Science, Technology, and Society

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

As our students enter into a world of accelerating change, it has become ever more important that these future scientists, engineers, computer and data scientists, health care practitioners, social scientists, teachers, policymakers, and more be able to reason about the social and ethical implications of science and technology in their fields and in public life. The Undergraduate Minor in Science, Technology and Society (STS) brings Berkeley undergraduates to the forefront of understanding the global impact of science, technology and medicine-related challenges. 

The STS Minor provides students critical thinking skills to effectively contribute to a world shaped by computing and artificial intelligence, environmental change, new medical technologies, and genetic engineering. Students engage with current technoscientific issues in historical context, develop capacities to examine scientific and technical processes, and practice speaking about them effectively to multidisciplinary audiences.

Declaring the Minor

To declare the minor:

  1. Complete the core course with a C (2.0) or better. In Spring 2022, the core course is HISTORY 182A. After Spring 2022, the core course is STS C100.
  2. Complete the STS Minor Application, listing your proposed (or any already-taken) elective courses, to declare the minor by the deadline listed above.

The STS Minor advisor will notify the student whether their proposal satisfies the requirements for the minor, and will advise the student on their proposed self-designed pathway, if applicable.

Visit Program Website

Minor Requirements

To complete the STS minor:

  1. Complete four upper-division electives toward the minor. See below for suggested paths through the minor and elective options.
  2. Petition (FORTHCOMING) to have STS any elective courses not currently on the approved list (if any) included in your minor. These must be upper-division or graduate-level courses.
  3. Complete the STS Minor Application (FORTHCOMING) with all upper-division elective terms and grades entered to complete the minor by the deadline listed above.
  4. NOTE: If you will be completing courses toward the minor during your graduating semester, please email cstms@berkeley.edu to let us know by the deadline listed above. Then, complete the STS Minor Application form as soon as your grades are posted and email cstms@berkeley.edu again.
  5. Complete the general minor petition in L&S or your home college.

Program Requirements and Recommendations

Students must take one required upper-division core course and four upper-division elective courses that relate to Science, Technology, and Society and are taught by affiliated faculty.

Students have the option to choose one of four pathways through the Minor, selecting their four electives from among the approved courses in that pathway, or to design their own pathway in consultation with the Minor Advisor. Each elective may be no fewer than 3 units. See below for a list of approved upper-division elective courses.

A lower-division gateway course of HISTORY 30, DATA 4AC, ANTHRO 84, and/or ISF 60 for the minor is recommended but not required. These courses serve as channels to the Minor, familiarizing students with fundamental STS topics and setting them up to succeed in the Minor.
 

Pathways through the STS Minor

Students may follow one of four recommended pathways through the Minor, detailed below, or propose their own pathway in consultation with the STS Minor Advisor when declaring the Minor. These pathways draw on approved course offerings curated by the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society and offer guidance on how the STS Minor complements popular majors on campus including computer science, data science, molecular and cell biology, sociology, history, environmental studies, and more. They have been developed in consultation with the STS faculty across UC Berkeley. They are:

  1. History and Philosophy of Science
  2. Medicine, the Body, and Society
  3. Environmental Change and Society
  4. The Human Contexts of Data and Computing

A list of courses for each pathway is provided below.
 

Course Policies Regarding the STS Minor

One of the four elective courses that counts toward the minor can be taken outside UC Berkeley (pending the approval of the undergraduate minor advisor); the rest must be taken at UC Berkeley and cannot be transferred from other institutions. The core course must be taken at UC Berkeley.

Students must take all five minor courses for a letter grade, and maintain an average of 2.0 in those courses, to fulfill the minor. There is no overall minimum GPA requirement to declaring or completing the minor.

Students may use a single course from a single major to satisfy a minor requirement. The overlapping course must not exceed four units.
 

Upper-Division Elective Courses for the STS Minor

Following is a list of courses in each of the predefined pathways of the STS Minor, as well as a full list of STS-related courses that can be used as electives for the Minor if a student chooses to build their own pathway.

Upper-division and graduate-level STS-related courses not currently on the list of approved electives can be approved by petition to the STS Minor advisor. Students must submit the syllabus of the course with their petition. Eligible courses must be at least three units and be taken for a letter grade.

