There are no standard requirements for entering a field as diverse as history and philosophy of science. Students in the program come from a wide range of backgrounds in the humanities and sciences. Applicants to the Theology and Science track must already possess a master’s degree in theology or its equivalent.

If a student has not had a substantial amount of experience with a science, they may be asked to take some supplementary science courses as part of their HPS preparation. The extent of the background in a science expected of a student will depend on the area of doctoral research chosen. For example, someone who elects to specialize in ancient or medieval science will require other special skills (in language, for example) but need not have the kind of competence in a science that someone who plans to work in philosophy of quantum mechanics will require. In all cases, the student will work out, with his or her advisor, what the appropriate preparation would be for the area of specialized research he or she intends to take on.


Applicants should initiate the application process by going to the Graduate School's online application page and application form. When applying, be sure to indicate on the application form or in the statement of purpose the track to which you intend to apply: the history track, philosophy track or theology track.

The application for admission should include all admissions materials (academic transcripts, at least three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a relevant writing sample) and the application fee.  Ordinarily, students are admitted only in the fall, but in exceptional cases, mid-year admission may be permitted.

Because the HPS program is a doctoral one, applications for a terminal M.A. degree will ordinarily not be accepted. Click here for more on our Concurrent Master's Program.

Admission to doctoral studies in HPS requires approval from both the Admissions Committee in HPS and also from the appropriate committee in either history, philosophy, or theology, depending on which track the student elects to follow. Since doctoral students in HPS are expected to satisfy Ph.D. requirements in either philosophy, history, or theology as part of their larger program, they have to meet the standards for admission into one of these doctoral programs. However, initial application materials should be directed only to HPS unless an applicant wishes to be considered independently for admission to some other university program. Candidates are welcome to apply to other ND Ph.D. programs (e.g. Philosophy, History, Theology) in addition to applying to HPS.

The History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program’s admissions process does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Further Information

Further information about graduate admissions can be obtained by visiting the home page of the Graduate School at, or from the following address:

Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
University of Notre Dame
502 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5602

Phone: (574) 631-7706