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Science and Technology Studies Graduate Certificate


Campuses:  Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus, National Capital Region Campus
Instructions: Residential/On Campus, Some Online Courses

About Our Program 

The STS graduate certificate offers the opportunity to learn and develop competency in various aspects of the relations between science, technology, and society. It is intended to serve both current graduate students in other programs at Virginia Tech and non-degree-seeking students interested in career advancement. For example, an STS certificate might help: a graduate student in Public Administration launch a career in administering a science-policy oriented NGO, a biology student who wants training in public engagement, or a graduate student in Philosophy who wants to combine the philosophy of science with the empirical study of scientists at work. 


Why choose this program?

  • We analyze how society affects the development and implementation of scientific, technological, and medical knowledges and practices and how scientific, technological, and medical pursuits affect society. 
  • The research and scholarly interests of our faculty cross a wide range of disciplinary boundaries.
  • The graduate program in STS at Virginia Tech prepares students to be productive and publicly-engaged scholars, advancing research. 
  • Full range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities
  • All classes are taught in small seminars and offer personal interaction with faculty and peers. 
  • Conduct research that integrates science and technology with societal institutions, norms, and practices.
  • Part-time program and evening classes cater to working professionals. Convenient to the Washington DC Metro at West Falls Church. 
  • All classes are taught in small seminars and offer personal interaction with faculty and peers. Students from all academic and professional backgrounds are welcome.

What You'll Study

You will complete 12 credit hours including core requirements, and 1 elective from Science and technology in Society Courses. Only six credits can be double counted for this certificate and a graduate degree. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Complete course requirements can be found in the graduate catalog.

Graduate students in STS come from a wide range of backgrounds including the natural and physical sciences, engineering, numerous professional disciplines, liberal arts and humanities, history, anthropology, sociology, political science, and philosophy. Graduates emerge with an ability to identify and examine the conceptual, social, cultural, historical, and policy dimensions of science and technology.

Courses leading to a Graduate Certificate in STS are available at two sites, Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region (NCR) in the greater D.C. metro area.

Domestic Application

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: January 1
  • Summer I: May 1
  • Summer II: Jun 1

International Application

  • Fall: April 1
  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer I: Jan 1
  • Summer II: Feb 1

Matthew Wisnioski, Graduate Director
331 Lane Hall

Sonja Schmid, NCR Co-Director
Northern Virginia Center

Janet Abbate, NCR Co-Director
Northern Virginia Center

Carol Slusser, Graduate Coordinator
121 Lane Hall


Matthew Wisnioski, Graduate Director
235 Lane Hall

Sonja Schmid, NCR Co-Director
Northern Virginia Center

Janet Abbate, NCR Co-Director
Northern Virginia Center

Science, Technology, and Society Faculty 

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The cloud exists as an assemblage of technologies, infrastructures, and human practices. Seeing how social values are built into technologies can help us build more robust and egalitarian systems. As a Science and Technology Studies (STS) researcher, Trevor's work is interdisciplinary. His dissertation borrows from STS scholars, historians, computer scientists, sociologists, and philosophers. These multiple perspectives provide the tools to understand how the cloud and other technological systems interface with the social world. 

— Trevor Croker