Undergraduate Certificate

FAQs

I am not a Princeton undergraduate student. Can I still apply to the Program in Technology and Society, Information Technology Track?
No. You must be a Princeton undergraduate student to receive this certificate.

How does the TS certificate relate to the Program in Applications of Computing?
The T&S certificate is for students from all backgrounds who want to study the intersection of computing and society. Applications of Computing is for non-CS majors who want to study computing—at another university it might be called a “minor in Computer Science”.

I am an incoming freshman, and although my major is undeclared/undecided, I am interested in the T&S certificate. What is an optimal course map for the program?
The first course you should take is the core course required, EGR/HIS/SOC 277 Technology and Society.

Please see the Technology and Societal courses listed in the Course Requirements for other suggested courses. Two technology, two societal and one breadth courses are required to receive this certificate.

Can I substitute another course for one of the required courses?
Substitutions must be consistent with the goals and structure of the program. Any substitution must be approved in advance by the director of the Information Technology Track. Please email the request to the Information Technology Track Program Manager, Laura Cummings-Abdo, .

Can I take any of the courses as PDF?
Yes, you may take one course out of the six required as a PDF course, and this does include the core course. All other courses must be taken for a letter grade.

What else is required to receive this certificate?
Along with the course work, a semester of Independent work and participation in the annual symposium are also required to receive the T&S, Information Technology Track certificate upon graduation.

Do you need to be in a specific major to apply for the T&S, Information Technology Track certificate?
No, as long as you fulfill all the certificate requirements you will receive the certificate upon graduation.

Can I get a T&S, Information Technology Track certificate and another certificate at the same time?
Yes, as long as you meet the requirements for both.

Can I use courses that count toward my major as T&S, Information Technology Track certificate courses?
Yes, as long as the courses are listed in our current course list. Please note your major may have limitations, so please check with your undergraduate adviser regarding your major requirements.

How do I apply for the T&S, Information Technology Track certificate?
Fill out the application form here, and you will be added to the certificate program. You will receive a welcome email from the Program Manager, Laura Cummings-Abdo, and will see the certificate on your TigerHub records shortly thereafter. If you ever decide you longer want to pursue the certificate, just let Laura know and she will remove the certificate from your student records.

Information about Independent Work and the Annual Symposium 

As stated above, beside the course work, one semester of independent work and the presentation of this work at an annual symposium is required to earn the T&S certificate. This work may be part of your junior paper or a chapter or two of your senior thesis.

Do I have to get my independent work approved, and if so, is there a deadline date?
Yes, your independent work for the certificate must be approved in advance by the director of the information technology track, and must be approved by December 10th of your senior year. If you are doing your independent work as part of your junior paper, you must make sure you get the work approved in advance of doing the research.

Can I turn in my thesis paper as the independent work for the T&S certificate?
No, your independent work may be a chapter or two of your thesis, but it is not your thesis in its entirety. There are special criteria for the approval and fulfilling of the independent work for the certificate, and it is only this research that should be included in your presentation at the symposium.

My independent work is technical and generally benefits society, but it was not approved. Why?
Independent work must include research of a technology that relates to society, which then may have possible policy implications that could arise from it. We expect independent work by students from technical disciplines to engage directly with the sociological, humanistic, or policy components of the technology in question. Please note that essentially all of computer science and engineering is ultimately motivated by the betterment of society, but that is not sufficient by itself.

When is the symposium, and what are the guidelines?

  • The T&S symposium is usually held in the first week of Reading Period in the spring.
  • Each student’s independent work presentation is limited to 8-10 minutes, and there will be a short Q&A after each talk.
  • The room is A/V equipped, and most students use a power point presentation, but it is not required.
  • Students may use notecards, but reading the presentation is not allowed.
  • Students are required to stay for the entirety of all the presentations.

Is anything else required for the symposium?
Yes, a week before the symposium you are required to submit a title and short abstract of your talk. The abstract should include what your research was about and the conclusions attained after completing the research. Please see the Certificate Graduates tab to find previous examples of what is expected.

What if I have more questions?
Please contact the program manager of the Information Technology Track, Laura Cummings-Abdo, .