Offered by: Cal Poly Pomona, University Interdisciplinary Programs
The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Major is an interdisciplinary program which integrates knowledge in the natural sciences, and in technology as well as in history, philosophy, sociology, economics, political science, geography, and anthropology. Consequently, courses included in the STS Major curriculum are taught by faculty in seven of the University's Colleges including the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.
STS examines the goals and practices of science and technology, including how such goals and practices are affected by economic, cultural, and political events, and conversely, how these events are in turn affected by developments in science and technology.
STS focuses on the following sorts of issues: (1) general issues about the authority of science, such as the questions of what science is, and how it is different from pseudoscience, and the reliability of research science; (2) questions regarding the impact of science and technology on societies; and (3) questions regarding how local, national and global political interests affect scientific inquiry and technological development.
Moreover, these three sorts of questions interrelate in complicated ways. Consider the debate about climate change. This debate obviously raises issues concerning the impact of technology on societies, but it also raises issues about the reliability of the scientific research involved in identifying this impact, the use and interpretation of this research by political leaders and public policy makers, and the affect of public policy in driving possible technological solutions.
Students earn a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, and Society. The STS Major prepares students who seek jobs requiring a broader perspective on science and technology than that provided by a traditional science or technology major; such jobs include those in law or business which are engaged with aspects of science and technology, in science and technology public policy making or analysis, in science and technology public interest advocacy, and in science journalism. In brief, the STS Major prepares students for jobs that require scientific and technological literacy as well as a broad perspective on science and technology and an ability to write and argue from this perspective.
Peter Ross, Director
Required Core Courses for Major: 30 units
Elective Core Courses: 19-20 units
History of Science & Technology
Select 1 course from the following: 4 units
Social and Cultural Studies of Science & Technology
Select 2 courses from the following: 8 units
Ethics and Policy of Science and Technology
Select 2 courses from the following: 7-8 units
Required Support Courses: 4 units
Elective Support Courses: 7-8 units
Select 1 course from the following: 3-4 units
Select 1 course from the following: 4 units
Other Requirements: 28-64 units
Qualifying Foundation in Science and Technology: 28-64 units
A Qualifying Foundation in Science and Technology (i.e. a Major or Minor in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, or Statistics; a Minor in Comparative Systems Analysis; a Major in Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Technology, Construction Engineering Technology, Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology; a Minor in Energy Engineering , Illumination Engineering, Materials Engineering, or Ocean Engineering; a Major or Minor in Computer Information Systems; a Major or Minor in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Food Science and Technology, Human Nutrition and Food Sciences, or Plant Sciences; the Environmental Health Specialist Minor; the Geographical Information Systems Minor; the Physiology Minor; or the Geography Major, with the Geographical Information Systems Option.)
Unrestricted Electives: 0-32 units
Select a sufficient number of courses so that the total from "Elective Core", "Required Support", "Elective Support", "Other Requirements", "GE", and "Unrestricted Electives" is at least 150 units.
General Education Requirements: 68 units
Students should consult the Academic Programs website https://www.cpp.edu/~academic-programs/general-education-course-listings.shtml for current information regarding this requirement. Unless specific courses are stated under Support Courses, please refer to the list of approved courses under General Education Requirements, Areas A through E.
Area A. Communication and Critical Thinking (12 units)
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Critical Thinking
Area B. Mathematics and Natural Sciences (16 units)
- Physical Science
- Biological Science
- Laboratory Activity
- Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
- Science and Technology Synthesis
Area C. Humanities (16 units)
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Philosophy and Civilization
- Literature and Foreign Languages
- Humanities Synthesis
Area D. Social Sciences (20 units)
- U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals
- History, Economics, and Political Science
- Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnic and Gender Studies
- Social Science Synthesis
Area E. Lifelong Understanding and Self-development (4 units)