PhD Minor

About the Ph.D. Minor Program

The Ph.D. minor (Option A) in STS is offered to graduate students who are candidates for a Ph.D. degree in another department or program. The minor is open to students in all campus departments, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. The program is oriented towards helping students use insights from STS in their research and teaching.

All graduate students who are interested in the PhD minor in STS should consult as soon as possible with the Director of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. Graduate students will work with the Director to choose an adviser from the list of affiliated faculty members. This adviser will assist in planning the student’s program of education.

Completion of course requirements must be arranged in close consultation with the student’s Holtz Center affiliated faculty advisor and the Holtz Center’s Assistant Director.

Students working on an STS minor are required to take one core graduate seminar, STS 901, which introduces students to the perspectives on science, technology, and society that transcend any single discipline. In addition, students in the Ph.D. minor are required to complete a set of thematic courses (amounting to 6-9 credits) outside of the student’s major field of study. The course of study must consist of classes from at least two different departments. These courses will serve to promote each student’s interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship between science/technology and society/culture. Students are required to achieve a grade of B or better in each course. Students pursuing the minor are also expected to attend the bi-weekly STS brown bag seminar, as well as frequent the STS speaker series and other Holtz Center events.

Students may request the inclusion of courses not on the approved list. An example is a relevant topics course. The request must be in writing and must include a copy of the course syllabus. All requests should be sent to the Holtz Center Director.

STS PhD Minor Agreement Form

Courses for the Ph.D. Minor in STS

  • Core STS Courses

    STS 901, Ph.D. Seminar: Science, Technology, and Medicine in Society

    STS 902, Research Seminar and Colloquium Series

    STS 903, Special Topics in Science & Technology Studies

  • Science, Technology, and Civic Affairs

    Curriculum and Instruction 675, Science in Daily Life: Literacy, Understanding, and Engagement

    Environmental Studies/Journalism and Mass Communication/Life Sciences Communication 823, Science and Environment Communication

    Interdisciplinary Courses in Engineering 650, Women & Leadership in Science, Medicine, and Engineering

    Industrial Engineering/Nuclear Engineering/Rural Sociology 708, Societal Risk Management of Technological Hazards

    Law 905, Bioethics and the Law

    Law 906, Law, Science & Biotechnology

    Library and Information Studies 663, Introduction to Cyberlaw

    Library and Information Studies 863, International Cyberlaw and Policy

    Life Sciences Communication 625, Risk Communication

    Life Sciences Communication 902, Public Opinion in the Life Sciences

    Nuclear Engineering 571, Economic and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Engergy

    Nuclear Engineering 574, Methods for Probabilistic Risk Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants

    Philosophy 565, Ethics of Modern Biotechnology

    Political Science 512, Science and Government

    Public Affairs 866, Global Environmental Governance

    Public Affairs 859, Globalization, Technological Change, and Regulatory Harmonization


  • Social Perspectives on Science, Technology, and Medicine

    Anthropology 365, Medical Anthropology

    Anthropology/Gender and Women’s Studies 443, Anthropology by Women

    Anthropology/Medical History and Bioethics 678, Global AIDS: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

    Community and Environmental Sociology/Sociology 612, Agriculture, Technology, and Society

    Community and Environmental Sociology/Sociology 610, Knowledge and Society

    Community and Environmental Sociology/Sociology 745, Sociological Perspectives on Science and Technology

    Community and Environmental Sociology/Sociology 927, The Political Sociology of Science

    Gender and Women Studies 530, Biology and Gender

    Gender and Women Studies 533, Special Topics in Women and Health

    Medical History & Bioethics 610, Regenerative Medicine and Society

    Medical History & Bioethics 726, Culture and Ethics of Body Modification

    Medical History & Bioethics 728, Bioethics and Society

    Sociology 637, Sociology of Science

    Sociology 773 Intermediate Sociological Theory

    STS/Sociology 311, Biotechnology and Society

    STS 611,Gender, Science, and Technology

  • Historical Perspectives on Science, Technology, and Medicine

    History of Science 623, Studies in Early Modern Science

    History of Science 639, Technology and Its Critics Since WWII

    History of Science 720, Proseminar: Historiography and Methods

    History of Science 903, Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Century Science (*Topics course)

