Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Main Office: 1017 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Handbook, November 2013
Handbook, January 2013
Handbook, March 2011
Handbook, December 2010
Handbook, April 2005
Handbook, April 2004
Handbook, March 2003
Handbook, January 2002
Handbook, October 1999
Graduate Student Handbook
Revision: Draft of April 2015
Table of Contents
B. Distribution of Studies Requirements
C. Logic Requirement
D. Language Requirement
E. Comprehensive Requirement
2. Research Papers
3. Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy
4. Annual Meeting of Dissertation Committee
5. Statute of Limitations
7. Final Oral Examination
8. Dissertation Documents
B. Departmental Teaching Practicum
C. M.A. Thesis Research
D. Independent Study Courses
E. Directed Study
F. Prospectus Research
G. Dissertation Research
I. Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
B. Advanced Credit
C. Departmental Resources
D. Course Load
E. Part Time Study
F. Courses in Other Departments
G. Academic Integrity
J. Department Evaluations
K. Leaves of Absence
M. Privacy Act
N. Problem Resolution
O. Parental Accommodation
IX. Other items
This booklet is a compendium of Departmental policy concerning graduate students. It embodies the rules and regulations of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) and, as such, stands until amended by Departmental action.
Students are also responsible for complying with all requirements set forth in the University of Pittsburgh's The Faculty of Arts and Sciences - Graduate Programs Bulletin.
The University of Pittsburgh operates on the trimester system. The Fall (September-December) and Spring (January-April) terms are when most courses are given. HPS typically offers no graduate courses in the summer. Graduate courses are numbered 2000 and above. Undergraduate courses at a low level are numbered 0001-0999. Undergraduate courses at a higher level are numbered 1000-1999.
University of Pittsburgh nondiscrimination policy statement
The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University's mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, please contact: William A. Savage, Assistant to the Chancellor and Director of Affirmative Action (and Title IX and 504 Coordinator), Office of Affirmative Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (412) 648-7860.
I. Graduate programs - general requirements:
The core of the graduate degree program is a series of seminars (approximately 4-6 are offered each term). These range from general surveys of the field and methods of research to specialized research on selected topics in history and philosophy of science. These courses are divided into three areas:
Area 2: History of Science.
Area 3: Philosophy of Science.
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the PhD in a timely manner. Funding is guaranteed for five years (if the student maintains good standing), with sixth year funds normally available, but not guaranteed. Part-time instructional funds may be available for students and graduates beyond the sixth year. Students who receive two or more years of external funding can extend their HPS guaranteed funds into their sixth year.
The first two years are given over chiefly to seminar work. Students must fulfill comprehensive requirements as outlined in Section III.E. Upon successful completion of distribution requirements, the logic requirement, language requirement, comprehensives, and upon approval of a suitable thesis topic and successful prospectus defense, they will begin work on their doctoral dissertation. Students making good progress toward a degree can expect five years of support, within limits of the Departmental budget.
Students who have completed or who are nearing completion of the program can expect Departmental assistance in their efforts to obtain jobs, provided that a first draft of the entire dissertation has been approved. The Department will do all that is reasonably possible to place those students. Students seeking Departmental placement assistance must abide by the Departmental placement rules described in VII.L.
II. M.A. degree requirements:
A. Distribution-of-Studies Requirement:
2. Fifteen hours from Areas 2 and 3, with at least six hours in each area.
3. Six hours of Research Paper credits.
B. Language Requirement: Good reading knowledge of either French, German, Latin, Greek, or approved substitute language. (Language acquisition courses cannot count toward the degree.) Proficiency is to be demonstrated according to III.D.
C. Research Paper Requirement: Students must submit a research paper in the history of science and a research paper in the philosophy of science. Evaluations of papers will be limited to a master's pass-fail. A master's pass on both papers is required for the M.A. degree. (See specifics in Section III.E.)
D. Course Credit Requirement: A minimum of 30 credit hours. No more than two (non-HPS) 1000-level courses (6 hours total) may count towards the M.A. degree. (No pre-1000 level courses can be used to satisfy the degree requirements. No HPS courses at the 1000-level can count.)
III Ph.D. degree requirements:
B. Further Distribution-of-Studies Requirements: At least nine hours at the 1000- or 2000-level, in one of the following (a maximum two 1000-level, including the two for the M.A.):
2. history, exclusive of history of science.
