Critical Approaches in Science, Technology, and Medicine (CAST-M) Masters Program

CAST-M is a fully-funded MA program which supports paths to further doctoral study for emerging scholars from backgrounds that are traditionally marginalized in STEM-adjacent humanities fields. We aim to help CAST-M students develop incisive analytical skills for research in fields such as science studies, medical humanities, medical anthropology, history of science and technology, and history of medicine.

Students engaging with the following subjects are strongly encouraged to apply: social dimensions of science, medicine, technology, and engineering; these fields’ intersections with questions of race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism; and their engagement with sites in the Global South and in communities subject to systemic discrimination. We especially welcome interdisciplinary exploration into these pressing issues. A focus on the relevance of these histories to STEM-adjacent humanities fields offers urgently-relevant insights into the production and reproduction of race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism in everyday life.

In addition to full stipend, tuition, and benefits, the program also offers personalized advising from dedicated faculty, small class sizes, strong links to other Hopkins departments such as Anthropology and History, as well as a close-knit, collegial program culture.

The information for the 2024 application cycle and virtual visits can be found below with more details in the Applications tab.

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

For more information and to speak to one of our faculty, attend one of our virtual open houses! Our next session will be held on February 23, 2024 at 9am EST. You can join the session via zoom here. For future open house dates, please click on our admissions tab.

For inquiries, contact




Program Seminar

Program Seminar is a keystone of the CAST-M program. It is a weekly meeting where students learn the fundamentals of graduate work, facilitated by the CAST-M program director and postdoctoral fellow. Program Seminar’s curriculum is designed to guide students as they develop skills in scholarly reading, communication, and research. In students’ first semester, Program Seminar is a “Grad School 101” course as an on-ramp to graduate study. In the second semester, Pro Sem time is dedicated to developing and refining thesis research questions and methodologies. In students’ second year, it is a space to workshop doctoral applications, thesis chapters, and other in-progress work. 

Program Seminar is also an important place to build CAST-M’s close-knit, collegial program culture. Meetings are small, informal, non-hierarchical, and geared to low-stress exploration in a rigorous environment. Examples of Program Seminar syllabi are available here. 

Student Life & Program Culture

CAST-M is committed to education that recognizes the inherent dignity of all community members. As a new MA program, we are actively, consciously, and carefully building a robust internal culture. In Program Seminar and other program spaces, we consistently emphasize mutual respect, collaborative and interdisciplinary exploration, and open-minded personal growth. We also encourage all students to take active ownership of the program’s environment. For example, Program Seminar embraces consensus decision-making and other principles of collective governance. Our hope is that this kind of intentional community-building cultivates a program environment where all students can thrive and reach their full scholarly and personal potential.

In the CAST-M program’s first year, students and faculty put these ideals into practice when they collaboratively wrote the CAST-M Community Charter. The Charter lays out the program’s guiding norms and values. Each member of the CAST-M community is expected to uphold these values in their interactions with others. As a material representation of CAST-M’s values, the Charter is a living document: it can be amended and updated as the community feels necessary to encourage mutual collegiality, respect, and discovery. 


CAST-M is a small program that provides extensive personalized support to MA students who aim to pursue further doctoral study. Two fully-funded positions are available each year. CAST-M does not charge tuition and also offers: a 12-month stipend of approximately $34,000; full health, vision, and dental benefits under the Hopkins Student Health Plan; and a modest allocation for conference travel. Summer thesis research is to be funded by a wide range of internal grants available at Johns Hopkins. Students will work closely with faculty to develop independent research as well as apply to PhD programs at Hopkins and beyond. We hope this uncommon degree of MA support will give students maximum latitude to develop their research trajectories and academic skills. 

In the 2024-5 academic year, CAST-M can admit one additional student who will contribute to an NSF-funded project on wasted food in the United States through their research. The student will receive the same training as all CASTM students, but their final project will be required to center on a question related to wasted food. The project can be self-defined by the student, or can be developed with the project PI and student mentor, Dr. Nicole Labruto. Candidates should have demonstrated relevant interested in food systems, waste, and/or sustainability. The project may be historical or ethnographic, depending on the student’s interest. Candidates interested in being considered for this project should indicate so in their letter of intent.

Virtual Open Houses

Would you like to know more about the Critical Approaches to Science, Technology, and Medicine program before applying by the March 1, 2024 deadline?

Join us at one of our virtual open houses in 2024:

January, 26, 2024 at 9am EST. You can join the session via zoom here.

February 16, 2024 at 9am EST. You can join the session via zoom here.

February 23, 2024 at 9am EST. You can join the session via zoom here.

Check back here for more opportunities!

How To Apply

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

Apply here: and choose the button for “Admissions application for School of Medicine Graduate Programs”


Funding opportunities, including full scholarship with stipends, will be available. Admitted students will be affiliated with the Institute for the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Program on Medicine, Science, and the Humanities at the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Applicants must have a BA or equivalent degree by the time of admission. To apply, please submit:

  • A letter of intent between two to three pages, single-spaced, describing your research interests and previous experience. Please note: Please upload your letter of intent in the personal statement section. Once you upload one document, the section should allow you to add further documents as needed.
  • A writing sample of no less than eight pages and up to 15 pages of continuous prose.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Finalists will be requested to submit names of three references who can write letters supporting their candidacy.
  • Optional 1-2 page personal essay with the following prompt: Tell us about an aspect of your identity or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you would like to pursue at Hopkins. This can be a future goal or experience that is academic, extracurricular, or social and may relate or include discussion of any aspect of your identity such as gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic status, political affiliation, first-generation status, religion, etc.

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

Apply here: and choose the button for “Admissions application for School of Medicine Graduate Programs”

For inquiries, contact


Click on faculty photos to link to departmental bios.


Ahmed Ragab, MD, PhD
CAST-M Director


Yulia Frumer, PhD


Graham Mooney, PhD


Gabrielle Robbins, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Jeremy Greene, MD, PhD

Jeremy Greene, MD, PhD

Alexandre White Headshot

Alexandre White, PhD


Nicole Labruto, PhD


Lijing Jiang, PhD


Soha Bayoumi, PhD


Lan Li, PhD



Joseph Aaron S. Joe


Anisa Johnson