A chart showing normal progress to the degree and table of course types are provided as a convenient summary of the program, but only the handbook text should be considered authoritative. Students are also responsible for knowing and complying with all requirements set forth in the University of Pittsburgh's Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies Catalog. Students are governed by the handbook/catalog rules in effect on the date of their matriculation, but mmay petition the department to apply sections of more recent versions that are appropriate for their program of study.
July 2021 (Major Revision)
Table of Contents
- Area 1: Core Seminars
- Area 2: History of Science Seminars
- Area 3: Philosophy of Science Seminars
- Research Paper Writing Credits
1. Independent Study Courses
2. Directed Study
3. Research Paper
4. Prospectus Research
5. Dissertation Research
1. Dissertation Committee
3. Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy
4. Annual Meeting of Dissertation Committee
5. Statute of Limitations
7. Final Oral Examination
8. Dissertation Documents
A. Advising and Registration
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
D. Promotion from TA to TF
This handbook 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. Policy changes apply automatically to students who matriculate after the change is introduced; students who matriculated under earlier versions of the handbook may petition the DGS to meet the newer policy.
Students are also responsible for knowing and complying with all requirements set forth in the University of Pittsburgh's Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies Catalog.
The University of Pittsburgh operates on the semester system. The Fall (September-December) and Spring (January-April) semesters 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.
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The University does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on these bases and takes steps to ensure that students, employees, and third parties are not subject to a hostile environment in University programs or activities.
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The HPS graduate degree program is built on 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 four areas:
Area 1: Core seminar sequence: a three-term graduate level introduction to history and philosophy of science (HPS 2101, 2102, 2103).
Area 2: History of Science seminars taught in HPS.
Area 3: Philosophy of Science seminars taught in HPS.
Area 4: Distribution from either philosophy, history, or science seminars
The first two years are given over chiefly to seminar work. Upon successful completion of distribution requirements, the logic requirement, language requirement, core exams, and research papers requirement, and upon approval of a suitable thesis topic and successful prospectus defense, graduate students begin work on their doctoral dissertation.
Timing of Some Requirements for the Doctoral Program
Core sequence, HPS 2101, HPS 2102, HPS 2103
Expected within first two years in program
Expected by end of second year
Research papers requirement
Submitted no later than Fall of third year in program
Distribution of studies in Areas 2 and Areas 3
Prior to prospectus exam
II.A.2 and .3
Prior to prospectus exam
Further distribution of studies requirement
Prior to prospectus exam
Formal methods requirement
Prior to prospectus exam
Course credit requirement (72 credit hours)
Prior to dissertation defense
1. Nine hours from Area 1 (Core Seminars). MA students must pass the end-of-term examination in the three core seminars. The goal of the core seminars is to develop a shared common body of knowledge and skills.
Each student is required to take all three seminars (2101, 2102, 2103). HPS 2101 must be taken in the Fall Term of the first year. HPS 2102 must be taken in the Spring term of the first year. HPS 2103 must be taken in the second year.
HPS 2101, the core seminar in philosophy of science, is a graduate survey of important topics in Philosophy of Science. It is intended to introduce students to concepts, debates, and skills in philosophy of science. Topics should include explanation, confirmation, scientific change, theories and representation, and science and values. Reading for each topic should include at least one classic and one contemporary source with a short bibliography of suggested reading. Skills should include close reading, clear and accurate explication of arguments, and construction of sound philosophical arguments and counterarguments.
HPS 2102, the core seminar in history of science, is a graduate introduction to topics in History of Science. It is intended to introduce students to historical episodes in a range of science from the ancient world to the modern era as well as to important skills in historical research and writing and trends in the historiography of science. Topics selected should feature important episodes from both the ancient and modern eras as well as a range of sciences. This course should engage with both primary and secondary sources, in order to offer explicit training in historiographic trends and historical methodology. Skills should include framing a historical question, critical reading and contextualization of primary sources, placing historical research in its historiographic context, and constructing sound evidence-based historical arguments.
HPS 2103, the core seminar in integrated history and philosophy of science, is a graduate introduction to important topics, methods, and skills in integrated HPS scholarship. This course will focus on examples of integrated HPS as a means to learn both content and skills. Topics should include a range of examples of successfully integrated HPS from different sciences. This course should explicitly address different ways in which history and philosophy of science can be combined or integrated and the methodological requirements of each approach. Skills should include framing an integrated HPS question and constructing sound evidence-based HPS arguments.
