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Science and Technology Policy, MSTP

Science and Technology Policy, MSTP

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Science and Technology Policy, MSTP

Complexity, Data, Future, Global, Health, Innovation, Management, Policy, Science, Scientist, Solutions, Technology, ethics, government, sustainability

How can science and technology improve people's lives and reduce inequity and injustice? Advances in science and technology open up tremendous opportunities, but only if they are developed responsibly. This program draws on some of the world's foremost experts to prepare you for success in building a technologically complex future.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: MSTP  Science and Technology Policy

The MSTP program uniquely prepares its graduates to have an impact in today's science and technology decision-making. It is designed to train future leaders, policymakers, and analysts in tackling diverse and complex policy issues ranging from climate change to artificial intelligence in ways that are socially responsible and that contribute to a more just and vibrant future.

This one-year, cohort-based program is designed to attract students of the highest caliber. The program also may be completed over an extended period or on a part-time basis. It is suited to anyone interested in a career in which they work to ensure, through responsive and effective policy development and implementation, that science and technology serve society. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds and go on to develop successful careers in government, business, academic institutions and nongovernmental organizations.

The program provides students with knowledge and tools to analyze and answer complex questions around science and technology policy issues, including:

  • How are science and technology influenced by the policy process?
  • What is the rightful place of scientific expertise in public policymaking?
  • What values and assumptions underlie our current understanding of science and technology?
  • Who should make decisions about science and technology policy? Only experts? Or should lay people also have a voice?
  • How should policymakers deal with the risks and uncertainties that come from new science and technology (e.g., biotechnology, nanotechnology, geoengineering, information technology)?
  • How can policymakers balance concerns about science and technology, while maintaining innovation and international competitiveness?

Students work on topics as varied as responsible innovation, technological convergence, social and environmental sustainability, health and well-being, energy, equity, security, data privacy, infrastructure, democracy, STEM education, the role of science, and space exploration and policy. They are able to describe the historical, social and institutional foundations of science and technology policy; discuss the complexities of science and technology policy decisions, decision-making under uncertainty and the role of experts; employ effective policy communications skills and techniques; and work collaboratively and effectively with experts from different backgrounds, including scientists, engineers and elected officials.

Graduates are able to apply critical skills and methods to science and technology policy analysis, apply cutting-edge approaches to ensuring socially responsive and responsible technology innovation, and contribute to developing and implementing creative solutions to many of today's most complex challenges.

At a Glance
Accelerated Program Options
This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years. It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply. Accelerated options may not be available to ASU Online students.

Degree Requirements

30 credit hours including the required applied project course (HSD 593)

Required Core (6 credit hours)
HSD 501 Science and Technology Policy (3)
HSD 502 Advanced Science and Technology Policy (3)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Restricted Electives (9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (3 credit hours)
HSD 591 Topic: MSTP Professional Development Seminar Series (3)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
HSD 593 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Restricted electives are from a list provided by the program chair.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Global Futures.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university of recognized standing. Students are strongly encouraged to have prior relevant education, training or experience in science and technology policy; management of science, technology or innovation; or science, technology and society.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. resume
  5. personal statement
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

Application Deadlines
Session A/CIn Person 01/02Priority
Global Opportunities
Global Experience

Study abroad is possible for graduate students, with more than 50 program opportunities spanning six continents. Faculty-directed programs tend to be the best fit for graduate students; taking courses over the summer or during academic breaks with ASU professors offers close mentorship and professional network growth in many fields of study while earning ASU credit. Exchange program participation is also possible with careful planning.

Career Opportunities

Science and technology policy professionals are in high demand across sectors and industries, including business, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, as well as local, state and federal government. Skills in policy analysis and the policymaking process are valuable to businesses and institutions that deal with science and technology policy issues.

Some career examples include:

  • editor of a science and technology-focused magazine or journal
  • environmental protection specialist
  • government program administrator
  • information technology specialist in the federal government and private sector
  • intelligence analyst on science and technology threats
  • official at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • regulatory policy analyst
  • science and technology research analyst, program or policy analyst, or legislative analyst
  • science, technology or health care policy advisor
  • smart cities program manager
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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