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College of Engineering

Certificate in Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering, and Society

The Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering, and Society Undergraduate Certificate Program (ISSuES) offers students an opportunity to interact with the social sciences and humanities in a way that emphasizes the relationship between science, technology, engineering, and society.

ISSuES was designed to help engineering students fulfill liberal arts requirements, but is highly flexible and available to all undergraduate students interested in exploring the complex interplay between science, technology, engineering, and society.

Students enrolled in ISSuES will:

  • Take courses from across campus that will encourage them to think critically about the connection between science, technology, and society.
  • Get help choosing courses to fulfill the liberal arts requirements of their majors and their own personal educational goals.
  • Have one-on-one contact with leading faculty from across campus.
  • Interact with students and faculty interested in the broader impacts of social, political and ethical concerns related to engineering.

Engineering Undergraduates enrolled in ISSuES will:

  • Use their required electives to gain the interdisciplinary skills necessary to become creative and effective engineers in a rapidly changing environment.

ISSuES Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires a total of 15 credits.

All students enrolled in the ISSuES program take STS 201 Where Science Meets Society, a 3-credit course designed to give students the tools and language with which to approach the relationship between science, engineering, and society in an integrated and interdisciplinary fashion.

Students complete 9 additional credits (typically three courses) chosen from one of four focus clusters. Click the focus clusters below to see the types of courses associated with each cluster.

Ethics Focus: This cluster of courses aims to provide students with the tools to rigorously consider the ethical issues that are raised by engineering and scientific research and by the commercialization of the products of that research.

Leadership Focus: This cluster of courses concentrates on public policy issues raised by scientific and engineering research and the widespread use of new technologies.

Design Focus: This cluster of courses aims to expose students to the esthetic and social issues raised in engineering practice.

General Focus: This cluster has the broadest focus, allowing students to create their own emphasis while taking courses that provide them with the tools and language with which to approach the relationship between science, engineering, and society in an integrated and interdisciplinary fashion.

Students have two options for completing ISSuES:

  1. Complete an intermediate or advanced level course (designated I, A, or D in the Course Guide) from their chosen focus area (2–3 credits), or
  2. Complete a capstone experience, such as an Independent Study, Directed Study, Senior Thesis, and Senior Studies Thesis (2–3 credits).

Students in the ISSuES program choose a certificate advisor who will work closely with them to create a course contract. This contract is designed to help students fulfill the certificate requirements and the liberal elective requirements of their majors with a single set of classes. The certificate program will not typically increase a student’s time to graduation.

For more information about program requirements and completion, see the Continuing Students page.