2. Nine hours from Area 2 (History of Science). Only courses taught in HPS may be used to satisfy this requirement.
3. Nine hours from Area 3 (Philosophy of Science). Only courses taught in HPS may be used to satisfy this requrement
While individual seminars may offer either short papers or a longer term paper option, students are required to write at least three long papers, with at least one in Area 2 and one in Area 3.
4. Three hours of Research Paper credits (HPS 2980).
By the end of the fall term of their third year in the program, students must have sat and passed end of term examinations in the three HPS Core Seminars.
a. Failure to pass by the date given above is grounds for termination in the program.
b. The first sitting of the examinations must be at the conclusion of the actual offering of the seminar in question and must be completed before the end of the semester in which the seminar is offered, unless an exception is formally granted allowing for examination at a later date. First and second-year students registered in the core seminars must take the examinations for those courses. Should they fail the examination in any of these core seminars, they must retake the examination within one year. This second examination will be set by the faculty member who taught the seminar; or by a suitable replacement designated by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Chair of Department.
c. The examinations are to be limited to the material covered in each seminar, and should test for broad knowledge and understanding of that material. These examinations are closed book, closed note examinations. Students are given four hours to complete the exam.
d. The examinations are to be set by the faculty member in charge of the seminar. The grading of the examinations is to be carried out by a committee consisting of the faculty member in charge of the seminar and at least one other faculty member. A grade of 'B' or better is required to pass the examinations.
e. The faculty in charge of the seminar decides whether to consider examinations associated with seminars independently from the measures used to arrive at the seminar grade. Thus, not all students in the seminar need be required to take the examination.
Good reading knowledge of a second language besides English. The goal of the language requirement is to foster scholarship and teaching in a second language. Any second language selected by a student to meet this requirement must have demonstrable value in research and teaching for that student. The language requirement must be satisfied before the student completes the research papers requirement.
Students whose first language is not English may petition the department to satisfy this requirement upon successful completion of their first-year program of graduate seminars in the department. Students whose first language is English may satisfy the language requirement in several ways, but should seek the advice of the DGS before selecting among these options :
1. Passing a sequence of intensive courses targeting reading comprehension with a grade of B or better in each course, such as Pitt's German 021 and German 022.
2. Passing a fourth semester language acquisition course such as French 104 or Japanese 0004 with a grade of B or better.
3. Passing an examination of the following general type:
a. The student will be given a passage of approximately 500-600 words from a suitable foreign text in history and philosophy of science. With the aid of a dictionary, but without relying on translation software such as Google translate, they will prepare a written translation in one hour. (If the examination is in German, for instance, the text should be in Roman type, rather than Frakturschrift.)
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 they choose, unless terminated from the program for other reasons. When possible, examiners will be rotated.
By the end of the fall term of their third year in the program, each student must submit, for evaluation by the faculty, a research paper in history of science that considers an historical topic using historical techniques, and a research paper in philosophy of science that considers a philosophical topic using philosophical techniques.
1. Research papers are to be submitted in the Spring of Year 2 or in the Fall of Year 3. Papers will be accepted for evaluation in a Fall term only if received by the first day of Fall Term or in the Spring term by March 30. Students are strongly encouraged to submit at least one of the two exams by Spring of Year 2. Evaluations of papers will be limited to doctoral pass-fail, or master's only pass-fail with the option reserved by the faculty to request resubmission of a revised or new paper by a nominated date. Students must obtain a doctoral pass on both papers in order to continue in the doctoral program. A master's pass on both papers is required for the M.A. degree.
2. The philosophy of science and history of science papers must be written in forms appropriate for submission respectively to Philosophy of Science and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. This means the paper must meet every formal requirement of the journal (spacing, margins, placement of notes, bibliographic conventions, etc.). Regardless of journal policy, each research paper may not exceed 7,500 words, including quotations, notes, substantive footnotes, and so forth, but excluding bibliography, abstract, and footnotes that merely cite references. Students must include a word count on the front page of their research papers. Failure to meet these requirements will mean that the essay will be turned back to the student without being read. Dates and times for completing the research papers will not be altered for papers turned back due to these requirements.
