T&S Certificate – IT Track

Requirements for the certificate program for graduating seniors through spring 2026. Please note that if you are graduating after spring 2026, these program requirements do not apply, as the certificate will be changed to a minor and will have different requirements. Information about the requirements for the new minor will be available here sometime during the 2024-25 academic year.

  • Six courses
  • One semester of independent work
  • Independent work research results paper due by Dean’s date


The following six course requirements need to be satisfied to earn the program certificate in Technology and Society, Information Technology Track.

P/D/F policy: Students may use no more than one course with a “P” designation to satisfy program requirements (excepted as noted below).

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all courses taken with a “P” designation by students in the spring and fall 2020, and spring 2021 semesters that apply to the information technology track of the certificate will count. All other semesters must have a letter grade of “C” or better to count as a course requirement.

  • Course course – EGR/HIS/SOC 277 – Technology and Society (This course is offered every spring.)
  • Two technology courses
  • Two societal courses
  • One breadth course

Additional information regarding courses:

  1. The core course provides students with the intellectual tools needed to approach the rest of the program – a “set of lenses” that will help them view the issues being addressed in their work. Ideally, this course will be taken before the other required courses.
  2. A breadth course combines technology and society in an area outside of IT. For engineering/science students this is based in the societal disciplines (BSC), and for humanities and social science students this is based in the science/technology disciplines (BTC).
  3. Courses that begin with “Advanced Topics in,” “Special Topics in,” or “Topics in STEP” may reuse course numbers but change course titles from year-to-year. Please make sure you are looking at an approved course title.
  4. One-time courses may not be listed on the overall course list page. Please see the tab “Course Offering by Term” for one-time courses that have been approved for this certificate.
  5. Feel free to email Laura Cummings-Abdo, if you feel a new course might be applicable to our certificate program. Please make sure you include the link to the course and the syllabus when asking for approval.

Independent Work

All students are required to undertake a one-semester independent research project in IT and society. This can be done four ways:
1) Taking the COS IW – Technology Policy seminar or SPIA Policy Task Force seminar taught by CITP Clinic Lead Mihir Kshirsagar. (Please note these courses are open only to juniors of COS or SPIA students and are listed on the semester by course webpage.)
2) Including the T&S IW research as part of a student’s junior paper.
3) Including a chapter or two of the student’s senior thesis devoted to the T&S IW research.
4) Performing IW solely for the T&S certificate program.

Please note that independent work must include research of a technology that relates to society. 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. Independent work must explore the interface between technology and society.

All independent work topics for the certificate must be pre-approved by the information technology track director of the certificate program. Please make sure approval is granted before beginning your semester of independent study. Senior work approval must be received by December 10 of your senior year. If you would like to do independent work as a junior, it must be submitted for approval by March 1 of your junior year. Please submit your IW proposals to Laura Cummings-Abdo,

To complete the independent work requirements, students are required to submit a two- to three-page double-spaced paper explaining the independent work research results. Independent work papers are due to Laura Cummings-Abdo, , by 5 p.m. on Dean’s Date, Tuesday, May 7, 2024. Please submit the proposal as an attachment to email and not as the body of the email. 

Your paper should include a brief summary of the approved work you proposed (not the entire proposal), and the remaining part of the paper should be a discussion and results of that work, including the technology involved. You should not submit your full thesis. Please tailor the two- to three-page paper to your Technology and Society certificate independent work only.

You are also required to provide a title and brief description of your independent work (same format as above). Please see our Certificate Graduate webpage for description examples.

Apply for the certificate here.