The STV minor consists of a required core course (3 credits) and electives adding up to 12 credits that can be tailored to the student's interests and goals. Completion of the STV minor will be noted and certified on a student’s final University transcript. To receive minor credit an STV course must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.
The core course (STV 20556), called Science, Technology & Society, is offered every semester. The course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Science & Technology Studies and provides them the opportunity to consider science and technology in the political, economic, social, historical, and cultural context of practice. The course does not have an empirical focus. Instead, what it provides are analytical and conceptual tools that students can then apply to the area of empirical focus of interest to them, whether that be the biomedical sciences, information technology, or critical infrastructure. This course can be double counted as a second philosophy requirement.
STV electives allow students the opportunity to explore a variety of disciplinary approaches to the analysis of science and technology, while retaining an empirical focus on a particular area. The majority of our electives are three-credit courses, however, we also regularly offer thematically focused 1-credit courses on topics of current interest that count towards the minor requirements and can be combined with a directed readings course to serve as a foundation for a student's individual research project. Contact us to discuss creating an STV electives program tailored to your interests.
Undergraduate research (optional)
Students may elect to meet one semester of minor requirements by undertaking an independent research project culminating in a senior essay. This entails identifying a faculty advisor to develop a research question, conducting a literature review, and writing an extended research paper (no more than 25 pages) addressing the question of your choice.
To be effective, these projects must build on existing interests and expertise acquired in the course of your training at Notre Dame. Students should contact to the program director about research funding opportunities, as well as consult the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) for a list of funding entities on campus that can provide additional research support.
Undergraduate research timeline
Students interested in writing a senior essay must consult with the STV program director by October 10th of the fall semester of their senior year.
By November 10th, students must submit a one-page research proposal, and identify a faculty member who has agreed to serve as their advisor on the project. Students will receive feedback on their proposals and may need to resubmit them with revisions for approval. Students wishing to begin working on their project earlier need to consult with the minor director before beginning their research.
Students must register for a three-credit undergraduate research course in STV with their project advisor for the Spring semester of their senior year which must meet weekly for at least an hour. The course will guide them through the research and writing process for the senior essay.
The final draft of the senior essay is due on April 25th to the advisor and the program director. The final paper is evaluated by the student's advisor and two STV faculty members appointed by the director, but it is the student's advisor who is responsible for assigning the final grade in the course, and who will receive the evaluation reports by the start of the final exam period for the spring term.
Students will be required to present their project in STV during the last week of class.
Examples of student research
In Spring 2019, Margaret Meserve delivered a presentation over her student research on "The Role of Parent Advocacy in the Medical, Scientific, and Social Understandings of Autism Spectrum Disorder".
In Spring 2019, Christina Del Greco delivered a presentation over her student research on "The Role of Genetic Data Management in Shaping the Future Directions of Genetic Data Usages".