3. The principal criterion of evaluation is whether the paper gives a clear indication that its author is capable of original research and independent scholarly achievement, such as might lead to journal publication, as opposed to mere recapitulation of existing sources and seminar notes. In the philosophy of science paper, a novel and interesting thesis should be stated clearly and argued for cogently. In the history of science paper, attention must be given to the appropriate historical context and appropriate sources used. These research papers are not expected to provide comprehensive surveys of relevant literature, although they should demonstrate awareness of work that presents important support for or challenges to the main thesis.
4. These papers are to be a test of a student's own abilities and are to be regarded as examinations. Students may consult with faculty about choice of topics. Indeed, they are required to name a faculty advisor for each paper. They may discuss their work with other faculty and other students. Of course, helpful suggestions ought to be acknowledged in footnotes. What must be clear is that in conception and execution the essay is the work of the individual student. A faculty advisor for each paper must be listed on the front page of the paper. Papers will be initially evaluated by faculty members who are not listed as the advisor for the student in the preparation of the paper.
5. Written evaluation of the papers will be given to the student by the end of the term in which the papers are submitted.
6. These papers may form the basis for dissertation proposals, although the papers cannot have the incomplete and programmatic character of a dissertation proposal. Thus, students are advised to select theses narrower in scope than those pursued in a doctoral dissertation.
7. Requests for postponement of the submission date must be made at least six months in advance of the new deadline. Later requests will not be entertained, since it is intended that the papers result from a program of work extending well beyond the few months prior to the submission date.
8. Students engaged in writing the papers may register for HPS 2980 during one of the semesters before they submit their papers.
9. The evaluation of these papers will customarily follow this procedure: Upon receipt of the papers, the chair and director of graduate studies will select at least two readers for each paper. Additional readers will then be selected if it is felt that further evaluation is needed. In particular, the decision to fail a paper will be taken only after it has been read by all primary faculty available. The decision to fail a research paper is made by the primary faculty. This final decision should be made within six weeks of receipt of the papers. The identity of the readers will generally be made known to the applicant after the faculty has made a final decision on the entire set of exams. The applicant is invited to discuss the paper with the readers.
A minimum of 30 credit hours. For students entering prior to Fall 2017, no more than two (non-HPS) 1000-level courses (6 hours total) may count towards the M.A. degree. For students entering Fall 2017 or later, no 1000-level courses may count towards the M.A. degree. No sub-1000 level courses can be used to satisfy the degree requirements. No HPS courses at the 1000-level can count.
A. M.A. Equivalent: M.A. degree in History and Philosophy of Science or completion of M.A. requirements (See section II).
Further Distribution-of-Studies Requirement: At least nine hours at the 2000-level in one of the following:
- philosophy, exclusive of philosophy of science and logic.
- history, exclusive of history of science.
- a field of natural science, social science, mathematics or computer science.
For courses offered that are not 3 credits, students may petition to have fewer credits fulfil the distribution requirement.
Courses taken at Pitt towards the M.A. degree may be counted toward the requirement for the Ph.D.
Students must demonstrate proficiency in formal methods related to their research or career goals. These methods include both (a) and (b) listed below.
(a) proficiency in basic symbolic logic (at least first order predicate logic), and
(b) further coursework, at either the upper-level undergraduate or graduate level, involving formal methods in an area approved by the DGS. Such areas include a more advanced course in logic (such as logical theory, mathematical logic, or modal logic), higher mathematics (such as set theory, linear algebra, calculus, probability and statistics, or other specialized area of mathematics), or computational methods (ranging from computer programming to theory of computation and including suitable courses in digital humanities or information science).
Part (a) may be satisfied by a grade of B or better in a first course in symbolic logic (such as PHIL 1500 or equivalent from another institution) or by departmental examination. Part (b) may be satisfied by a grade of B or better in a course approved by the DGS in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.
This requirement must be completed before the prospectus examination.
A minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate credit. Credit is determined by the polices in the Dietrich School graduate catalog at https://catalog.upp.pitt.edu/content.php?catoid=189&navoid=17967. Note that audited courses (N grade) do not contribute either credits or grade points toward graduation.
1. Independent Study Courses: A student who has not completed the research papers requirement may not register for an independent study course without the written permission of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair. HPS 2910 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.
