Science, Technology & Society at Bar-Ilan University

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Admission Info


Who can apply?

The students in our program traditionally come from a wide array of disciplines, including the sciences, the humanities and the social sciences. We also have students who are returning to their studies after having worked (or while still working) in industry, public policy, advocacy, the law, conservation, high-tech, and many other fields. We encourage diverse backgrounds in our students, and feel that it lends greatly to the enrichment of the learning environment. As diverse as the background of our students is, however, we do apply a rule: all applicants must have at least a first degree with high marks of excellence (whether in the Humanities, the Sciences, Engineering, or the Social Sciences). Applicants should be advised that many of our students hold Masters degrees; however, strong candidates with Bachelor degrees are encouraged to apply.
How do I apply?
Applicants must apply both to Bar Ilan University and to the Program on Science, Technology and Society
Applications to Bar Ilan University are submitted on-line (Here for MA students, here for PhD students). This ought be done simultaneously to sending in your personal statement and information to our department 
Applications to the program should consist of:

A complete Curriculum Vitae

  1. A Statement of Purpose (1000-1500 words long) in which the applicant explains why he or she is interested in the program, how his or her prior studies and interests relate to this motivation, and what, in particular, interests him or her about the field.   (Before writing this statement of purpose, take the time to familiarize yourself with our field, to be certain that you understand what you're getting into.  You can find a wealth of information on the internet, or can start with this brief descriptions of Science, Technology & Society (STS) and History & Philosophy of Science (HPS), our constituent disciplines.)  
And should be sent to noahjefron [at]
 ?When will I know the decision
The Program Committee on Admissions will review the applications and invite suitable candidates for an interview. Acceptance will be on a rolling admissions basis, and applicants should be advised that admissions are competitive. The sooner the application is in, the sooner will we be able to invite applicants for an interview. We shall therefore be offering interview days for suitable candidates in April, May and, finally, in June. While early applicants will be informed of the decision of the Program Committee on Admissions as decisions are reached, all decisions will be made by July 30

Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. A background in sciences, philosophy or history is considered an advantage.

The program is for graduate students (M.A. and Ph.D.) only. There are three available courses of study:
  1. M.A. studies, with a thesis requirement. For those with a B.A. or B.Sc. or Masters degree from an accredited institution of higher education in Israel or abroad in any field other than STS or history or philosophy of science. Standard length of the program is two years.
  2. Combined M.A. – Ph.D. studies (maslul meshulav). For students holding a B.A. or B.Sc. of masters degree from an accredited institution of higher education in Israel or abroad ina discimpline other than STS or the history or pfilosophy of science, and demonstrating exceptional potential. This program allows students to complete course requirements for a Master’s degree and then, instead of writing a master’s thesis, to submit a Ph.D. proposal. This proposal will be recognized to fulfill the requirements of a thesis, and once it is approved, the student will be granted a Master’s degree. She or he will continue immediately to work on their doctoral dissertation. Those wanting to pursue this course will need to pass an internal comprehensive examination that will determine whether they are elligible to continue  for the PhD. Standard length of the program  to Ph.D. is estimated at five to six years.
  3. Ph.D. studies. For students holding a relevant master’s degree, as deemed by the faculty. Standard length of the program is estimated at four to five years.
Course Requirements

Students with no background in the humanities, particularly philosophy and history, are required to complete up to three year-long courses (six “yearly hours”) in these subjects. The precise courses will be chosen by the student together with her or his faculty advisor, according to the interests and research goals of the students.

Students with no background in the science are required to complete up to three yearlong courses (six “yearly hours”) in these subjects. The precise courses will be chosen by the student together with her or his faculty advisor, according to the interests and research goals of the students.
The program demands that students participate in twenty “yearly hours” of courses and seminars, in addition to any prerequisite requirements. Among these are:
Core Courses and Seminars: These five courses and seminars are required for all program students:
  • Introduction to the History of Science, parts I and II
  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Parts I and II
  • Science, Technology and Society
Elective Courses and Seminars: These five courses or seminars may be chosen, in consultation with your faculty advisor, for any relevant courses taught in our program or throughout the university.
Additional Requirements:
Students in the program are required to submit to the faculty two seminar papers (which will typically have been written as part of a course or seminar). These papers must reflect the abilities of the student to research rigorously, write clearly and, especially, to think creatively.
Those students who want to pursue a PhD will be  required to pass a comprehensive examination in Science, Technology and Society. The exam will be based on the independent reading of students of a list of seminal books in the field, to be determined jointly by the student and her faculty advisor. This list of books will be taken from a larger list of Important Works in Science, Technology and Society, Technology and Medicine.
Unless a special exemption is granted, to continue on to doctoral studies in the combined M.A.-Ph.D. program, students must attain an average of 90 in their coursework.