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. As with other graduate minors, double counting is allowed. The minor certifies competence in the area of History and Philosophy of Science.

3 courses (3 credit hours per course)

- One course must be chosen from the following five: 

These HPS core courses allow students to develop the tools and methodologies used in HPS, give students the opportunity to develop writing skills, and provide an introduction to a range of topics. They are designed for incoming HPS graduate students from a range of backgrounds.

- One course may be replaced by an extended essay (15,000 words) which will be examined orally (3 credit hours). The extended essay offers the opportunity for a graduate student to apply the perspective of HPS directly to his/her specialist area. 

- Select the remaining courses from any HPS courses offered. See for offerings. 

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