Jun 21, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Science, Technology, and Society, B.A.: 120 units

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Offered by: College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, Philosophy Department

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

History of Science and Technology Electives

Social and Cultural Studies of Science and Technology Electives

Ethics and Policy of Science and Technology Electives

Other Requirements: 18-36 units

Qualifying Foundation in Science and Technology Electives: 18-36 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 Major in Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Systems Engineering Technology, Construction Engineering Technology, Electromechanical Systems Engineering Technology; a Minor in Energy Engineering, or Materials 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: 0-27 units

Select a sufficient number of courses so that the total from “Major Required Core”, “Major Electives”, “GE”, and “Unrestricted Electives” is at least 120 units.

General Education Requirements: 48 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 required, please refer to the list of approved courses under General Education Requirements, Areas A through E.

  Course Term Taken Grade
Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)
1. Oral Communication      
2. Written Communication      
3. Critical Thinking      
Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12 units)
1. Physical Sciences      
2. Life Sciences      
3. Laboratory Activity      
4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning      
5. Science and Technology Synthesis      
Area C. Arts and Humanities (12 units)
1. Visual and Performing Arts      
2a. Philosophy and Civilization      
2b. Literature and Language Other than English      
3. Arts and Humanities Synthesis      
Area D. Social Sciences (12 units)
1. U.S. History and American Ideals      
2. U.S. Constitution and California Government      
3. Social Sciences: Principles, Methodologies, Value Systems, and Ethics      
4. Social Science Synthesis      
Area E. Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units)      

For an alternative and interdisciplinary way to complete some of their GE requirements, students may choose the Interdisciplinary General Education program, see below. 

Interdisciplinary General Education: 21 units

An alternate pattern for partial fulfillment of GE Areas A, C, and D available for students is the Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) program.  Students should see an advisor for specific GE coursework required by their major.  Please refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for additional information.

How IGE fulfills General Education Requirements:

Year Completion of IGE Courses Satisfies GE Requirements
Freshman IGE 1100 , IGE 1200   A2 and C2b
Sophomore IGE 2100 , IGE 2200   C1 and C2a
Junior IGE 2300 , IGE 2400   D1 and D3
Senior IGE 3100   C3 or D4

American Institutions: 6 units

Courses that satisfy this requirement may also satisfy GE Area D1 and D2.

American Cultural Perspectives Requirement: 3 units

Refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for a list of courses that satisfy this requirement.  Course may also satisfy major, minor, GE, or unrestricted elective requirements.

Graduation Writing Test

All persons who receive undergraduate degrees from Cal Poly Pomona must pass the Graduation Writing Test (GWT).  The test must be taken by the semester following completion of 60 units for undergraduates.

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