Students enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) because they are interested in discovering how the work and communication strategies of scientists, technologists, and other professionals affect the social systems in which we partake.
STS majors begin their studies by exploring the theoretical and historical foundations of science and technology as they concern politics, social structure, economics, and culture. During the second and third years, core courses present case studies and practical assignments that build on the fundamentals learned in the first year. Students also select from one of five areas of specialization (see below) and identify a topic for their senior projects. STS majors are continuously developing their abilities to analyze complex information, solve critical problems, and demonstrate their ethical awareness and sense of public responsibility.
STS graduates pursue advanced degrees in medicine, law, business, and other fields. Others move into careers in, for example, environmental management, marketing, and science communication. Still others take positions with government, public policy organizations, or academia
The Degree and Specializations
The STS major consists of four components: primary core courses (12 credits), STS specialization courses (12 credits), STS elective courses (6 credits), and senior thesis (6 credits). The program is designed for both single and double majors.
Primary core courses introduce students to the fundamental connections between civilization, technology, and the global environment through a focus on historical and cultural foundations, basic ideas and values, and dominant institutions.
STS specialization courses allow students to concentrate in one of five areas. Working closely with a faculty advisor, each student selects coursework comprising a coherent program designed to fulfill personal interests and potential career goals.
The five specializations are:
• Mind, Behavior, and Society
• Environmental and Sustainability Studies
• Race and Gender in Science and Technology
• Politics, History, and Ethics in Science and Technology
• Music, Literature, and Culture in Technological Society
STS elective courses provide students with a broader view of the field and facilitate development of complementary understanding of topical issues.
The senior thesis marks the culmination of the STS curriculum. In this two-semester sequence, a topic that is of critical importance to each student’s undergraduate program and professional future are investigated in depth. Students work closely with the program director and a faculty advisor to identify a topic, research it thoroughly, and formulate a senior thesis for public presentation.
Specializations and Courses
Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Race and Gender in Science and Technology
Politics, History, and Ethics in Science and Technology
Music, Literature, and Culture in Technological Society
Science, Technology, and Society @ NJIT
The STS major at NJIT is enriched by a number of special features and opportunities, including access to an electronic music studio that supports classes in music and technology.
Opportunities exist for internships, which enable students to develop and apply their knowledge and skills in corporate and government settings. STS students who are members of the Albert Dorman Honors College (ADHC) may participate in accelerated and other pre-professional programs allied with the Seton Hall University Law School and various programs in the biomedical and health sciences at Rutgers University.
Students in the College of Science and Liberal Arts and elsewhere within NJIT are encouraged to consider a double major (or minor) in STS. During their senior year, double majors prepare a senior thesis that places work done for their primary major in an STS context.
Contributing Faculty Members
Maurie Cohen (Sustainable consumption, socio-technical transitions, mobility futures)
Daniel Estrada (Technology and human values, topics and issues in STS)
J. Britt Holbrook (Philosophy of science, topics in intersections of science with society and/or technology)
Eric Katz (Philosophy of technology, social impacts of technology, environmental ethics)
Neel Khichi (Sociology of the self; cyberworlds, individual and cultural identity)
Burt Kimmelman (Technology and culture, especially aesthetics; communications technology and epistemology; cultural and literary studies)
David Rothenberg (Interdisciplinary integration of music, philosophy, and biology)
Nancy Steffen-Fluhr (Gender and technology studies; social construction of gender and race; speculative fiction and film)
John Wolf (Popular culture, digital media, and social change)
Caitlin Wylie (Sociology of science; knowledge construction; laboratory ethnographies)
For More Information
Prospective freshmen and transfer students, both internal and external to NJIT, who are interested in pursuing the B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society or would like more information about the program, its faculty, and the variety of opportunities that STS presents should inquire with the program director and consult the NJIT undergraduate catalog for specific requirements and other information.