Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA)

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

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.

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

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

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

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

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

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.

Research Information

Research Focus

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

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Financial Support

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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

The two-year M.A. program in STS is designed to give students opportunities to develop their understanding of the roles of science and technology in the contemporary world, and to work in fields such as science and technology policy, science journalism and communication, or curatorial positions in science and technology museums. Our graduates also pursue further studies in a Ph.D. program; recent graduates have gone on to York and Cornell.

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.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20222021202020192018
Applications82314136
Offers35303
New Registrations23302
Total Enrolment76534
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies (MA)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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.

  • 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)
  • Philip, Kavita (Humanities and the arts; Colonial and Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies; STS; HCI; History of Science and Technology; Cold War Science)
  • Ramana, M. V. (Public administration; Public policy; Public security policy; arms control; Energy transitions; degrowth; nuclear disarmament; nuclear energy; nuclear policy; political economy of energy; risk of nuclear accidents)
  • Richardson, Alan Walter (History of philosophy of science in early twentieth century)
  • Schabas, Margaret (History and philosophy of economics; Economics and business administration; History and Philosophy of Economics; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; science studies; History fo Early Modern Philosophy)
  • Smith, Tai (History of art and architecture; Art theory and analysis; Visual theory, visual culture and visual literacy; Arts and Technologies; Economical Contexts; Gender; media theory; Modern and Contemporary Art and Design; Politics of Media and Mediation; 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; philosophy of biology; philosophy of science; rationality; scientific philosophy; Why be rational?)
  • Thompson, Evan (Philosophy; Asian Philosophies; Cognitive Science; Phenomenology; Philosophical Foundations; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; Theories and Philosophies)
  • Tworek, Heidi (Historical studies; Europe; Germany; history of media and communications; international organizations; international relations; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies)
  • Wang, Jessica (US history, 19th and 20th centuries, history of science and medicine, political and intellectual history, social and urban history, US international history )
  • Winthrop-Young, Geoffrey (German theories of media and cultural techniques, Complexity, biological evolution and animal studies, Secret societies and conspiracy theories, Science Fiction (special focus on Alternate history))
  • Wylie, Alison (Philosophy; feminist philosophy; philosophy of archaeology; philosophy of science; philosophy of the social and historial sciences; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; research ethics (non-medical); science studies)

Pages

Further 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.

Program Website

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