Director: Professor Karl Appuhn (CAS)

Administrator: Jennifer Capozzoli (CAS)

Steering Committee: Professor Karl Appuhn (CAS), Professor Mara Mills (Steinhardt), Professor Jonathan Bain (Tandon), Professor Robyn D'Avignon (CAS), Professor Stefanos Geroulanos (CAS)

Requirements at a Glance:

  • 1 required course (HIST-UA 66, Introduction to Science & Society, formerly HIST-UA 94) Required course does not have to be taken first.
  • 12 more points chosen from the list of approved minor electives. Minor electives are offered in NYU's College of Arts and Science (CAS), Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Tandon School of Engineering, and Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

How to Declare:

CAS students submit this form to declare the minor.

All other NYU undergradutes declare the minor using the Application for Cross-School Minor online form, accessible via the "Academics" tab in your Albert Student Center.


Science and society is a rich, inherently cross-disciplinary minor, drawing on the course offerings and faculty expertise of the College of Arts and Science, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The minor analyzes how the techniques and methodologies of the humanities and social sciences can be used to illuminate both the context and content of science, technology, and medicine. Drawing upon history, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, students investigate how culture and society frame—and, indeed, are themselves framed by—science, technology, and medicine.

The current influence of scientific, technological, and medical issues on our lives is unprecedented, altering our notions of race, health, responsibility, ownership, ethics, esthetics, and indeed self. We are therefore obliged to understand these critical interactions with a view to understand, and intervene in, the world. The types of questions this minor poses include: How has gene patenting affected both the content and conduct of molecular biology, as well as intellectual property law? What is the relationship between the mathematical descriptions that physicists employ and the nature of physical phenomena? What are the ethical and political issues involved in human embryonic stem cell research? How do machines shape esthetics? What, if anything, is the difference between a machine and a human? How does nature have a history?

This minor serves as an enlightening complement to pre-health studies, pre-law studies relevant to intellectual property, biotechnology, and environmental and healthcare studies. It also provides a potent training to those interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the history, philosophy, sociology, or anthropology of science, technology, or medicine.

Program of Study

The minor in Science and Society requires 16 points of coursework. To complete the minor, students take the core course (Introduction to Science and Society) and complete the balance of required points with approved electives. Courses may be taken in any order; Introduction to Science and Society does not have to be taken first.

Many courses in the minor fall into one of the following four clusters: technology, physics, biology/prehealth, and environmental sciences. Students are strongly encouraged, however, to be creative and challenge themselves to think in ways other than those that are strictly categorical. For example, a student interested in understanding the difference between the natural and the artificial might take the following three elective courses in addition to the required Introduction to Science and Society course: Philosophy of Biology; Humans, Machines, and Aesthetics; and Nature and Technology in Modern America.

Students are also strongly encouraged to take courses in the various schools throughout NYU contributing to the minor. This will expose them to a plethora of diverse pedagogical experiences and greatly enhance co-learning. Please be mindful of your home school's policy for earning and credits in other NYU schools.

Required Course in CAS

HIST-UA 66, Introduction to Science and Society

formerly HIST-UA 94
(4 points)
Introduces techniques and approaches used by the humanities and social sciences in studying science, technology, and medicine. Investigates how historians, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists apply their methodological toolkit in investigating scientific, technological, and medical knowledge. Invites students to think synthetically, organically, and creatively across several disciplines.

Elective Courses

Click here to see a list of Science and Society electives on offer in the current semester!

Please check Albert and departmental websites for each course's availability by semester, meeting times, and prerequisites.

If you have a course that you think should count as an elective, but do not see it in the following list, email a course syllabus to the minor's Administrator

Jump to:

College of Arts & Science

Gallatin School of Individualized Study

NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Shanghai

Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Tandon School of Engineering

College of Arts and Science

ANTH-UA 35, Medical Anthropology (4 points)

ANTH-UA 36, Global Biocultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Public Health (4 points)

CSCI-UA 1, Computers in Society (4 points)

CSCI-UA 472, Artificial Intelligence (4 points)

ENVST-UA 425, History of Ecology and Environmentalism (4 points)

ENVST-UA 9450, Australian Environmental History (4 points)

FRSEM-UA 418, Disease in American History (4 points)

HIST-UA 79, Pandemics in World History (4 points)

HIST-UA 115, Environmental History of the Early Modern World (4 points)

HIST-UA 135, Premodern Science (4 points)

HIST-UA 158, History of Medicine (4 points)

HIST-UA 202, History of Western Medicine (4 points)

HIST-UA 275, Topic: Science, Technology, and Environment in East Asia (4 points)

HIST-UA 293, Topic: Global Medicine and Disease, Challenges We Face (4 points)