Courses for the STS Minor Pathways

Students who choose one of the pathways through the STS Minor will choose from the following courses to complete the Minor:

1. THE HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
ANTHRO 155Modernity4
HISTORY 100SSpecial Topics in the History of Science4
HISTORY 138History of Science in the U.S.4
or HISTORY 138T History of Science in the US CalTeach
HISTORY 180The Life Sciences since 17504
or HISTORY 180T History of the Life Sciences Since 1750 (Cal Teach)
HISTORY C182CIntroduction to Science, Technology, and Society4
or STS C100 Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
HISTORY C191Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives4
INFO 103History of Information4
LD ARCH C171The American Designed Landscape Since 18503
PHILOS 121Moral Questions of Data Science4
POLECON W160APolitical Economy in Historical Context: The Twentieth Century: Economies, Societies, Polities, Technologies4
RHETOR 107Rhetoric of Scientific Discourse4
RHETOR 115Technology and Culture4
RHETOR 145Science, Narrative, and Image4

2. MEDICINE, THE BODY, AND SOCIETY

ANTHRO 115Introduction to Medical Anthropology4
ANTHRO 119Special Topics in Medical Anthropology4
CHICANO 176Chicanos and Health Care3
DEMOG C126Sex, Death, and Data4
or SOCIOL C126 Sex, Death, and Data
ENGLISH 172Literature and Psychology4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM 162AHealth, Medicine, Society and Environment4
GWS 130ACGender, Race, Nation, and Health4
GWS 131Gender and Science4
HISTORY 183ADisease, Health and Medicine in American History4
HISTORY C191Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives4
INTEGBI 117Medical Ethnobotany2
LEGALST 151Law, Self, and Society3
LEGALST 156Bioethics and the Law4
LEGALST 168Sex, Reproduction and the Law4
L & S 180ACArchaeology of Sex and Gender4
PB HLTH 116Seminar on Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine3
PB HLTH C155Sociology of Health and Medicine4
SOCIOL C115Sociology of Health and Medicine4
SOCIOL 115GHealth in a Global Society4
UGIS 110Introduction to Disability Studies3
UGIS C133Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives4

3. ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SOCIETY

ANTHRO 137Energy, Culture and Social Organization4
ENE,RES W100Energy and Society4
ENE,RES 101Ecology and Society3
ENE,RES 131Data, Environment and Society4
ENE,RES 160Climate Justice4
ENE,RES 171California Water3
ENGIN 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
or IAS 157AC Engineering, The Environment, and Society
ENGLISH 180ZScience Fiction4
ESPM 151Society, Environment, and Culture4
ESPM 161Environmental Philosophy and Ethics4
ESPM 163ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
ESPM C167Environmental Health and Development4
or PB HLTH C160 Environmental Health and Development
GEOG 108Geographies of Energy: The Rise and Fall of the Fossil Fuel Economy3
GEOG 130Food and the Environment4
LD ARCH C171The American Designed Landscape Since 18503
PB HLTH 101A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities3
SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
4. THE HUMAN CONTEXTS OF DATA AND COMPUTING
AFRICAM 134Information Technology and Society4
or AMERSTD C134 Information Technology and Society
AFRICAM 136LCriminal Justice and Surveillance in America3
BIO ENG 100Ethics in Science and Engineering3
DATA C104Human Contexts and Ethics of Data - DATA/History/STS4
ENGIN 125Ethics, Engineering, and Society3
ENGLISH 180ZScience Fiction4
FILM 155Media Technologies4
INFO 103History of Information4
INFO 188Behind the Data: Humans and Values3
ISF 100DIntroduction to Technology, Society, and Culture4
ISF 100GIntroduction to Science, Society, and Ethics4
ISF 100JThe Social Life of Computing4
JOURN 124Introduction to Data Journalism3
LEGALST 123Data, Prediction & Law4
LEGALST 149Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship4
LEGALST 152ACHuman Rights & Technology4
LEGALST 182Law, Politics and Society4
L & S 128Crowds and Clouds4
NWMEDIA 151ACTransforming Tech: Issues and Interventions in STEM and Silicon Valley4
PHILOS 121Moral Questions of Data Science4
POLECON 156Silicon Valley and the Global Economy4
RHETOR 115Technology and Culture4
SOCIOL 166Society and Technology4
SOCIOL 167Virtual Communities/Social Media4
UGIS 162QYouth, Social Media and Development4

Courses for Students Building Their Own Pathways 

This is a broad list of courses that students should reference if they elect to build their own pathway through the Minor, in collaboration with the Minor advisor.