2. Directed Study: HPS 2900 (Pre MA Directed Study) and HPS 3900 (Advanced Directed Study) are to be used as actual courses that will require instructor supervision. They can be used to fill special needs under special circumstances. Students are strongly encouraged to take regularly listed courses, not Directed Study courses. Directed Study courses must have a syllabus and a statement regarding how the course grade will be assessed. The Dean's office now allows Directed Study courses to be subtitled which will allow transcripts to be more descriptive.
3. Research Paper: HPS 2980 is to be used when researching and writing papers for the Research Papers Requirement.
4. Prospectus Research: HPS 2999 is to be used when preparing work for a prospectus meeting.
5. Dissertation Research: HPS 3000 is reserved for students who have been admitted to candidacy. Students are still encouraged to continue taking seminars.
6. FTDA - Full Time Dissertation Study: 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 who entered before Fall 2017 may receive graduate credit for up to two 1000-level (6 hours) in non HPS subjects, subject to approval by the graduate advisor. Students entering Fall 2017 or later may not count any 1000-level courses.
All students must acquire some supervised teaching experience during their tenure at the University.
HPS students are required to register for HPS 2000 in their second and fourth years, or the years in which they are teaching assistants and independent instructors for the first times. HPS 2000 is a skills and discussion course designed to prepare students for teaching and to act as a forum for students to discuss challenges and strategies for teaching as they arise. In order to prepare students for Fall teaching duties, HPS 2497 will begin with an August workshop led by the instructor of HPS 2000 that will introduce students to teaching in HPS with practical instruction about syllabus construction, leading discussion, and class management.
HPS 2000 replaces FACDEV 2200 required by the Graduate School. Each year it is taken, HPS 2000 is worth 1 credit per term (for both terms). The course is taken for an S grade.
1. Dissertation Committee: Within three months of completion of the requirements A-E, the student should select a Dissertation Director, subject to approval by the Chair. With the aid of the Director, the student will select the other members of the Dissertation Committee. No faculty member is required to serve as Director or member of any particular Dissertation Committee.
At least four persons must be on the Committee, the majority of whom, including the Director, must be members of the Graduate Faculty and either primary faculty (https://www.hps.pitt.edu/people/primary-faculty) members or secondary faculty members (https://www.hps.pitt.edu/people/secondary-faculty) of the Department. The Committee must contain at least two primary faculty members from the HPS department. In cases where it is advisable for a student to have co-directors, at least one of them should be a primary faculty member from HPS.
(See also the Dietrich School's policy on dissertation committees.)
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 (15-20 pages is typical). 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 their third year in order to remain eligible for financial aid. If they have not defended their prospectus by this time, graduate students are expected to submit a report describing the progress they have made to the DGS. The report should be submitted at the end of the semester following the semester in which they have completed the research papers requirement (e.g., at the end of Spring if the research papers requirement was completed in the Fall). The report should propose a timeline for the PROMPT completion and defense of their prospectus, preferably withing the coming fall or spring term, whichever is sooner.
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 Graduate 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 are expected to 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 six 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.
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 V.E.)
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 is Paolo Palmieri.
A. Advising and Registration
The Director of Graduate Studies advises all students on meeting formal program requirements. Additionally, upon arrival each student is appointed a faculty academic advisor who should be consulted on matters relevant to the student’s research interests. These appointments will be reviewed annually by the DGS. Once a Dissertation Director is approved by the Chair, this person takes on the academic advisory role.
The student will meet with the DGS 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. Once students have consulted with the Director of Graduate Studies about their course selections, the hold on their account will be lifted by the Graduate Administrator 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 and departmental incompletes as 1.0) 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 PhD requirements. They should prepare a written document stating the Department 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 30 credits for work elsewhere. Credits cannot be counted toward a University of Pittsburgh Master's level degree nor can they be used to satisfy HPS Area 1, 2 or 3 seminar requirements.
C. Departmental Resources:
Because Departmental resources are limited, graduate students are not allowed to use Departmental telephones or secretarial services. Graduate students may use the photocopy machine. (See Department Administrator for the access code).
D. Course Load:
The normal semester course load for a full-time student holding a TA is three courses (9 credits) for letter grade, plus any required courses in teaching.
Normal semester course load for full-time students not holding a TA (including fellows) is four courses (12 credits) for letter grade.