3. a field of natural science, social science, mathematics or computer
science (courses taken towards the M.A. degree may be counted toward
the requirement for the Ph.D.).
D. Language Requirement: Good reading knowledge of one foreign language (Latin, Greek, German, French, or approved substitute). The foreign language exam must be passed before the student completes the comprehensive requirements.
The language requirement can be satisfied in several ways:
2. Passing the sequence of courses German 021 and German 022 (German Reading) with a grade of B or better in each course.
3. Passing an examination of the following general type:
b. The examination will be graded on a pass-fail basis, and the major consideration will be comprehension rather than ability to produce a strictly literal translation.
c. A student who fails the examination may take it as often as s/he chooses, unless terminated for other reasons. When possible, examiners will be rotated. The language requirement must be completed before the student completes the comprehensive requirements.
E. Comprehensive Requirement: By the end of the fall term of their third year in the program, students must have satisfactorily fulfilled the following requirements:
(Requirements A-E for the degree must be completed before the student can have a dissertation topic approved at a prospectus hearing.)
F. Course Credit Requirement: A minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate credit.
G. Teaching Requirement: All students must acquire some supervised teaching experience during their tenure at the University.
At least four persons must be on the Committee, the majority of whom, including the Director, must be full or adjunct members of the Graduate Faculty and members of the Department. The Committee must contain at least two Primary members of HPS. In cases where it is advisable for a student to have co-directors, at least one of them should be a Primary member of HPS.
2. Prospectus: After the Dissertation Committee has been approved by the Chair, the student should prepare a written description of the dissertation project. This prospectus should include a bibliography of works to be consulted in working on the dissertation. The prospectus should be detailed enough to enable the Committee to decide the merits of undertaking the project. When the Dissertation Director agrees that the prospectus is ready to be distributed to members of the Committee, the prospectus is sent to the members of the Committee. Committee members have two weeks to decide whether the prospectus is ready to be defended. If after two weeks of receipt no member has objected to scheduling the prospectus exam, then the defense will be scheduled. Committee members' agreement to have the prospectus defended does not guarantee that it will be accepted. At this meeting, the student defends the prospectus to the Committee. The Committee can either accept the prospectus unconditionally, ask for changes, or reject the prospectus. In any case the Director will convey to the student the reasons for the Committee's decision. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, students must pass the prospectus exam no later than the Spring of the third year in order to remain eligible for financial aid. If they have not defended their prospectus, graduate students are expected to submit a report describing the progress they have made proposing a timeline for completion and defense of their prospectus at the end of the semester following the semester in which they have completed the comprehensive requirements (e.g., at the end of Spring if the requirements were completed in the Fall).
3. Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy: After a student's prospectus has been accepted, the student is eligible for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The appropriate University form can be obtained from the department administrator and must be filed by the student and the Director with the Chair of the Department and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Dean will notify the student in writing of the approval of admission to candidacy and of the composition of the Dissertation Committee. A student must be admitted to candidacy at least eight months before the Final Oral Examination. Once the student is admitted to candidacy, the Dissertation Director becomes the candidate's advisor. After admission to candidacy, any change in the composition of the Dissertation Committee requires approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
4. Annual Meeting of Dissertation Committee: The candidate must meet annually (preferably at the beginning of the school year) with the Dissertation Committee to assess progress toward the degree, objectives for the following year, and a timetable for completing degree requirements. Committee members who are not in residence will be supplied with materials from the candidate and will make a written report to the Director concerning the candidate's progress.
5. Statute of Limitations: The Department expects that the Ph.D. Program can be completed in five years. Formally, however, students are required to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. within a period of 10 years from the student's initial registration for graduate study or eight years if the student has received credit for a master's degree appropriate to the field of study. The Committee reviews annually the progress of dissertation students. The Dissertation Director may, in consultation with the student, require as a condition for continuing to serve as Director of the dissertation that the student give further indication of satisfactory and regular progress towards the completion of the degree.
6. Dissertation: The candidate must submit a significant and acceptable dissertation on a topic in history and philosophy of science. The Dissertation must conform to University requirements as set out in the ETD format guidelines.
7. Final Oral Examination: The candidate is required to pass an oral examination in defense of the dissertation. The examination may cover material not covered in the dissertation. The examination will be conducted by the Dissertation Committee.
