History of Science

The History of Science Graduate Program

History offers the degrees of Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in History of Science.   The History of Science Graduate Program provides professional training in the interdisciplinary subject of history of science. The program connects the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences by studying and interpreting the development of the sciences within particular historical settings and analyzing the changing roles of the sciences within modern cultures. Emphasis in the program is on scientific traditions since the sixteenth century in Europe and North America, in the physical, earth, biological, medical, and social sciences, as well as on environmental history and the history of the environmental sciences.

Students with substantial scientific or historical background are encouraged to apply to the Graduate Program in History of Science.  Under special circumstances, students who do not meet the minimum requirements may be considered for admission. Prospective students should be aware that the University and the History Department are not able to accommodate all applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements. Students who have not completed a master's degree in history of science should apply to the master's program even if the intent is to pursue the Ph.D. 


  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required (completed within five years prior to the application) 
  • A writing sample (no more than 25 pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation that specifically evaluate academic abilities and professional potential


The writing sample and recommendations should be sent directly to:

Oregon State University
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
History of Science Graduate Program
305B Milam Hall,
Corvallis, OR 97331-5104  


The deadline for applications to the History of Science Graduate Program is January 1 for admission in the fall quarter of the following academic year.  Applicants to the MA/MS/PhD program in History of Science are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of Graduate Studies (allen.thompson@oregonstate.edu) prior to the deadline as you may qualify for recruitment funding.  An appointment as graduate assistant includes a tuition waiver and a stipend.  Applicants who wish to apply for graduate research assistantships or graduate teaching assistantships should indicate this on an application. Assistantships ordinarily are awarded around April 1 for the following academic year.

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Click here image to read the graduate program handbook.


Important note:

The Graduate School announced two major admissions processing improvements that became available on October 26, 2012:

     1.  After submitting an application, applicants are now able to directly upload unofficial documents, including unofficial transcripts, resumes, etc.

Applicant uploads of unofficial documents will greatly speed processing and availability of files for review. Uploaded documents can be viewed immediately in the existing graduate admissions self-service application. 

      2.  An electronic letter of reference system is now available

The electronic reference letter system will send requests to three reference writers indicated by the applicant on their admission application.

Additional details and screen views are available on the Graduate School web site: gradschool.oregonstate.edu/support/admissions-application


 We ask that new applications take advantage of these two new systems!



Links to Additional Information