Students are to take this normal course load until the following Ph.D. requirements are met:
III.B Further Distribution of Studies Requirements
III.C Formal Methods Requirement
II.D Language Requirement
II.E Research Papers Requirement
However, this load may be reduced by one course during the term in which the research papers are written by registering for HPS 2980 (3 credits) under the supervision of a specific faculty member.
In the term after the final paper(s) for the Research Papers Requirement II.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 Research Papers 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 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.
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 or submits a prospectus.
For purposes of clause II.E, years of part-time study will not be counted. Students who have undertaken part-time years will be required to have completed the research papers requirement 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.
F. Courses in Other Departments:
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.
G. Academic Integrity
All students are expected to conduct their work in accordance with the academic integrity code of the University of Pittsburgh. (https://www.as.pitt.edu/faculty/policies-and-procedures/academic-integri...)
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.")
J. Departmental Evaluations:
The Department will meet each April to evaluate all students currently enrolled in the program. Each student will be informed of the results of the evaluation by letter from the Director of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair. Specifically, students 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 research papers requirement have been met. Failure to complete the requirements will be considered grounds for termination from the program.
K. Leaves of Absence:
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 DGS detailing the reasons and length of their proposed leave. Leaves of Absence are of two kinds - Official and Unofficial:
- Official: A graduate student may apply for an official leave of absence from graduate study in cases of illness or personal concerns. The application can be made for a maximum of one year for master's students or two years for doctoral students. The length and rationale for the leave of absence must be stated in advance, recommended to the Dean by the department, and approved by the Dean. Only one leave of absence can be obtained by a student during her or his graduate career. If the leave of absence has been approved, the statute of limitations for the degree is extended by the length of time of the leave. Doctoral students, however, will not be permitted an extension of the 7-year limit on the Ph.D. research paper requirements. A student on an approved leave of absence must apply for readmission, but readmission is automatic and the fee will be waived.
- Unofficial: Readmission is not automatic, the application fee must be paid, and the original statute of limitations remains in effect.
L. Career Planning:
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.
b. Given the strong competition for few job openings, the Department cannot commit itself to recommending for tenure stream college/university appointments anyone who is not very close to completion of the Ph.D.
c. . In preparing for job applications and subsequent interviewing, students will be assisted by their dissertation committee chair and the Director of Career Outcomes. They will organize a mock job interview and rehearsal job talk as appropriate.
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.
Philjobs.org should be consulted to ascertain the kind and range of specializations and competencies that are being sought. The Philosophy of Science Association's Newsletter and the History of Science Society's Newsletter advertise positions in philosophy of science and history of science and should be consulted also as relevant.
3. Preparation and Distribution of Dossiers
a. A typical dossier consists of a resume/CV, confidential letters of recommendation, teaching portfolio and samples of written work, including an outline of the dissertation and a statement about future research plans. In addition, it is becoming increasingly common that applicants for academic jobs are required to provide a diversity statement.. In the selection and preparation of these materials, the student will be assisted by their dissertation committee chair and the Director of Career Outcomes. 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.
b. Those writing letters of recommendation must be given a draft version of the complete Ph. D. dissertation early enough for them to read it and prepare their letters.
c. It is the student's primary responsibility to assure that the placement dossier has been assembled in time to meet the advertised deadlines.
June 30 (Recommended)
You should have:
a polished draft of your writing sample (to be finalized during Summer and early Fall)
a list of letter writers (to be determined with your adviser)
August 1 (Recommended)
You (or your adviser) contact your letter writers, ask them to send the Director of Career Outcomes their letter by September 15 (September 1st for 2 or 3 letter writers if you are applying to fellowships in September).
Send your letter writers:
a draft of the writing sample (explain that it will be further polished, but that it is near completion)
a summary of your dissertation together with the "highlights"
August 30 (Required)
You must have a complete draft of dissertation and your adviser must have given his or her approval to the Director of Career Outcomes.
October 1 (Required)
You must submit a complete draft of your dossier (except for cover letters) to the Director of Career Outcomes for review.
October 15 (Required)
You must submit a near final list of jobs to the Director of Career Outcomes.
Mock interviews are scheduled.
December and Early January
Mock job talks are scheduled.
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.
N. Problem Resolution
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 DSAS Dean's office.