At least four weeks (and if possible, six weeks) before the examination is scheduled, all members of the Committee must have received copies of the final draft of the dissertation and have indicated to the Director that the dissertation is defendable. At least two weeks before the Final Oral Examination, the Dissertation Director must provide the Dean of Graduate Studies with a typewritten notice, listing the title of the dissertation, and the time and place of the Final Oral Examination, for announcement within the University.
Any member of the Graduate Faculty may attend and participate in the Final Oral Examination of a candidate. Other qualified persons may be invited by the Committee to attend and participate. Anyone else may attend but not participate. Only members of the Committee may vote on the outcome. Each member of the Committee may vote to: 1) accept the dissertation and recommend the candidate for the degree; 2) accept the dissertation conditional upon minor changes, to be supervised by the Dissertation Director; 3) require major changes and a resubmission and re- evaluation of the dissertation; or 4) reject the dissertation without right of resubmission.
If the dissertation is accepted, reports on the Final Oral Examination and the approval of the dissertation must be signed by all members of the Dissertation Committee and sent to the Dean of Graduate Studies for approval. The report on the approval of the dissertation may be signed at the same time as the report on the Final Oral Examination, or later, after revisions have been approved.
8. Dissertation Documents: All required forms must be deposited with the Dean of Graduate Studies before the candidate can be graduated.
9. Graduation: Candidates must file an Application for Graduation early in the term in which they expect to graduate (see current calendar for the deadline) and they must be registered for at least one credit during the term of their graduation.
(For rules pertaining to part-time participation in the program see section VII.E.)
IV. Classics, philosophy and ancient science:
This is an M.A./Ph.D. program offered jointly by the Departments of Classics, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science. Students in any of the three departments who are interested in the Philosophy and Science of Classical Greece and Rome may enroll in the CPAS Program. While enrolled in one of the three departments, students in the CPAS Program work closely with each other and with the cooperating faculty drawn from all three departments.
HPS students who are enrolled in the CPAS Program will concentrate on the scientific and philosophical texts of Classical Greece and Rome. They will be required to develop facility in Greek and Latin, to take courses in classical literature, history and philosophy, and courses in modern philosophy. They must meet Departmental Requirements III.A-E as well as the specific requirements of the CPAS Program. Students making satisfactory progress in the CPAS Program are guaranteed one additional year of financial support.
HPS faculty cooperating in the CPAS Program are: James Lennox, Peter Machamer and Paolo Palmieri. Additional cooperating faculty include Kristen Inglis (Philosophy), Jessica Gelber (Philosophy), and Christina Hoenig (Classics). For further information, contact James Lennox (HPS, CPAS Program Director).
V. Course offerings:
The Department's graduate seminars range from general surveys of the field and methods of research to specialized research seminars on selected topics in history and philosophy of science. All HPS courses are 3 credits.
Currently Listed Courses are:
Area 1: Core Seminars
Area 2: History of Science
Area 3: Philosophy of Science
*Courses will not fulfill the Ph.D. distribution of studies requirement.
Other courses of interest to students are offered by the Departments of Classics, Philosophy, History, Anthropology, Linguistics, Economics, Sociology, Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, and Computer Science.
These lists are open-ended. As new courses are developed and introduced they will be added to one or another list. At the time that the schedule for the next term is published, seminars will be marked as to whether they count in Areas 2 or 3. Reading courses that are given during the summer will be assigned to an Area at the time they are set up.
VI. Additional information on course offerings:
Each student is required to take all three seminars (2501, 2502, 2503). HPS 2501 must be taken in the Fall Term of the first year. HPS 2502 and HPS 2503 are offered in alternate Fall Terms. They are to be taken in fall terms of the first two years in whichever order they are offered.
HPS 2501 is a graduate survey of recent work in Philosophy of Science, intended to introduce students to the concepts and theories of the discipline.
The HPS 2502/2503 combination is a two-term history of science sequence that deals especially with primary source material in a topical manner. The sequence is not intended as a survey of history of science and is designed so that either seminar in the sequence can be taken first. The content of the seminars will vary from year to year, but 2502 addresses the history of the life sciences and medicine and 2503 addresses the history of the physical sciences and mathematics.
This course, HPS 2497 (1 credit per term, S grade), is required of TA/TFs during their first year of teaching and all student instructors during the year in which they teach independently for the first time. See VIII.B.1
A student who has not completed the comprehensive requirements may not register for an independent study course without the written permission of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chairman. HPS 2990 is to be used only for meeting course enrollment requirements. An "S" will automatically be given if the student is making satisfactory progress in the program.
