Welcome to the History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program at Notre Dame

“philosophically engaged history of science”
“historically rich philosophy of science”

Our doctoral program offers graduate-level instruction leading to a discipline-based HPS Ph.D. Students in our distinctive, inter-departmental program are also fully trained in philosophy, history, or theology.

We also offer a concurrent master’s degree and a graduate minor to students enrolled in other Notre Dame Ph.D. programs.

Our faculty members are drawn from a variety of departments including history, philosophy, theology, english, and the program of liberal studies. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds in the humanities and sciences, and take their HPS expertise on into positions in academia and elsewhere (see our alumni page, under 'HPS People').

The deadline for application for Fall 2015 admissions was January 4, 2015.


Recent News

Ramsey & Pence Awarded NSF Grant

Grant Ramsey

Charles Pence

Congratulations to ND HPS faculty member Grant Ramsey and ND HPS alumnus Charles Pence on receiving an NSF grant in support of their evoText project, which is a “Big Data” tool for science literature aimed at opening up new research possibilities in history and philosophy of science, and with potential for use in schools. Further details are available here:  http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1456573&HistoricalAwards=false

Stellar year for ND HPS Placements

Richard Oosterhoff

2014 was a great placement year for our HPS program, with all of our job candidates accepting excellent positions: Manuela Fernandez Pinto has taken up her post-doc at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (http://www.helsinki.fi/tint/index.htm), Elise Crull and Charles Pence accepted tenure-track positions in philosophy at CCNY and LSU respectively, Richard Oosterhoff (pictured) has accepted a multi-year post-doc at the University of Cambridge, and our first ND HPS post-doc Catherine Jackson accepted a tenure-track position in history of science UW-Madison.

HPS Nahyan Fancy to Princeton IAS

Nahyan Fancy

HPS alum Nahyan Fancy (Associate Professor of History at DePauw University and author of Science and Religion in Mamluk Egypt: Ibn al-Nafīs, Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection (London: Routledge, 2013)), has been offered membership at the School for Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and will spend Fall 2015 in residence there.

HPS Students to Present in Düsseldorf

HPS students Jamee Elder, John Hanson, Monica Solomon, and Jeremy Steeger, along with Philosophy Department student Aaron Wells, will be presenting their work on Émilie Du Châtelet at this year’s European Philosophy of Science Association meeting in Düsseldorf in September. Their successful symposium submissions includes papers addressing a variety of themes from Du Châtelet’s Institutions de Physique (1740), including her views on the uses and abuses of hypotheses, her treatments of space and time, her criticisms of Newton’s views of gravitation, and her account of Leibniz’s law of continuity.

Alum Steve Case wins Annals of Science Prize

Stephen Case

HPS alum Dr. Stephen Case (Department Chemistry and Geosciences at Olivet Nazarene University) is the winner of the Annals of Science Prize for 2014, for his paper on “'Land-marks of the Universe: John Herschel Against the Background of Positional Astronomy.” This essay was based on a chapter from Steve's dissertation. 

Congratulations to Laura Bland

Laura Bland has been awarded the Writing and Rhetoric Graduate Assistantship, a full-year fellowship to support advanced graduate students while they receive pedagogy training and teach two courses in the University's Writing and Rhetoric program. She hopes to use this fellowship to develop a course on evaluating scientific and medical claims in the digital age, a theme her students explored in her recent course on the history of food.

HPS celebrates 25th anniversary of doctoral program

See conference photo album

HPS 25th anniversary pic

On September 26-27, 2014, we marked the 25th anniversary of our doctoral program with a celebration conference (click here for conference program). We reflected on the origins of the program going back to the establishment of the HPS master’s in 1969; we heard from many of our alumnae and alumni about their research, their memories of the program, and what they’ve been up to since graduating from Notre Dame; and we reflected on what it means to be doing HPS today. We took the opportunity to thank many of those without whose support our program would be unable to flourish, including our administrative assistants, the Chairs and DGSs of the departments from which we draw our faculty, the College of Arts and Letters, and the past directors of the program. Most importantly, we remembered Jack Reilly.

The occasion of the 25th anniversary was also used to launch a new HPS Director Fund for Scholarship and Professional Development, in recognition of past directors of the program, and with the goal of providing support to current graduate students (click here for more details). We welcome your donations!

HPS launches new graduate minor

From this fall, we now offer a graduate minor in HPS, open to all graduate students across the university. Our graduate minor provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the historical, philosophical, social, ethical, political and conceptual dimensions and contexts of science and technology in societies past and present. We welcome students from all disciplines, including those in the sciences and engineering who wish to explore their own specialist discipline from different perspectives. Please contact the HPS director, Katherine Brading (kbrading@nd.edu) if you would like to learn more.
Click here for more information about our HPS degree programs. 

For more news from the HPS program, click on one of the following:
HPS Faculty News
HPS Graduate Student News
HPS Alumni/ae News

You can follow the latest HPS as well as Reilly Center news on Facebook at facebook.com/NDReillyCenter


Upcoming Events

Tue Mar 3, 2015

Tue Mar 17, 2015

Message From the Program Director

Katherine Brading cropped

Thank you to everyone who participated in our celebration conference marking 25 years of our doctoral program! Welcoming back so many of our alumnae and alumni was wonderful, and we look forward to seeing many more of you back here in the coming months and years: please get in touch if you would like to visit! To prospective graduate students and visitors: please enjoy exploring our website to familiarize yourself with our activities and the opportunities we offer, and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Katherine Brading
- Director, History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program
- Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email: kbrading@nd.edu
University of Notre Dame
451 Geddes Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-9844