Requirements of the STSC Major (14 cu)                    

Foundations (2 cu)  

  • You MUST take either STSC 001 (Emergence of Modern Science) or STSC 003 (Technology & Society).
  • You MUST complete a second foundation course chosen from the following list: STSC 001, 003, 160, 168, 208, 212
  • This requirement may be fulfilled by taking both STSC 001 and STSC 003.

STSC Departmental Electives (7 cu): Follow this link for the list of courses offered by department faculty that fulfill this part of the major by providing a range of critical perspectives and topics within the history/sociology of science and technology.

Submajors  (4 cu): Follow this link to read more about the submajors.

Each STSC major selects a submajor and then designs an individualized program of four (4) courses from across the unversity that fulfills their learning goals. Courses may be petitioned for the submajor or selected from a preapproved list.

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

Capstone Research Requirement Course (STSC 400) (1 cu):

  • This requirement can be fulfilled by taking STSC 400 in either the spring of junior year or spring of senior year. The course guides students through writing a 20+ page original research paper in Science and Technology Studies.

How to know if you are on track to graduate.docx (download this chart)


What Counts for the STSC Major: Courses and Grades

  • FOUNDATION COURSES: Must be drawn from this group: 001, 003, 160, 168, 208, 212 
  • STSC DEPARTMENTAL ELECTIVES: Courses listed on the STSC Department Electives page. Courses from abroad, other departments or other schools cannot fulfill the department course requirement 
  • SUBMAJOR COURSES: Pre-approved courses for the submajors count automatically and do not need to be petitioned.
  • Non-College Courses for the Submajor: Students may use up to 3 non-College courses in the submajor, including transfer courses approved through XCat.
  • Science Courses: STSC majors may use up to two science courses 200-level or higher in their submajors.
  • Petitions for submajor courses: are evaluated on the relevance of the course to the submajor and the quality of the argument in the petition.
  • Seniors may not petition courses after the add period in their last semester
  • Study Abroad courses: Up to two (2) courses from abroad count, if approved through XCat. These count toward the submajor only.
  • Double Counting: 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: Cannot be counted toward the STSC major
  • Pass/fail: Courses taken pass-fail cannot count toward the major (this is College policy, with limited exceptions only for the pandemic in 2020-2021).

How your STSC worksheet works

  • You cannot update or change your own official worksheet.
  • The worksheet requires regular manual override by the STSC Chair or Associate Director to update it. All worksheets are updated in the spring and the fall.
  • The software is old and wonky. It doesn't place courses accurately on your worksheet, doesn't remove courses which you've dropped, puts courses in the wrong places, and doesn't always respect overrides.  
  • The STSC WEBSITE is ALWAYS more accurate about requirements than the worksheet on PennInTouch.
  • Red Xs happen because of how the software works (or doesn't).
  • Calmly email your advisor about any worksheet questions or to request an update of your worksheet.