Accelerated BA/BS/MS Degree in Science, Technology & Society (STS)
The Accelerated Master’s in Science, Technology & Society (STS) is for students who want to challenge themselves; students who appreciate the complexity of world issues and want to enrich and expand their coursework, research and future job opportunities by learning to integrate diverse academic perspectives. By combining graduate-level study with their undergraduate program, motivated students graduate with an MS and BA or BS degree in just five years. The flexibility offered by the STS curriculum, the opportunity to work more closely alongside research-active faculty, and the training offered in multiple theoretical and research methodologies makes the accelerated degree an appealing door to a wide range of career opportunities.
A Diversity of Perspectives
The STS program at Drexel takes on some of our most important questions in contemporary science, technology and medicine with a multidisciplinary toolkit. Faculty in anthropology, criminal justice, history, information sciences, philosophy, political science, public health, public policy and sociology contribute to a curriculum that features a broad set of perspectives, all grounded in a foundation of critical thinking, strong research methods, and clear writing and presentation skills. Students in the Accelerated Master’s program have the opportunity to craft their own original research project with guidance from some of the most interesting and dynamic faculty scholars in their fields.
The program emphasizes three interrelated areas:
Environment and Sustainability
Cities and regions around the world are looking for ways to increase energy independence and create built environments that support human and animal life. We are also investigating solutions to the ways climate change will affect critical interdependent urban infrastructure, and how to mitigate risks to our communities by redesigning these systems for sustainability and resilience. Cultural contexts add a layer of complexity to how we think about and react to issues such as climate risks, debates about new and old energy technologies, disasters and questions about biodiversity and pollution. One's community and networks can influence the way members prepare for disasters. For example, national political ideologies can slow or speed investment in “green” technologies. Faculty affiliated with the STS center research topics such as food access, the use of science and technology in disaster response, the relationship between new modes of transportation and the environment, the transnational production of citrus fruits, the social dimensions of new energy sources, and ways to address the effects of climate change.
Health and Medicine
Medicine is central to people's lived experience. People interact with medicine in a range of roles: as patients, as caregivers, as clinicians, as regulators, as insurers, as participants in human-subjects medical research, as consumers, and more. Moreover, medical technologies from bioinformatics to pharmaceuticals are crucial to the social shaping of health and illness. An STS approach to health and medicine investigates issues such as when and why certain priorities in medical research and service delivery are favored over others; who and what drives ongoing policy debates in nations whose health system stakeholders grapple with issues like cost, accessibility and professional training; the cultural contexts that shape participation in health care professions and systems; the role marketing plays in medicine; and how definitions of disease and diagnostic categories change over time. Faculty affiliated with the STS center research topics such as the rise of self-diagnosis questionnaires and their impact on healthcare, ideas about the use of MRI technology, the ethics and history of public health, the use of animals in health research, and how and why the Buteyko method is being implemented in asthma care.
Information, Identities and Networks
Computing technology reaches into nearly every corner of life. Realms of human experience like security, privacy, health and wellness, assembling information and sharing knowledge, creativity, commerce and mobility are just a few examples of how human life intersects daily with information and computing technologies. The large-scale systems that infuse everyday life in cities—utility infrastructure, traffic regulation, emergency services—are a web of interdependencies whose operations rely on highly complex and sometimes vulnerable information structures. Moreover, classification schemes, categorical infrastructures and taxonomies are social products that require critical analysis. Faculty affiliated with the STS center research topics such as the ethics of big data and algorithms, the relation between nanotechnology and a changing workforce, the relation between computers and the construction of identity, and policies that promote civic engagement with computing technologies.
Examples of Recent Accelerated STS Student Thesis Topics:
- A Comparative Study of the Hurricane Disasters in 1965 and 2005 in New Orleans
- Access to Healthy Food in Philadelphia Neighborhoods: How Corner Stores Impact Food Choices
Each student works closely with STS faculty to develop an individualized plan of study that advances their academic interests and career goals.
STS students are independent, creative thinkers who are dedicated to understanding the social dimensions of science, medicine and technology. While Drexel’s STS students vary widely in their professional and educational backgrounds and career ambitions, they share a common commitment to a rigorous critical approach to our world’s most pressing technoscientific challenges.
Graduating with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree puts students a step ahead. The Accelerated Master’s in STS can strengthen students’ candidacy for future graduate work or professional school, including law school, medical school and PhD programs. For students interested in immediately entering the job market, the STS degree offers preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and in private sector settings connected to management and analysis in science, technology and medicine.
How the Accelerated Program Works
By enrolling in the Accelerated Master’s in STS, students “accelerate” the completion of their undergraduate courses by skipping one to two co-op cycles and using their fourth and fifth years to take required graduate-level courses. The accelerated program saves students a year of time and tuition compared to that required to complete traditional undergraduate and master’s level programs.
Requirements For Admission
Degree Requirements: Accelerated BA/BS/MS in Science, Technology & Society
Science, Technology & Society Course Descriptions
For more information, please contact:
Kelly Joyce, PhD
STS Program Director
MacAlister Hall, Room 3025
STS Program Coordinator
MacAlister Hall, Room 3025