E. Directed Study:
HPS 2902 (Pre MA Directed Study) and HPS 3902 (Advanced Directed Study) are to be used as actual courses that will require instructor supervision. They can be used to fill special needs. The Dean's office now allows Directed Study courses to be subtitled which will allow transcripts to be more descriptive.
HPS 2999 is to be used when preparing work for a prospectus meeting.
HPS 3000 is reserved for students who have been admitted to candidacy. Students are still encouraged to continue taking seminars.
This course is reserved only for those students who have been admitted to candidacy, have 72 credits, and have met all departmental requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation.
HPS 3000 and FTDA are restricted to students who have been admitted to candidacy, since the department discourages extended, full time work on doctoral dissertations without the guidance of a properly constituted committee that has approved the project by passing the student's proposal at a prospectus exam.
Graduate students may receive graduate credit for up to two 1000-level (6 hours) in non HPS subjects, subject to approval by the graduate advisor.
VII. Departmental rules and regulations:
The Director of Graduate Studies advises all students until a dissertation director is approved.
The student will meet with the Graduate Student Advisor and together they will arrange the student's program. Incoming students register at the beginning of their first term. Usually this is done after the new students' orientation meeting (held at the beginning of the Fall Term). Continuing students should pre-register.
Course schedules are available online and are distributed in hardcopy by the secretary. Once students have consulted with the Director of Graduate Studies about their course selections, the hold on their account will be lifted and they can register online for classes.
Students whose grade point average falls below 3.0 or 'B' (counting non- departmental incompletes as 2.0) for two consecutive terms will not be allowed to register for the new term until the Department has reviewed their work and decided whether or not they may continue in the program.
B. Advanced Credit:
Those students entering the program with an M.A. or Ph.D. from elsewhere may petition the Department for credit toward their degrees. They should prepare a written document stating the requirements for which they wish to receive credit and listing the courses they have taken elsewhere satisfying the Departmental distribution requirements. They must submit to the Department an official transcript listing those courses. They may obtain a maximum of 24 credits for work elsewhere (credits cannot be counted toward a University of Pittsburgh Master's level degree). Transfer credits cannot be used to satisfy HPS Area 1, 2 or 3 seminar requirements.
Because Departmental funds are limited, graduate students are not allowed to use Departmental telephones or secretarial services. Graduate students may use the photocopy machine at the rate of .05/page (See Department Administrator for an I.D. number).
For a student on the job market, the Department will reproduce curriculum vitae and will duplicate the materials needed for the Departmental placement effort. All other expenses of reproducing a dissertation, including photocopying, are the student's responsibility.
D. Course Load:
The normal course load for a full-time student holding a TA is three courses, plus any required courses in teaching. See VIII.B.1
Normal course load for full-time students not holding a TA (including fellows) is four courses (12 credits) for letter grade in the fall and spring terms.
Students are to take this normal course load until the following Ph.D. requirements are met:
However, this load may be reduced by one course during the term in which the research papers are written for the comprehensive requirement by registering for HPS 2990 Independent Study (3 credits).
In the term in which the final paper(s) for the Comprehensive Requirement III.E are submitted (typically Fall of year 3), students may register for up to 3 credits of Prospectus Research (HPS 2999). In the semesters following successfully passing the Comprehensive Requirement, students may register for up to 6 credits of Prospectus Research (HPS 2999). This continues until the prospectus requirement is successfully completed and the student advances to PhD candidacy.
Students may not sit a prospectus exam until requirements III.A-E are satisfied.
Students who have passed their prospectus exam and are admitted to candidacy should register for HPS 3000 Dissertation Research (up to 9 credits)beginning in the semester following the prospectus exam and, once they have accumulated 72 credits, FTDA Full Time Dissertation Research.
E. Part-Time Study:
The doctoral program is designed to be a program for full-time study. Part-time status may be adopted by full time students enrolled in the doctoral program after they have completed one full term of graduate study with letter grades on at least three courses. It may only be adopted as a temporary measure in response to emergency circumstances and if there is a reasonable expectation that the student will be able to resume full-time study. A student may accrue at most two years of part-time study in the course of the program. A student may not be on part-time status in the terms during which the student submits research papers (Section E2) or submits to a prospectus.
For purposes of clause III.E, years of part-time study will not be counted. Students who have undertaken part-time years will be required to have completed the comprehensive requirements by the end of their fifth full-time term in the program, excluding summer terms.
