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Interdisciplinary Concentration in Society, Ethics, and Technology

Program Planner


The interdisciplinary concentration in Society, Ethics, and Technology (SET) is designed for students who are interested in learning about the relationship between the human designed world and its impact on individuals, society, and the environment. SET principles are studied from a variety of perspectives: the design process including the application of mathematics and sciences, economics of technological activity, ethics, and the social sciences. SET is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to explore and understand the many ways that science and technology shape modern culture, values, and institutions, and how values shape science and technology. As citizens, consumers, workers and family members, we all depend heavily upon science and technology.

Students completing the concentration gain a balanced perspective on the importance of business and industry to economic activity and the role each individual can play in gaining control over and providing direction to sustainable technological progress. This concentration would enhance professional opportunities in many fields, e.g. high technology business management, law and public policy, engineering, and science/technology journalism.

Faculty Sponsors

D. Bates (Sociology), E. Friedman (Women’s & Gender Studies), B. Leven (Economics), S. O’Brien (Technological Studies)



  • IDS 252/Society, Ethics and Technology *
  • An appropriate FSP may be substituted with permission of faculty sponsors

Arts and Humanities

Choose two from among the following:

  • TST 161/Creative Design *
  • PHL 135/Contemporary Moral Issues *
  • PHL 255/Biomedical Ethics (Same as HON 355/Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy or permission of instructor)
  • PHL 265/Environmental Ethics *
  • PHL 411/Philosophy of Science (Prerequisite: One science and one philosophy course, or permission of the instructor)

Social Sciences and History

Choose two from among the following:

  • SOC 345/Inequality, Pollution, and Environment *
  • ANT 341/ Dynamics of Cultural Ecology *
  • HIS 176/American Technology  *
  • COM 403/Social Marketing: Public Communication Campaigns *
  • ECO 315/Labor Economics (Prerequisite ECO 101)
  • ECO 325/Women, Gender and Work (Prerequisite ECO 101)
  • ECO 335/Economics of Development (Prerequisite ECO 101)
  • WGS 230/Gendered Technoculture *

Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning

Choose one from among the following:

  • Any Statistics or Calculus course approved for the liberal learning breadth requirement *
  • Any Laboratory Science course approved for the liberal learning breadth requirement *


Choose one from among the following:

  • Independent Study in Technological Studies
  • Internship in Technological Studies (Internships will include a significant academic component under the supervision of a faculty or staff advisor)
  • Business- or Government-Related Internship in Engineering.

* Courses without prerequisites