African American Studies
AFRICAM 112APolitical and Economic Development in the Third World4
or AFRICAM 112B Political and Economic Development in the Third World
AFRICAM 134Information Technology and Society4
or AFRICAM C134 Information Technology and Society
AFRICAM 136LCriminal Justice and Surveillance in America3
AFRICAM 181ACPrison4
American Studies
AMERSTD 101Examining U.S. Cultures in Time4
AMERSTD C134Information Technology and Society4
AMERSTD C172History of American Business3
Anthropology
ANTHRO 115Introduction to Medical Anthropology4
ANTHRO 119Special Topics in Medical Anthropology4
ANTHRO 137Energy, Culture and Social Organization4
ANTHRO 150Utopia: Art and Power in Modern Times4
ANTHRO 155Modernity4
Bioengineering
BIO ENG 100Ethics in Science and Engineering3
Chicano Studies
CHICANO 176Chicanos and Health Care3
Data Science
DATA C104Human Contexts and Ethics of Data - DATA/History/STS4
Demography
DEMOG C126Sex, Death, and Data4
Digital Humanities
DIGHUM 100Theory and Method in the Digital Humanities3
Energy and Resources Group
ENE,RES W100Energy and Society4
ENE,RES 101Ecology and Society3
ENE,RES 131Data, Environment and Society4
ENE,RES 160Climate Justice4
ENE,RES 171California Water3
Engineering
ENGIN 125Ethics, Engineering, and Society3
ENGIN 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
English
ENGLISH 145Writing Technology4
ENGLISH 172Literature and Psychology4
ENGLISH 180ZScience Fiction4
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
ESPM 151Society, Environment, and Culture4
ESPM 161Environmental Philosophy and Ethics4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM 162AHealth, Medicine, Society and Environment4
ESPM 163ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
ESPM C167Environmental Health and Development4
or PB HLTH C160 Environmental Health and Development
Film & Media Studies
FILM 155Media Technologies4
Gender and Women's Studies
GWS 102Transnational Feminism4
GWS 130ACGender, Race, Nation, and Health4
GWS C155Course Not Available
GWS 131Gender and Science4
Geography
GEOG 108Geographies of Energy: The Rise and Fall of the Fossil Fuel Economy3
GEOG 130Food and the Environment4
History
HISTORY 100SSpecial Topics in the History of Science4
HISTORY 138History of Science in the U.S.4
or HISTORY 138T History of Science in the US CalTeach
HISTORY 180The Life Sciences since 17504
or HISTORY 180T History of the Life Sciences Since 1750 (Cal Teach)
HISTORY 182AScience, Technology, and Society4
or HISTORY 182AT Science, Technology, and Society (Cal Teach)
HISTORY C184DHuman Contexts and Ethics of Data - DATA/History/STS4
HISTORY C191Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives4
International and Area Studies
IAS 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
Information
INFO 103History of Information4
INFO 188Behind the Data: Humans and Values3
Integrative Biology
INTEGBI 117Medical Ethnobotany2
INTEGBI 160Evolution4
Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major
ISF 100DIntroduction to Technology, Society, and Culture4
ISF 100GIntroduction to Science, Society, and Ethics4
ISF 100JThe Social Life of Computing4
Journalism
JOURN 124Introduction to Data Journalism3
Landscape Architecture
LD ARCH C171The American Designed Landscape Since 18503
Legal Studies
LEGALST 102Policing and Society4
LEGALST 123Data, Prediction & Law4
LEGALST 149Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship4
LEGALST 151Law, Self, and Society3
LEGALST 152ACHuman Rights & Technology4
LEGALST 156Bioethics and the Law4
LEGALST 162ACRestorative Justice4
LEGALST 168Sex, Reproduction and the Law4
LEGALST 182Law, Politics and Society4
LEGALST C185Prison4
or LEGALST 185AC Prison
Letters and Science
L & S 121Origins in Science and Religion4
L & S 128Crowds and Clouds4
L & S 180ACArchaeology of Sex and Gender4
Philosophy
PHILOS 121Moral Questions of Data Science4
PHILOS 128Philosophy of Science4
Political Economy
POLECON 156Silicon Valley and the Global Economy4
POLECON W160APolitical Economy in Historical Context: The Twentieth Century: Economies, Societies, Polities, Technologies4
Public Health
PB HLTH 101A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities3
PB HLTH 116Seminar on Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine3
PB HLTH C155Sociology of Health and Medicine4
Rhetoric
RHETOR 107Rhetoric of Scientific Discourse4
RHETOR 115Technology and Culture4
RHETOR 145Science, Narrative, and Image4
Sociology
SOCIOL C115Sociology of Health and Medicine4
SOCIOL 115GHealth in a Global Society4
SOCIOL C126Sex, Death, and Data4
SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
SOCIOL 166Society and Technology4
SOCIOL 167Virtual Communities/Social Media4
Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies
UGIS 110Introduction to Disability Studies3
UGIS C133Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives4
UGIS 162QYouth, Social Media and Development4
 

Related Courses

Contact Information

Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society

543 Stephens Hall, #2350

Phone: 510-642-4581

cstms@berkeley.edu

Visit Program Website

Director of CSTMS

Professor Massimo Mazzotti

Phone: 510-642-4581

mazzotti@berkeley.edu

Assistant Director of CSTMS

Davinder Sidhu

510-642-4581

dsidhu@berkeley.edu

Associate Director of Research

Morgan Ames

Phone: 510-642-4581

morganya@berkeley.edu

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