Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Science and Technology Studies
____ 121 Lane Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Certificate Overview

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) graduate certificate offers the opportunity to learn and develop competency in various aspects of the relations between science, technology, and society. It is intended to serve both existing graduate students in other programs at Virginia Tech and non-degree-seeking students interested in career advancement. For example, an STS certificate might help: a graduate student in Public Administration launch a career in administering a science-policy oriented NGO; a biology student who wants training in public engagement; or a graduate student in Philosophy who wishes to buttress a focus on the philosophy of science. Mid-career professionals who are not particularly interested in another degree may find the Certificate useful for building new competencies in areas such as technology analysis, science policy, or the public understanding of science.
How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements

Graduate students accepted in any other graduate program at Virginia Tech would be admitted to the STS graduate certificate program on the basis of their acceptance to their home department.

Recommendations for admission to the certificate program for non-degree-seeking students would be made by the STS Graduate Admissions Committee, based on transcripts, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and the minimal requirements specified in the Graduate Catalogue for admission to the Graduate School. (These admissions criteria differ from our regular degree admissions in that they require neither the GRE nor letters of recommendation.)

Course Requirements

The certificate requires successful completion of twelve hours from the courses listed below, with grades of B+ or better. Only in extraordinary circumstances would substitutions for core courses be allowed. Any elective course substitution would require the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Only six credits can be double-counted for this certificate and a graduate degree. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Core Courses (select three from the following list):

  • STS/SOC 5105: Social Studies of Science and Technology I
  • STS/SOC 5106: Social Studies of Science and Technology II
  • STS/HIST 5205: History of Science
  • STS/HIST 5206: History of Technology
  • STS/PHIL 5305: Philosophy of Science and Technology I
  • STS/PHIL 5306: Philosophy of Science and Technology II
  • STS/PAPA 5614 Introduction to Science and Technology Policy
Elective Courses (select one from the following list):
  • STS 5424: Topics in Science and Technology Studies
  • STS 5444: Issues in Bioethics
  • STS/HIST 5405: Development of Modern American Science
  • STS/HIST 6224: Science, Technology, and the Enlightenment
  • STS/HIST 6234: Advanced Topics in the History of Modern Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • STS/PHIL 6314: History of Philosophy of Science
  • STS/PHIL 6334: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science
  • STS 6524: Critical Approaches to Science and Technology
  • STS 6534: Cultural Studies of Science and Technology
  • STS/PHIL 6514: Cognitive Studies in Science and Technology
  • STS 6614: Advanced Topics in Technology Studies
  • STS 6624: Advanced Topics in the Life Sciences and Medicine
  • STS/PHIL 6634: Advanced Topics in Natural Philosophy
  • STS/PAPA 6664: Advanced Topics in Science and Technology Policy
  • STS/SOC 6824: Normative Structuring of Science and Technology
  • STS/SOC 6834: Advanced Topics in Social Studies of Science and Technology
  • PSCI/GIA 5354: Public Policy Analysis
  • PSCI/GIA 5214: Contemporary Political Theory
  • SPIA/GIA 5454: Advanced Topics in Information Technology and Public Policy
  • SPIA/GIA 5555: Culture, Politics, and Society in a Networked Environment
  • UAP 5564: Information Technology, Society, and Public Policy