O. Parental Accommodation
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 childbirth, 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
All eligible students will be granted a Parental Accommodation Period six weeks immediately following the birth of a child or the adoption of a child for whom the student has parental responsibilities. During this period of accommodation, the student will continue to be enrolled as a full-time student. Because the student remains enrolled as a full-time student and continues to pay tuition, this is not a formal leave of absence. It is instead a modification of deadlines and academic expectations to accommodate the student's new parental responsibilities. The student will be able to postpone completion of course assignments, examinations, academic milestones and other academic requirements for the six week Accommodation Period. However, the Accommodation Period does not extend the University's academic Statute of Limitations.
Because the Accommodation Period needs to be tailored to the student's individual circumstances and the timing of the student's academic responsibilities, the student should consult in advance with the program advisor, research advisor or office of student services about how the student will meet academic goals and requirements. The student is responsible for ensuring that this consultation takes place as far in advance of the Accommodation Period as possible. Students enrolled in programs characterized by sequential courses must anticipate potential consequences associated with accommodation, and in consultation with the advisor, should plan how best to complete their program following the Accommodation Period.
The student must complete the accommodation period within six weeks of the birth or adoption. The student may not divide the time period of parental accommodation for use past this time limit. If both parents are eligible graduate students, both may take the six week accommodation period. The total accommodation period for each birth or adoption is limited to six weeks; in the event of a multiple birth or adoption, the length of the accommodation period is limited to six weeks.
After the end of the Parental Accommodation Period, students are expected to return to graduate study and resume progress toward completing their degrees. Faculty are encouraged to remain flexible in their expectations of students who become new parents, so that students can meet the demands of graduate study at the same time that they face new demands in their parental roles. Nothing in these guidelines can or should replace communication and cooperation between student and advisor, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the birth or adoption of a child. It is the intent of these guidelines to reinforce the importance of that cooperation and to provide support to make that accommodation possible.
Special Notice to International Students: Students who are attending the University of Pittsburgh with a F-1 student visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor visa are strongly encouraged to consult in advance with the Office of International Studies about their plans during the period of Parental Accommodation.
2. Student Funding During the Parental Accommodation Period
A. Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Graduate Student Assistants, or Graduate Student Researchers
With advance planning, TA, TF, GSA and GSR assignments can be adapted for modifications of schedule that new student parents need during a Parental Accommodation Period. Faculty advisors and students with TA, TF, GSA and GSR appointments are encouraged to work out the necessary adjustments preferably one semester before the anticipated birth or adoption.
Eligible Students: Faculty members who supervise TAs, TFs, GSAs and GSRs who assume new roles as parents (see below for accommodations for birth mothers) should offer flexibility to allow students to take advantage of the Parental Accommodation Period. During this period the students will continue to receive their stipend, benefits, and associated tuition support.
Birth Mothers: The situation is more difficult for mothers who give birth, and must cope with the health consequences of childbirth and recovery in addition to new parental roles. Eligible graduate students with TA, TF, GSA and GSR appointments who experience the health consequences of pregnancy will be excused from their regular duties for a period of time to be determined by a health care provider not to exceed the student's appointment period.
During this period, they will continue to receive their stipend, benefits, and associated tuition support. In most cases, students who have been funded by external grants will receive their parental accommodation stipend and benefits through their specific grant, provided that the granting agency permits such action. If the funding agency has terms and conditions which do not permit funding pursuant to this guideline, the department or school will fund the parental accommodation period.
B. Fellowship Recipients
Eligible students who are supported by University of Pittsburgh fellowships will experience no change in their funding arrangements during the Parental Accommodation Period; they will continue to receive their fellowship support and benefits during the Parental Accommodation period. Eligible students who are supported by fellowships external to the University must adhere to the rules of the granting agency with respect to absences from academic and research work.
An eligible student must submit a Request for Graduate Student Parental Accommodation, after appropriate consultation with her/his advisor and the Chair. The request, with appropriate documentation of the anticipated birth or adoption (a letter from the student's medical provider with an estimate of delivery date or from the adoption agency with an estimate of adoption date), will be submitted to the student's graduate program office for approval.
Any student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly or has been denied eligibility according to these guidelines should first discuss the situation with their program advisor, research advisor or office of student services. If a resolution cannot be reached at the departmental level, the student should present the grievance to the dean for informal evaluation, adjudication, and, if necessary, advice on additional, formal grievance procedures.
