Minor in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (HSTM)

From climate change to pandemics to the transformative effects of information technology—many of the challenges we confront today are inseparable from science, technology, and medicine (STM), whether as cause, explanation, or remedy. To understand the role of STM in our present predicament and think through how it will shape our future, a historical perspective is vital. In the HSTM minor, students will learn from the array of methodological approaches developed by historians of science, technology, and medicine, and track the evolution of modern science from antiquity to the present, in many of the world’s cultures.

For students majoring in the humanities and social sciences, the HSTM minor enhances their understanding of the content, methodologies, and impacts of science, technology, and medicine; in a complementary fashion, the HSTM minor provides students majoring in the natural sciences or engineering a richer appreciation of the social and cultural aspects of their fields, as well as the trajectories that brought their subjects to their present state.


  • There are no prerequisites for the minor.

Admission to the Program

  • Students register by submitting the HSTM Minor Application Form to Jackie Wasneski, Administrative Coordinator, by the end of the spring semester of their junior year.
  • Students majoring or minoring in History are not eligible for the HSTM minor.

Students interested in the minor are encouraged to meet with the Undergraduate Program Director for HSTM for a brief welcome and introductory advising session. 

Program of Study

  • 1 required course: HIS 390 (“Formations of Knowledge: Historical Approaches to Science, Technology, and Medicine”)
  • 2 courses in the history of science, technology, or medicine, from the list below
  • 1 course in History not on the list below
  • 1 additional course: this course may be a HSTM course, a HIS course, or a cognate (with approval of the Undergraduate Program Director for HSTM)
  • All courses for the HSTM minor must be taken for a grade (no P/D/F).
  • No more than one course may double-count with a course taken for credit in the major or another minor.

Independent Research Requirement

  • Students must submit to the HSTM Undergraduate Program Director a paper of at least ten double-spaced pages in 12-point Times New Roman font, or equivalent, demonstrating original research in the history of science, technology, and medicine. This can be a segment of students’ independent written work in their majors; a written assignment from a course; or a paper done outside of coursework.

Courses in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Bolded courses are offered in the current or upcoming semester.

Course Distribution Requirements
(only applies to majors)1
Semester Offered
EGR 277 / HIS 277: Technology and Society P, KB  
HIS 290: The Scientific World View of Antiquity and the Middle Ages P  
HIS 291: The Scientific Revolution and European Order, 1500-1750 P  
HIS 292: Science in the Modern World P, KB  
HIS 293: Science in a Global Context: 15th to 20th Century KB, PC  
HIS 294: Science and Medicine in the Early Modern World KB, PM  
HIS 295: Making America: A Technological History of the United States P, KB  
HIS 297 / STC 297: Transformative Questions in Biology KB  
HIS 298: Information Revolutions KB Fall 2024
AAS 352/HIS 347 Race and Reproduction in U.S. History    
ART 361/HIS 355: The Art & Archaeology of Plague G  
SPI 364/HIS 368 Making Post-Pandemic Worlds: Epidemic History and the Future    
AAS 331/HIS 382: Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History RD  
HIS 390: Formations of Knowledge: Historical Approaches to Science, Technology, and Medicine RD, PC Fall 2024
HIS 392: History of Evolution KB  
HIS 393: Race, Drugs, and Drug Policy in America KB, RD  
HIS 394: History of Ecology and Environment KB  
HIS 395: History of Medicine and the Body KB, RD  
HIS 396: History of Biology KB  
HIS 397: Medicine and the Mind: A History of Psychiatry from the Asylum to Zoloft KB, RD  
HIS 398: The Einstein Era KB  
AMS 399 / HIS 399: In the Groove: Technology and Music in American History, from Edison to the iPod KB  

HIS 452: Magic, Matter, Medicine: Science in the Medieval World

KB, PM  
GSS 426/HIS 458: History and the Body    
HIS 472: Medicine and Society in China: Past and Present KB, RD, G  
HIS 481: Science and Film KB  
HIS 489: The Scientific Self KB, PC  
HIS 491: Fertile Bodies: A Cultural History of Reproduction from Antiquity to the Enlightenment PM  
HIS 492: The Therapeutic Persuasion: Psychotherapy and American Life KB  

HIS 493: '1, 2, 3, Testing'... in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

HIS 494: Broken Brains, Shattered Minds KB, RD  
HIS 495: Alchemy - Art and Science KB, PM  

HIS 496: The Science of Heaven and Hell

KB, PM Fall 2024
HIS 497: Eating, Growing, Catching, Knowing: Historical Perspectives on Food, Science, and the Environment    
HIS 498: History of Pseudoscience KB  
HIS 499: Things    

1 Distribution Requirement Designations:

  • Knowledge & Belief (KB)
  • Power & Conflict (PC)
  • Pre-Modern, pre-1700 (PM)
  • Race & Difference (RD)
  • Geographic (G)

Undergraduate Program Director for History of Science

Katja Guenther
224 Dickinson Hall

Administrative Coordinator

Jackie Wasneski
127 Dickinson Hall