The curriculum of the UW Certificate Program in Science, Technology, and Society Studies is designed to introduce students to a breadth of important topics in the field of science, technology, and society studies; encourage students to specialize in a specific topic and approach through mentor interaction and course work; guide students as they develop a portfolio documenting their interests and accomplishments; and encourage a strong sense of cohort among students interested in STSS on campus.

Related documentation (PDF):

Student Guidelines (Last updated: Sept 2016)

Certificate Requirements Form (Last updated: Sept 2016)


Each STSS certificate student will develop a portfolio with the guidance of his or her STSS advisor. This will include the initial statement of interest in STSS that was the basis for admission to the certificate program, and it will document how this core interest has been addressed and/or reconfigured by the courses taken for the certificate as well as by SSNet or related colloquia and public lectures attended. Students will begin development of the portfolio in the STSS in Action microseminar that they are required to take when they enter the certificate program. They will be expected to develop this portfolio as they meet certificate requirements. In their final year of the certificate program they will finalize the portfolio by linking selected products or documentation of their research and teaching activities to the certificate's learning objectives, demonstrating how these relate to their own professional goals. Each student will present a completed portfolio to the STSS steering committee, core faculty, and other STSS Certificate students as part of the capstone requirement (see below).


Requirements: The STSS certificate requires a minimum of 18 credits: 4 credits in C/NC courses and 14 credits in graded courses. At least 14 of these credits must be at the 500-level, and a maximum of 6 certificate elective credits may also count as electives in the student's graduate program.

For a list of upcoming courses relevant to the STSS certificate, see the UW Science Studies Network (SSNet) course page.

STSS in Action microseminar: The class meets once a week in Autumn quarter, with each session led by a different member of the core faculty who will introduce a theme or area of active research interest in STSS (e.g., gender and science, ethical issues in scientific research, science and public policy, postcolonial science studies, etc.). This course provides an introduction to STSS as an interdisciplinary area of study and orients participants to the expectations and process of completing the certificate, including the launch of their STSS portfolio.
      = 2 credits (CR/NC) / 500 level

Broad Perspectives seminar: one core course chosen from the following offerings, each of which is typically offered on an annual or biennial basis, and each of which provides an advanced introduction to areas that make up this interdisciplinary domain of research.
     • ANTH 473, Anthropology of Science and Technology;
     • COM 540, Rhetoric of Science;
     • COM 539, Theories of Technology & Society;
     • PHIL 560, Seminar in the Philosophy of Science;
     • VAL 591, Ethics Matters in Science.
This course should be chosen in consultation with the student's STSS advisor and, because this requirement is meant to broaden the horizons of participants in the certificate program, it may not be selected from the student's home discipline.
     = 4-5 credits

Interdisciplinary Breadth elective: one or more additional graduate seminars that address STSS issues from outside the student's home discipline. A list of STSS courses offered in any given quarter is available on the SSNet course website. Examples of recently offered courses that would meet this requirement include:
     • BPOLST546: Science, Expertise, and Public Policy
     • ESS 508, Great Geological Issues;
     • GEOG 522, Space, Technologies and Society;
     • LAW H536/BH536, Research Ethics and Regulation;
     • PHG 523 / Law H520, Genetics and the Law.
This course should be chosen in consultation with the student's STSS advisor; the student may propose courses for consideration that do not appear in the SSNet listings. Since the courses that can meet this requirement vary in any given year, there is a great deal of flexibility in how a student in the certificate program meets this requirement. If a particular course is full, s/he should be able to enroll in another relevant course being offered that will meet this requirement.
     = 4 credits minimum / 500-level

Topic or Discipline-specific elective: one or more additional graduate seminars that address STSS issues in the student's home discipline and/or is directly relevant to the student's dissertation topic, to be chosen in consultation with the student's STSS advisor.
      = 4 credits minimum / 500-level

Capstone: 2-credits of independent research in which students completing the STSS certificate program will finalize their certificate portfolios; this is to be supervised by the student's STSS advisor. These portfolios will reflect the students' participation in relevant colloquia sponsored by the Science Studies Network, History of Science and Philosophy of Science Discussion Groups, Center for Biological Futures Talks, etc., as well as relevant experience in their classes, and relate those activities to their own scholarship and professional development activities. Completed portfolios will be presented to the STSS steering committee, core faculty, and other STSS Certificate students at the end of Autumn quarter of a student's final year at UW. Students preparing to present their portfolios will meet with their advisors and with each other in a planning session the Spring before their presentation quarter to consult as a group about the expectations for portfolio completion and presentation.
     = 2 credits (CR/NC) / 500-level


Program At A Glance