining the social science, humanities and technical education. Our degrees are designed to easily combine with degree programs in engineering, the sciences, management, and other programs in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Many students receive a dual-major upon graduation, and all our graduates are prepared to play key roles in shaping the scientific research and technology development that will transform our world.
B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society
This program concentrates on how science and technology shape human experience, and how politics and culture shape how science and technology develop. Students investigate developments in biology and medicine, information technology, and engineering, while examining how people live, think and solve problems in different regions of the world. STS students can pursue dual-majors with other programs across Rensselaer, and there are specialized tracks for pre-law and pre-med students.
B.S. in Design, Innovation, and Society
This program combines social, technical, and creative approaches to addressing contemporary problems through design and innovation. The program is built upon a stem of interdisciplinary design studios, where students work hands-on—both individually and in teams—to solve real-world problems. Common dual-major combinations include mechanical engineering, management, and communications/graphic design.
B.S. in STS Sustainability Studies
The STS Sustainability Studies degree prepares students to use techniques and insight from the social sciences and humanities to address environmental problems. Students learn the history of environmental thought and law, about current environmental controversies, and about sustainable pathways and design. Common dual-major combinations for include environmental sciences, environmental engineering, and economics.