In extraordinary circumstances, these conditions may be altered or waived on the basis of a written petition to the department.
Students are encouraged to take courses in other departments. Indeed, it is recommended that students consider taking an M.A. or M.S. in another field. Work in another field should be undertaken only after students are well grounded in HPS.
All students are expected to conduct their work in accordance with the academic integrity code of the University of Pittsburgh.
Students must maintain a minimum of a `B' (3.0) average (see also section I on Incompletes). If a student falls below the requirement, s/he is placed on probation. Students remaining below the required 3.0 for two consecutive terms will not be allowed to register for the next term. In this case, the Department must meet in order to ascertain whether or not they will be allowed to continue in the program.
The Department strongly discourages incomplete grades in seminars. For the official policy on "G" and "I" grades, see the Graduate Programs Bulletin.
Students with incompletes on their records at evaluation time are at a severe disadvantage with respect to funding, and sometimes with respect to continuation in the program. Any I or G grades that are more than one term old will be counted as a grade of D for purposes of the annual evaluation. Students are reminded that a B average is required for continuation in the program, and students who do not have a B average will not be permitted to register. (A GPA of B should not, however, be construed as "making good progress.")
The Department will meet each February to evaluate all students currently enrolled in the program. The Director of Graduate Studies, or the student's Dissertation Director, and the Chairman, will meet with each student and inform him/her of the results of the evaluation.
Specifically, the will be informed in writing as to whether s/he is making good, satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress. Students falling into the latter category will be given one warning, and if improvement to satisfactory is not made by the next evaluation, they will be terminated from the program. Minimally, the students must complete successfully the requirements as stated herein, within the stipulated time periods. This includes those requirements for progress after the comprehensive requirements. Failure to complete the requirements will be considered grounds for termination from the program.
Students working on their dissertations will be informed as to the Department's assessment concerning their placement possibilities.
Students may request a leave of absence. These requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Students should submit their written request to the Graduate Advisor detailing the reasons and length of their proposed leave. Leaves of Absence are of two kinds - Official and Unofficial:
2. Unofficial: Readmission is not automatic, the application fee must be paid, and the original statute of limitations remains in effect.
1. General Policy.
a. Students who complete the Ph.D. program satisfactorily can expect strong support and aid from the Department in their efforts to find a suitable first position. The degree of Departmental commitment, and the nature of the positions for which it will support a student's application, will, however, be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Department will decide which positions an applicant may apply for with Departmental support. Such determinations will consider the quality of the student's course and dissertation work, the promptness with which work was completed and teaching competence. Completion of the Ph.D. program with work of marginally acceptable quality and speed will not entail Departmental support in placement efforts. However, should a student wish to solicit new letters and compile his or her own dossier, the candidate may apply wherever desired. Those writing letters of reference should be informed in such a case that the student is applying for positions without Departmental support.
2. Practical Advice
Students should begin preparations early by developing expertise that will assist in securing positions. There are relatively few positions available specifically in history and philosophy of science. Most doctorates from the department have found positions in philosophy departments. Students who will seek appointment in a philosophy department are urged to develop a general expertise appropriate to a philosophy department. They should be adept in a broad range of philosophical areas, including elementary logic, and should develop the general philosophical expertise that complements their specialty. For example, a student working in 17th century science should also be knowledgeable in 17th century philosophy; a student working in philosophy of cognitive science should also have an expertise in general philosophy of mind; a student working in confirmation theory should also be knowledgeable in epistemology. Fewer positions are available in history of science programs, although students with expertise in history of science may also secure positions as archivists, editors of scholarly editions and in museums. Students who will seek positions in history of science programs should develop general expertise appropriate to a history department, analogously to the suggestions above for those seeking appointment in a philosophy department.3. Preparation and Mailing of Dossiers
a. A typical dossier consists of a cover letter (written by the Director of Placement), resume/CV, confidential letters of recommendation, teaching portfolio and samples of written work, including an outline of the dissertation. In the selection and preparation of these materials, the student will be assisted by the dissertation committee chair and the Director of Placement. In order to allow time for revision of this material, students should supply draft versions of written material for the dossier as early as possible.
M. Privacy Act:
Students are advised that recommendation letters for which they have not waived their rights of access are often not taken seriously. Some professors refuse to write letters of recommendation if such access rights are not waived. Waiver forms will be provided for those wishing them at the time that recommendation letters are solicited.
