M.S. in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science (HSTS)

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 a Ph.D.

Master's Program Details

Program Requirements

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 credit hours are distributed as follows:

  • HTS 6001 Social Theory (3 hours)
  • HTS 6002 or HTS 6114 History of Technology (3 hours)
  • HTS 6101/6102/6103 U.S., European, or non-Western History (3 hours) History Track Only
  • HTS 6743 Science, Technology and Society (STS): Core Seminar (3 hours)
  • HTS 7001 Foundations of Socio-Historical Analysis (3 hours)
  • Advanced Sociological Methods I (3 hours) Sociology Track Only
  • 15 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 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.

Meet Our M.S. Students

Browse short biographies of our current M.S. students.


LaDonna Bowen advises all graduate students in the HSTS M.S. and Ph.D. 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 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.

Graduate Program Contacts