History and Philosophy of Science, PhD

In the History and Philosophy of Science PhD program, you will receive solid training in history and philosophy of science with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies of the sciences, and their:

  • Conceptual structure
  • Epistemology
  • History
  • Impacts on society

The strength of our History and Philosophy of Science program is that we bring philosophy, history and the study of science together.

Applicants typically come from undergraduate programs that have included philosophical, historical, life science or history and philosophy of science training, or with a master's degree in one of these fields.

Most graduates seek careers based in philosophical or historical analyses of the sciences including research and administrative careers in higher education, science communication and other areas related to the life sciences.

84 credit hours, a written prospectus and its defense (these are also the written and oral comprehensive exams), and a dissertation.

Core courses (6 hours)

  • HPS 620, Research Prospectus Writing, 3 hours
  • HPS 615, Biology and Society Lab, 3 hours

Restricted program electives (30 hours)

  • Approved courses in history of science, 6 hours
  • Approved courses in philosophy of science, 6 hours
  • Approved course(s) in history of philosophy, 3 hours
  • Approved course(s) in value theory, 3 hours
  • Approved course(s) in advanced logic or equivalent, 3 hours
  • Approved courses in philosophy, history, or the life sciences, 9 hours

Program electives (24 hours)

Additional courses or research

Research (12 or more hours)

  • HPS 792, Research

Dissertation (12 hours)

  • HPS 799, Dissertation

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15, with a preference date of Dec. 1.
The History and Philosophy of Science PhD program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August.

There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed. In January, the top applicants will be invited to a recruitment event scheduled in mid- to late-February. 

Before applying, we encourage you to read our Tips for Applying.

We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15. 

Desired qualifications:

  • Research experience 
  • Undergraduate GPA minimum 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)
  • GRE scores: 50% Verbal and 70% Quantitative 
  • International students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

Note: Your application is evaluated based on your entire application package.

To apply, follow the How and When to Apply link below.

 You will be asked to:

  1. Review the university standards, degree program timelines and application requirements
  2. Complete the graduate admission application
  3. Send official transcripts, general GRE scores and language tests (international students only) to graduate admissions services
  4. Submit a writing sample
  5. Fill out the academic record form and upload it 
  6. Submit a non-refundable application fee

Program Faculty 


HPS Director Richard Creath

Degree Offered

History and Philosophy of Science, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadlines

Applications for Fall 2019 accepted:  Oct. 1-Dec. 15, 2018
Priority deadline:  Dec. 1, 2018

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