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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 23, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

History and Philosophy of Science, PhD

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The department offers a comprehensive program of study leading to the PhD. It combines core and elective seminars with more advanced, supervised study and encourages continued study of a particular science outside the department. All periods of the history of science are supported, including ancient, and 16th century to present science; as is work in general philosophy of science (confirmation, explanation, realism, scientific change, etc.) and in the philosophy of particular sciences (biology, physics, psychology, cognitive science, social sciences, etc.).

PhD Degree Requirements:

A minimum of 72 credits with an MA in history and philosophy of science or completion of MA requirements.

  1. Further distribution of studies requirements: At least nine hours at the 1000 or 2000 level, in one of the following (a maximum of two at the 1000 level, including the two for the MA):
    • Philosophy, exclusive of philosophy of science and logic
    • History, exclusive of history of science
    • A field of natural sciences, social science, or computer science
      (courses taken toward the MA degree may be counted toward the requirement for the PhD)
  2. Proficiency in logic (equivalent to PHIL 1500)
  3. Language requirement: Good reading knowledge of one foreign language (Latin, Greek, German, French, or approved substitute). The foreign language exam must be passed before the student completes the comprehensive requirements.
  4. Satisfactory fulfillment of the comprehensive requirements, which are:
    • Core seminar examinations: A pass in end-of-term examinations in the two history of science core seminars and the philosophy of science core seminar.
    • Students must submit a research paper in the history of science and a research paper in the philosophy of science. Both must pass at the PhD level.
  5. Submission of a significant and acceptable dissertation on a topic in history and philosophy of science.
  6. All students must acquire some supervised teaching experience during their tenure at the University.

These requirements are specific departmental requirements, in addition to the general requirements for the MA and PhD degrees laid down by the Graduate Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

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