Graduate Minor Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Technology & Medicine
For Notre Dame Doctoral Students

History and Philosophy of Science offers students the 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.

History and Philosophy of  Science Graduate Minor Program

HPS logo

The History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Graduate Minor program offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the philosophical, conceptual, social, ethical, and political dimensions of science, technology and medicine. The program allows students to explore science in other historical and cultural contexts, examining how the character of scientific knowledge and the organization of scientific investigation have changed over time. Students also explore the origins, structure, and possible limitations of the concepts, theories, and practices fundamental to their scientific research fields.

A Graduate Minor in HPS provides science, engineering, and arts and letters Ph.D. students with the opportunity to develop skills and perspectives that enable them to analyze the many roles that science and technology play in the modern world. Training in the HPS Graduate Minor Program will therefore promote graduate students’ abilities to be thoughtful citizens, scholars, and policy-makers as science, technology, and medicine shape contemporary life ever more deeply.


Admission to the program is by permission of the HPS Committee (e-mail for more information). Students can meet the requirements of the minor as and when this best fits with their home department requirements, their research, and their developing scholarly and intellectual needs and under the guidance of their departmental advisor and with the support of the HPS Director. This flexibility serves the double purpose of allowing students to get the most out of the opportunity while also ensuring that the HPS graduate minor has little or no impact on time to degree.

HPS Graduate Minor Requirements

The total requirement is 11 credit hours. These may be completed at any time during the student's Ph.D. program. The minor certifies the competence in the area of History and Philosophy of Science.

3 courses (3 hours per course)

Two courses are to be selected from the HPS core curriculum:

H1: History of Science, Technology, and Medicine to 1750
H2: History of Science, Technology, and Medicine since 1750
P1: Philosophy of Science
P2: History of the Philosophy of Science from the Scientific Revolution to 1900
S: Social Studies of Science

Any third course from HPS (including courses from other programs cross-listed in HPS) completes the formal coursework for the minor. With the permission of the Director of HPS and the student's advisor, this third course may be replaced by an extended essay of 15,000 words.

Participation in 2 semesters of HPS colloquium (1 credit hour per semester)

The HPS colloquium consists of a weekly presentation of work in progress by faculty and students, through the first half of the semester; and three visiting speakers, usually after mid-term break.