HIST-UA 401, History of Sexuality and Reproduction (4 points)

HIST-UA 443, Topics: Science, Religion, & Humanities Since Darwin (4 points)

HIST-UA 547, Food and Drugs in Chinese History (4 points)

HIST-UA 569, Topics: Controversies and Debates in Public Health (4 points)

HIST-UA 572, African Ways of Knowing (4 points)

HIST-UA 750, Topics: American Environmental History (4 points)

JOUR-UA 503, Journalism and Society: Covering the Earth (4 points)

PHIL-UA 5, Minds and Machines (4 points)

PHIL-UA 50, Medical Ethics (4 points)

PHIL-UA 53, Ethics and the Environment (4 points)

PHIL-UA 80, Philosophy of Mind (4 points)

PHIL-UA 88, How Science Works (4 points)

PHIL-UA 90, Philosophy of Science (4 points)

PHIL-UA 91, Philosophy of Biology (4 points)

PSYCH-UA 53, Psychological Science and Society (4 points)

SCA-UA 158, Race and Reproduction (4 points)

SOC-UA 414, Sociology of Medicine (4 points)

SOC-UA 935, Topic: Young Adult Health (4 points)

Gallatin School of Individualized Study

IDSEM-UG 1059, Disease and Civilization (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1156, The Darwinian Revolution (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1207, Origins of the Atomic Age (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1231, The Trial of Galileo (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1294, Philosophy of Medicine (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1298, Ecology and Environmental Thought (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1328, Rethinking Science (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1339, Foucault: Biopolitics and the Care of the Self (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1514, Science and Religion (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1516, Understanding the Universe (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1519, Biology and Society (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1532, Lives in Science (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1534, The Seen and Unseen in Science (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1551, Science and Theatre (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1566, History of Environmental Science (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1571, Humans, Machines, and Aesthetics (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1575, Energy (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1602, Nature, Resources, and the Human Condition (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1652, Science and Culture (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1703, The Green Dream (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1720, The Artificial and the Natural (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1760, Quantification and Social Thought (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1801, Minds and Bodies: A History of Neuroscience (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1814, Darwin's Origin of the Species (2 points)

IDSEM-UG 1832, Genetics and Society (2 points) & IDSEM-UG 1833, Music and Science (2 points)
Note: The above courses together count as one elective

IDSEM-UG 1891, Tinkering in Feminist Technoscience (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1911, Magic Bullets and Blockbuster Brands: Drugs, Disease, and Chemistry in the Modern World (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 1961, The Western History of Madness, From the Bible to DSM-V (4 points)

IDSEM-UG 2018, Life Among the Machines (4 points)

NYU Abu Dhabi

CSTS-UH 1036, Progress in Science (4 points)

NYU Shanghai

HUMN-SHU 110, What is Science and Technology Studies? (4 points)

Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

FOOD-UE 1033, Food and Agriculture in the 20th Century (3 points)

FOOD-UE 1180, Food and Nutrition in a Global Society (4 points)

LIBAR-UE 141, Science in the Community (4 points)

MCC-UE 1026, Disability, Technology, and Media (4 points)

MCC-UE 1034, Media, Technology, and Society (4 points)

MCC-UE 1036, On the Phone: Telephone and Mobile Communication (4 points)

MCC-UE 1411, Visual Culture of Science and Technology (4 points)

NUTR-UE 1184, Food Science and Technology (3 points)

PUHE-UE 70, Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health (4 points)

PUHE-1315, Intro to Public Health Nutrition (4 points)

PUHE-UE 1323, Environmental Health, Social Movements, and Public (4 points)

Tandon School of Engineering

HI-UY 3244, The History of Light (4 points)

HI-UY 2254, From Heat Engines to Black Holes (4 points)

PL-UY 2254, Science and Pseudoscience (4 points)

PL-UY 2274, Space and Spacetime (4 points)

PL-UY 2294, Quantum Mechanics and Information (4 points)

PL-UY 3254, Philosophy of Science (4 points)

PL-UY 3264, Physics, Information, and Computation (4 points)

PL-UY 3284, Relativity and Spacetime (4 points)

STS-UY 1002-A, Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (2 points)

STS-UY 2004-A, Science, Technology, and Society (4 points)

STS-UY 2224, Science and Sexuality (4 points)

STS-UY 2244, Magic, Medicine, and Science (4 points)

STS-UY 2444, History and Philosophy of Internet Technology (4 points)

STS-UY 2624, The Rhetoric of Science (4 points)

STS-UY 3004, Seminar in Science and Technology Studies (4 points)

STS-UY 3204, Science and Difference (4 points)

STS-UY 3434, Hypermedia in Context (4 points)

STS-UY 3624, Science and Technology in the Literary Sphere (4 points)