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:
1. The student's academic work must meet a minimum standard set by the faculty (viz., students whose status is provisional are not eligible).
2. No student can expect more than twelve terms of financial support from University funds (excluding Summer Term and Sessions).
3. The progress of students will be evaluated each April. The reallocation of TAs will be contingent on satisfactory progress towards the requirement for the Ph.D.
1. HPS students are required to register for HPS 2000 in their second and fourth years. This seminar replaces the previously required departmental teaching practicum (HPS 2497) and FACDEV 2200 components of the HPS graduate program. Each year it is taken, the course is 1 credit per term (for both terms). The course is taken for an S grade. Those students appointed as TAs or TFs should carefully read Section VIII.E on the responsibilities of TA/TFs.
1. Student's progress will be evaluated each April.
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 TA assignments.
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.
a. Student evaluations are arranged by the Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching. The OMET sends a form for requesting evaluation to everyone who is teaching a class. Teaching assistants and teaching fellows should use this form to request an evaluation. The OMET returns completed evaluations to the teachers after the term is over. Teaching assistants and teaching fellows should look over the evaluations and provide electronic copies to the Graduate Administrator within a week of receiving them. The evaluations become a permanent part of the graduate student's file and are an important part of a job dossier.
b. 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. In each case, the faculty member visits the class at least once during the term. The faculty member writes a report about this visit and discusses the report with the teaching assistant or teaching fellow before depositing it in his or her 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.
4. In the event that fewer TAs are available than students who qualify and apply for them, the following principles will be given the selection process:
a. Academic merit
b. Suitable background for TA assignment
D. Promotion From TA to TF:
Promotion to a TF requires the completion of the Master's Degree or the completion of eight courses and successfully passing the research papers requirement.
1. TA/TFs must meet every scheduled class on time and remain in session for the entire scheduled period. This rule applies to first-week sessions in which you are assisting, even if the section meets before the lecture. Use this meeting to introduce yourself to the students and tell them what your office hours are, get a list of their names and phone numbers, let them know what textbooks are required, what the course will be about and explain the University's policy on plagiarism. You can also discuss course requirements and grading policies. If you have full responsibility for a course, you must use the first meeting to cover preliminary matters discussed above and to present your first lecture. Even though the students "haven't read anything" before the first class, you cannot afford to waste this class period.
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 department chair'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 department chair 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 Administrative Assistant during the first week of the term.
8. University rules forbid the posting of grades in public venues. If you use Canvas 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. University policy prevents you from discussing student grades with third parties, such as the student’s parents. If you are confronted with insistent parents, you should refer them to the Chair.
9. Important remarks about grading papers and exams.
a. Graded work must be returned in a timely manner. For classes and sections that meet only once a week, this usually means papers and exams should be returned at the next meeting after the work was handed in. You must not allow pressures of your other work to prevent you from giving your students appropriate and timely feedback on their work.
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).
10. Academic dishonesty: Students should be informed in advance of commencing relevant projects and exams of the nature of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. If a student is suspected of academic dishonesty, you must follow appropriate procedures, as outlined in the University's pamphlet, "Guidelines on Academic Integrity." You should familiarize yourself with these regulations. If you need further guidance you should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies.
11. Sexual harassment in its multi-varied forms is not acceptable. 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.
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:
First year students: 1 share
Second year students (and later unless milestones below are passed): 2 shares
Students who have passed the research papers requirement: 3 shares
Students who have passed the prospectus exam: 5 shares. 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:
- travel, accommodation, fees arising from attendance or participation in an academic conference relevant to the student's research interests.
- travel, accommodation and fees associated with visits to archives and related sites of relevance to the student's research.
Students are expected to take all reasonable economies, including the use of lowest airfares that are compatible with offsetting extra hotel costs. 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 Administrative Coordinator with:
- A brief note indicating the academic purpose of the travel.
- Documentation of the academic nature of the travel; for example, a flyer indicating the name and date of the relevant conference or a program indicating the student's participation.
All receipts associated with the travel, including those to be considered on May 1 for the redistribution of residual funds. 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 DSAS 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. HPS graduate students are also eligible to apply to the Salmon Fund for research support.
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.