The History and Sociology of Technology and Science master's degree program appeals to a broad range of students and professionals.
Those with technical backgrounds are exposed to broad socio-historical perspectives on science and technology, while those with backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences develop an aptitude for tackling scientific and technical questions. All students gain skills in social analysis and in oral and written communication, which serve to enhance employment opportunities in a variety of occupations. The master's in history and sociology can be a jumping-off point for further professional training in law, business, or public policy and is an asset to those seeking careers in museums, historical agencies, or other public history, and public service organizations. It is an excellent opportunity for those interested in high school or community college teaching and for current teachers seeking to upgrade their training and incorporate new materials into the classroom. In addition, it is often a first step for students pursuing the PhD.
Graduate Program Contacts
Dr. Bill Winders, Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: 404-894-8401 Email: bill.winders [at] gatech.edu
Ms. LaDonna Bowen, Academic Advisor for Graduate Studies
Phone: 404-894-3198 Email: ladonna.bowen [at] hsoc.gatech.edu
The tabs below include more information about the HSTS M.S. program.
ladonna.bowen [at] hsoc.gatech.edu (subject: HSOC%20Graduate%20Program%20Information%20Request) (Request additional information on the History and Sociology Graduate Program)
Graduate Application Instructions
Applications for graduate admission to the School of History and Sociology (HSOC) are submitted online. To apply, please go to the Graduate Admissions website.
Applicants are asked to provide:
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
- College Transcripts
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (international applicants only)
- A biographical statement
- Writing Sample
For application to the graduate programs in HSOC, your statement should be an intellectual biography and should include your reasons for applying to the MS or PhD program (specify), your interest in the history and/or sociology of technology and science, and your plans subsequent to receiving the degree.
The general application deadline is March 1. Students seeking financial assistance should submit their materials no later than February 1. Students are admitted for the fall semester.
Choosing a Program
Students who clearly intend to pursue the PhD should apply for the PhD program, regardless of whether or not they already have a master’s degree. All students in the PhD program acquire a master’s degree along the way. This typically involves a three-semester course of studies, though highly motivated students or those with advanced standing may complete the degree in a calendar year.
Students who are interested in the master’s and those who are uncertain if they would like to continue on to the PhD should apply to the master’s program.
Financial aid for graduate students takes many forms. Most full-time PhD students are supported by teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or by research grants and fellowships. More information about these opportunities can be found on the Assistantships, Fellowships, and Grants tab above.
Students may also receive financial aid in the form of loans and grants. These are administered through Georgia Tech’s Graduate Financial Aid Office.
Though most students enroll full-time, it is possible to pursue the degrees on a part-time basis. Students wishing to attend part-time should be aware that required courses are usually taught just once a year. HSOC graduate courses typically meet one day per week for three hours in the late afternoon. Part-time students are not eligible for financial aid.
Additional Information and Contacts
For additional information about the programs, feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Bill Winders, at bill.winders [at] gatech.edu. Applicants may also wish to make direct contact with faculty in whom they have a particular interest, and can do so using our faculty profiles. Keep in mind that faculty have multiple responsibilities and may take some time to reply.
We encourage prospective students to visit the School of History and Sociology and Georgia Tech and to meet in person with Professor Winders, other relevant faculty, and current graduate students. To arrange a visit, please contact Dr. Winders or the HSOC graduate program advisor, ladonna.bowen [at] hsoc.gatech.edu (LaDonna Bowen). HSOC offices and classrooms are located in Tech’s Old Civil Engineering Building (221 Bobby Dodd Way).
The status of your application may be checked online via the Graduate Admissions homepage.
Curriculum & Advising
The master's program includes a series of foundation courses as well as more specialized reading and research seminars. Though a thesis is not required, the program emphasizes analytical and communications skills, gained through a methods course and a paper involving original research.
At present, a minimum of 30 semester hours are distributed as follows:
- HTS 6001 Social Theory (3 hours)
- HTS 6002 History of Technology (3 hours)
- HTS 6743 Science, Technology and Society (STS): Core Seminar (3 hours)
- HTS 7001 Foundations of Socio-Historical Analysis (3 hours)
- 18 additional hours, including at least 12 hours within HTS
- Note that up to six of these additional hours may be awarded as credit for independent study or for directed readings with individual professors. Students routinely receive three hours of independent study credit for completion of the required original research paper. Those pursuing sufficiently rigorous research agendas may receive as many as three additional hours; students who write two papers may receive three credit hours for each.
- Beyond the thirty hours, students are free to enroll in a mix of independent studies, special topics, and other courses as they and their advisors see fit.
The required research paper must be based on upon substantial original research. Ordinarily, students will pursue this assignment after completing HTS 7001 (Foundations of Socio-Historical Analysis) or in conjunction with that course. Research and writing are supervised by a member of the HSOC faculty and chosen by the student with the agreement of the faculty member. The final paper must be read and approved by that person and by at least one other member of the HSOC faculty, chosen by the faculty supervisor. Students should strive to produce papers suitable for publication in an academic journal, and they should expect to present their results to their peers.
Ms. LaDonna Bowen (Old Civil Engineering Building, Room 108D, ladonna.bowen [at] hsoc.gatech.edu, 404.894.3198) advises all graduate students in the HSTS MS and PhD programs. To request a permit or a directed reading/independent study, visit the online request page.
