Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA)
The transdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) emerged in the 1970s out of growing concern about the social and political effects of scientific and technological developments. Engaging with the human dimensions of science and technology, STS uses methods from a variety of perspectives associated with the humanities and social sciences. Faculty in our MA program come from English, Geography, History, Philosophy, Sociology, the School of Journalism, and the Faculty of Education. Topics for STS study include: how laboratories work, how to understand the development of scientific practices and technological objects in social context, examination of the ethics of science and technology, analysis of expertise and authority of science in democracies, understanding relations between science and public policy, and exploring representations of science and technology.
What makes the program unique?
The Science and Technology Graduate Program is one of only two such programs in Canada, and the first to be housed in an Arts faculty. We have more than twenty full-time faculty in the program, with internationally recognized scholars who are committed to teaching and research. The small size of our program means that each student receives full attention and supervision. In addition, students benefit from our STS Colloquium Series which features prominent scholars from around the world. Our past visitors include: Lorraine Daston, Evelyn Fox Keller, Bruno Latour, Stephen Shapin, Isabelle Stengers, and many more.
Contact the program
Meet a UBC representative
Reaching Out Strategies: Approaching letter writers and potential supervisorsDate: Thursday, 22 October 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
An essential part of the graduate school application process is reaching out to potential supervisors and referees. Learn strategies on how to do this and make your application as strong as possible from graduate programs team members and current students.Register
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date15 October 2020
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date15 October 2021
3) Prepare Application
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
The UBC STS program has several strengths including history and philosophy of nineteenth- and twentieth-century physics, biology, and economics, comparative studies of scientific institutions (especially in the USA, USSR, and China), rhetoric of science and scientific communication, and representation of science and technology in literature or popular culture.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Anger, Suzy (Victorian Literature, Literature and Philosophy, Victorian Literature and Psychology, Victorian Literature and Science, Hermeneutics)
Barnes, Trevor (Vancouver)
Bartha, Paul (Philosophy of sciences and technologies; Environmental philosophy; Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Probability, Confirmation, Decision Theory)
Beatty, John Henry (Socio-political dimensions of genetics and evolutionary biology)
Berryman, Sylvia (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; Ancient Greek natural philosophy; Aristotle's ethics; ethics and global poverty)
Bowers, Katherine (Arts, Literature and Subjectivity; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Arts and Technologies; Arts and Literary Policies; Russian literature; Russian culture; literary culture; genre; narrative; imagined geography; the novel; Dostoevsky; gothic fiction)
Brain, Robert (History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)
Callison, Candis (changes to media practices and platforms, journalism ethics, the role of social movements in public discourse, and understanding how issues related to science and technology become meaningful for diverse publics.)
Dick, Alexander (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; Artistic and Literary Theories; Arts, Literature and Subjectivity; British Romanticism; Scottish Enlightenment; Literature and Economics; Literature and the Environment; Literature and Science; Scottish Literature)
Frank, Adam (Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, media, and poetics, science and technology studies, theories and histories of affect and feeling, rhetoric of science)
Hill, Ian (rhetoric, persuasion, argumentation, technology, weapons, interrogation, political economy, war rhetoric, conflict rhetoric, dissent, mass movements )
Iurascu, Ilinca (Arts and Technologies; Artistic and Literary Theories; Media and Society; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Theories and Philosophies; German literature; media theory; Cultural Studies; film studies; critical theory; visual studies; media archeology)
Johnston, Kirsty (Dramatic literature and theatre history with particular interest in disability arts and intersections between health, disability and performance )
Kemple, Thomas (Social and cultural theory, history of social sciences, literary and interpretive methods, aesthetic sociology, visual representation of concepts and arguments)
Kojevnikov, Alexei (Modern history of science, especially physics, science, society,and culture, Russia and Soviet History, Nuclear History and the Cold War)
Mawani, Renisa (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; Colonial Legal History; critical theory; Race and Racism; Oceans and Maritime Worlds; Time and Temporality)
Nardizzi, Vincent (Renaissance literature , ecotheory, queer and disability studies)
Petrina, Stephen (Adolescent Issues, Artistic and Aesthetic Development, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Cultural Studies, Curriculum Studies, Educational Technologies, Environmental Education, Higher Education, History of Education, Literacy, Media, Semiotics, Text Studies, Metacognition and Learning, Music, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Research Design and Method, Science Education, Social Cognition, Social Studies Education, Sociological Issues, Subcultures, Technology)
Ramana, M. V. (Energy Production; Nuclear and Fusion; nuclear energy; nuclear disarmament; arms control; nuclear policy; risk of nuclear accidents; political economy of energy)
Richardson, Alan Walter (History of philosophy of science in early twentieth century)
Schabas, Margaret (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; History and Philosophy of Economics)
Segal, Judy (Public discourse and personal experience(health and illness))
Smith, Tai (Arts and Technologies; Economical Contexts; Modern and Contemporary Art and Design; media theory; Politics of Media and Mediation; Gender; Textiles)
Steel, Daniel (Addiction; Diversity; ethics; Opioid crisis; Clinical trials; Equity; Philosophy / Ethics; philosophy of science; Values and science risk; Precautionary principle)
Stephens, Christopher (philosophy of biology; philosophy of science; rationality; Why be rational?; scientific philosophy)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Further Program Information
Science and Technology Studies offers graduate students firm grounding in the fundamental concepts, research methods, and discourses of STS, including disciplinary and theoretical perspectives on the question of scientific objectivity and methodology; sites of knowledge production; the development of scientific knowledge and technological practices; the uses of knowledge in policymaking and other social contexts; the political and social roles of scientists, engineers, and other experts; science, technology, and ethics; science, technology, and aesthetic representation; public perceptions of science and technology; the rhetoric of science; and critical analysis of interactions between science and technology and the broader literary and media cultures in which they are embedded.