Requirements of the STSC Major

The STSC Major requires fourteen (14) cu or fourteen separate courses to complete for graduation. Scroll down to the section "what counts for the STSC major" for further information.

I. Core Courses (2 cu)  

Students must take STSC 001 OR STSC 003 and one of the following courses:
STSC 160
STSC 208 
STSC 212

Students may also fulfill this requirement by taking STSC 001 and 003.

II. STSC Electives (7 cu)

See the link "What counts as a STSC Elective" to see which courses fulfill this requirement.

III. Submajors (4 cu)

Each STSC major selects one of the following submajors and completes four (4) courses for it using pre-approved and petitioned courses.  A submajor constitutes an individual intellectual agenda for each student (investigating a question or a problem or a topic).  When students want to petition courses for the submajor, they should make a strong argument as to how the course supports this agenda.

  • Biotechnology and Biomedicine
  • Energy and Environment 
  • Global Science and Technology
  • Information and Organizations 
  • Science/Nature/Culture

IV. Capstone Research Requirement (1 cu)

The Capstone requirement is satisfied by taking a 400-level course in STSC or HSOC, or designing and completing an independent study (STSC 499), during the last three semesters before graduation (after the middle of junior year).


Requirements for Majors before Jan. 4, 2017  (Majors who declared before 1/4/17 may choose to switch to the new structure of the STSC major or remain with the former structure.

I. Core Courses (2 cu)  STSC 001 and STSC 003

II. Department Courses (5 cu)

III. Submajors (6 cu)

  • Cultures of Technoscience
  • Energy, Environment and Technology
  • Information
  • Life Sciences and Society

IV. Capstone Research Requirement (1 cu)


What Counts for the STSC Major


  • CORE COURSES: There are no substitutes for core courses (001, 003, 160, 168, 208, 212) 
  • DEPARTMENT COURSES:  are only those courses that are listed on the Department Courses page.   Courses from abroad cannot fulfill the department course requirement nor can non-department courses be petitioned to fulfill this requirement. Caution: there are occasionally courses listed as STSC that do not count as department electives, so read the list on the page!
  • SUBMAJOR COURSES: Pre-approved courses for the submajors count automatically and do not need to be petitioned.
  • Petitions for submajor courses: are evaluated on the relevance of the course to the submajor and the quality of the argument for the course to be included in the submajor.
  • Submajor Courses from outside the College: Students may have a maximum of three which go into the submajor. This includes transfer courses approved through XCat.
  • Study Abroad courses (up to 2 cu) count if approved through XCat and only for the submajor, not to substitute for core courses or department electives  (there are a very few exceptions to this rule.)   
  • There is no double-counting within the major or between sections of the major.  The Capstone course is a separate requirement and cannot double count within the major.
  • AP credits do not count toward the STSC major
  • Seniors may not petition courses after the add period in their last semester


  • The minimum grade for credit in the major is a C-
  • Courses taken pass-fail cannot count toward the major (this is College policy)