    History of Science 905, Seminar: Modern Physical Science

    History of Science 907, Seminar: History of Technology (*Topics course)

    History of Science 909, History of Biology and Medicine

    History of Science 911, Seminar: Eighteenth Century Science

    History of Science 913, Seminar: Social Aspects in the Development of Science

    History of Science 915, Seminar: Science in America

    History of Science 919, Graduate Studies in Medical History

    STS/Environmental Studies/History of Science/Medical History and Bioethics 513/713, Environment and Health in Global Perspective

  • Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Technology, and Medicine

    Environmental Studies 444, Climate Change Ethics

    Medical History & Bioethics 515, Public Health Ethics

    Philosophy 519, Philosophy of Mathematics

    Philosophy 520, Philosophy of Natural Science

    Philosophy 521, Philosophy of Social Science

    Philosophy 523, Philosophy of Biology

    Philosophy 524, Philosophy and Economics

    Philosophy 554, Philosophy of the Artificial Sciences

    Philosophy 556, Topics in Feminism and Philosophy

    Philosophy 558, Ethical Problems Raised by Biomedical Technology

    Philosophy 920, Seminar in Philosophy of Science

Core STS Courses

  • STS 901: “Science, Technology, and Medicine in Society”*

    The interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies explores the intersection of science and culture, on the one hand, and science and technology, on the other. Scholars in the field ask a variety of questions, including: what counts as scientific knowledge and why? How do social and cultural contexts shape the development of technologies? And how is gender implicated in the construction of knowledge?

    In this course, we will traverse the rich landscape that constitutes science and technology studies. Aiming to expose students to the wide array of conceptual orientations and methodological approaches drawn on by STS scholars, we will begin the semester by considering several of the pivotal texts in STS and move on to some of the newer voices in the field. Our study will range from the work of Robert K. Merton to actor network and social worlds theory and from feminist approaches to political-economic orientations. A required course for the STS graduate minor, but open to all who are interested, students should end the semester with a good sense of the contours of the field.

    *STS 901 is usually taught once per academic year.

  • STS 902: “Current Topics in Science and Technology Studies” *

    Daniel Kleinman (Community & Environmental Sociology)
    alternate Thursdays 12:00 – 1:30
    8108 Social Science Building

    The brown bag series showcases University of Wisconsin faculty and student work in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Strongly recommended for PhD minors in STS; all others welcome. See here for current brownbag schedule.

    *STS 902 is offered every semester.

  • STS 903: “Interdisciplinarity in the Modern Research University”*

    What is “interdisciplinary” research and why does it matter? Does interdisciplinary research demand that individual scholars be trained in multiple specializations? Can interdisciplinary research be performed by teams of specialists using technological tools for working across time and space? How do institutional norms, physical spaces, and political-economic structures of power and opportunity affect interdisciplinary research? And how do interdisciplinary practices compare across different modes of research, from the natural, physical, and social sciences to the arts and humanities? This graduate seminar, team-taught by four faculty affiliates of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, explores the meanings and practices of “interdisciplinary,” “transdisciplinary,” and “multidisciplinary” research in the modern university. Although the course content will often focus on interdisciplinarity in the context of science, students with other disciplinary backgrounds are enthusiastically encouraged to participate. Using ideas and readings drawn from history, sociology, public policy, anthropology, education, and communication studies, this seminar itself will serve as an example of interdisciplinary practice. Students will work together in interdisciplinary teams to produce a final review, policy, or research paper on a topic assigned by the faculty.

    *STS 903 was last taught in Spring 2010. It is not currently scheduled to be taught.