If a student or faculty member experiences a problem with the advising process, the DGS or the Chair should be notified. The Chair or DGS should try to mediate any problems and to help the student continue to progress towards the degree. Students are informed that if reconciliation at the departmental level fails, they may bring their problems to the FAS Dean's office.
Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Guidelines
Purpose: Consistent with the University's efforts to strive to be inclusive and to support academic-personal life balance, the University believes it is important to provide accommodation for graduate students who become new parents, whether by childbirth or adoption, so that they may contribute to their family responsibilities while continuing to make progress towards their degree. This practice will help develop students who can successfully integrate their academic and personal pursuits. In recognition of the challenges of balancing the demands of graduate study and parenting a new child, these guidelines aim to improve the academic environment for student parents.
The Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Guidelines assists graduate students immediately following the birth or adoption of a young child. The purpose of these guidelines is to make it possible for a student to maintain registered full-time student status, along with all the benefits of such status, while facilitating the return to full participation in courses, research and teaching.
Eligibility: The Parental Accommodation Guidelines apply only to full-time students enrolled in graduate programs who are in good academic standing and who are making satisfactory progress toward completion of a graduate degree. These guidelines do not cover students in professional programs. Students must have completed at least one full-time semester of their degree program to become eligible for coverage under these guidelines. The guidelines cover the situation of students who experience a child birth, who adopt a child who is unable to be enrolled in full-day public school due to age or other developmental reasons, or who is a partner of someone who has experienced a child birth or an adoption for whom the student has parental responsibilities. These eligibility requirements cover all provisions of the guidelines.
1. Parental Accommodation Period
2. Student Funding During the Parental Accommodation Period
VIII. Teaching assistantships and fellowships:
Full-time graduate students in good or satisfactory standing in the Department are eligible for TA-ships. Students making good progress will be given preference. The number of TAs available is a function of the money given to the Department by the Administration. The conditions of eligibility are three:
2. No student can expect more than ten terms of financial support from University funds (excluding Summer Term and Sessions).
3. The progress of students will be evaluated each January or February. The reallocation of TAs will be contingent on satisfactory progress towards the requirement for the Ph.D.
4. According to University of Pittsburgh policy, any TA/TF who has been assigned to any teaching responsibilities and who is not a native speaker of English must take an interview test and be evaluated for overall English language comprehensibility. The ITA English Comprehensibility Testing is scheduled and conducted by the English Language Institute. Schools or departments may require higher scores than the established University minimums. All TAs/TFs obtaining unsatisfactory scores must complete an enhancement program. If a TA/TF does not obtain a satisfactory score by the time of reappointment, it is sufficient cause for nonrenewal.
2. Those students appointed as TAs or TFs should carefully read Section VIII.E on the responsibilities of TA/TFs.
2. Students who performed poorly as TAs should not expect renewal. Students who lack the requisite communication skills or substantive knowledge will not be given TAs.
3. Teaching assistants and teaching fellows must be evaluated by students and by a supervising faculty member in each course to which they are assigned.
b.Each department is responsible for providing orientation, training, supervision and evaluation of its graduate student appointees, and for assigning one or more faculty members to work with the individual graduate student to assist him or her in carrying out assignments and to facilitate professional development. In courses that use teaching assistants or teaching fellows, faculty evaluations are conducted by the faculty instructor. A faculty member appointed by the Chair evaluates independently taught classes. The Chair communicates the pairings to the students before the beginning of the term in which they will be teaching. In each case, the faculty member visits the class at least once during the term, ideally during the first half of the term. It is recommended that the faculty member meets with the teaching assistant or teaching fellow soon after the observation to discuss substantive feedback on her/his teaching, and consult with and provide guidance to her/him about any sub-standard aspects of the teaching observed. It is recommended that the faculty observer writes a report and deposits it in her/his file no later than the end of the term in which the course is taught. Decisions concerning renewal of teaching positions will be made in light of both student and faculty evaluations.
b. Suitable background for TA assignment
Promotion to a TF requires the completion of the Master's Degree or the completion of eight courses and successfully passing the comprehensives.
All classes throughout the whole term must meet as scheduled. Exceptions are made when numbers of sections are reduced at the start of the term, but this is done at the request of the professor.