Graduate students in the School of History and Sociology (HSOC) are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies to plan schedules, verify degree requirements, and develop an overall plan of study. Advisors can also offer guidance about a variety of research and teaching opportunities.
In addition to offering income, assistantships, fellowships, and grants provide students with valuable experience and training for careers in academia and elsewhere.
Most students are supported either by teaching assistantships or by research assistantships. Both forms of support carry tuition remission as well as a stipend of at least $7,000 per term, and require that students devote approximately 13 hours a week to assistantship tasks. In some cases students work an additional 7 hours per week and receive an additional stipend or 3 hours of course credit.
Research assistantships with faculty have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the Sloan Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies, Georgia Public Television, the Humboldt Foundation, and the Georgia Humanities Council.
The School of History and Sociology also offers fellowship support for student travel and research.
Georgia Tech Fellowships
The President's Fellowship: A few highly qualified entering students receive this fellowship in addition to their assistantship. This distinguished fellowship, guaranteed for four years so long as the recipient maintains satisfactory progress, provides a salary supplement that raises the annual stipend to at least $15,500, plus tuition remission.
The Smith Teaching Fellowships: These endowed fellowships provide further training for advanced students who have completed their qualifying exams. Students holding the fellowships take primary responsibility for an introductory lecture class. HSOC faculty provide mentoring and training for graduate students in these assignments.
Outside Grants and Fellowships for Students
Our doctoral students have an outstanding record of receiving grants and fellowships from research centers and agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the IEEE, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Hagley Museum and Library, AAAS/RAND, and the Sloan Foundation. The graduate director and your dissertation advisor can provide valuable advice about possible research funding.
The School of History and Sociology (HSOC) graduate students are immersed in a culture of scholarly inquiry and research.
Through courses, seminars, and individual meetings, they interact closely with faculty and colleagues who have earned international reputations for their outstanding scholarship. Numerous special initiatives and programs help HSOC sustain and reinvigorate this vibrant, creative atmosphere.
To prepare themselves for professional life, students are encouraged to make use of resources in Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning to improve their writing and communication skills as well as their marketability.
To read more about the activities of the HSOC graduate students, including theses topics, publications, and conference presentations, visit the graduate research section of the website.
Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) and Technology and Culture (T&C) at Tech
The School of History and Sociology has a long history of engagement with the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), the leading professional society in history of technology, and its journal, Technology and Culture (T&C). Former HSOC professor Melvin Kranzberg was a founding member of T&C and served as a SHOT president, as did former professor Bruce Sinclair. Current professor Steve Usselman continued the tradition with a two-year stint as president beginning in January 2007. The School’s close ties of SHOT and T&C enrich graduate students’ exposure to leading scholars and research.
Center for Women, Science, and Technology (WST)
An interdisciplinary center based in Ivan Allen College, the Center for Women, Science, and Technology (WST) conducts a variety of research and educational programs on campus. Graduate students in the School frequently assist in conducting research and organizing programs, such as speakers series, conferences, and workshops.
Teaching & Education
In addition to regular teaching assistantships and the Smith Fellowship, HSOC and Georgia Tech offer many opportunities for graduate students to expand their teaching skills and experience.
Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)
Georgia Tech's Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) conducts a variety of programs intended to help graduate students develop their teaching skills. Activities range from seminars covering the basics of running discussion sections to videotaping and coaching of individual instructors. CETL regularly offers training for graduate teaching assistants in the use of the latest instructional technologies. The Center’s fellows program also gives a select group of graduate students a chance to pursue their own novel initiatives in education.
Georgia Stories is an ongoing collaborative venture between HSOC, Georgia Public Television (GPTV), and Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) and gives students an opportunity to develop Web-based historical archives and teaching materials aimed at secondary schools and colleges. Now over a decade old, Georgia Stories stands as a model both of educational outreach and of Web-based education in history and the social sciences. During the project, HSOC students locate appropriate archival materials for the site and work with professional educators to develop study questions and other teaching tools that utilize the available documents.
Several academic centers affiliated with HSOC, such as the Center for Women, Science, and Technology (WST), regularly employ HSOC graduate students to assist in their educational programs. Through such internships, students gain experience in a variety of instructional endeavors, such as organizing academic conferences and seminar series, running student workshops, and conducting outreach activities aimed at the broader public.
Teaching Opportunities at Local Institutions
Several colleges and universities in the Atlanta metropolitan area regularly employ advanced graduate students in part-time teaching positions. In recent semesters, HTS students have taught introductory courses at Kennesaw State University, Georgia Perimeter College, Rinehardt College, and the University of Georgia.
Forms & Documents
Below are links to forms and program information that graduate students might find useful during their time at Georgia Tech. As always, the Office of the Registrar keeps the most complete and up-to-date listing of forms.
- HSTS Graduate Handbook
- Program of Study Checklist
- Information on preparing for comprehensive exams
- Important Dates and Deadlines
- Readmission Information & Application
- Cross Registration Information & Application
- Change of Level
- Petition to the Faculty
- Enrollment Waiver
- Request HSOC Overloads and/or Permits
- Online Application for Graduation (OAG)
- Transcript Request