Self-Designed Concentration

This concentration allows students to design their own curriculum that addresses pertinent topics from STS perspectives. Students need to have or develop a strong sense of why a self-designed concentration is better suited for them than the six STS concentrations and other majors, as well as what it means to pursue their particular interests as an STS major. This is not a collection of random classes — it has to have a coherence and strong STS analytical frameworks.

B.S. students must include at least 8 Technical courses and at least 4 Social-Cultural courses, while B.A. students must include at least 8 Socio-Cultural courses and at least 4 Technical courses. As with other concentrations, these courses should (a) be clearly related to the intellectual objectives of the concentration, and (b) include sequences of classes that build on one another. Students with a self-designed concentration must fulfill the same core requirements as other STS students as well as courses equivalent to a Concentration Core in their STS content.

Students interested in designing their own concentration must work with the Associate Director and have their proposal approved at least 2 quarters prior to your graduating quarter. Please note that the approval of a self-designed concentration often requires multiple meetings and approval could take several weeks. Interested students should take the following steps:

Step 1: Complete the Self Design Intake Form and Schedule a Meeting with the Associate Director

In this short form you will provide a paragraph that describes your academic interests and a list of courses you plan to take. This list should (a) clearly indicate a few Socio-Cultural courses and a few Technical courses; and (b) include descriptions from ExploreCourses for each course, copied and pasted. Where available, also copy and paste syllabi for courses that are not part of the STS curriculum. Please be sure to set up a meeting with Associate Director, Dr. Sato after submitting this form.

Intake Form

Step 2: Fill out the Self Design Student Meetings Form

Upon review of your materials, if your interests are deemed appropriate and productive as a self-designed concentration in STS, you will work with the Associate Director to finalize your proposal and curriculum in the following weeks. Self-designing a concentration in STS requires strong communication skills and consistent follow-up. To help with the process, we ask that after EACH meeting with Dr. Sato, you complete this form. This is to ensure that records of the progress of your curriculum are being kept to best support you. 

Student Meetings Form

Step 3: Submit the Final Self Design Concentration Proposal Form

You will submit your final proposal using this form. As a reminder your 5-10 page  proposal should (a) include a narrative that describes your intellectual objectives in detail and explains why a self-designed concentration is the optimal way to pursue these objectives, and (b) list at least 12 courses and 50 units that comprise the plan of study.

Final Proposal Form