Degree Requirements

The graduate program consists of a series of seminars (approximately four to six are offered each term). These range from general surveys of the field and methods of research to specialized research seminars on selected topics in History and Philosophy of Science. 

These courses are divided into three areas: 

  • Area 1: Core sequence: a three-term introduction at the graduate level to history and philosophy of science
  • Area 2: History of Science 
  • Area 3: Philosophy of Science 

As New courses are developed and introduced, 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. A complete list of courses is found here. The distribution of courses into Areas 1, 2, and 3 is found here.

Other courses of interest are offered by the Departments of Philosophy, History, Anthropology, Linguistics, Economics, Sociology, Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, and Computer Science.

MA Degree Requirements 

Distribution-of-studies requirements: 

  • a. Nine hours from Area 1 (core seminars).
  • b. Fifteen hours from Areas 2 and 3, with at least six hours in each area. 

Core Seminar Examinations: A pass in end of term examinations in the two history of science core seminars and the philosophy of science core seminar. 

Language requirement: Good reading knowledge of either French, German, Latin, Greek, or approved substitute language. (Language acquisition courses cannot count toward the degree.) 

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 MA degree. 

For students entering before Fall 2017 no more than two (non-HPS) 1000-level courses may count towards the MA degree. (No pre-1000-level courses can be used to satisfy the degree requirements. No HPS courses at the 1000-level can count.) For stuedents entering Fall 2017 or later, no 1000-level courses can be used to satisfy degree requirements.

A minimum of 30 credit hours. 

PhD Degree Requirements 

  • MA degree in History and Philosophy of Science or completion of MA requirements. 
  • Further distribution of studies requirements: At least nine hours at the 2000-level, in one of the following:
    • a. philosophy, exclusive of philosophy of science and logic.
    • b. history, exclusive of history of science.
    • c. a field of natural sciences, social science, or computer science

Courses taken towards the MA degree may be counted toward the requirement for the Ph.D. For students entering before Fall 2017, a maximum of two 1000-level courses outside HPS may be counted. For students entering Fall 2017 of later, no courses at the 1000 level may count.

  • Proficiency in logic (equivalent to PHIL 1500).
  • 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.
  • Satisfactory fulfillment of the comprehensive requirements.
  • Submission of a significant and acceptable dissertation on a topic in history and philosophy of science.
  • All students must acquire some supervised teaching experience during their tenure at the University.
  • A minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate credit.

These requirements are specific departmental requirements, in addition to the general requirements for the MA and PhD degrees laid down by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.