Science and technology are the roots, not only of our understanding of the natural world and its relationship to human welfare, but also of the constraints on what can be accomplished with the scarce resources comprising nature. Virtually all public policies are grounded in the realities of the natural world and proceed on the basis of constantly changing assumptions about or understandings of nature. An understanding of science and technology is thus essential to the formation of virtually any sound public policy.
In addition to the role of science and technology in policymaking on issues such as environmental imbalances, energy sources, human health, and national defense, this concentration considers U.S. policies toward science and technology itself, U.S. policy-making institutions, and the roles that scientists, engineers, and physicians play in the policy process.
Foundation courses and electives will be selected from the listing below, as appropriate for the goals of individual students. A total of 35 units is required and all courses must be completed for a letter grade.
Students proposing to undertake the Science and Technology Concentration must have a program of study approved by a member of the Science and Technology faculty (see sidebar) prior to applying for admission.
Students completing this concentration have employment opportunities with local, state, federal, and international organizations concerned with science and technology policy and regulatory agencies, legislative bodies and firms dealing with such agencies, including consultancies. Graduate students in science and engineering fields may find several sources of tuition (and in some cases stipend) support while taking classes in public policy, and should review the funding opportunities page for more details.
The list of graduate level gateway and elective concentration courses may also be found in the Stanford Bulletin. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; students may select other courses for their concentration with the approval of their faculty adviser.
Gateway Courses for Science and Technology Policy Concentration*
PUBLPOL 353. Science and Technology Policy
PSYCH 232. Brain and Decision Making
MS&E 231. Introduction to Computational Social Science
MS&E 250A. Engineering Risk Analysis
MS&E 293. Technology and National Security
Remaining units can be taken from the course lists below
Energy and Environment
MS&E 243. Energy and Environmental Policy Analysis
MS&E 294. Climate Policy Analysis (not offered in 2018-19)
MS&E 295. Energy Policy Analysis (not offered in 2018-19)
ECON 250. Environmental Economics
EARTHSYS 232. Evolution of Earth Systems
ENERGY 253. Carbon Capture and Sequestration
PUBLPOL 222. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response
LAW 4005. Introduction to Intellectual Property
MS&E 270. Strategy in Technology Based Companies
ECON 126. Economics of Health and Medical Care
LAW 3004. Law and Biosciences: Genetics
MS&E 256. Technology Assessment and Regulation of Medical Devices
MS&E 292. Health Policy Modeling Ethics and Other Subjects
MS&E 254. The Ethical Analyst
MS&E 330. Law, Order & Algorithms
HRP 296. Current Topics in Bioethics (not offered in 2018-19)
EDUC 348. Policy and Practice in Science Education (not offered in 2018-19)
MS&E 184. New Directions in the Psychology of Technology and Work
MS&E 284. Designing Modern Work Organizations (not offered in 2018-19)
*Gateway courses may vary year to year based on availability.