Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a multidisciplinary field.

It uses the perspectives and approaches of the humanities and social sciences to examine the social contexts in which science and technology are produced, and the social consequences and cultural reactions to them. The STS Program gives special attention to the impact of the automobile and automobile industry on American culture.

STS is available as a minor.

More about Science & Technology Studies

The STS Program at UM-Dearborn was launched in 2002 by a group of interdisciplinary faculty from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. It is the first in the nation to provide a special focus on a particular technology and particular industry—the automobile—with national and global impact. The STS Program is thus designed to bring together students and faculty who want to understand the societal dimensions of science and technology, whether they are studying science, engineering, the humanities, social or behavioral sciences, or business.

Degree Requirements

An undergraduate minor is available in STS. STS courses also meet distribution requirements in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences for students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

STS is an ideal complement for almost any major, whether in physics or philosophy, engineering or economics, management or math, communications or chemistry. In a world that's increasingly shaped by science and technology, and in a region where many jobs are still connected to an automobile industry undergoing its most profound changes in over a century, STS provides new ways of understanding the scientific and technological issues facing us in our lives and our careers.

The STS minor consists of an introductory course, STS 300 (Introduction to Science and Technology Studies), and at least one course from each of three groups of upper-level course offerings on "Science, Technology, and Cultures," "Science, Technology, and Labor," and "Science, Technology, and Environments." Many of the Program's courses, including the introductory one, contain at least some focus on the automobile, but students are also able to study a variety of other topics, from environmental ethics to the legal and political issues raised by the internet to women and science.

The Automobile in American Life and Society

STS faculty joined with curators and archivists at The Henry Ford’s Benson Ford Research Center to create a website on The Automobile in American Life and Society. That website—with sections devoted to labor, race, gender, design, and the environment—serves as a resource for UM-Dearborn’s STS Program, but it also receives hundreds of thousands of visits from students, teachers, scholars, journalists, car buffs, and members of the general public from around the world.

For advising about the Program, students are encouraged to contact the STS Program Director, Dr. Jonathan Smith, jonsmith@umich.edu, or the advisors in their unit’s Advising Office.

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