CGS courses must meet at all scheduled class times. CGS is very strict about this. So is HPS. No one, this term or any subsequent term will cancel any class without explicit permission from the chairman's office. Any unauthorized cancellation will result in immediate dismissal from your TA position and will ensure that no future funding will be granted by the Department. There are no exceptions. There is no one save the chairman that can authorize same. If a medical or other serious emergency prevents your meeting your class, you must inform the Department Chair (and the supervising lecturer if you are assisting in a course) as far in advance as possible so that an arrangement can be made to cover the class. Failure to comply with this rule can result in not being reappointed the following term, or in some cases, dismissal.
2. If you are assisting in a course, you must attend every lecture in the course.
3. You must keep an official record for the class or section to which you are assigned. This should include each student's name and each grade assigned for homework, papers, and examinations. You must be able to produce this record at the request of the Department for one year after the end of the term.
4. Office hours (two hours a week on separate days) should be scheduled for the convenience of students. You should notify them of your office hours during the first week of class. Notify the Administrative Assistant in writing of your office hours no later than the end of the first full week of classes.
5. You are responsible for 20 hours of work per week as a TA/TF. This includes office hours, time spent in the class you are teaching, preparation and grading time.
6. The Department does not charge for photocopies of tests and other handouts.
7. A copy of your syllabus must be given to the Department Administrator during the first week of the term.
8. University rules forbid the posting of grades in public venues. If you use Courseweb for communication of grades, make sure that each student's grades are only visible to the student. Note that the Department will not give out grades over the telephone, and that students should access their final grades online or contacting you directly, should you choose to allow this.
9. Important remarks about grading papers and exams.
b. Comments on papers should never be sarcastic or cruel. Special sensitivity should be exercised when the philosophical materials covered in a course challenge fundamental religious or ethical beliefs of students.
c. Check references in written work carefully, and be aware of the possibility of plagiarism (see below).
11. Sexual harassment in its multi-varied forms is increasingly being recognized as a problem on all US campuses. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the University's policy on combating sexual harassment and for behaving in accordance with this policy.
12. As a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow, you are an employee of the University and representative of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. In the circumstances, criticizing the Department, the courses, the texts, the faculty, or the discipline, in your classroom or in private discussion with your students would be unseemly, disloyal, and demoralizing. If you have legitimate complaints, bring them to your supervising lecturer, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Chair. Our program of graduate support depends on maintaining a good teaching record. Each HPS course should be a valuable experience for every student enrolled in it.
IX. Other items:
The Graduate Student Organization is an informal organization formed in 1977 to represent the graduate students in the History and Philosophy of Science Department, and to give them a voice in Departmental issues that affect graduate students. Any graduate student in the History and Philosophy of Science Department may be a member of the organization.
The members elect a graduate student in good standing to represent them at all Departmental meetings, and an alternate representative who replaces the representative in case s/he is unable to attend a Departmental meeting. The representative may make proposals at Departmental meetings and participate in the discussions but is not empowered to vote. The representative also calls student meetings when necessary, in order to discuss proposals for new rules and issues of concern to the graduate students, and to report on the results of Departmental meetings to the students.
Funds are available within the department to support graduate student travel on research and professional projects. Each year the funds available will be divided and distributed as follows:
1. Every graduate student entitled to receive support will be assigned a travel fund. The total budget available for all graduate student travel funds will be divided into an equal number of shares and apportioned to students according to their seniority in the program by the following schedule:
The value of a single share will vary from year to year according to the number and seniority of students and the size of the budget. In recent years, a single share has been worth roughly $90.
2. Claims may be made at any time from July 1 to May 1 for the financial year starting in July 1. Reimbursement will be made only for legitimate, appropriately documented expenses relating to research travel. Legitimate expenses include costs associated with:
Students are expected to take all reasonable economies, including the use of lowest airfares that include Saturday night stay over. Travel is not supported unless most of the trip is spent on research activities. Summer trips home are not supported.
3. If any funds are undistributed by May 1, they will be redistributed against unreimbursed claims in the proportion indicated above in 1.
4. For reimbursement associated with any particular trip, within 2 weeks of the conclusion of the trip, students must provide the Departmental Administrator with:
All these materials are to be enclosed in an envelope along with an itemized list of the receipts and their amounts.
The Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences also supports travel by graduate students to conferences at which they will present papers, but asks that graduate students not approach FAS until departmental funds are exhausted. Travel funds are also available from Sigma Xi for student members and support for international travel may also be available from UCIS, The University Center for International Studies.
Some very limited funds are available to support research expenses not related to travel. Interested graduate students should inquire with the Chair directly at any time.